Heart of Arts

Ẹ̀mí Ọ̀gá

Toyin Falola


A woman who has suffered and gone through hell with her husband must reap the fruits of her labour. The merciful God must convert Sisi Surulere to Madam Olorunsogo and upgrade to Mummy Benefactor. If the first child is named Promise, the second is Favor, and the third, heir to the throne, must be called Destiny. A popular saying is, “Behind every successful man, there is a woman.” Now it is beside or ahead. Behind ke? Aiye atijo.

Don’t you know a man must work but a woman need not? Women’s work is much harder: they must support their husband’s pursuits by praying for them and suffering when he has yet to attain luxury and influence. She has to be the pillar that holds his life: so for every result a man sees in his pursuit, accolades are to be given to the woman behind the scene, who is otherwise known as the most important person in the life of such a man, the Ẹ̀mí Ọ̀gá. The holy spirit is God. He governs in heaven, which is why He is invisible physically. On earth, the spirit is Ẹ̀mí Ọ̀gá, a woman, an emi. Ẹ̀mí is a spirit, physical, powerful, and dominant. We worship the holy spirit, but it is also allowed to worship the earthly spirit, whether she is holy or not.

Ẹ̀mí Ọ̀gá is comfortable, doing well, not thinking of japa. Whether young or old, she must live a luxurious and expensive life she cannot personally afford but is fully funded by men—the Ogas. Ẹ̀mí Ọ̀gá describes females who have gotten their financial stability from men. If I were a woman, I would beg the heavenly Holy Spirit to make me a worldly Emi, the spirit on earth. Spirit is magic; I become magical. I can command. My wishes are granted.

Let’s talk about the Ogas, the men from different walks of life. They can be Yahoo boys, chiefs, chairmen, honourable, politicians, pastors, Alhajis, Daddy G.O.’s, university lecturers, Captains of industries, etc. The criteria to be an oga is not in any particular job title; it is just one requirement: money. Money equals power and dominance. Oga can work for the money or steal it. Ẹ̀mí Ọ̀gá has the time to spend it.

Some women are much wiser. They can reject the title of Mrs. and stay as Miss and become an Ẹ̀mí Ọ̀gá. Interestingly nowadays, you do not have to be a married woman who had previously suffered with a man and must enjoy the fruit of her labour before earning the Ẹ̀mí Ọ̀gá  title. It has become a prayer point:

“Lord, bless me and keep me;

Give me a Zaddy

Smile on me and be gracious to me;

I need a Dangote

Look my way and give me peace

In Eko Atlantic.

No need to pray for a husband. There is no longer time for such before you finish drinking the holy water. All you have to do is to date a Yahoo boy who scams white people to earn a living. Just imagine dating someone whose occupation is to scam not only white but black, brown, male, female, transgender, young, middle-aged, and older adults. Talk about a white-collar job. Yahoo boys are internet fraudsters popularly called Yahoo-yahoo. Most of these boys are primary/secondary school certificate holders or dropouts, young university undergraduates, corpers and even mature men. Some are known on campus for their excessive lifestyle the average undergraduate should not be able to afford as a student. Let the Yahoo boy go and steal, and you spend the money, the Ẹ̀mí Ọ̀gá who must keep an eye on the ritual lamp to keep the flames burning.

Sadly, the Nigerian economy has made it difficult for youths to attain financial independence legitimately, so they go into fraud and illegitimate businesses. Yahoo boys nowadays dabble in rituals and sinister activities to be at the top of their game. It is now a matter of desperation. Some of them sleep with girls and use them for rituals. Funny enough, some of these girls are not ignorant of the fact that their Yahoo-Yahoo boyfriends have used them for rituals. However, they are less concerned as long as they still earn their Ìyàwó Pablo and Ẹ̀mí Ọ̀gá titles. They can go around with expensive designer bags, artificial nails, expensive hair, clothes, shoes, jewellery, and the latest iPhones. Iyawo Pablo is well respected than the school teacher.

