“I’m asking you to control his desires, to be the zapper of his zipper, the oil in his motor, the cable of his printer, the laces of his shoes.”
A STORY OF LOVE, FOOD AND ITS EXTREMITIES
From Porcupine with the nuts of wild mangoes to Boa in banana leaves, a devoted Aissatou is hell bent on cooking her way to the heart of the man—Bolobolo— she loves. Mr Bolobolo is a man from Mali who lives with his mother whom ‘is losing her marbles’ and her beloved pet chicken. She starts cooking and sending the meals to Bolobolo. At first, he hesitates, but later finds himself deep in the plate of whatever meal Aissatou has cooked. Bolobolo succumbs to the powerful force of good food and enters relationship with her. However, in this case, the age-long saying that the way to a man’s heart is his stomach loses credibility. Although it does a part of the job and wonderful things to a man’s palate and stomach, the heroine comes to the realization that food isn’t enough to keep a man.
This is an ultra-modern rom-com (a fusion of romance and comedy) story set in Paris. Beyala’s writing style in showing us the different dimensions of the human mind is noteworthy. She makes use of the first person point of view, thereby making the story very relatable and personal. You feel the heat Aissatou is feeling, preparing her meals and how eager she is in getting Mr Bolobolo. In addition, using satire the author dabs into other issues such as racism, identity and sexism amongst others.
This book will make you hungry. Beyala accompanies every chapter with mouth-watering recipes. The use of vivid graphic imagery by the author is excellent and this way the reader does not feel alienated.
“Food is the stuff of life, the same as life. Today it makes for more unity than justice. It’s maybe the only thing that will bring peace and reconciliation to humankind.”
So, can one really cook one’s husband the African way or any other way? Is it feasible? The answer to those questions is what Beyala has tried to trash out in her book.
The book is significant in many ways. First, it brings out the magical power of food. The author has successfully lectured us on how food can soften a man’s heart. From start to finish, we witness Aissatou winning all her battles with different kinds of meals.
“Because to be white you’ve got to be thin… A beautiful woman is flat as a pancake, thin as a rake or a slice of Melba toast. Melba toast snaps easily. Circle crackle. I measure my life by my waist” Continue reading
You meet up with him somewhere close to your hostel. He is the guy you have always wished for: dark, tall, round face with finely cut beards forming brackets on both his cheeks. He takes you to a fancy restaurant, and talks about how he wishes to show you to his parents, and friends. When you tell him you wish to show him off on Instagram and Snapchat, he refuses. He says he does not want publicity. You agree. After all, in relationships, show off is not that important.
You have heard some other things people say are not important; something like kissing in public. But you cannot explain how both of you lock lips; tongues entangle with passion. After all, sometimes, in relationships, there are no stable rules; just do what makes you happy. He then takes you for a short walk. He keeps brushing the sand with the tip of his shoe. You look so small beside him, but you do not mind. You do not mind so many things. First, he is tall and touches your weave as if he is the one who bought it. Secondly, he is Yoruba and you are Igbo.
He takes you to the park where you both sit on a concrete platform. There is a tree forming a canopy over both of you. In front of you is the lagoon, and the Third Mainland Bridge darting across it. You look up to him. He realizes and then smiles back at you. His smile is that of a new born baby, refreshing and lovely. He then tells you that you complete him. You smile and nod your head in approval. You put your head on his shoulder and then he puts his arm across your shoulder so that if forms a C.
As the sun dissolves into the clouds darkening the skies, he tells you that he wants to start going; that he wants to travel home and will spend a week. You don’t want him to leave. He smiles, and tells you that he will come back for you; that he will always be there for you. You accompany him to where he will board a bus. He hugs you tight, and then you watch him leave. The brake lights of the bus bids you goodbye.
You return back to your hostel. Some Passersby keep glaring at you. You want to confront them, but you keep quiet. Silence, sometimes, settles many fights, you think. Then one of them asks if you are alright. I am okay, nothing is wrong, you reply her. You enter your room. Continue reading
My Queen cannot be found on POF,
she cannot be found on Tinder
she cannot be found on sites that require her to
sell her looks for the swipe of a finger.
My Queen is working on her future,
she’s reading up on the past,
she’s not looking for a quick fix,
but for a love that’ll last.