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Height of pettiness…


It was actually a comment that I lifted from one of my posts on Face book.

That particular comment gave me goose pimples because it kind of shows the OVER-REACHING tendencies of most of those we call in-laws in this part of the world and… which the in-laws themselves often do not realise.

They call themselves the man’s relatives, packed themselves (un-invited oo) to his house …the comment then read, “the day we went to my brother’s house’’ NOT the day “my brother/his wife invited us for lunch/dinner.’’


Yet, the woman of the house graciously served them meals and, rather than thank her for her efforts, they (probably the lady that made the comment in my post) came up with the following observations: “She prepares a pot of soup in her house solely for herself and husband, while her children and any other visitor including the parents of the husband eat from another pot prepared by the house-helps.

We when reported this to my brother, do you know that he asked us to leave his house the very next day? If it’s not juju (diabolical charms) at work, I don’t know what is.’’

From me…

We all know that some relations bring in the juju allegations when a man is unusually loyal to his spouse-as against the whims and caprices of “family.”

Most of us in this clime can’t understand certain loyalty and respect between a man and his wife…anything more than our expectation is quickly termed juju.

…And I ask-if you pay someone a visit and she has made an effort to feed you, why should you worry about which pot she served you from or if what she served you is different from what she and her household ate?

Once your sibling/relative begins to share his/her life with another in marriage…then your incursion into their lives should be done with utmost restraint. Otherwise, it will be seen as “meddling.”


A lot of people do not know how to share their space with “indirect others” (e.g. in-laws, extended family members, etc), without feeling overwhelmed.

Yet, it doesn’t make them bad. Some people do come around with time though.

While others never fully adjust to the setting…especially on the notion that once you marry a man, you marry his folks as well.

These set of people will make it a point to be hospitable whenever your paths cross with theirs … so long as you don’t come calling everyday or overcrowding their space daily.

Unfortunately, most of us do not recognize our limits in this part of the world.

Next time you feel that a relative’s spouse isn’t hospitable enough…please stay in your house!

On the issue narrated above, that woman had a choice not to open her doors to anybody that she hasn’t asked to come.

I expected some appreciation of her efforts at least (even when she wasn’t aware of their coming) and not which pot she served anybody from.

Do you even know if she is dieting or has to feed differently on health grounds?

You could have also made an effort to ask/find out why it was so, instead of assuming the worst and running off with a conclusion.

And when her husband did not readily throw his wife out on hearing such silly complaints…the juju allegation surfaced.

Frankly, some minds are darker than the charcoal. I simply refuse to give this “sorry” way of reasoning to ignorance.

Friends had this to say on the issue: “ In African setting, when a woman marries, she is not just married to the man alone, but his family.

Visiting invited or uninvited is a different kettle of fish though.

But my resentment with the lady though is…why complain when the man’s children also ate from the same pot? If you suspect anything, just kill it once you discovered the fact that their children ate from that other pot.

The woman and her husband may be on diet or something else that, for instance, may require them not consuming certain ingredients (e.g. salt) that if she served you same you will also complain that she was wicked. Husbands, love your wives more than anyone.”

“I think it’s the level of understanding and reasoning.

It is the inability to live beyond our cultural background in most cases that brings about such attitude.

In many cases, some of the man’s relatives fail to understand his new status.

However, what baffles me is that the woman’s relatives will never be restricted in her house.

I can bet it that if the woman’s relatives visited, she will dutifully and gladly prepare their soup.

Why such ‘discrimination’ exists in a setting that is supposedly a lifetime journey beats me. What most Africans don’t understand-they are quick to term juju.’’

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