I was at Emily Restaurant with my friends. Over 150 persons turned up and shared in our conversation and Emily’s food.

Today we met. Emily thanked me profusely for the publicity and business of yesterday. Then she broke down while narrating her experiences as a successful business woman. She reminded me how long I have known her and the humble beginning of her food business from Coal Camp to Obioma Street in Achara Layout.

She told me of a concerted campaign of calumny against her, of accusations of her membership of Ogboni, AMORC, Eckankar and the diabolical means she uses to attract customers. She cried as she lamented the meanness with which her competitors had sought to destroy her. I listened patiently for close to an hour of lamentations including family issues.

It was really sad. I remembered Our Ladys bread in onitsha another woman entrepreneur destroyed by evil propaganda. I thought of all the women from medieval Europe killed for witchcraft and those accused of sleeping their way to the top. Emily is only one in the line of gender-based discrimination and age long superstitious beliefs. I calmed her down. Encouraged her and told her I will continue to support her and talk to her Children, including her son who studied in the Uk and sadly has no interest in her business.

I said a silent prayer for all successful people in superstitious societies and also for enlightenment in our land. Of course I did not leave without another bowl of ofe onugbu….

OSITA CHIDOKA

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