The day I regretted being a Yoruba woman

This is one of those days I regret being a young Yoruba woman.

My uncle’s driver, my cousin and I went to shop for food this morning. We stopped in front of a woman selling yams. We priced the yam and she mentioned a ridiculous amount of money for an equally ridiculous looking bunch of yams.

She said N2500. I said N1500. And started the usual seller talk of how her gain is just fifty naira and bla bla bla.

I just stood,  picked my phone and started walking,  with  my cousin and the driver in my wake.

Suddenly I heard plenty Yoruba insults from behind me.  The one that really caught me was “Wo bó Se Se irun sórí bíi ti wèrè” meaning “I look like a lunatic with my hairdo.”

I went back with rage and asked why she was cursing me this early morning,  and she said I insulted her first.

Chimo!!! I opened my eyes wide.

When?  How?

She said I said she was selling nonsense.

My cousin and the driver shouted. They started denying on my behalf.  Saying I didn’t say anything.

I told her I didn’t say a word. I told her I can’t insult someone old enough to give birth to me, with tears streaming down my face.

People gathered.

I was just staring at her in disbelief. Then she finished her tirade by saying “That is how she behaves all the time.  She comes here to price market and doesn’t buy.”

This released the torrent of anger in me.

I wanted to call her a liar.  I have not been there before in my life.

I opened my mouth to say what I wanted to say.

Then I heard one old woman say “So wá fé bú won ni?  Sé won ò kó e ni? So fé ma  bú àgbalàgbà ni? ” meaning “Do you want to insult her?  Don’t you have home training?  Do you want to insult an old person? ”

Fuck!  My hands dropped.

The fucking tables were turned against me.

I cried harder.

I just turned and made my way back to the car and cried my eyes out.

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