EXCUSE ME: The grammar queen

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While our first lady is out there bulldozing territories and taking no prisoners, people are busy laughing and forwarding BB, Facebook and YouTube messages of her grammatical carpet bombing to each other. Keep laughing all of you that think the Dame is grammatically lame and a better national comedian than an ambassador that can’t sing the national anthem. If you think she is too uncouth to be our next first lady, keep laughing while she undauntedly bludgeons her way to victory.

I am not a student of politics, but I doubt if extracting her special brand of rhetoric will move this iroko-woman from her current position as the First Lady of Nigeria come April. And for Nigerians who are sick and tired of PDP’s monstrosity, giggling at the Dame’s ‘broken bottle’ is not going to stop them from driving this molue called Nigeria into the Lagoon.

Moreover, having watched the recent NN24 presidential debate a.k.a. ‘The Wind That Blew Feathers off the Chicken’s Yansh’, I am sure many of you would have seen that it is not only her that has issues with the foreign language. We all saw some speak as if they were haggling goat meat at Ekpoma Market, and others chew the language as if it was a piece of hot cocoyam.

Believe me, if it were to be the Dame that was invited to a televised debate, she would not jet off to some unimportant neighbouring country to take cover and avoid a golden opportunity to push her manifesto. In fact, if it was politically expedient for her, she would have said “Jojo darling, let I go and showed them. I know the lady that are interviewing us and our opponents is once a children; I can mishandle them.” And by now, none of us would be thinking that Shekarau should go straight to Harvard and lecture Political Debates Articulation 101, if he doesn’t win the presidential election.

If I tell you I have not cringed at some of the Dame’s choice of words during public speeches, which sometimes are comparable to a man wearing a custom’s shirt on police trousers, I would be lying. But through her entire lexis and structure comedy, I have also seen a solid woman – no pun intended, please – building a formidable grass roots base and garnering supporters for her husband.

This brings me to the issue of the other women, the other presidential aspirants’ wives. Where are they in this whole political drama unfolding round their husbands? Shouldn’t they be marching and publicly campaigning like the Dame? I am very anxious to experience the Michelle Obama in the ‘refined’ breeds. I am interested in witnessing their finesse that will make the Ozigono market woman vote for their husbands, the Queen’s English that will sway the Abonima woman to cast her vote to unseat a pilfering behemoth party. Staying behind the scene and waiting for their husbands to kill the elephant before bringing out their stainless steel cutlery in state dinners is not going to move this caterpillar campaigner. Many voters are waiting to relate with the other wives, but they are hiding either behind hijabs or away in some country following their husband’s campaign via BlackBerry messenger. Or better still, laughing at the affable ‘Umblerra’ woman’s grammatical explosions.

If you don’t want to hear the Dame referring to orphans as widows in the next four years – roll up that designer skirt, drop that LV bag you are hauling around in Dubai, remove your high-heels and hit the ground running like the Grammar Queen. And while you are at it, save your ‘pepperless’ English and speak what majority of the Nigerian people will understand. And if you don’t understand me, check the statistics of Nigeria’s literacy figures and go figure. FYI, the Dame’s Sozaboy-meets-Zebrudaya kind of English is just perfect for a very large percentage of voters. Those that speak Oxford-type English are analyzing the risk of attending political rallies in their cosy offices and homes or thinking of jetting out of the country come April.

Why do I find the first lady’s antics intriguing? Because I myself was ‘once a children’ in the village and I can relate with her type – they don’t give up to a mere handicap. She belongs to a breed that is not easily intimidated by hecklers. In short, the fuel that galvanizes them comes from people’s jests.

I have seen women like her ‘bought’ their husband’s fights and rub men’s noses on the ground. I have seen women like her throw away their wrapper, left with only obeniku and fight assailants to a standstill, regardless of who is laughing. They are the type that stand solidly behind their husbands and help them build palaces and castles. And, in my place, such women are called Ojekwebhudu. If you ask me, I think Jonathan’s better luck is marrying Patience, because we now know that her outspokenness compensates heavily for our president’s quietness.

I laud our double-barrel-shot-gun-campaigner, our grammar queen, the superstar of our new curfew, the dame, the Okrika amazonian first lady – because according to her immortal words to Nigerians both home and abroad, especially those that have dual-nationality, “We should have love for our fellow Nigerians irrespective of their nationality.”

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