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Friday, 7 October 2016

He Lost His Job and His Wife Left Him - Nigerian Writer, Joseph Edgar Narrates Bitter Tale

Nigerian Investment Banker and writer, Joseph Edgar has addressed the plight of a friend who lost his job and got dumped by his wife.

He has come to my office two times. Lean and dark, trying very hard not to betray his deep sadness as he manages a smile each time he looks at me. His eyes remain sad, deep and penetrating, his gaunt look making his oversized jacket hang on his dour frame with pity at his condition. His sadness infects me as I remain almost helpless in solving his immediate problem which is to assist him get a job.

The saddest thing in all these, is his firm believe that I can assist him. For each time he sees me, his tired eyes light up with hope and this throws a huge burden on me. Yesterday, he came in as usual and I promptly forgot him in the reception. Deep into my own issues I continued fighting the fires that threaten to consume me. The Gringe is at it again, generally disturbing me so I forgot that my friend was patiently waiting in the reception. On my way out I saw him and asked him to come in. We had a brief chat and I saw that he did not really have enough skill set to work in any of my platforms not like we could even afford him since we too were struggling. But his enthusiasm and earlier mentioned 'hope' spurred me to try my best.

I asked him to remind me later at night to discuss with Segun in a bid to see if Segun could assist him and that opened the floodgate. He sent me a text begging for this opportunity and in the text he mentioned that his wife left him cos he lost his job.

That hit me, this was the second time I was hearing this and my mind went straight to my mother's advise when Nicholas the big headed argonaut sacked me for nothing. My mum advised me not to tell my wife since I could not guarantee her reaction. So I did not tell her o. I told her I was on leave and would be using the opportunity to start something for myself. When the 'leave' time passed, I started going out with my suit and lap top every morning like I was going to work but always ended at the Southern Sun Hotel to seat down and pretend I was working on a project and after 'work' I will go home and tell her how busy I was today and how work will soon kill me.

So this my brothers revelation and my mums advise got me thinking. What kind of a woman will leave her husband because he lost his job? Is it no longer 'for better for worse'. Is this truly a trend? Are women this fickle and heartless-staying when the going is good and jumping out at the slightest stress in the marriage.

When it happened to my former secondary school classmate I threw up the issue on our class forum and it was debated heatedly. For me it is good riddance and no single tear should be shed for such a Jezebel. She should be swept away and everything she touched should be burnt the way you burn everything touched by an Ebola victim. That woman would have eventually killed you even if you did not loose your job.

As I write, I am told to listen to both sides. For me there is no both sides according to my friend, Lanre Olusola the life coach any woman carrying out this evil act would only be looking for a justification for an act that already been perpetrated long before the job loss. To me the woman should be hung out to dry up and be treated like a confessed witch burnt at the stake with her breast thrown out there for the cats to devour.

My father lost his job and for eight years we had real life poverty as a direct cousin. My father was a wreck emotionally as he lost the will to live. A very proud and handsome man was turned into a wretch and in the wake of his job loss became depressed and almost suicidal. So apart from the obvious financial distortion we had the additional stress of carrying out a suicide watch with me sneaking into his room intermittently every other night to watch his famous pot belly to see if it was still moving.

The Afang my mother fed him with made sure he woke up the next morning. Despite his mood he still loved his freshly made Afang soup and his chilled bottle of coca cola.

But the story is my mother's reaction to all this. She immediately became the General in the house. Moving the troops and not letting us relax or fall into despair. She used to vow that our standard of living will not drop and that she will die instead of letting us drop out of school. We started hawking bread and I was the main champion. You can imagine me just getting into my teenage years complete with comb hanging from my back pocket and flying my collars and winking at the luscious babes that littered shomolu then and now hawking bread. It was a terrible experience, but I could not dare refuse, my mother would skin me alive furthermore I understood why I had to hawk the bread.

My people I hiked bread so much that when we eventually came out of it and I surfaced at the University of Ibadan anytime someone shouted 'Omo oni bread' I will subconsciously turn my head. It got to a point where my then darling, the lusciously gifted and eternally beautiful Ms. Toyin Olosunde once asked me why I always turned back when they called bread seller, I told her that it as out of pity for the bread seller that I hated hawking and when I got rich, I would liberate all bread sellers in the country. She hugged me and thanked God for this angel of a boyfriend. If only she knew.

My mother stood behind my dad. Shielding him from the shame of a job loss. Fighting everybody from the NEPA people who came to disconnect us, to errant landlords who did not understand why we could no longer pay the rents. She worked two jobs as a Nurse, Hawked bread, sold one of the cars and much more importantly became the father and mother and today she single handedly trained five graduates complete at the prestigious University of Ibadan. Today she is nestling in comfort and bliss in Uyo enjoying the products of her struggle.

So I will never understand this growing phenomenon of women jumping out and in my minds eye I see no justification. My mother used to laughingly joke with my father those days. She used to say, the former Governor of Akwa Ibom was her toaster and if she had known she would have agreed but see where her search for handsome husband has landed her. My father will burst into tears and we will all laugh at him and throw his Afang his way to appease him.

My people I plead with our women to be like my mother. For eight years she stood and made sure her husband did not really feel the humiliation of a job loss, the loneliness of your essence rudely dragged away from you by terrible economic conditions and the absolute worthlessness you begin to feel as a result of your inability to be a man.

So to my friend I say good riddance. Do not beg her, she does not deserve you and she will perish in the wilderness of perfidy with her carcass fed to the vultures and hyena's of opportunity who prey on such embodiments of greed and selfishness by sucking their disease filled bodies drying it up and leaving them a worthless carcass to be dragged around the street by mangy dogs and spat upon. You have been liberated. Congratulations.

My mama try sha. Kai, I never give am her chop money in three months o.

-  Joseph Edgar

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