When Obianuju had first arrived Ibadan, she felt like she was thrown back to the 18th Century. Most houses were in a deplorable state and looked like they would collapse even if they were gently poked: the elderly; haggardly looking and unkempt. She tried to recall seeing such in Owerri, Umuahia or even Port Harcourt but there was no memory of such a sight. Her good friend, Bisi will later tell her of how the Westerners still had older natives because they were in no means, affected by the Biafran war.Another strange sight were the Hijab wearing ladies. Her only opinion of Hausas were the “aboki” men and mallams who sold petty items in the shacks along her street. For 3 months, She had refused to enter the same cab as any Hijab wearing girl and had missed an important test in the bid to board a cab that did not have a Hijab wearing lady as its passenger. Her fascination and irritation at the tribal marks that criss-crossed many faces made her question the sanity of the parents who had carried out such rituals in order to make their children unique. “Odiegwu!”. However, she wrote a paper about scarification and beautification; using her GES lecturers as case studies.
She never understood the Yoruba delicacies however She would tell Nonye, her roommate “why on earth will someone call soup, stew and stew, soup. Arrgh”. She never understood why anyone will eat an egg with soup instead of a piece of meat. She noticed how they marveled when they saw her pot of soup and kept on reveling on her addition of seafood as well. In her mind, she pitied them and their lack of delicacies. Once when she had gotten to get her clothes from the line, a girl asked her if a snail and a periwinkle were the same thing. Immediately, Obianuju made up her mind not to fall in love with a yoruba boy. Marriage was not even an option.
She always hated it when her roommates assumed every light-skinned male or one with an “irregular” head was Igbo. What particularly annoyed her was when Ronke, another roommate, had insinuated that the reason why Igbos added leaves to their soups was because they had no choice than to eat any kind of leaf during the Biafran war; but that was not the case and was particularly hilarious. She also hated the fact that Folake, her housemate, whilst giving a presentation in class, made a reference to Igbo drug sellers as “fake drug marketers”. Thank goodness, her lecturer immediately corrected Folake. She re-called screaming at her neighbour, “I don’t kneel or prostrate to greet, that doesn’t make me rude”.
Her friends all thought she was tribalistic but she thought otherwise, she was going through what her anthropology professor had called “culture shock” and was yet to recover.
She had just eaten at the Tedder Hall cafeteria and proceeded to the counter to collect her change. It was at this moment that she lost her cool when the lady said “hmmm, Omo Igbo”. She immediately wished that UNN accepted her. That night, she dreamed of UNN where she saw herself eating a big wrap of Okpa.