As a child, I loved to eat — still do — but there were so many annoying things about food I hated because they stressed me out mentally and physically. Suffering doesn’t even begin to describe what I went through. I’m sure many people can relate to the list I’ve mentioned below. And of course, washing plates is part of it.
Washing big piles of plates
See let me tell you the worst part about washing plates as a child: it wasn’t washing the disgusting pots that had burnt at the bottom. Or having to scrape off the wet food from plates because your family members didn’t have table manners. The worst part was having to wash everything by yourself. It’s giving child labour.
Eating rice at home
Nothing was more heartbreaking than hearing, “There’s rice at home,” whenever you asked your parents about buying food outside. I used to wonder about the type of poverty my family was going through. Although, now that I’m an adult that spends her own money, I can relate hard.
Cleaning up dead animals
Washing chicken was a struggle, but it was nothing compared to cleaning fish or snails. Having to remove fish guts was quite traumatising for me. As for snails, the slime wasn’t even the major problem; it was the leftover smell on your hands that I couldn’t get over.
Cutting onions and pepper
Cutting onions and pepper was the ghetto. Even before the onions started to make your eyes water, you would already be crying in anticipation because that shit hurt like hell. Even as an adult, I’m still scared to cut onions. No child should ever be put through such pain, please. If your mother was like mine, she’d get upset for wasting time and not cutting properly. Mummy please, my eyes are burning and my hands are stinging. Do am if e easy.
Going to the market to blend pepper and tomatoes
Walking under the sun with a big bowl of tomatoes and pepper in your hand wasn’t a task for the weak. You had to go all the way to the woman selling tomatoes down the road who had the blue pepper grinder. That thing was so slow and took forever to grind. After standing in the hot sun, waiting for the thing to finish, you had to take the heavy blended mixture back. Life tuff.
Not being allowed to eat two pieces of meat
I could never understand why this was a thing. As a growing child, was I not the one who actually needed two pieces of meat for proper nutrition? Why was I being denied my rights?
Putting on the stove
Putting on a typical Nigerian stove was such a long and complicated process that it felt like you needed a special degree for it. The most annoying part was putting that thing in the middle that covered the fire, without getting burnt. It was a valuable life skill. Why isn’t it on my CV?
There was nothing that could make picking beans interesting, absolutely nothing. And our parents knew this. That’s why they passed it on to their children the moment they could. Picking beans taught me patience, I can’t lie.
Opening ice cream and seeing soup inside
This is where every Nigerian’s trust issues began. The heartbreak that came from opening an ice cream container and seeing Egusi soup is worse than the heartbreak from any Yoruba man.