Seeing this title one would wonder what that has got to do with food. Well alot actually because everybody must eat something to survive one way or the other.
Its an age long saying that food is one of the quickest way to a man’s heart . Not just any foods but a good hearty meal,try cooking a good meal for your man or son and see how fast it does warm the heart of your loved ones. Being an African woman we were taught from childhood the importance of knowing how to cook and be a good house keeper irrespective of your social orientation. Its almost like the norm and as you grow up more you are expected to learn more,and exhibit such knowledge wherever its required.
When growing up especially if you come from a large Nigerian family whereby the responsibilities of the family cooking and eating rest on your shoulders. You have to be a savvy shopper ,shrewed bargainer and a calculative meal planner plus having good knowledges of food preservative and food spoilage. You have to know a lot about finances and budget,and also know alot about pricing system including where to get cheaper and better quality foods stuff.
All this and lots more makes an African woman.
But why am writing about this is to atleast correct some misconception that a woman’s place is confined in the kitchen and the “other room” which as a matter of principle i don’t agree with.
I will take myself for an example,am married to an European and at first we had conflicting clash of cultural views and lifestyle ,but i can say categorically the lessons ,knowledges and skills of hometraining and house keeping with family household management i received from my grandmother got me through all the relationship challenges and cultural differences with my husband. Food is a very important topic and issue in my household. Up to the fact my husband just can not eat regular German meal anymore,am the one that has the hunger for traditional German cuisine because they are very healthy when you know what to combine and cook. Practically speaking am proud as a woman to say the kitchen is my workshop and my familiar territory but that does not mean the fact that i belong there, most times during weekends my husband is the one who cooks our meals. My husband cooks our meals with joy, he cooks African dishes with or without me,all you have to do is give him guidelines and preparations tips. It does really taste good when he cooks.
When it comes to arguements or fights between us a well cooked home meal could be the mediator to settle everything we are going through, because there is nothing like a well made home cooked meals.
When our Nigeria President made the statement about the woman belonging to the kitchen and the “other room”. There was a lot of mixed reactions though i do not agree with the statement because the woman as a home maker is much more relevant than that.
A woman can not be confined to the kitchen alone and the “other room”
Who feeds the man when he comes home hungry and tired from his job,who makes sure that the man is comfortable in the “other room” and when his heart is heavy with the state of affairs who is there to give ideas and encouragement and even motivations when it appears quitting is the only option at the moment. The answer is the Woman because husband and wife are partners for life even in the face of decision making.
Do not get me wrong am an advocate of the pro President Buhari’s regime,though i may not agree with everything he says but that is the nature of democracy. His wife being the first lady i would have thought the “other room” should have been the best battle field to iron out the issues she gave an interview on with the international news outlet.
Am an ardent admirer of the first lady. But choosing the public megaphone to talk about issues like that belittes the President and he also responded in a way that came accross as relegating the first lady to the background.
So both of them naturally i disagree with because its the 21st century and the wife no longer hide behind the husband but beside him,also the fact that the wife should have the husband back at all time even in the face of public views and oppositions.
So to say, what i observed is that the food and the kitchen is not the womans obligations alone. The husband also can do the shopping ,can do the cooking and can help with household things too. In the same way the wife can also help with important decision in the “other room”.
But sadly that is not the case with African men entirely. African men should learn times have changed and not only the wife should be burdened with feeding the household the husband can shop and cook too,he can also search for nutritional health tips and healthy eating style for the family. Its a partnership for life and the happinness ,comfort and health of the family centers around good food and healthy recipes. That is the reality.
Good food and healthy eating is the foundation of a good family life. Period