Monday, 12 July 2010

Domestically Official

It was a regular Thursday morning at the office, and we had congregated in one office chatting rowdily about nothing in particular, from the lack of electricity in the country to the hawkers on bootlegged porn DVDs on the streets to nonsensically high costs of primary school fees.

The air was alive with everyone anticipating the weekend and the public holiday slated for the following Monday.

We all heard the noise coming from my boss’s office so we went silent in a moment and turned in the direction of the secretariat. She was bawling loudly and talking at the same time and he was trying to pacify her.

I didn’t think a contractor would be in our office this early or would be over-the-top as such so I guessed my boss’s wife had brought their domestic misdemeanours to his office because it was something that she could do.

At this time, Ify, his assistant secretary was heading to us as we looked on towards the source of the commotion.

“Where is Mr.Ebi, his wife is in oga’s office” she said

Ebitari was at his desk relishing his breakfast of fried yam, akara and fried eggs when Tam tells him to report immediately to the manager’s office.

“Ebi, e don happen oh. E be like say you don commit. Your madame dey oga office”

“My wife?” Mr.Ebi asked with surprise

“She’s relaying all your transgressions to the manager” Tam added

“What? This woman is cruising for another bruising” he said smiling but obviously enraged

Then he stormed off towards the secretariat. We all followed.

We pulled the door to shut it as Ebi entered the office but left it slightly open, so we stood around silently trying to listen to the conversation going on inside before my boss’s secretary, Doris, filled us in on what she had heard so far.

Ebitari had beaten his wife and she seemed like she was hit by a runaway train seeing that he was a very physically strong man. Apparently this was not the first time, in the past she had been almost hospitalised after a good pounding from him. All this was news to me, Mr.Ebitari Peters who wore a smile most of the time, was one of the happier people we had in the department. Unlike me, most of the office folk had never seen him express anger, least of violence.

We could hear her talk to her husband insolently in front of the boss when he refused to answer the queries thrown at him, insisting that she should leave the premises and go home. This was before the door got kicked shut to our faces and eavesdropping ears so we moved away to resume our analysis of this brand new suspenseful episode.

I had met Mrs. Peters at a colleague’s child’s birthday bash and she gave off a certain vibe though there was hearsay about her undying belligerence. Now, it was to be confirmed.

I only hoped the boss was not going to fan the flames of by trying to be a judge. I am far from being impressed by his judgement of quarrels between us subordinates least of all a staff’s domestic issue that has not business in our office.

Tam who was Ebi’s closest friend in the department gave us a sneak peek into the private life of Mr.Ebi, telling us how she had been the most insecure, aggressive and disrespectful wife to her husband and how he had borne it for years.

However, she had brought their issues to his manager, knowing that Ebitari held him in high regard.

Besides my feeling for Mrs.Peters as regards what will happen to her at home for attempting to make a public spectacle of her husband, I sincerely refuse to bother with the consequences of this performance; nonetheless, I am concerned with why this issue should be brought to the office.

This is West Africa (Nigeria) and the society thinks and acts indifferently towards domestic violence than if it was Europe or America. Do our work ethics (if any) allow the use of company time and space for the settlement of such domestic issues?


Myne Whitman said...

I am surprised too that the woman brought it to the office. I thought such issues went to the pastor or other family elders?

Anyway, no one deserves DV meted out to them, irrespective of attitude.

Sting said...

yeah, she shouldn't hv done that. Not appropriate.

bArOquE said...

~MW, seeing that she cant drag him to church to report, she prolly thought the office was her best bet...esp if she only intended to embarrass her hubby...

PS: you cant say 'irrespective of attitude', if you behave really badly and/or run your mouth of to your husband, you might just end up with swollen lips & a black eye

Be guided!

~Sting, i think so too...she should go home & make peace with her husband, by some means

mizchif said...

Talk about drama.

It's definitely not office/work buisness although seeing as this happened in Nigeria i doubt that she did much damage to his reputation/image.

That being said however NO MAN should EVER beat ANY WOMAN, to the point of being hospitalised cha? Haba.

Lara said...

she went too far by bringing it to the office, what if he gets fired. Domestic violence is a no-no...those gentle people are devils

~Sirius~ said...


A grown woman?! brought her personal business to "her Husband's" office!!!!

Naaaa......that's just wrong on so many levels.

Why is she even still staying after continuous black and blues?

bArOquE said...

~mizchif, do men really bat women? most times, its a few slaps or probably just one...then she faints

~Lara, then women should never underestimate or persistently call forth the anger of a man, especially if he's the quiet type, or not sef

~Sirius, so, imagine a woman that can bring such matter to her husband's office...if she was well behaved, she wont be getting all the punches, slaps & kicks...period

the hedonistic nigerian said...

mos def not a matter for d office, but she probly just wanted to embarrass him. That being said, domestic violence makes me sad, which is why i'm a big supporter of divorce.if it starts to get dirty,end it!

Miss Natural said...

