SORTING KELECHI OUT (A SHORT STORY)
This is a light-hearted story about family dynamics related to gender division of labour. Read and be blessed!
SORTING KELECHI OUT
Janet wondered what the racket coming from her house was all about. But as she got closer, she discovered it was more of the usual. Her teenage twins – Kelechi and Tochi – were going at each other again. It had become a daily occurrence since they came home for the holidays.
“At this rate, no man will marry you,” Kelechi barked, “unless he wants to die before his time. You are just too stubborn.”
“No woman will marry you either ’cause you are just too lazy and stupid,” Tochi retorted.
As Janet walked in, Kelechi ran to her for an ally. “What is the matter this time?” she asked.
“This yeye* girl has refused to cook even though it’s already lunch time.”
“Why won’t you cook, Tochi?”
“I don’t believe that question is for me.”
“Are you being rude to me?”
“If you don’t want me to be rude to you, then stay out of this! I wake up each morning, sweep the house, wash the dishes, cook and serve the food and what does this oaf do but sit in his room playing with his laptop? I’m not doing it anymore!”
“I don’t play with my laptop,” Kelechi protested, “I work on …”
“You maybe arranging a startup like Bill Gates years ago for all I care,” Tochi interrupted. “But except you do your share of the work around here, I will not enter that kitchen again!” And with that, she stormed out of the house ignoring her mum’s calls and Kelechi’s taunts.
Janet gave Kelechi money to buy food from a nearby restaurant. She needed to pick the carton of hair relaxers she forgot at home and get back to her customers at the beauty salon. Cooking had scarcely been part of her schedule since she lost her husband in an auto crash six months ago. She lived on takeouts, focusing on raising enough money for the family’s upkeep and because the twins were in boarding school, it hadn’t posed a problem till they arrived for their first holidays since the funeral two weeks ago.
She wanted to address the problem but she just didn’t know how. She didn’t want to alienate either of her kids by coming down hard on them. They were all she had now that her husband had left. But she couldn’t let them fight endlessly either. She wished she had the means to hire domestic help so that they could both pursue their hobbies to their satisfaction and not feel forlorn because their dad, who had also been their friend, had passed.
She decided she would close shop earlier than her usual 9 p.m. that day to cook dinner and help the twins work out their differences. Unfortunately, she worked till 10:15 p.m. because it was a Saturday. She hoped they would be in bed by the time she returned. She was feeling too tired to listen to their arguments and complaints.
By the time she got home 15 minutes later, an unmistakeable aroma was wafting in from the kitchen. Bitter leaf soup was in the making and she heaved a sigh of relief. Tochi came to get her bag.
“My mummy original!” she hailed Janet. “The best mother in the whole universe!”
“To what do I owe this kind of reception? I hope you don’t want some money ’cause I’m saving for your school fees.”
“Money kwa? I just want to apologise for what happened in the afternoon. I’m cooking your favourite soup. Take a shower and come have a bite. I think you’re working way too hard.”
“Where’s your brother?”
“Where else? I pray that laptop crashes soon ….”
“And that is a prayer that will never be answered!” Kelechi cut in as he joined them in the living room. “Mum, you’re home late today. I think you should take things a little easier,” he added.
“Perhaps, I can come and help you at work sometimes,” Tochi offered, as they followed Janet into her bedroom. “You know I can braid hair really well.”
“Who will do the cooking around here if you do that?” Kelechi asked.
“Shame on you! All you care about is your stomach and that wretched computer of yours. If Mum breaks down, who will buy the food you want cooked for you? You just have to do some chores here so I can put in a few hours at the salon everyday.”
“But Mum hasn’t even said she wants you there,” Kelechi pointed out.
They both looked at their mum for her input.
“Actually, I do,” she said. “Tochi weaves superbly and if she puts in an appearance often, it would be a relief. It’s been hard finding capable hands since my last two staff left.”
“It’s settled then,” Tochi said, sticking out her tongue at Kelechi as she returned to the kitchen. “Told you I’d sort you out,” she added as he followed her.
“I’m only doing it for Mum, not for your sassy, stuck-up …” Kelechi shot back.
“Whatever!” Tochi interjected with a chuckle.
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2016
Hmmm … gender division of labour! What is the situation in your house on this? Do the girls do all the work or does everyone pitch in?
