From time immemorial, men, in a typical African society, are known for taking tougher jobs due to the responsibility they are saddled with, while women take the less tough jobs like subsistence farming, cooking, and laundry work. However, the tune seems to have changed, as a good number of men are now treading where women are supposed to be. They are now seen dominating the centre stage of women’s job role like catering, hair-making, frying bean-cake e.t.c. Emmanuella Lekwauwa writes
The rising unemployment rate, perhaps forced many men, mostly graduates to embrace different vocations aside white-collar jobs. They now venture into vocations that were aforetime presumed as female jobs.
One of such men is an executive chef of a hotel, located somewhere in Ikeja, Mr. Raymond Alabi.
Alabi, who moved into catering due to his passion for cooking, said he studied Sociology at the university and later enrolled into a catering school to acquire the needed skill. He averred that his passion for cooking led him to the hospitality industry since 1989 even before he enrolled to study Sociology. “As matter of fact, I have gone through all kinds of training in hotel management. I am also a hotel consultant and manager. I know that the job of a chef goes beyond mere cooking. It involves knowledge of continental and local dishes, and being good administrator who can manage the kitchen.”
He described catering business in Nigeria as lucrative, that the only shortcoming he had discovered in his career was the difficulty he had in convincing big companies to award contracts to male caterers, “However, my clients have since become convinced of my capability because of the quality of my services and cooking skill,” he said.
Alabi asserted that men are now taking over the chef works in most Lagos hotels. This is because, “men have more energy and time than their female counterparts. And this is because women have more demands, beginning from the home front.”
Another male caterer, Mr Oluwasesan Olaibo, who works with a catering firm in Onipanu, area of Lagos state, for almost a year now, said that most aspects of catering service deal with a lot of cooking and requires a lot of energy. Before now, Olaibo had been into screen-printing for seven years, but later opted out of that business because of low turnout of customers and poor income.
Speaking on what led him into the trade, he said that he went into catering because of finance. He averred that he had not really wanted catering as a profession but after his Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) in 2014 he went into catering to raise money to obtain the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) form and to sponsor himself in the higher institution.
Another caterer at Ibile Foods and lounge, Ilupeju bypass, Lagos, who simply identified himself as James, said that men going into catering business tend to do so carefully to avoid refusal of which could lead to loss of customers.
“As a caterer, who has been privileged to work in various organizations, I had to learn how to prepare local and continental dishes of different tribes and countries. This makes one exceptional in the business.”
He stated that most organizations employ male caterers based on their house policy and previous experiences with female caterers though; there is the challenge of getting clients convinced on the efficiency of male caterers.
James said that he realized the lucrative aspect of the business while working at a hotel where he discovered that only men were allowed to do the cooking, while ladies serve drinks and attend to customers.
Smiling, he said: “Men are putting more time into catering than women. When you go to restaurants, you will notice that ladies like it when men attend to them. Most ladies used to beckon on me serve.”
Another caterer, Mr. Tobi Davis, who works at a branch of Sweet Sensation, a popular eatery had been into catering business for four years. He disclosed that he ventured into catering business because of his keen interest in cooking. Davis said: ‘It amazes people when they see how well a male caterer handles cooking. People are eager to see how well a man can cook and bake pastries, amongst others.” Davis said that before now, when it comes to catering and other skills, people always look at the direction of women. He said that things have since changed in the 21st century. He said that men joined the moving train and were performing beyond expectations. “Not all women can make sausage rolls. In preparing snacks, men take the prize because of the difficulty involved in handling the machine.”
He complained that the socio-economic situation in Nigeria was influencing negatively on catering business and urged the government to encourage male caterers. He said that there are set of young people who are motivated by what is happening in the catering industry. “The most important thing is interest. For instance, not all graduates would be opportune to work with his/her certificate.”
Another caterer, Mr. Kenneth Agbamuche, working with Sweet Sensation, around Ketu/Ikosi area of Lagos, believes that catering has a lot to do with passion and claims that men are the best in whatever profession. He described himself as coming from a family of caterers. According to Agbamuche, he had been into catering business for 18 years and still counting. He learnt the trade from his late mother, because of his interest in the trade. “Besides, my elder brother is a chef at Eko Hotel, while my two other siblings are also caterers in other reputable companies. Passion is what brings out the best in a thing. Without it, you will not be able to accomplish your mission. Catering job is sensitive. It’s like hospitality in the sense that you are giving out life to people. It’s all about food and it has to be tasty.”
