Everyday Living

A Pepper -Soup Story


Naturally, I write fiction and sometimes lace it with real life stories. This piece is however about me and my clownish act over the weekend.

I love my family and in this case, the healthy mix of people I live with which includes elder sister and two elder cousins. Now, that should automatically make me the youngest – the one who does the cleaning and cooking. Right?


We all love each other, and help as “the spirit” leads and so I don’t do the cooking by compulsion. I do it by choice and hence, when I get my “calling”, I make basic meals such as rice, chicken stew, egg, and dodo. And if my interest gets intense, I may cook vegetable stew, jollof rice etc.

But this weekend was different, I got inspired by something else; football. Don’t blame me; I somehow got a “gist” that guys prefer to watch football outside their house with their friends and also like pepper-soup while watching. Therefore, to keep your man in the house, try cooking pepper -soup on those weekends.

I’m yet to know why I believed that. I’m not married and don’t need to keep anybody at home but it suddenly felt like a married woman that doesn’t cook pepper-soup is lacking in duties. We had a brief argument over it and I told my friend that I do not cook pepper-soup. Her only advice was I’d better learn in advance, if I intend to get married.

By that time, it was 4:45pm. I got up and went to the market, to buy ingredients for pepper -soup. I only have Sundays to myself, and postponing such an event to another weekend was only cramping my next free day. I stopped at the first stall and asked a lady that sells tomatoes, “Where can I buy ingredients for pepper- soup”. She stopped was she was doing and looked at me properly; “Did you say pepper- soup?” she asked. I replied. “Yes”. She smiled and pointed to another stall, “Go to that woman, she sells the ingredients”.

I dragged myself to the stall and asked, “Ma, I want to buy pepper -soup ingredients”.  She adjusted her wrapper and answered, “How much own?”  I told her and she packed everything for me. I then asked her again, “Is this all the ingredients I need?” She suddenly became puzzled and asked, “Sisi, you never cook am before?” I said “No” and she sent me again to another store where I needed to buy some special leaves to complete the ingredients.

While I walked away, I could feel her eyes on my back, especially on my lower side, partly because I was a novice in the pepper -soup cooking club and also partly because I wore shorts to an open market. I got all my ingredients together and left the market. It was time to cook pepper soup. My elder sister was wondering what I was up to and something must have told her, “no good”.  In her mind, she must have been wondering; “Oyinade, cooking pepper -soup on a Sunday? Who is the man?” If only I could tell her I was practicing for the future.

Well, I got my stuffs out and put on the gas cooker; it’s judgment day.

I started cooking and somewhere along the line, I forgot my recipe.  I called out to my sister, “Am I supposed to add vegetable or palm oil to pepper -soup?” She turned her face sharply and responded, “Oyinade, oil in pepper soup? Is that how mummy cooks it?” Now, I have to let you know that over the years, I have watched my mother cook but not when she’s making pepper -soup. Is pepper-soup really that important? What is all these pepper-soup makers club conspiracy sef?

I quickly called a colleague and asked her in low tones and she replied, “Errrrmmm, I don’t know oh. Why don’t you call Bola, she may know”. I quickly thanked her and before I could hang up, she said “and please, don’t let people know I don’t know how to cook pepper -soup oh”. Haba!!! Is pepper -soup now the new boiled egg? It was at this point I knew there was more to pepper-soup, its perception and making.

I didn’t have a choice than to called Bola to asked, “Oil in pepper -soup or not”. Bola is married and I know she must somehow be in the pepper -soup makers club. My instinct was right; she had a long laugh and replied, “I will text you a recipe now”. I waited for close to 5 minutes, with the pepper- soup- in –the-making on fire and when I didn’t get the text, I concluded she was not ready to help and I did it my own way. I added palm oil to the pepper- soup.

Her text came in 5 minutes later, and I read clearly, “no need to add oil”. The text came late! I have already added palm oil to the much awaited pepper-soup! What will I tell my people now?

I must have spent 10 minutes looking at the pepper soup + oil that I made and I can imagine if I was married. The poor dude would have had a very good reason to take a stroll out with his friends every time there is a football match, if he ever encounters this type of pepper- soup.

But again, I tried and it just didn’t work. I braved the odds by going out of my comfort zone and trying something new.  In as much as I respect women who go all the way to please their men, some of us are not just cut out for the pepper -soup -makers -club. So therefore, in the non-pepper-soup-makers-club, our men will love us like that. With or without pepper- soup.

Writer – “Oyinade is calm, passionate and detailed. She enjoys writing, traveling, listening to people and paying attention to her environment & colours. A brand executive, she constantly strives for quality, excellence, integrity & accountability. She currently works full time with a leading marketing communications firm in Lagos Nigeria.” Check her blog at www.topazandaqua.com

Photocredit – Photodisc

Click to comment


  1. authors@laradaniels.com'

    Lara Daniels

    February 7, 2011 at 8:37 am

    LOL…Real peppersoup wahala!!!

  2. sayfrench@yahoo.com'


    February 7, 2011 at 10:07 am


  3. bolajuwon2002@yahoo.com'


    February 7, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    very funny. don’t worry, its not a criteria for staying in marriage.

  4. enybeejesus@yahoo.com'


    February 7, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Kai I laughed my head off…Oyinade ‎​​​am sorry oh!
    It sounds queer to ‎​​M̶̲̥̅ε̲̣̣̣̥ though ‎​​​am not blaming u as I no fit turn amala for fire or cook gbegiri etc.For ‎​​M̶̲̥̅ε̲̣̣̣̥ pepper soup is like saying good morning-LOL!
    Sweet article I must commend….

  5. titilala2000@yahoo.com'


    February 8, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Very funny, at least now u know, incase of next time, no oil in pepper soup!

  6. ogo.okonji@gmail.com'


    February 8, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Abi o…now we all know, no oil in pepper-soup.

    Nice one!

  7. talktotana@yahoo.com'


    February 9, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    ehn! lolzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  8. cathyidiong@yahoo.com'


    February 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    very funny but again not so funny. honestly we need to seriously ask our selves if our mums said things like weather or not i can make be it pepper-soup or not my hussy or bf will luv me all the same.’maybe’ their marriages wldn’t last so long, all im tryna say is we shd put more effort into making our “homes” homes.

  9. ola.olatona1@hotmail.com'


    June 6, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    ….very funny but very true..
    .need to start practising too..

  10. nigeriafan@ymail.com'


    June 19, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    nice article. i like the fact that you actually went out of your way to learn. but i have to say, its a bit sad that so many ladies today cannot cook more than the basic fare. meal times are boring in their homes. and yes, it does threaten the family cuz the man has a reason to go outside. dont forget, ONE way to a man’s heart will always be his stomach. i learned to cook as a child, and my husband brags about me. his friends who’ve tasted from my pot tell legends about my cooking in the office, yet i’m a 28 yr old former banker and business woman. please take time out to learn as many recipies as possible, and discover as many ways to cook a single dish as you can before u marry. it’ll be fun. e.g, try boiling yam with pepper, onions, uziza seeds, maggi and salt, then when it’s soft, frying it very briefly (30 seconds per side just till it forms a crust). eat it with normal stew. angels will visit your tastebuds.

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