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Trust Me My Brother’s Are The Best And I Love Them , But At Times They Are A Pain In The *** . I Have Older Ones That Are Guys They Always Expect Me To Do Everything For Them Cook, Clean, Wash Plates, And All Dey Do Is Eat And Still Want Me To Play With Them Lol, Untill Mum Treathen’s Them With No Food Until They Help Out. But The Amazing Thing About My Boys #theyarentboytho Is That When You Least Expect Them To Do Anything They Just Go And Surprise You. Woke Up Late One Morning And They Had Washed The Previous Nights Plate, Cleaned The Kitchen Sweep The Parlour Infact They Did Everything In The House Even Washed The Cars And All Mum And I Had To Do Was Cook Breakfast, I Wish It Was Always Like That . But After That, Anytime I Asked For Their Help They Reminded Me Of That Time They Cleaned The House From Top To Bottom Lol .
Typical. Family can be fun but a pain sometimes. That’s where the love and understanding come in. Cheers!
lolz..i wish my brother can read this cos u just revealed his identity thru kelechi…his work is to eat n carry laptop about
Lol! Many of them (brothers) are like that.
I don’t have a brother but this hilarious
i get pissed off with that kind of lifestyle exhibited by kelechi……. i feel like slapping him (FUTURE IMPOSSIBLE TENSE SHA)
Boys re funny,,lol
I tell you handling them isn’t easy at all. this is just what happens. nice one
Haha. The best mummy in the whole universe. Sounds like something I’d say
a typical family fun
Hmmmm division of labour…i cant imagine kelechi been so lazy….. Good conclusion
EXACTLY WHAT IS HAPPENING IN MY FAMILY TODAY. I JUST WISH MY BROTHER WILL READ THIS STORY. NICE AND FUNNY STORY. RIDE ON
Reverse is the case in my house my brothers do most of the house chores
Refreshing to hear!
the story is funny but interesting
lol! Thank God the children didn’t define real stubbornness and are understanding.
i wish not to write an essay so will simply state that my brothers are annoying, lazy, arrogant, chauvinist, always eating with the younger one’s aim and dream in life is getting taller than his big sis (me)so that he can boss me around and “revenge” his childhood. i came back home the last vacation and he ran to me with such smiles, i thought he was going for a hug but he stood by me with that devilish grin and i immediately realized it was his way of showing who was now taller. i smiled and pinched his cheeks thinking what a naive boy that he should think he could now boss me around– my not-so-little cute 16yr old brother
P.S WE WERE ON EACH OTHER’S THROAT 3 DAYS LATER and YES THIS IS MY SIMPLE STATEMENT. LOLZ
Think every family is faced with this division of labour problem, it’s awful really. Very good read.
that guy, kelechi is just lazy..guys work o..wella..just taste a meal made by my boyfriend..yummy!
Yeah!!!!! i believe that arguments make family more fun.
I have four brothers and the fight between Tochi and Kelechi is small compared to the one we have everyday…..nice write up
Guys nd their lazy attitude
kelechi is really annoying. peace dear, i love your reply.
y is everyone pouncing on kelechi?.oh, i see…comments r made by mostly girls lol…
this issue actually needs redress in our society today.
Janet a lovely mother who does not want to offend any of her twins failed to distribute work to her male and female children. many homes follow the same process with the belief that home chores are only for girls while boys are only meant to do what will earn them money. this is wrong attitude and should be corrected in all homes for peace and progress in the home and society.
lol… i cant stop laughing…
seriously me 2…these kids
sometimes brothers and sisters can be funny. can’t stop laughing
Yeah that’s how the family is now, the guys hardly do most stuffs this days, leaving the cooking n cleaning to the girls, ain’t really meant to be so, because who will be there when ur sister’s ain’t around. I can say that there is really gender division of labour in the home.
Bless you, Faith!
Quite interesting…. some mothers do have them….lol..
Indeed, they do. Bless you, Patsie!
Aw! I LOVE the way this story ended! Those kids realized mama’s worth and gained a little perspective after their argument. Sounds a lot like banter around here in this home- LOL. And the outcome is the same here too. 🙂
Praise God, Christine! Where the Spirit of the Lord is in charge, peace and understanding tend to prevail. Thanks for dropping by.
