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Adda B Say So:Aunty Face Ya Work

Dear Aunty,

I am writing this letter to you because I am fed up. Yes aunty I am fed up with the way you poke your nose into my business. I am fed up with the way you always want to control my life. It seems everything I do is your business and you must pass a comment or joke about my life. Haba aunty!

I have been very patient over the years with your snide comments and unsolicited (bad) advice. But everyone has a limit when pushed to the wall (you have pushed me to the wall countless times, now the wall has decided to push me back). Before you accuse me of being rude and insolent, let me explain.

Aunty, remember when I entered adolescence and my body was changing fast? Remember how you made it your duty to criticize my pimples, my oily skin, my awkward features and my ‘warin balaga’? You said my face looked like the road to Pambegua… I didn’t ask for pimples aunty, it is called puberty aunty! Remember also how you criticized every single part of my body? You went on and on: How I was not growing breasts fast enough, and when I finally had breasts it became how I would get raped because they were too big and ‘matured’. I have still not forgotten how you forced me to stay home during my period because you said everyone would know I was now a woman? I can still hear your voice calling me ‘flat ass’ because I didn’t have hips fast enough for you. And when I started having curves I was nicknamed ‘sakatirna’ for having fatty bum bum. I am still wondering why it was such a terrible idea for you to just sit me down and talk to me about the physical and emotional changes as a mother… that would have helped me and my self-esteem sosai!

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Remember when I went to University and your sole purpose in life was to marry me off even though my sweet mummy said “God’s time is the best”? I still remember vividly how you set me up with all manner of men in the name of yakamata kiyi settling fa. From the arrogant conceited ones, to the spoilt drug addicted rich kids (who you said would change after marrying me *side eye*) to the shameless lascivious married men. Haba aunty! When I refused to agree to any proposal, you took to spreading nasty comments about me being too choosy…how won’t I be choosy when I am the one that will go and stay forever with the man? Ehn? Meanwhile your daughter Adda Hadiza just turned 38 and you still haven’t noticed that she is unmarried…

Aunty when I got a man that I was satisfied with, e still no gree you! You said he was poor, you questioned how he would never be able to take care of me on a civil service salary, you said his father was a player in his youth, you said his mother was a bad cook, you said he looked too thin. Haba Aunty! Throughout my wedding, it was one rude comment after the other, one disdainful look or the other. Haba Aunty!

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Aunty, why are you on Sister Halima’s case? I am proud of Sister Halima and you should be too! Our brilliant sister Halima has a good job and is great at her job but you are still unhappy aunty! But why? Sister Halima wants to go for her Masters but you said no she must bring husband first. Sister Halima wants to buy a new car but you said a lady driving a new car will intimidate and scare away men. Aunty, so if a husband has not come, a woman cannot have goals and ambitions? Does it mean that our men are so petty and fickle that even the smell of a new car (it is fantastic I know!) will repel them from marrying a treasure like our sister Halima? Aunty are you saying that nobody will marry Brother Isa, because that his brand new Range Rover Autobiography is NEW? So Aunty, we all should sulk at home and not do anything with our lives because we do not want to scare men with fragile egos and deep insecurities? Aunty you must explain this to me because I am confused!

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Aunty why are you so bitter about sister Nafisa because her husband allowed her go abroad for her PHD? Haba Aunty! How does that concern you? Why are you so averse to seeing us, your daughters, your sisters, your nieces and granddaughters do something meaningful with our lives? What did we ever do to you to deserve this kind of harsh attitude? Aunty please whatever it is we are sorry. Forgive us.

And yet the men are just doing you anyhow, without a single complaint from you.

Aunty, I still remember vividly, how you practically forced sister Jidda to quit her banking job because you felt no one would marry her. You complained that no one would marry a banker, a woman who closed late from work. You said good men did not marry women who wore suits to work. It has been 6 years since and sister Jidda has still not married. How far with the husband search? Or are the men now saying they want only working ladies? Aunty can you see how you’ve damaged her career with your behaviour? If she was still working maybe she would even met Dangote, I know you only like rich in laws. I humbly suggest that you allow her go back to work, maybe somebody will see her and ease your worries that she is still single.

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In case you thought I forgot about sister Amira, I have not. Aunty how do you sleep at night? Aunty you know she is only staying with that wife beating drug addict husband of hers because YOU are afraid of what people will say if she leaves him. Haba Aunty! Is it not better for you to face the truth and help her? Is it not better to have a divorced daughter than to have a dead or depressed daughter? Haba Aunty! I am using this letter to passionately appeal to you to please think about all you have been doing to me and others. We are depressed and insecure because of your words and actions. Yes, we love you aunty but we have been wondering (all of us!) if you love us too…

Aunty when will you love your daughter in law, Karima? She is such a lovely soul that I cannot stop wondering why you hate her so much… I know you don’t like her, but why? Aunty you cannot hate her because she is a doctor! That is even worse than tribalism aunty! How can you explain to God that you hate your daughter in law because she is a doctor? Ehn? Instead of you to be proud we have a female doctor in the family you are busy making her life hell. Aunty she is an asset to our community and the family is proud of her. I am so happy she is helping my fellow women feel comfortable when they go to hospital. I am glad she is saving lives. I am glad she is married to brother Umar, and you should be too!

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Aunty do you not remember how you pressured and manipulated sister Khadija to marry that HIV positive man? I know you remember all the several warnings from different people about his status, I am sure you remember what they said about his late wife. But aunty you just wanted her married at all cost, you just wanted her to be married to a rich man? To what end? So you could brag and show off to those friends of yours? How do you feel now whenever you go to the hospital and see her (your own flesh and blood fa!) looking like death? Nothing left of her beauty and grace, only skin and bones. Haba Aunty!

Aunty if you don’t want to think about all I have said, then please and please aunty face ya work! Mind your business and allow us to live. Because you are not God. Aunty we all cannot live life the way you want. We will do our best to be good people but we will not bow to you and your flawed judgements. We all have one life to live, and we all must live that life the best way we can. Instead of disturbing our lives, why not deal with your own problems aunty?

Aunty Face Ya Work O!

P.S

I have attached one carton of Ribena, which I bought specially for you, with the money I made from that my ‘useless government job’. I hope you enjoy!

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