Home Culture Diary of a Swamp Dweller (ex): Of Man & Meat

Diary of a Swamp Dweller (ex): Of Man & Meat


By Chuma Animba

Growing up, there were certain things you never questioned; like why crayfish has to go into almost every dish (meat ones inclusive) or why a piece of meat (trophy) is the last thing to be eaten on your plate of Jollof or eba/fufu.

You honed such instincts practically by sharing communal meals with your siblings and cousins in the village – and everyone watched over the meat pieces like hawks.

These things were determined by our ancestors and in my neck of the woods, you question the ancestors at your own peril 😊😀😅

Over the years, I’ve tried to explain this concept to HomeSec and Ada Aposu to no avail. They just can’t get it. They also don’t get why I will always turn up my nose at any “Vegetarian” dish.

My own definition of vegetarian is any dish that hasn’t got visible chunks of meat or fish in it.

The last time an Oyibo colleague at the Swamp tried to snatch my “Trophy” from my plate in the Work canteen, my Cobra-like instinctive response to counter the move shocked him. I told him how he’d almost lost his hand by attempting such a perilous endeavour! He was aghast and felt I had overreacted.

I had to give him a lecture on things not to mess with (in no particular order) :

  1. Mother Nature
  2. Mother-in-laws
  3. A West African’s last piece of meat.

This perhaps explains why I’ve never managed to go vegetarian for more than 24hrs ever 😀😅😊

Once upon a time, the boffins told us that butter, palm oil and fat generally were bad for us. I duly gave those up.

Then of late, Fat has been declared not so bad after all. Carbs are the new pariahs. I duly switched from white to brown rice, pasta, bread etc.

As for red meat, they can go take a Chill Pill! No one messes with my last piece of meat! Not even Buhari!

I downed the above plate of salad over lunch whilst dreaming of suya and Abuja kilishi!

There’s more chance of a lion becoming a herbivore than Aposu becoming a vegetarian! Mind you the lion at the old Enugu zoo, according to legend, spent its last few years subsisting on a staple diet of fufu as the zookeepers didn’t see any sense in feeding it goats daily when they themselves couldn’t afford the goat to eat.

But that’s a story for another day 😅😀

Happy New Year to you all!

©AposuUdalaNta ’20

Chuma Animba: animbac@hotmail.com