I’m honestly at a loss to understand this woman’s appeal’ I said, addressing Tahir, who is on his favourite chair awaiting the onset of the evening national news.
‘Which woman is that?’ He asked, raising his head to look my way.
‘Here she is, in this video. She seems to be making an appeal to all and sundry, to help her find a husband. But the curious thing about her is that she keeps saying the man has to be rich. Why should his financial status be so important if she is desperate enough to broadcast her need to the world?’ I queried.
‘Maybe she isn’t that desperate, so she’s trying to discourage just any man from making a move. I think it’s her way of saying that only the rich ones should respond to her appeal.’ Tahir replied with a smile.
‘But if this isn’t desperation I don’t know what it is. I mean look at how she started with the sentence “Please find me a good husband. I’m begging you in the name of Allah and His Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) to please find me a husband. Find me a good husband a rich one, son of an Alhaji. Please help me, I made a similar video in French but nobody seems to like me among French speakers. That’s why I’m doing this video in Hausa. I thought to myself may be if I did it in Hausa maybe you people could help me find a good husband. I’m tired, I’m sick and tired of being a spinster. Spinsterhood just isn’t good. All my friends are married, even the divorced ones among them are remarrying, some up to three or four times but I’m stuck here, not having married even once. Kindly help me good people, even if it’s for month, I’d like to taste marriage. Please and please help me find a good husband, a rich one. I’m begging you Hausa people, in the name of the Prophet, peace be upon him, help me find a good husband.” And these are her very words. If this isn’t profound desperation, then what would you call it?’ I enquired, showing the lady’s face, on my phone screen to him.
‘So she’s from Niger Republic? No wonder she has the courage to make an appeal like this. Women over there are less shy than you people here. They generally go for what they want. I’m not surprised she resorted to social media to seek a life partner. And she is honest about her likes too, that’s why she kept emphasising the rich husband bit.’ He opined.
‘Why do you suddenly sound so admiring of her guts? I mean that I expected you to be put off by someone who is so desperate for a husband and yet can’t fight her materialistic tendencies. Instead you sound like a member of her fan club. Are you perhaps thinking of going to her rescue?’ I asked, coyly.
‘Now why would I want to do that?’ He asked, with humour.
‘Because men generally like to rescue a damsel in distress. So maybe, instead of getting put off by her begging, she roused that chivalrous instinct in you and all you want is to rush to her rescue, like a knight in shining armour.’ I ended, dramatically.
‘You are right, we men like the idea of rushing to save the proverbial damsel in distress but not someone like the lady in this video. For one she is truly desperate, making videos in French and Hausa begging the while Muslim community to find her a husband even if it’s for a month. Now that’s truly bad because men like competition. The idea that a woman has no admirer at all and has to resort to home videos to beg for one won’t impress any man. Then she admitted that all her friends had been married, with some even divorced and remarried three or four times while she remained single. Now there’s obviously something wrong with her, if no one looked her way while her friends were marrying and remarrying.
And the fact that she had to take to social media in the end, is to me the worst mistake she has made, because her self-advertisement showed how she was totally unable to attract anyone by subtle means and men do like subtlety in women. Lastly her emphasis on a rich man, the son of an Alhaji, is also a minus for her appeal, because most men will think that’s all she’s after, a man’s wealth. Others might even conclude that that’s the reason she couldn’t get a suitor because she had set her sights too high. So for all these reasons, she does not fall into the damsel in distress category and cannot possibly attract a chivalrous soul like mine.’ He concluded.
‘Oh, praise be to Allah, I’m so glad to hear this. For a while there, I actually thought you were impressed by her. Though she really didn’t strike me like your type, you know, with her bare head her uncovered chest and plain looks, deep down I didn’t think you’d want to save her. But then one never really knows with men.’ I observed.
‘But the real saying is ‘you never know with women.’ At least that’s how we got it from James Hadley Chase.’ Still I agree with you, tastes do change’. He concurred.
‘Meaning?’ I demanded.
‘Meaning you can’t always be sure of other people’s likes and dislikes. They aren’t life sentences you know.’ He added, obviously pulling my legs.
‘Well that’s fine, you are welcome to your desperate, bareheaded, uncovered plain Jane from Niger, if that’s how far you’ve descended.’ I replied in mock anger.