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By Adaora Ude
A gentle man indeed! I’m sure you are wondering about this opening statement. Well, I think manners, good sense and sheer decency have flown out of the window where most Nigerian men are concerned. You young cool dude riding in your nice air conditioned car with your crisp shirt and pristine tie and thousand naira haircut- yes, you!!! People, they say, are really what they are when no one is looking or at least when they aren’t seeking to impress anyone. That is human nature; I get it. But gosh have the “gentlemen” got it all wrong, Big Time. Is it just me or have you tried to get ease into traffic from an adjoining road two hands on the wheels, trafficator blinking ominously, indicating that you wish to get into the line of moving motorists and people just keep on moving straight faced as though they hadn’t seen your poor pointers blinking at them…? Ok so maybe they didn’t see, so you honk your horn to get their attention and they just stoically stare straight ahead and become suddenly deaf. Hahahaha! I bet you have experienced it too. Once I was in horrendous traffic somewhere in Apapa; trailers everywhere, noise and exhaust fumes somehow still found a way to get into my tightly wound up car. It was a standstill chaos I tell you. A young lady to my left was trying to maneuver and get herself away from a trailer that ominously loomed and gave her no room to move. She tried to get in ahead of the car right in front of me. She had her pointer on; she honked her horn and even waved at the “gentleman” to allow her get in line in front of him and out of harm’s way.  He initially did the straight -faced -ignoring you routine, then he looked, still ignored her and plunged ahead with his fancy car, fancy haircut, fancy work clothes and fancy wrong attitude! I couldn’t believe it. What a geezer!!  There was absolutely nowhere else for this lady to turn and he knew it. I quietly gestured for her to get in ahead of me and breathe easy, away from the deathtrap trailer carrying the dangerously lethal 40 ft. container. It got me thinking though, long and hard! I was disgusted by the driver. These are the same guys who will act all sweet, speak well, look really dapper with cool clothes and shoes polished to the nines, same guys who would hold the door open for you to walk in ahead of them, hold the elevator doors for you, hang out with you, buy you a drink at ‘The Place” and pretend to be decent ‘boiz” with a sane head on their shoulders. Sorry dudes; you are all frauds!! Okay, well not y’all but a good fat juicy 78% of you. (er…. Well except my husband) yea? I’ve seen him drive haven’t I? Eat your heart out. Another time I tried to join the next lane and as soon as my pointers indicated my intention, a vehicle which was quite a distance behind suddenly lurched forward with alarming speed! “Stupid driver” I said in my head when I realized it was one of my “ogas” at the office. He did not want me to get ONE car ahead of him! It did not matter that I was a woman and that sometime as a boy, he had been taught to treat women with respect; or then again, maybe he wasn’t! (*straightface*%).  Oh did he hear it from me!!I really did tell him off right away (as diplomatically and as playfully as I could mind you; abeg I nefa get anoda werk). He was clearly embarrassed and apologized profusely. There was no apparent reason for him to have done what he did. For him it was just reflex! Our reflexes are so full of bad manners these days! This hasn’t been a one off experience for me. I have had buckets full of these experiences. I have seen other ladies go through the same thing and these guys ALL LOOK DECENT! I swear even the bus drivers are more courteous on the wheels that these so- called ‘’gentlemen’’. From experience again! What this does to me now is whenever I’m out with my sisters and friends and we come across these ‘’tush’’ and ‘’cultured’’ guys, I always go’ “abegi, all this your forming here na wash bros’’. I know what you are like on the freeway, in traffic and that is the real you, sorry hombre!! You will ‘shangri’ with me in traffic tearing yourself not to let me in line ahead of you and being a douche bag. Where, I ask myself, has all the decency gone? Are today’s women all that bad and not worthy of honest to God courtesy? I could go on and on folks, but I’d rather you chew on this a bit and argue it in whatever way you deem fit. In fact, I am eagerly awaiting a comeback! You know you wanna!    

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This article was first published on 24th June 2013

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