The Stupid Wise Woman


The basis of this story maybe a little controversial to some people and maybe patronizing to others. It’s all about Femi and his wife Adaora. You see, Femi is my childhood friend. He’s an epitome of smartness; obtained First Class Hons. in Chemical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, a Masters degree from Cranfield and currently working on his doctorate research work. Femi also runs his personal business and he’s doing quite well.

If I’ve never met Femi and I have to describe Adaora with only two words, I’ll say “Awesomely Adorable”. However since I’m very close to him, I’ll just say “Brainless Beauty”. Take it easy, don’t blame me in a hurry, he made me believe she’s got nothing ‘upstairs’. Sincerely speaking, to Femi, his wife is just another necessary ‘stupid asset’.

Kingsley, a Senior Manager in Femi’s firm and someone very close to him visited Femi’s house on a beautiful Saturday morning to discuss the payment of some vendors who did menial jobs for the company on a construction site but didn’t have bank accounts to which their payments could. be made. As usual, Femi wrote a cheque of six point something million Naira being the total payments of the vendors in Kingsley name.

Just as Femi was about to hand the cheque over to Kingsley, Adaora said in a loud voice ” Femi, I think you should have written the cheque in blue ink instead of black”. You see, there was no special instruction on the account requiring Femi to write cheques in any particular color. So, Femi gave her a look that suggests, ” I know you are very dumb, but must you show it here?” So he stretched his hand towards Kingsley again. This time, Adaora held his hand, pulled him towards the bedroom saying “I’m sure your signature is irregular”. Femi followed his wife to the bedroom not because he agreed with her but because he was trying to avoid a funny scene in the presence of his employee.

When they got to the room, Adaora said “Femi, I think Kingsley wants to defraud you”. Hmmm…the best way to describe the expression on Femi’s face is ‘dumbfounded’. She said it again, “Femi, please don’t write that cheque in Kingsley’s name, he wants to defraud you”. Let me tell you few things about Kingsley quickly, he started the business with Femi; he manages the key accounts and the clients really love and respect him plus he has never stolen anything from the firm or Femi. He recently got married and Femi footed the wedding bills as well as the honeymoon’s. So, on what grounds will he steal?

Femi looked at his wife sternly and mumbled some words that sounded like “ewo ode yi”, in Yoruba, one of Nigerian’s many beautiful dialects, this means “look at this idiot (stupid one)” and added an obvious rhetoric question, “can you prove what you are saying”? Adaora, now very scared, only wagged her head and said “the look on his face”. Femi replied “ode!” (Now you know the meaning right?) and stormed out of the room. Femi issued the cheque in Kingsley name and discharged him.

Femi had to do school runs on Monday morning and also had an early morning meeting with a client. While driving out of the client’s premises, he got a debit sms alert, Kingsley had cashed the cheque. He was happy, Kingsley has performed again, at least those vendors can go back to site since they’ll be paid this morning.

On getting to the office, he met chaos. The vendors had become very restive. In fact, they were almost beating the the receptionist up. As he entered, one of the vendors said, ” ehn ehn, Oga is efen hia, Oga, we no go go back to work o, una nefer pay us. Efen your monija say in dey go bank, we don dey wait hia since moning e nefer com”! (Do you really want me to translate all that? Seriously? Okay, in a nutshell, the vendor said ” we won’t work until we are paid”).

Femi was somehow able to pacify the vendors, picked his phone and dialed Kingsley’s number. Kingsley picked and said ” Femi, thank you for the time I spent with you. You were a great boss I must say. You see, I’ve worked with you all these years, you’ve been good to me but I need more that the ‘peanut’ you pay every month. I’m married now and I have a lot of responsibilities. Don’t bother looking for me, I’m on my way to the place where my wife and I can fulfill our dreams”

What do you expect, Femi’s mouth was wide opened, Sandra the receptionist had to tell him, “sir, please close your mouth”. The vendors had to leave because of the change in the atmosphere. Femi went back home, met Adaora in the kitchen and simply said to her “you were right about Kingsley”.

The stupid woman suddenly appeared to be really wise. The question is, “should Femi have waited this long and suffered this much to know this”? I don’t think so. Your woman’s advise may not sound rational, but if she says something, even if you will not take it hook, line and sinker, be extra careful.

More wisdom to come from Femi & Adaora – Harry Akinola

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