Any and every Nigerian woman or should I say African woman must have heard this phrase while being drawn away from the magazine or the TV to help their mothers out in the kitchen. Our mothers, oblivious to our grumbling every single time still chant this over and over as they yell at you to come help them out with the meals. Not so much of help if it is involuntary.
I'm quite traditional, I do like cooking and I enjoy learning new dishes, being a traditional wife doesn't repulse me. Having two mothers really panned that out for me, from a young age we would drag 'stools' to climb the sink and wash the dishes. As the years went by we graduated to bigger and more menial culinary jobs. Now none of my mothers ever actually held a lesson where they taught you how to cook a particular dish but you were just supposed to know and sometimes you would be thrust with the responsibility of feeding the whole family. And by whole family I include those unexpected guests with impeccable timing who arrive when the food is ready. Which is why when I took over the kitchen at the age of 15 I thought I was going to die. But I've learnt a lot and I'm grateful for that experience.
Fast forward to today, being away from home and mixed with different people from different cultures I was shocked at first to know of many girls who couldn't cook. I just expected that their mothers shouted the same quote at them too, maybe I was wrong. But with the whole new century and western world ish, I know many girls who can't cook and still keep a boyfriend/husband. I was once told that things had changed and the way to a man's heart wasn't through his stomach anymore but through... you know. God forbid that my mother hears or meets the girl who said that, her name would be sorry.
But does it really matter if a girl can cook or not? I mean relationships are all about compromise right? Things have really changed from back in the days when women wore aprons, raised the babies, maintained a slim waist and still performed their marital duties behind closed doors while the men were MEN (real men). Now if society is so relaxed on what defines a man, and doesn't pressure them as much as in the past that at 25 he's still in his parent's home playing FIFA surely it should extend the same courtesy to us women, right?