He stated further that if he had his own restaurant, he will employ male caterers who will assist in serving the guests. According to him, many men are working in big hotels, than eateries and fast food joints. This is because the way the fast food joints operate is different from the hotel. The male professionals are better than the female in the area of cooking.
Mr. Amadi Uche, who works with catering firm, shared his experience in the field. He said that having worked with the catering firm for more than four years; he had come to understand that catering is something young men can venture into because it is something that gives the opportunity to do other things. According to him, “catering goes beyond preparing local dishes because one has to also learn how to prepare other meals. In catering business, men are preferred because they are focused and disciplined. And when it comes to working, they are not easily distracted.”
Blame legal system for increase on rape cases – Dr. Somefun
The adolescent Sexual and reproductive health officer of UNFPA, Dr. Esther Somefun has given reason why there are many rape cases in Nigeria. She said it is largely due to the legal system that does not reprimand the perpetrators of rape cases or other sexual abuses in Nigeria.
She declared this at the launch of 2000 young girls as participants in the adolescent health project for girls organised by the Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative(YEDI), funded by the German government‘s Federal Ministry Economic Cooperation and Development held in Lagos.
The adolescent health project tagged; BMZ Skillz Girls project, strictly for young girls between the ages of 13 and 19. She explained that the reason for rape cases in Nigeria was,“because we have legal system that does not reprimand the perpetrators of rape cases or abuse. Even when they are reprimanded, the punishment is so mild that they buy themselves out.
We have individuals who do not respect their fellow human rights coupled with cultural issues where, if a woman is rapedit is brushed aside or if a girl is raped, gets brushed aside.”
On the collaboration between UNFPA and YEDI, she said, for them in UNFPA, they have worked with YEDI and YEDI’s support for ‘Hello Lagos’ centres. They are centres which provide comprehensive health, friendly services.
“These centres at different places where young people have access to information with all accurate information, on their health, sexual reproductive health unit. If they are not feeling well, they can have access to healthcarefacility and if thereistheneed for referrals, we do provide that,” shesaid. Somefun explained further that it also has to do with societal values and self-esteem.
“Example is the abuse of Codeine that is going around town. It has become an easy drug for youths to take and feel high. So, the fact is that they have easy access to drugs, and their self-esteem is on the high and at this age range young people tend to want to feel high, feel good and they believe that by feeling good and feeling high, you need to use something to enhance your feeling good, but knowing that you can feel good with so many other things, go out with friends watch movies, you don’t have to take drug to enhance your self-esteem.”
She however commended the regulatory agencies, “I will still go back to say that it is because our regulatory agency are trying, but they need to do more because if you go to other countries or other African countries, you can’t just walk into a medicine store and get medication freely. She explained that there must be need for the patient to have a prescription.
“Although, we know that young people have their own issues, if you have a system that is porous that allows easy access in drugs on those that should not have the drugs, it is called why drugs, why use, why prescriber?” Obviously, the country is having people who should not be holding such drugs in their hands without prescription to use it.
On her admonition to youths, “As a young man you don’t have to rape to feel good. Remember that that other person has a right and by raping does not improve your ego or does not make you a man. It only makes you a coward,” Dr. Somefun said. Psychologically, she explained that the youth could be traumatised trauma especially holding onto the pains.
Between discipline and abuse in marriage
Some have said it is necessary for the husband to discipline his wife as a show of love and care just as a parent would do to an erring child. Some have even come up with Bible verses to back up this claim. But then, who disciplines the man when he errs. Or doesn’t he err at one time or the other?
I came across an article on VirginiasSecret- Garden at mattforney.com where a woman shared her perspective and personal experience on wife discipline.
The following are excerpts from the article and responses from readers: “A lot of people think the Christian Domestic Discipline lifestyle is abusive. Going by what the mainstream media says, I’m actually a Stepford wife who lives in fear of her husband.
Somebody save me! But the reality is that husbands absolutely must assert dominance over their wives in order to have a happy marriage. When my husband spanks me for upsetting him in some way, he’s not just reaffirming his status as my master and the head of the household, he’s satisfying a primal urge in me, letting me know that he cares.
