The term “Angry Black Woman” is more commonly used in the United States to describe the average black woman. Whites usually assume that every black woman is always angry, agressive and always ready for a fight no matter where. While this description is not surprisingly another derogatory and at best stereotypical description coined primarily by the media in referring to women of colour or African Americans – as they are known over there, the term couldn’t have been any more apt in describing many black women especially of the Yoruba descent.
Now, I will just make it very clear that I am myself, a British born, Nigerian bred Yoruba woman – Ijebu to be precise. And while I do not presume myself to be better or higher placed than anyone else, owing also my own faults, flaws and feminine weaknesses, I can’t however not claim to be unaware of the increasingly embarassing and cringeworthy behaviours of many of my fellow Yoruba women demonstrated in public.
Generally Yoruba women are confident, dedicated, nurturing and passionate. Our passion and confidence makes us a bit more ourspoken and vocal and we tend to be a lot more feisty than women from other Nigerian tribes. And it is this feistiness that some of us have in abundance and oftertimes causes us to lose control and nit know just when to apply the “enough” buttons.
Much has been said of the current show of shame and horror displayed by – yes- Yoruba women on social media. You cannot be forgiven if you claim to not have at least heard of the recordings of taped phone calls, Facebook shows and even You Tune and Instagram postings of Yoruba women abusing, cursing, insulting and threatning another Yoruba woman or the other for all kinds of personal reasons including “stealing a lover” who is ironically married to a totally different woman, or for getting provoked into anger because a friend from whom you borrowed some money or clothes over a year ago made the mistake of claiming back their cash or property.
More alarming is the fact that some of these “horrific recordings authord have turned their embarassing actions into full time jobs and some of them are now self styled “motivational speakers” Visit these women’s social media walls and you will be shocked to discover their posts have in excess of a million views in some cases. Makes you wonder just whom their followers are…
But far from social media being the only medium for these women to air their very filthy sercets and demonstrate their agression towards their love rivals, exes and other “haters”, imaginary or otherwise, it would also seem, sadly, that no public venue is too hallowed or exempt from their break out of aggression. Be it the market place, car parks, beauty salon, party, restaurant, bus stop, mosque, church and even their kids school gate – no place is too public for these women when the spirit comes upon them. I am not saying that there won’t be times that the need to raise one’s voice can occur in a domestic row or sometimes during a heated argument – but I definitely draw the line at public altercations.
I have unwittingly been a reluctant witness to Yoruba women’s display of madness in public and on a number of occassions, been targetted by a Yoruba woman or two on the rampage. This afternoon for example, I gently called out this woman for jumping the queue at an African foods store – and that was all she needed, She erupted in a tirade of Yoruba abuses and expletives – without even realising I could speak or understand the language. And even with me pointedly ignoring her and to the obvious shock of the storekeeper and other bystanders including the gentleman who accompanied her, this woman ranted on and on for at least 3 minutes!
As tempted as I might have been to respond to her, on such occassions, I am always mindful of someone I know walking by that very moment. Or my Pastor… or any of my kids’ friends – or just anyone who thinks highly of me. Or even a stranger with a phone recording and posting the footage on social media! The very thought of anyone seeing me involved in a public brawl always keeps me from responding or taking the bait to respond so I simply just walk away.
But many of my fellow Yoruba women has no such compulction. Where ever and whenever the urge comes upon them to fight, off they go. There is a woman I know – a public peronality who is very well known for her love of public fights. And she will pick one with just about anybody for the sheer fun of it. I bet she enjoys the attention it brings her…. Even I had to block her off on Facebook having gotten tired of her incessant aggression and constant readiness to fight.
Many of the videos on the internet with black women fighting and ripping each others’ weaves and bras off, have Yoruba women in them. One of such was outside a mosque right after Jumat service.
There is also a legendary fight that took place at Woolwich market between a wife and her husband’s bit on the side – again both Yoruba women. They both beat each other into shameful nakedness and it only took the intervention of the police to break up the fight.
It is not just about the public brawls and exhibitionary fights…but the determination of these women to utilise social media for what is private and personal drama. One of such is a woman who confided in her bosom friend that the child she bore her husband was actually fathered by another man. A simple misunderstanding resulted in the secret being revealed on a recording that went viral on Whatsapp. And this is just one of many such recordings publicly revealing age held family secrets and oaths between old friends.
Ironically, it would seem that these women are unaware that these recordings once out there, cannot be recalled. It also would look like these women have no qualms whatsoever about their image or reputation or what impacts these shows of shame can have on them or their kids in future. Imagine if your son brought a girl home and her mum was one of these women…. Exactly!
It has also become public knowledge that employers randomy carry out checks on their employees social media profile. How many of these women would want their employers stumbling across some of these recordings…?
Or say they have a change of life experience and come to occupy a lofty position (nothing is impossible) and then these videos are released… would you be proud of what is revealed about you from your past?
People need to really start to think about their actions and how they can reflect on them in future. Some actions may seem gratifying or even justifiable within the spur of the moment. But one might not feel the same way a few hours, days or years later. Unfortunately, certain things are like spilt milk.
Yoruba women, please let us learn to control ourselves and comport ourselves with propriety in public.
The world is now a very small global village and many of our actions now have the potential to reach unimaginable corners of the earth.
Whether good or bad, the world is watching us.