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Professor Mabel Evwierhoma On Rubiales and Wetin Women Want. By Tony Afejuku

Mabel Evwierhoma

"Professor Mabel Evwierhoma is a creative and critical dramatist, playwright, poet and a feminist writer. She is a former Dean of Arts, University of Abuja, where she has been teaching and professing on the subjects of dramatic literature and feminist writing, theory and criticism for a pretty long time."

Let me hit the nail on the head straightaway by way of a sharp or brief introduction of a notable reader of this column whose full or near-full thoughts/words on the subject that has engaged our attention for some time now, specifically since Friday, August 25, I wish to quote properly and decently today.

Professor Mabel Evwierhoma is a creative and critical dramatist, playwright, poet and a feminist writer. She is a former Dean of Arts, University of Abuja, where she has been teaching and professing on the subjects of dramatic literature and feminist writing, theory and criticism for a pretty long time.

She is to boot a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters. She has reacted occasionally to things that come out in this column. As a matter of fact, she, two Fridays or so ago, gave what I called a sparse attention to what women want with respect to the alleged kiss-crime committed by Luis Rubailes in Australia after the women’s national football team of Spain won the FIFA women’s world Cup.

Luis Rubailes, we must not forget, is (or was) the President of the Spanish Football Association. Jennifer Hermoso, a star player whom he spontaneously kissed, has since been coerced to compel Luis Rubiales to quit his post. Of course, the kiss-crime of the kiss-criminal who is not a kiss-criminal has generated different attitudes as I have already intimated.

Two quotations I must give you now from Professor Evwierhoma – who is also a lawyer, a Barrister-at-Law, in addition to other feathers she adorns. Your dragnet-writerly and visible pen has created a harvest of opinions that will generate more eruptions. E’bhad and ‘mahd’! Now Hermoso has gotten herself an attorney. Wetin women want? A blank page on which to stamp their own identity. Day don break, tori don wowo. Rubiales no get paddy for jungle! I can see and hear you laughing out loud and loud and louder and louder!

But very, very seriously, and bluntly so: In the Rubiales and Hermoso story, the queries are: What surge of adrenaline pushed Rubiales towards Hermoso for that assaulting kiss? Did he seek immortality as Dr. Faustus did when he begged for a kiss from Helen of Troy? What manner of kiss would cause such uproar in global football? Was that kiss the kiss of a lifetime for, or opportunity to the President of the Spanish FA, whom I presume, was commanded to perform by the first three letters of his name? Rubiales violated Hermoso’s personal space in public, making the personal to be of crucial political import.

The president as ‘ductor’ is a leader and ought to have displayed administrative detachment or leadership aloofness without betraying his esteemed position and yielding to any bodily command or influence across the public space of sportive performance or games. That kiss was not consensual and those lips on which they were predicated were not yielding or yielded.

Again, the first three letters of Hermoso’s name, probably reminiscent of epitomised femininity extracted the enchanted gaze from her ‘consort-less’ president and kiss-coach. The obvious external structures of the female anatomy be they well-endowed or not, cannot be concealed by any wardrobe, especially in the fields of work, leisure or play and are even more prone to moving, shifting/shifty or moved gazes from the male as spectator, patron or official within a mediated channel or live sports.

That uncontrolled and uncontrollable move by the president was an attempt to command and control. I shall call it by no other name. No matter how pointed Professor Evwierhoma’s argument may be and enthusiastically received by feminists in and outside Nigeria, many male spectators and readers there are who will not relish her womanist and feminist pill. I will remember readers such as Dr. X (his anonymous name from across the Atlantic) who every Mabel and Hermoso (of the game) will only in the long run compel (as they will cause spectators even among females) to be disinterested in women’s football. This may be a mere speculation, but it is a healthy speculation that is healthy and real.

Clearly, Luis Rubailes’ predicament was plotted before the women’s world cup mainly on account of his support for the male coach of the women’s team who has now been fired because he was/is an ally of Rubailes. The coach and his now erstwhile president won the women’s world for the first time in Spain’s history. The feat matters not now because of Rubailes’ great feeling of historic victory that has since generated unnecessary historic furor.

We are waiting to see how this will end in the court of law that Hermoso has been coerced to take the matter to. Her supporters have been boasting endlessly. As Dr. X has said to me, “Let’s wait and see. Men know what’s real and what’s fake. This may look like a minor issue but if the FA takes the fall, I think the result will be catastrophic in a few years to come…Fear women. Respect women. Love women. Fear women. May we never fall into their traps like Joseph did with the King’s wife!”

My own final remark: I wait earnestly for the court case to go on. Who eventually will be man-martialled or woman-martialled in the jungle of the court will be made manifest in the name of justice that heeds the call of true justice – in or out of the jungle of the courts. No paddy for jungle! But women go see wetin women want in Spain!

Let us end with the following brief quote from Luis Rubiales: “I will defend my honour. I will defend my innocence. I have faith in the future. I have faith in the truth.”

Rubiales won’t struggle against contempt from everyone for long. The raging populace cannot overwhelm the vivid lightning of truth flashing from his clear mind. And it cannot be deconstructed by deconstructionists.

Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.

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