It’s been shown time and time again that neglected children will act out and deliberately break the rules in order to get their parents to pay attention to them…
We women are the same way; when our husbands and boyfriends ignore us, we’ll do something to annoy them just to get their attention. We ladies can reign in this behavior on our own somewhat, but we need the guiding hand of a man to suppress it completely. It’s the nature of Eve’s sin: we women are inclined to rebel against earthly authority, to the detriment of ourselves and our husbands.
Because feminists have obscured this fundamental reality, neither men nor women can effectively deal with womens’ rebellious nature. Modern marriages follow this typical pattern: Wife acts up in an attempt to get her husband to bring her under control. Husband ignores wife, either because he doesn’t know he needs to discipline her or he’s afraid of the legal consequences of doing so.
Wife becomes contemptuous of her husband for not putting her in her place and starts acting up even more. Husband continues to ignore wife, creating a downward spiral where sex drops off, arguments flare up, and both sides are increasingly miserable.
Wife files for divorce because she is not haaapppy. When women and children misbehave, they are not just looking for punishment but looking for absolution.
Assuming they’re not psychopaths, they know what they’re doing is wrong; they want an authority figure (husband or parent) to tell them they’ve been bad, punish them for it, and then forgive them afterwards.
This cycle of misbehavior, punishment and forgiveness scratches an inch deep within the female psyche, letting us know that we’re being looked out for.
Now, I’m not saying that you should encourage your husband to give you a shiner. There’s a right way and a wrong way to be disciplined. But our inherently sinful and defiant nature means that our husbands have to discipline us to keep us happy. I hate getting spanked. When my husband calls me into our bedroom and tells me to pull my skirt down, I feel dread.
I hate having a sore butt and I hate being driven into a crying fit. My husband has told me over and over again that he hates spanking me too, because seeing me crying and in pain breaks his heart.
But despite the suffering and tears, I’m grateful that my husband corrects my misbehavior. When he gets finished paddling me and holds me afterwards, I feel a deep satisfaction in knowing that he loves me enough to protect me from myself.”
Why are women so good at putting off happiness?
You woke up really excited, it’s your special day. Your husband says good bye as he rushes through the door, he’s running late for work. You can’t believe he didn’t even wish you a happy birthday! Well, maybe he has a surprise for you… throughout the day… no call, no Whatsapp message, no post on Facebook, on his profile is still Arsenal logo …mmmhhh!
He comes home in the evening in a hurry to catch up with the live football match on Super Sports, and screaming all through. And you’re sitting there, boiling and ready to explode.
You are so mad you are going to be ‘unhappy’ the rest of the week, maybe month! That is just one of the many things our husbands do that make us feel bad, also stuffs like dropping dirty socks around the corner instead of the laundry basket, snoring while we stay awake rocking whining babies who have no plans whatsoever to fall asleep. Then the kids bring a whole new dimension to our frustration…
let’s not even talk about in-laws who come ‘visiting’ and never ever want to leave. Everything seems orchestrated to make sure we are NEVER happy. Our response: We put off our happiness for the time (whenever that is) when everyone will stop being such a pain, and just get their acts together! Little wonder we are often so miserable. I would like to share a piece of advice from a fellow mum, courtesy P31.org: We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren’t old enough and we’ll be more content when they are.
After that, we’re frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, when we are able to go on a nice vacation, or when we retire. The truth is, there’s no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when? Your life will always be filled with challenges.
It’s best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time with…and remember that time waits for no one. So, stop waiting….
until your car or home is paid off until you get a new car or home until your kids leave the house until you go back to school until you finish school until you lose 10 lbs. until you gain 10 lbs.
until you get married
until you have kids
until you retire
until you die
There is no better time than right now to be happy. Happiness is a journey, not a destination. “…Happiness, sought by many and found by few, is matter entirely within ourselves. Your environment and the everyday happenings of life have absolutely no effect on your happiness except as you permit…Happiness is wholly independent of position, wealth or material possessions. It is a state of mind which we ourselves have the power to control – and that control lies with our thinking.” – Claude Bristol Happiness is a choice. Choose to be happy anyway!
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