4.00pm, Ore’s Monday
I walk into a popular book store to buy this yellow beauty. I thought I was stepping out for a late lunch break but the heart wants what it wants. I’m not even offended by the Savings or Current the young cashier says as I pay for the book. I’ve finally bought ‘Nearly All The Men In Lagos Are Mad’, and my day is made. Their Daddy.
10.02am, Ore’s Tuesday
Who wakes up and starts the day by reading a book? Me. I’m about to dig into all the stories and tell you all about them, of course. It’s a book of 12 stories depicting the different levels of madness amongst Lagos Men. The first story is called Cuck-up. Ready?
Cuck up, the first story of the book tells a hilarious story of a woman who was on the journey to cutting off her Husband’s penis. The story intertwines humor and the proceedings of every extended Nigerian family meeting. The characters of the story were written at such peak that I could almost picture the potbellied Uncle Buraimo’s expressions. The story was short, but not hurried. Detailed, but not stretched. I found myself laughing out loud at the last sentence of its 18 pages. I loved how such a few pages could hold sensuality, sadness, and humor all at the same time. At the end of the story, I found myself rooting for Isi, the main character. If the woman wants to cut it off, let the woman cut it off!
The Gigolo from Isale Eko
I actually enjoyed reading this story. The Lagos Big boy who had three bachelor parties in the space of a handful of years? What’s not to love? I think the most exciting part of this story was that it was told by a man. It’s easy to convince yourself that these stories are birthed from a place of women just picking on men, but this story shows to us that Lagos men are a different breed, and they know it. The second thrilling part of this story is how this Isale Eko man decided to become a Muslim overnight, just because he wanted to get down with a Muslim woman. Brother Iqbal, fear God na.
The Anointed Wife
The anointed wife was such an intriguing one and, in my opinion, the funniest of all the stories. There’s something light-hearted about meddling religion in African stories – it’s always a funny read. I don’t know which made me giggle harder; The idea that this woman’s pastor-husband calls her mummy, or the idea that he says we are celebrating the Lord in Bed before he gets down, sexually. Beyond this story’s surface humor, was a deeply rooted bitter story. It tells of how much women endure in cheating marriages and how everyday, they still make a choice to show up . I concluded this story thinking, if there was only one knife and only one second to do it, this should be the woman who actually cuts off her husband’s penis.
12.00pm, Ore’s Friday
Lagos traffic has dealt with me all week (as usual) and I’ve barely had time to catch my breath but it’s self care Friday and a half-day at work. You can’t tell me nothing. I’m finishing up ‘Nearly All The Men In Lagos Are Mad’ today. Amen?
The energy in this story is unmatched. Sis wasn’t taking it anymore with Lagos men and decided that the secret to a soft & stress free life is dating a white man who smells like garlic, isn’t too good looking and is traditional in bed. The story begins as she recounts her experiences with her exes like Nonso, the glutton disguising as a foodie and Dre with this to-do list of back-breaking sexual positions. She finally decides to start her ultimate search of Oyinbo men and her journey is the funniest thing. The conclusion of this story birthed the book’s title; the fact that nearly all the men in Lagos are actually mad, including the Oyinbo ones. It’s just something in the Lagos air.
My absolute favorite story of the book. This was such a cozy read starting out with a lovely romantic plot and two-perfect for each other characters – Uchenna and Yejide. I remember thinking, so lovely- our first love story of the book but whew, reality had other plans. I like this one because instead of the Lagos male character being mad as usual, it was his mother with the traits instead. In between the tribalism of his mother and Uchenna’s mummy’s boy characteristics, I’m so glad Yejide made the right decision by running away from the double crazy. Yes, she ran literally. Anyways, I’m looking for a guy that looks just like Uchenna (without the crazy mother part) because the man is too fine!
2.28pm, Ore’s Friday
I’m waiting to pick up my Burger meal at a drive-in Bistro, so I recline the chair in my car and pick up NATMILAM. By the way, can you tell I love this acronym? I’m still so excited about the book so much that I took it to work. The things I do for Books. Let’s get back into the story, shall we?
A Lover’s Vendetta
The lady in this story clearly wasn’t having it. This woman really wanted to knife this guy sha. I had to keep reading because Who is Dele and what has he done to deserve her anger? Oh and she wanted one more round of sex with him before killing him. In her words, “before I kill you, I would let you ride me with your tongue one more night. At least you will die with the taste of my vagina accompanying you to the hell you came from” I’m screaming please.
As it turns out, Dele was her husband who had made her go through 4 years of hating herself for not bearing children only to later confess to her that he was infertile and he had known all the while, and even gone as far as paying off all the fertility doctors they had met, to lie to his wife about his infertility. Wild.
First times was such a well written story, I was instantly drawn into the characters and their lives. A great lesson from this piece, is that if it was once a toxic relationship, it will always be a toxic relationship – you can’t tell me otherwise. Stories were told, hearts were broken, orgasms were reached and at the end, we have a mind boggling story for a result. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
This story gave me trust issues. The streets aren’t friendly at all I tell you. At the end of the day, aren’t we all mad? You have to read this one to find out.
I’ll be bluffing to say I didn’t see this one coming, and am I a terrible person if I tell the character I told you so? You see, when you meet a 30+ Lagos man who is super-mysterious, doesn’t like to talk much about himself and icing on the cake – tells you he has a phobia for taking pictures, but goes out of his way to spoil you silly? I don’t have to tell you twice ladies, he’s most likely a Lagos married man with a pregnant wife who believes he’s doing you a favor.
I actually screamed while reading this story. After reading through 9 stories, I found that I had gotten used to stories revolving around cheating husbands. What I didn’t see coming, or perhaps forgotten was that sometimes a husband can cheat on his wife with another husband. The Beard gang was a group of wealthy and influential men married to women, but are secretly Gay and explored their sexual orientation with other men of the group. The more shocking thing was, their wives knew and formed a support group – heavily purposed to milk their husbands financially and welcome new wives of the beard gang into their circle. I tell you, things are happening in this Lagos.
I Knew You
This story in particular gave me a lot of Nigerian Joe Goldberg vibes ( the main character in the Netflix show, You) The Lagos man, Sodiq narrated this story, and with story telling, it’s always easy to understand and tolerate the narrator’s character even if they’re crazy – just because, the story is being told from their perspective. It really was a sad story, I can’t help but wish it had a happier ending.
Independence Day (Trigger Warning: Sexual Abuse)
This actually happens to be my least favorite story of the book, not because it wasn’t well written but because it didn’t come with a trigger warning for its reader.
Independence Day was a story of Osa recounting her sexual abuse experience, her healing and recovery, and finally, her speaking up and calling out of the rapist – at a Cultural day event at her Son’s School. This is a big virtual hug to everyone hurting, healing, recovering and relapsing their way out of sexual abuse trauma. I see you honey, and I’m rooting for you.
11:32pm, Ore’s Saturday
I finally finished this amazing book! Can you hear the fireworks? because I can. We got through all of the stories and I enjoyed every second of it. I’ll be taking questions now.
Are nearly all the men in Lagos mad?
They are. Damilare Kuku (the author) said it and I second it.
Should you read the book?
How will you agree with me if you don’t read it? This book will make you laugh, scream, sigh and get all of the goosebumps I got. You will carry this book with you to work, to the salon, even the restroom because you’re hooked. This book will be worth your while. It will leave you on a loop going from one story to another, till the 12th. You will love it.