Poetry

AFRICAN MEN By Omokhoba Ojeanor

Written by Editor

Papa said he didn’t understand why African men loved to labor

And no, not labor like planting young seedlings in stubborn earth

Or making back-breaking ridges under the angry sun till the heat would boil the blood

Papa said he didn’t understand why African men loved things bigger than them

And no, not big like building big barns or building bigger houses.

Papa said he didn’t know why African men loved to lift heavy stuff

No, not like lifting

weights to create a beautiful structure of perfectly toned abdomen and arms

Papa meant

African men did not find pleasure in the thin backside of a female except it was voluptuous

Or in the seeming flatness of the pectus except it was excessively huge that it seemed it would suffocate you

Papa meant that an African man would not turn to look at you twice

If he didn’t hear the silent slap slap motion of your heavily endowed backside that struggled to pull you back

Papa meant the thicker your thighs, the heavier the catcalls along the walkway

Papa meant an African man would despise you if your weight didn’t tip the scale

If your gait didn’t make mother earth tremble because your weight was suffocating her

If you sit on his laps and he didn’t feign pleasure whereas underneath he is praying beneath his breath that he wouldn’t have to go to Igbobi to fix one or two broken bones

African men loved to labor on top of heavy women

They called them thick, so a woman with skinny arms and a tiny waist won’t do the trick

African men loved things bigger than them because they loved to grab, to hold, to claim even things that weren’t theirs

African men loved to lift heavy stuff because they didn’t understand that you were meant to build muscles in the gym and not in the bedroom

So they preferred the easier and less painful version of bodybuilding leaving most of them with heavy rolls of fat that covered their waist

They would have to raise it to tuck their belts beneath

They called it stomach

I knew Papa wasn’t different from the rest

He had looked mama over and said she was getting too thin

Leaving mama to obsess over

gaining weight and even though she forced herself to eat excessively it still did not work

When Uche said he wanted to marry Ada

He had looked Uche with upturned lips and said Ada was a broomstick compared to Chioma who was a healthy mass of flesh

 and beautifully rounded in the right places

Uche frowned

Papa had no right to peruse his girlfriend’s figure

But every man did these days

They called it checking out

Others called it scoping

Whatever it was, my elder brother Uche was not pleased

Nowadays, I see my younger brothers turn their heads at the sight of a thick girl

I groan within as their eyes follow her every step while they smile grinning rather too wide from ear to ear

They look at each other in the eye and nod like lizards on a wall

Their secret code of approval I guess

I hear my neighbor’s young son telling his friend that Ola was not fit to be called a woman because she’s as flat as his mother’s grinding stone

They laugh raucously, their laughter piercing

 like needles

Their favorite past time was picking girls, analyzing them

Oh!Their brutal analysis

They were the ultimate judges of which girls were”set”

Set was their popular slang for well-endowed girls

Like they were just some piece of China plate or cups made for their pleasure

Mtchew!

I see my younger sister standing in front of the mirror for too long complaining bitterly of how she lost so much weight from her last illness

I know it’s because of Ibe, the boy who lived two houses away from us

He was handsome and liked them big

She keeps asking if I

noticed any considerable increment in the size of her behind since she recovered

I guess the guys no longer turn as they used to

She said her friends have stopped calling her “Ukwu  nwanyi Owerri” because she has lost weight

I shake my head

I feel they are ignorant

Both old and  young no one knows better

For beauty is not stereotyped to a particular size

Moreover, true beauty resides in the heart and not in huge mammary glands or voluptuous backside.

What is your

definition of beauty?

About the author

Editor

Bada Yusuf Amoo holds B.A in Literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, he is the publisher of thespeakingheart.com. He started the website in 2015, he has published both his works and other budding writers and poets on the website. He is a public commentators and his articles are on different websites.