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Adda B Say So:The Meddling Meddlers

By Fatima Zahra Umar

Malama Jamila Hantsi Leka Gidan Kowa! That is her title and job description. She takes her job very seriously and insists on giving bad unsolicited advice. When Malam Umar’s daughter decided to further her studies, Malama Jamila told everybody that she wanted to become a cantankerous and uncontrollable woman.

When Hajiya Fati stopped fighting her kishiya and instead became courteous to her, Malama Jamila swore that the kishiya had jazzed Hajiya Fati with black magic.

‘Da ni ce I will not even respond to my co-wife’s greeting talk less of even discussing with her. Hajiya Fati you are not being serious at all. Amma your co wife has really finished you with sorcery. She wants to take over your home, pretending to be a good woman while slowly controlling you with her sorcery. There’s this malam I know….’

When Jummai’s first son was arrested for using drugs, this is what she had to say to the general public:

‘Jummai is not a good mother. She has spoilt him and now she he is pretending’

Then to Jummai:

‘You must hide your problems from all these people o! But you can trust me; I can help you find a way out.’

If you refuse to do what she wants, she goes around town still insulting you. Her advice must be followed or else…

Jamila is a meddling meddler. She has interest in everything that is happening to everybody. She has an opinion/advice that everyone ‘must take’ regarding everything and everyone. She is all wise and all knowing. Do you have a Jamila in your life?  Are you a Jamila?

Thought so.

As a red blooded Fulani girl, I have come across difficult people I call ‘Meddling Meddlers”. These people come in all shapes and sizes and all types of disguises. They are friends, relatives, and sometimes even parents. This set of people think that their opinion is paramount and supreme. They feel that they have the best way/approach to doing things. This feeling further enables a belief in them that it is only their approach that is best, and that their superior feeling entitles them to be nosey in your affairs. All.The.Time.

The Jamila in your life is always trying to form FCT &T (Feeling Close, Tight and Tucked Up) to you. Do not be fooled, your hardship/ struggle is not of much concern to her, she is happy to use the opportunity of your misery to entertain her ego. She is there to make herself feel better by telling you what she thinks is good for you. She is also there to exercise control over the situation so she can feel better about her insecurities and inadequacies. Meddling Meddlers are insecure control freaks who, more often than not have no real value to add to the situation, but they sha must talk.

I think the worst type of meddling meddler to encounter is when the meddler is a parent (especially a mother) or someone you seriously respect. That is what we call one chance, damned if you do, damned if you don’t. They are the worst type of meddler because they cannot even see that they are meddling. As far as they are concerned, whatever they are doing is in your best interest (which is defined by them). The Irony!

Some years ago, a cousin of mine was managing her meddling mother, meddler in chief! She was a new bride and mummy was the third party in her marriage. Every day she had to report the events of the day to the mother who would give analysis and full instructions. It was so bad that my cousin could not even cook dinner without consulting her mother. The poor husband tried his best but everyone has their limit and sadly that marriage ended.

Fast forward 3 years later, my cousin got married to an elderly gentleman who already had a family. As usual Meddler in Chief swung into action, egging her daughter on to act as crazy as possible to get the first wife divorced. Meddler in Chief was projecting her ideas of a perfect marriage onto her naïve daughter and it came with disastrous results. Our elderly gentleman did not give in to the blackmail and promptly excused himself from the marriage. Sad something my people…

My cousin is till date, searching, Meddler in Chief in tow, for her happily ever after. After almost 10 years fa!

In my experience, dealing with Meddling Meddlers is stressful business but it can be done:

Firstly, you must define boundaries for all your relationships, after defining these boundaries ensure you enforce them. Everyone in your life should have limits. Yes you read that correctly, EVERYONE should have limits that they should not cross. For instance, your friends have no business meddling in your marriage because they are NOT parties in your marriage. Their boundary is within the limits of friendship. You must also recognize your boundaries in others’ lives and act accordingly. It’s a two way street.

Mind how and who you open up to. If you do not tell me your problem/situation, I don’t have any right to talk to you about it. Be especially careful whose advice you take, always think about, analyze and dissect advice (and its consequences) before acting.

Last but not least, always MIND YOUR BUSINESS! Leave that which does not concern you and face the one that concerns you. Stop projecting your ideas of what you think a good life should be on others. Let them make their choices, let them make their mistakes because ultimately we all have different paths to follow.

Remember that no one knows it all. We are all fragile and flawed creatures struggling to make sense of it all. You can guide but you should not force a choice on someone. With this short discussion of mine, I hope I have convinced you and not confused you, to stop being a meddling meddler.

Live and let live because Adda B Say So!

Follow me on twitter: @tinkizee2


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