In tertiary institutions today, it is discouraging to see young female undergraduates who were probably sent to school by parents struggling tooth and nail to give their daughters a better future, busy clamouring for the Ẹ̀mí Ọ̀gá title. When they attain this much-coveted position, they start bearing names like Duchess Berry, Olori Chase, Empress Kween, Tiwa funds, Herdehbeesy (Adebisi) Spending, Ìyàwó Escobar and just like their “rich” boyfriends, their wardrobe consists of many designer brands, which truth be told, are Aba-made Gucci, Fendi and Dior. They indeed bought the oversized top for 20k, but that is only because those Igbo boys in blue light “boutiques” can sniff out a Yahoo boy from a distance and double the price of their wares.

Life must be mobile. Promotion is part of achievements. You cannot stay as a Lecturer without praying to be a Senior Lecturer. There is a promotion for the talented women. For Titi to become Olori Chase is hard work. But there is a brighter future. I have to introduce to you the highest rank a woman can attain: Okùn Ẹ̀mí Ọ̀gá, the lifeline of the Oga. To attain this most elevated position, you must have done something uncommon, something ordinary girls, the Omo Campus, cannot do. I need to give you mentoring without inviting you to the Sinners’ Cathedral.

Let us start with Mama Pablo. She is a Yahoo boy’s mother, a woman who is fully aware that her son is into fraud, and takes him to a babaláwo’s shrine for “success” charm. So, if the charm works and he gets more people to scam, he can spoil his mother: his backbone and prayer warrior.  This mama will legit earn the Okùn Ẹ̀mí Ọ̀gá title and explore expensive living when he showers her with money, expensive clothes, shoes and jewellery that will make her stand out at the next women’s meeting. He might probably open a shop for her to sell goods and build the house of her dream; then, Mama Pablo can boast to her friends and enemies that she is enjoying the fruit of her labour! Okùn Ẹ̀mí Ọ̀gá.

I was once invited to Sagamu to the meeting of the Okùn Ẹ̀mí Ọ̀gá. See cars, behold beauty, dazzling, not a mirage, but real. Stay jealous. Those waiting to become members look miserable, holding application letters, begging to be taught, trained and admitted. I prayed for their admission. In this present age and time, no woman wants to be with a broke man, God forbid! You must have money, legitimately or illegitimately; it is nobody’s business. Just have the money. There was a recent video trending on the internet where some ladies shared on a podcast that they can never receive five or ten thousand Naira from a man they are in a romantic relationship with. They stated that such money could not buy them anything and should be given to beggars on the street instead. It is disheartening to know that the goal of young girls is to simply find a ready-made Oga that will sponsor their soft life. “I can’t come and kill myself” and “Allow me to enjoy myself”.  “Aye kan lo wa”, which translates to mean that “there is only one life to live”, is their slogan. They often added that they are not for Surulere or Ọlọrunṣogo but Ajegunlẹ. They are not ready to strive with a guy; rather, they prefer where money is already made.

Some ladies volunteer to fake accents to help their Odogwu. Some advise their Yahoo boyfriends to upgrade to Yahoo Plus, the Yahoo that is boosted by juju and specifically offer themselves to be ‘used’ on the condition that they take care of them and marry them. Some go to ori-oke, pray at the beach at midnight with 72 candles, and bathe in a flowing river by 6 am sharp with an aboki sponge, just so that Young Wizzy’s maga will pay.  The actual Okùn Ẹ̀mí Ọ̀gá. Twale mama!

Talking about Ọ̀gás, in some offices, there is always this girlfriend or side chick they believe to be their joy giver. This set of babes calls Ọ̀gá names like Pappy, Zaddy, aláànú mi, etc.  She takes care of Ọ̀gá while he also showers her with goodies in return for the exceptional shagging and for constantly taking Ọ̀gá to cloud 77.  Ọ̀gá’s friends, who he had told about the ceaseless companionship of the side chick, will always hail her with the title Ẹ̀mí Ọ̀gá in a way to give kudos to the wonders she does.  They play Davido’s “If I tell you say I love you my money and my body na your own baby) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywRpuds0gbc. A terrific song on transactional relationships: Get 30 billion for the account for the chuku-chuku, but the woman must remember “doing the juju” to endure the feelings.