Wow! Poor woman. People stay in abusive relationships for a host of reasons. I guess this was her only way to get some respite. I'm sure he would have been embarrassed though. Its also very true that offices are not the place to bring domestic issues and domestic violence is just terrible.

ibiluv said...

no woman deserves to be beaten

even though some women crave and work hard at it....

but to come to scream at hubby's office

dats just a hell to the no

Evee said...

That is what you call the "washing of the domestic linens in public'. Haba! It is wrong for him to beat his wife even if she does things that to him she deserves it beating. But is even worse for her to take such issues to his office. When they got married was the boss one of the elders that advised them?

On a lighter note, fear all those people that look very easy going and always laughing o because the day they will wield blow you will not believe that they can pack some.

bArOquE said...

~theHedonisticNgrn, LOL@you being a big supporter of divorce…knowing the kind of office I don’t think the embarrassment scam will work

~missNatural, yea, for a host reasons, people stay in completely fucked relationships…the sacrifices we get to pay until we can take it no more

~ibiluv, I like your realisation that some women crave & work hard at it…for that alone they will get a bruising

~Evee, …but if you deserve something, you should get it…don’t you think so? LOL…

LOL@ because the day they will wield blow you will not believe that they can pack some

SHE said...

Domestic issues should stay at home abeg.

But if he beats his wife at home and tries to pass himself off as Mr. Pleasant in the office, I can understand the woman's desire to embarass him.

bArOquE said...

~SHE, in Nigerian offices we dont need to live fake lives like we do in UK we know the mr-nice-guys & Mr.Ebi is a very normal guy, seemingly far more patient than me, so i guess his wife must have driven him up the wall & he let go

Afronuts said...

Man! I can't bear my personal issues being brought to the office. There has to be a place to draw the line.

I've always believed that a lot of times its total misunderstanding and knowlegde of the opposite sex and the partner in question that drives couples to bash each other: the man with the beating, the wife with the constant nagging and disrecpect.
Though in other cases it could be bad upbringing and background.

kmplx said...

interestingly, you start the post with "congregated in one office chatting rowdily about nothing in particular" and end with " allow the use of company time and space...". so it's ok for you to gist and waste company time, but then you question others right to do the same. the workplace is not and can not be divorced from the society.
secondly, if he had not beaten her, she wouldn't have been there.

Myne Whitman said...

Baroque, you seem to be defending this guy? Can he not divorce her rather than beat her to a state? Na wa for gentle man.

bArOquE said...

~Afronuts, there are many more factors than we can measure far as we choose to misunderstand & abide in the lack of knowledge of ourselves is as far as i shall be from that relationship...

~kmplx, atink you wan fall my hand...see your order to beat traffic, we get to work about 30mins before anything serious starts & some days, like Fridays, its worse...however, if she had not run her insultive mouth he would not have beaten her

~MyneWhitman, na wa for gentle man oh...she should go ask for a divorce if she wants...dont you think people derserve to get what they desperately need and are asking for??? my hand no dey oh

kmplx said...

lololol - u r acting defensive (read as guilty), because you know NOBODY works constantly at work. and most definately, not in nigeria.
and seriously, are u honestly trying to justify domestic violence by saying she deserved it? in that case she had every right to haul his ass out to his boss too.

StandTall-The Activist said...

Well, I am not going to see the woman attempt to resolve this issue through his boss inapprioprate, some people have mentioned elder and the church, what if the woman knows he has no regards for all that but his boss that pays his salary? This might be a strategy to get this issue resolved. At least she tried even if it did not yield any good result.

That said, I hope this stop and I hope she can get other means of getting her dignity back. Going to women's rights NGOs too work cuz a lot of them counsel and mediate.

oroque said...

i'm a tad unhappy with how you seem to have trivialized the issue of spousal abuse. it is a nightmare. you should actually get beaten once by someone twice your size as an experiment and then maybe re-write this post. it is sad that the woman had to go to the office, but if thats what it takes, then so be it. if she goes to the police station, they will call it a domestic matter and ask them to go and settle, if she goes to her father, ditto.

i know someone who almost got killed because the husband got bolder and bolder until he almost used to beat her for sport. i guess you don't deserve my ranting but its a topic after my heart. you maybe should have ended it with your may have saved you from my heat. (like you care, right?). lol

ManCee said...

You know one of the fundamental question is
'What would make an otherwise 'nice' guy like Ebi turn pugilist?'
Apparently, the IAD (insecure, aggressive+disrespectful) wife helped. Some help-meet she is.
I'm sure some DV can be justifiable (lol) but I still dont support it.
NO! I dont believe in violence against women. It doesn't exist (lol). Its 2 people fighting- (I still havent forgiven the plenty girls who beat me up in primary school when I was still tiny and weak, *snicker*).
Seriously though, I think if you get to the point where pounding is beginning to look in order, then stepping is the right way to go

olaoluwatomi said...

Beating a woman is not an act that can be justified by any means. She runs her mouth is not any excuse for her being turned into a punching bag. A real man will walk away from her 'mouth running'.
In other climes he would be put behind bars faster than he can smile and say she deserves another beating.
The poor woman needed someone to intervene! And yes I used the adjective 'poor' she is the victim in this case.