A typical Nigerian home. In my home we take turns when it comes to chores.. an exception of cooking though. So they pay us if they want to miss their turn. Funny story!
Mine are grown but our son cooks at home and sometimes the son-in-law too. We have a cooking family.
Bless you, Debbie!
Funny. Real life.
Yeah, pretty common. Thank you and remain blessed, Lori!
Haha this reminds me of my sec school days when my younger brother would never join in the house chores but would take the biggest part of the food that I cook and then tell me he is the man of the house or even ask me to call him second daddy and treat him as one, this situation is seen in almost all African homes but thank God parents have started thinking differently…..
Yes, some guys can do all the work too because they we’re brought up that way.
This is exactly a picture of a typical Africa home. Males in the house always feel they don’t have any role to play when it comes to house chores. Is up to our parents to correct this notion in time because we are all born equal
You’re right. Parents have a crucial role to play in correcting this anomaly.
I think the African mentality of ladies being second citizens has to change for good. ladies should stand up for their rights and never allow themselves to be victimized by the “men are superior beings” ideology. This is really educative and inspiring, what i like most is that it brought to light the day to day issues that a typical African family face.
This is a very interesting and educative piece, what I like most is that it brought to light issues that are peculiar to a typical African family. I think Africans should get rid of this male superiority ideology, gender discrimination has to stop and ladies who find themselves in victimizing situations should raise their voices and say no to gender inequality just as Tochi sorted out Kelechi in the story.
My brother could have been a typical Kelechi, but thanks to my dad who didn’t let that happen.
Wao this is very funny although in my house there is no such division because my mum makes sure my brothers do what they are supposed to do at a time, but sometimes they try to be demanding but no room for that , i think the problem is that some of the boys still feels that kitchen is where the girls belong, but they are wrong so in that case we should try put a stop to it ,how ? By changing the minds of our boys and letting them contribute on the house chores.
I think it all depends on the family, even outside the story, it happens in some homes. The training parents give to their kids at their tender age contributes to this tender age… When I was in primary 4 my dad didn’t allow me go 30kilometer radius near our pot. He would always say “my friend don’t you know that you are a guy and you are not supposed to be in the kitchen”
Bt when it’s time to wash the dirty plates. He would still call me to enter the kitchen and do the washing. Then I would bring up the issue of “I am a boy and I’m supposed to be in the kitchen” then he would be like if u like stay I’m the sitting room and wash the plate, that is not my business, what I know is that in the next 10minutes your are done washing.. Somebody times mostly on Saturday, he would say to my mum and my sister “you people should go and rest let the men cook”….from there I got to know that it’s nobody’s function to cook… Do it all depends on the training give to children by their parent at their young age
Right now i promise i am laughing so hard, because this so relate able. My siblings fight a lot especially on who to cook and sweep, i just sit in one place and laugh, truth is they know what should be done. My mom just shared the chores she was tired of the daily squabbles. Boys should just get over the thing that cooking and kitchen chores are just for the ladies.
it happens in every family. the boys claim they don’t cook it’s for the girls. it’s a very interesting one. parents should give their children a nice training so they can grow up with it. and parents should always be ready to settle little little issues in the family that pertain to their children. treat every one equal, both male and female.
seriously, this story is very funny. it happens almost in every home. parent will assume that women belong to kitchen why the men have the right to do what ever they want to do. this is very wrong, the house chores should be shared among everybody.
Gender division of labour is very common to our African homes.. We see the boys as those who are more superior to the girls and that’s where the problem surface.. We all have our part to play when it comes to house chores. Nice piece.. I love the way tochi handled the situation at the dying minutes
we are all girls sha so we do all the work around the house even the ones so “designated” for the guys. Nice piece.
First of all, people say that twins always argue with each other, me i dont know if that one is true, it is just a perception but Africans should stop bringing thier kids up with all this gender roles, it doesn’t make sense
Lol! I also experience this division of labour problem with my brothers at home, I feel the house chores shouldn’t be left for the girl child to handle alone.
This is a typical African scene. Nice use of imagery and description. I really like the way the story ended and how Tochi finally ended the situation. Very educative post also
This gender division of labour is also a problem in my home. The boys just wake up every morning at whatever time they want to, eat already prepared meal and go out. Nobody disturbs them about house chores. Who said is just the girls that can cook, wash, clean and run errands? I think everyone is equal and should partake in house chores.
