An African aunty is the best and the worst.
A paradox of good and bad, we can’t do without them, yet we need to escape them.
The weirdest part is that, as long as you are female and African, you cannot escape the inevitable reality that you are going to become an African aunty.
You can run but you cannot hide from it, it will catch up with you.
To prevent it from catching you unaware, we have compiled this list to help you know when you are entering your African aunty stage.
You are becoming an African Aunty if…
You have this bonnet
This cap is the very beginning of the initiation process.
Whether you wear it to bed, you use it to keep your hair in place, or you simply wear it for wearing sake, I need you to know that if you have this, in any size, shape, or form, you are slowly but surely stepping into your African aunty stage.
Forget whatever lies the natural hair enthusiasts told you; they are agents of the initiation process.
You are now comfortable wearing this gown
Your excuse is that there is heat or you just want to be free.
Haq! Yes, you want to be free, free from the beauty of youthfulness. Free from the shackles of being loved by the younger family members. Free to move like someone who is out of tune with modernity and the normal workings of this world.
So yes, please wear your gown and be free.
You can’t stay outside beyond 9 pm
Nobody can call you to hang out after 7 pm. By 9 pm, you are snug in your PJs and ready to snooze.
10 pm is suddenly a foreign concept, and even if you try to go out by that time, you end up being a fun pooper and nobody wants to be around that.
So yeah, when people now only invite you to brunch, just know you are set in your African aunty stage.
You are now remembering the past
You like to live through ‘the good old days’.
Maybe because your life is no longer fun, so you reminisce about ‘when you were still in town’ or ‘back in the day’.
Ma, we have had enough of this story. Please tell us another one. Because at this point we can tell exactly what you are gonna say next
Your favorite phrase is now ‘when I was your age’
As if hearing you reminisce on your past is not enough, you have also joined the chorus of ‘when I was your age’. Any small thing, ‘when I was your age’. The funny thing is, you don’t even know how old I am o, but when you were my age.
You chorus that with every African aunty’s favorite hook of ‘children of nowadays’
If you are using these words, I think at this point you don’t need anyone to tell you that you are now an African aunty.
You are now fluent in nose talk
You find yourself pointing with your nose at someone, especially at family gatherings.
Not just that you are having a full-blown conversation with other aunties using your nose, but you can understand. Ha! E don finish! I’m sorry to tell you ma, your African aunty days are firmly here.
I don’t know if you know this, but nose talk is the initiation, the orientation program for African auntism.
So, welcome ma, to your grand beginning.
You have fallen into asking irrelevant questions
If you find yourself asking a 23-year-old child that you haven’t seen nor spoken with in 20 years if they remember you, then you are ready to be called an aunty.
First of all, you are 20 years older than someone in the family?! Secondly, how on earth do you expect the child to remember you? And if we think about it, who are you in the grand scheme of things? What have you done for or to the child that’ll make you so memorable?
I want to say if you are doing this just stop it, but I realize you can’t. It’s the African aunty spirit, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
You now insist on kneeling to be greeted
Ahn ahn, aunty Shalewa! Aunty Shalex! Was it not you that used to tell me not to worry?
You used to tell me not to bother with archaic practices, but you now insist that I bend, not just with one knee but with both knees to greet you. And you want to be greeted in the native dialect. Not the native language, mind you; you crave dialectic greetings.
Don’t even bother trying to run, the spirit is already upon you.
You suddenly find yourself reporting younger family to their parents when you see them with another sex
Don’t worry, it’s not your fault.
As I said earlier, it gets to a stage when the spirit of the past African aunties falls upon you. And suddenly, you become a snitch.
You start acting like your mouth cannot close for a second. You begin to warn younger family members against walking on the street with another sex because if they stand too close to each other, it might lead to pregnancy.
As if that is not enough, you also have to report to their parents when they break this sacred rule.
That is when you know you have fully and surely entered your African aunty stage. There is no saving or stopping you now.
Becoming the African aunty: In conclusion
If you see yourself exhibiting any of the above traits, it’s okay. We need you, because African aunties help keep life in balance.
Apart from their wise yet unneeded councils, how do we of the younger generation get to bond by making fun of them if they do not exhibit these traits?
And if that doesn’t cheer you up, just remember that time rotates and just as it’s your time to be an African aunty, it’s gonna be the current baddies’ time too, very soon.
So have fun and keep being the nosy irritant that you are.