I must tell you about Pastors’ wives, Mummy G.O.s, Mamas of Church ministries, the anointed first ladies, and the pillars that hold Papa and Daddy G.O.’s ministries. God forgive me if I have sinned! But it is pertinent that I speak about this set of women. I stand to be corrected; not all, but some of them have proudly earned the Ẹ̀mí Ọ̀gá title. We see them in churches with big hats and suits, sometimes in their gèlè that almost hits the fan while praising the Lord. They are mostly nicknamed “Mama”, “Apostle’s wife”, and “Our mummy in Christ”. They enjoy their husband’s influence, being guarded by protocol officers and their bags being carried for them. They are admired and envied by other women in the church as per the Ẹ̀mí Ọ̀gá.

Do not blame me if I say too much, but we have seen and heard of pastor’s wives who say that the calling of God is only upon their husband’s lives and is not extended to them; God has only called their husbands into the ministry and did not call them, so all there is for them to do is to enjoy all the benefits that come with their husband’s calling. It is a whole level of luxury and comfort for them. Moses Bliss has said it better: Miracle no dey tire Jesus!

I cannot write about the Ẹ̀mí Ọ̀gá without making mention of the wives and sugar babies of politicians. This set of women are the First Ladies. The office of the First Lady in Nigeria has turned into the ministry of flexing and soft life. It is all about attending events and commissioning projects. Nigerians do not even know the impact of the First Lady in the country; all we know is that someone occupies that office. Take as a case study the immediate former First Lady of Nigeria who spent a lot of time in Dubai while there were several national issues to deal with in the country, but it is not a concern; after all, Sai Baba was the president, the one Nigerians voted into power. It is the same as the pastors’ wives who say, “God has called my husband, not me.”

The Nigerian constitution does not recognize the office of the First Lady, although the federal government allocates funds for the running of the office, including its entourage of aides. The Nigerian Governor’s Wives Forum (NGWF) is nothing but the association of Ẹ̀mí Ọ̀gás: soft life women, housewives who belong to the kitchens and the “other rooms”, as their politician husbands would say. Their major assignment is to wear expensive imported dresses worth millions of Naira, host events and attend occasions with their husbands.  In 2022, a viral video showed forum members celebrating Mrs. Buhari’s birthday in Dubai, although the forum stated that the celebration coincided with an official meeting in the UAE. Even then! Nigerians already know that they tell us what they want us to believe.

The entertainment industry has contributed by gracing our screen with the Showmax Reality TV show, “The Real Housewives of Lagos.”  Welcome to a reality TV show that gives a peak into certain women’s glamorous and extravagant lifestyles bonded by their love for luxury and soft life. The real Ẹ̀mí Ọ̀gás! The negative effect of this reality TV series is more than its portrayed innocence of entertainment; it is the fact that it fuels an insatiable desire for luxury in women. The desire to be a real housewife, the covetous desire for wealth and luxury on a platter of gold, without hard work. Many young ladies are like dogs chasing their tails by merely wishing and going all out in pursuit of big men, Ọ̀gás, to finance expensive lifestyles they cannot work for. The Real Housewives of Lagos and its Abuja version are role models to Yahoo boys’ baes and the “modern” women whose lives and choices are dictated by podcasts, IG reels, Twitter threads and the media.

Greed has become a plague that continues to consume this generation. Everyone wants to appear cool, but that leaves us with a society filled with impolite, lazy, entitled and jealous people who always think they are right. Life is not a bed of roses. Money, luxury, face card, banging body, couple goals, being a baddie and whatever frivolity is in the air is not all there is to life. At the end of the day, money will not save you when the consequences of your actions haunt you. Ask Hushpuppi.

Get educated. Learn a skill. Focus on yourself. Develop yourself as a woman. Work hard and have your own money. Men have spoiled you, and now you are spoilt rotten. But you cannot spend your five kobo on a man because men are scum, and you are only made for premium enjoyment. Be a man’s help mate, not a burden or liability. Living in the moment is not always a wise decision to make. “Wokeness” is synonymous with destruction. Pleasure is momentary, and it may be too late by the time your eye clear.


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