How did you celebrate Nigeria’s 48th year of independence? Me, I put on clothing that best matched the definition of “business attire” (since I don’t like the traditional clothing I ownâ€”more on that later) and drove to an event the HC was hosting. Even as I got ready for the event, I wondered if it really mattered how I dressed since the place would only be full of people my parents’ age, my siblings, my friend, Oya and her friend, and then hundreds of young children, which is the usual with Nigerian parties here.
I was pleasantly surprised: there were actually a lot of people in their 20s, and early 30s in attendance. The program was good too (and the open bar and refreshments didn’t hurt either!). The invitation said that the event was from 6:30-8:30pm, but the party kept going for a few hours after that, and there was even a live band for part of it. If this is a sign of what is to come under the new high commissioner, I won’t complain one bit, and I won’t miss an event!
For some of the night, I observed how Nigerian men behave when faced with a lovely woman. The lovely woman in question was my friend, and I introduced her to two (male) family friends. Both guys are professionals, and perhaps that was part of it, but to me they came across as confident and pretty direct guys, which I was happy to see. One told her he had noticed her from the time she entered the room (and she told me later that she had noticed him noticing her), while the other made it clear that he wanted to dance with her, and he did. I wonder if they would have made the first move and gone up to her if they had not been introduced. Or, perhaps, they were on their way to do just that when I got in between them. Anyway, I was impressed the confident and self assured manner of the guys, and the fact that they didn’t seem to be fronting. I’m sure that they will be able to find nice women to settle down with when the time is right.
As I watched the women in the room, I noticed a confidence in them too that I lacked. These women appeared comfortable in their own skin and behaved like they felt they looked their best and were worthy of attention (in a good way). What a contrast to me! I am very self conscious and awkward around guys my age, and perhaps as a result, in social events I think guys automatically dismiss me as a potential anything other than the friend of the girl they are interested in. It’s a role I’m used to and comfortable in, but I would like to move beyond that.
Although I didn’t mind introducing my friend to guys I knew (after I got over forgetting their namesâ€”they’re twins sha, and I couldn’t remember which one was older), I gave her a “deer caught in the headlights” look at the prospect of her doing the same for me. I seriously think that step 1 to being a good Nigerian woman is to have confidence in myself or if I don’t, find a way to fake it.