Freetown, Baby!

Women by jc2010sl
November 5, 2010, 3:02 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

A fairly common greeting over the last week has been “How did you hurt your hand?” Its usually followed by asking whether my “shine shine bebe”, that is “lady friend” is responsible. The general assumption is that I was beaten up for cheating (a pretty common occurrence in Salone and the reason one of our drivers is missing a front tooth). One colleague in the Ministry said that I “fo bia” the inconvenience, and then chuckled to himself. “Do you know what I mean” he said? “Yes,” I replied, translating his Krio directly; “I have to bear it.” No he said, “It’s an idiom; it means a women has pained you.” I guess this is the attitude that prompted someone to paint on the side of their poda-poda “Never trust a woman.”

My injury has also flushed out some pretty sexist views that are never far from the surface. Even one of the women doctors I work with was horrified that my “shine shine” hasn’t brewed me some pepe soup. “You should stay in bed until she has made it for you!”

Sierra Leoneans seem to take the same view of women that Homer Simpson has of beer – “The route cause and solution to all man’s problems.”


1 Comment so far
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Quite right too

Comment by NW1er

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