The Girl Whisperer
as published by
The Sunday Guardian of June 22
Cat Among The Pigeons
I like women.
I like their thoughts, their form, their beauty and natural grace, and the way a confident woman looks around a crowded room. I like the waft of perfume that follows a woman as she walks past you on a quiet road. There is a kind of woman you see coming down a path and you are fairly certain she’ll be using good perfume. I have been known to wait so she can pass me and I can inhale the heady (and probably expensive) perfume she’ll be using. Cheap perfumes don’t have that effect, I’m afraid, and after the first couple of hours of mixing with perspiration and the sun, well...it smells cheap. For the young and aspiring, invest in a good bottle. If it’s cheaply priced, it probably is. I like women a lot. I think my mother would have appreciated such a declaration, considering it a very healthy one. As a sixteen year old, my mother looked at me one day and identified traits of a Whisperer, but maybe even she did not know how true her intuition was then.
There are some people on the other hand who would have a problem with such a declaration of interest in women by this Whisperer, considering it a fore-warning of unserious intentions. However, it should be noted by the sceptics in this ‘school of thought’ that I did not say I wanted a relationship with all women. Liking the vast majority is enough, really. I spoke with my editor one day and he congratulated me on the popularity of the column. Still, there was a well-to-do woman who said she skipped the whispering page every time she got this newspaper. I knew the reason why; the Whisperer had dwelt accurately on whatever situation she was in and had told the truth. I do not write to pronounce judgement but I will tell the truth as I see it. Sooner or later, you will read the Whisperer. My new friend, Sholape wrote in to grudgingly commend me on the accuracy of my observations. Here’s to her and ladies like her who face-up to the truth when they see it. One of the aims of my writings is to keep women out of trouble; I really hope I have been able to do so.At some point in life, a great number of men are like cats amongst pigeons, stalking, walking with stealth, sniffing the ground, acting as if they are not interested in the prey, but then pouncing without announcing their intentions. At one point in time, even the Whisperer was like this, a cat amongst the pigeons.
It is the unwise woman who does not recognise a cat when they see one because these cats are easy to identify. Firstly and most importantly, they are cats and they have no business where pigeons gather. There is something predatory about their languid movements and you should not disregard your natural intuition in this matter.It is a very foolish pigeon that thinks it can move faster than a cat and the underestimation of the speed of a cat has proven to be the end of many silly birds. What will be left at the end of the encounter are a few feathers fluttering to the ground, and the cat walking away, cleaning its whiskers and its paws after a good meal.
As an experiment, the next time you take the time out to lean over a balcony, or sit leisurely in a park (at the rate the government of Lagos is going, we’ll soon be able to do so, hopefully) look for a cat and study the manner it watches everything and everyone else without seeming to do so. You’ll be more wary of kissing a cat the next time one introduces himself at a party.The cat has no interest in the success of a relationship but seeks his own ends and once he gains entrance to the gathering of pigeons, fixes his attention on a weak pigeon even though he appears to be disinterested. ‘Weak’ in this regard might translate as vulnerable or naive. This cat plays around with the emotions of the prey, able to say exactly what the pigeon needs to hear and the trap is set. By the way, there are many female cats too, looking for male pigeons. I have met them, and in many a back alley, there are wounded cats, licking their wounds and nursing thoughts of vengeance against the Whisperer. Join the line, I say.
As an aside, when this column started about 15 months ago, an acquaintance I met on the web and based in England wrote to let me know her ‘fear’ for the columns that would be written by the Whisperer was that they would deal mainly with issues affecting Nigerian women. That has niggled at me for a long while. Firstly, an American or English writer does not apologise for talking about Manhattan or the East End. Why do I have to tread warily over discussing Surulere or the female trader at Idumota? Secondly, women are the same worldwide, basically. Language differs and the environment plays a part in outlook but the fundamentals are the same. The earth, more than ever, is one global community sharing ideals. Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the Nigerian King of Afro-Beat in whatever form it can be found, had a song for that kind of thinking. What we need to do is blue-tooth some smartness around.
The Whisperer came out of Nigeria, and he’ll be looking at women from all over the world with the confident eye that the females of his land are some of the most intelligent and beautiful in spirit, that ever walked the face of the earth.
May their wisdom increase.