Nice creation of a typical african home, where the boy expects the girl to do everything. Thank you for this post ma and may God continue to bless you.
Very entertaining. I think it serves kelechi right, thinking only girls shud cook or do house chores. Now he’ll know how it feels too. Yay, up Tochi! *smiles*
A typical family scene. In most families, the girls are meant to do all the house chores and the boys left to do whatever they like. However, male children should engage in house chores just as much as girls. This would create division of labor and discipline. Tochi did the right thing trying to make things easy for her mother. Though she had Kelechi in mind while making that decision. She wanted any means to engage him in the house chores. It was a nice initiative there, though calculative. I love this.
Everyone in the family, both boys and girl are entitled to their own share of the house chores. It shouldn’t be left for the girl becaus of her gender. Rather there should be sharing of chores because it leads to discipline and harmony. There is always someone like Kelechi in every family and everyone should put hands together to make him change. A great write up MA.
Everyone in the home should have their fair share of the chores. We shouldnt place a gender bias on such things because it leads to discrimination
Boys are really like that and it can be annoying but I have learnt to live with that Shaa… They wouldn’t want to help out in anything but will only be waiting for breakfast, lunch and dinner unless mum or Dad shouts at them. But these days no one is even at home except me and all the chores will be there waiting for me including preparing the meals. So no one to share the chores with.
It can be very annoying having a sibling that is as lazy as they come. It is believed that a woman’s place is in the kitchen and the other room, after all that’s exactly what our very own president said to his wife. But a woman can also work, earn money and provide for the family. I applaud Tochi for standing up for herself. Kelechi is very lazy and Janet should’ve divided the house work evenly and not support his laziness. A woman’s place is not at home, this is a very good example of gender in equality. I get that she is the sole provider for two children which is not an easy task. She should try to be a mother first before anything else.
Kelechi is just like my brother, all he does is eat but still i can’t love him less. Tochi is so lovely, she cooked her mum’s favourite soup just to apologise, that’s somthing i will do. Their mum is a super hero, she is doing all she can so the kids won’t feel their father depature, she is strong ,i admire that about her. I love this story, keep it up ma
Its a good thing my brothers are not like that because it is really bad to relegate all the work to one person on the basis of gender. I hope Kelechi learnt his lessons. Interesting story.
Lol! I can’t say the same. The division of labour in my house is done so well its often hard to different between male and female. Girls are asked to wash the cars, boys are taught how to cook. It is believed that what a man can do, a woman can equally do. I recall times when my mum would ask me to fetch a 25 liter gallon of water, or ask my brother to cook egusi soup. All in all women shouldn’t be asked to do majority of the household chores. Nice Story.
I really love the way the kids care for their mom at the end of their daily banter and disagreement,she needs that so as to feel loved and cherished especially now that her husband is gone.Sweetest write-up, seriously reminds me of home.
This is a major problem in most families which needs to be corrected because I believe that since everyone can eat, everyone should also be able do house chores together not leaving it for a particular set of gender.
A boy is a multipurpose gender, trust me. If you’re the only girl and the only child in the family, your chores will be restricted to the house but if you’re the only boy and the only child, your chores will start from the house into the office and shop depending and an exception is where you’re pampered. I think chores allocation should be done according to the capability of the gender.
I love this story. It truly portrays a typical Nigerian home where the girl is expected to do everything related to the kitchen just as Kelechi expected Tochi to be cooking always. Also having a brother like Kelechi could be both funny and annoying at the same time because kelechi reminds me of my younger brother who doesn’t do any chore but likes playing game and eating. This story truly reminds me of the conflict between my siblings whenever I’m at home..I really love this story
I don’t agree with helping girls out with domestics chores, I have noticed that each time guys help them out it makes them lazy and they expect the guys to do the whole house chores for them . it is not good to leave the whole work for ladies, guys should also help out in ways they can. Tochi should watch it, she talks in disrespectful manner and is not good for little girl like her.
Everything depends on how children are trained. I have male siblings who perform chores around the home, and even cook at times just to relieve we the females. Janet should reprimand Kelechi before its too late for him to change his mentality.
Really, the part of the story that left me shocked was when Janet came back and met Tochi cooking. That was amazing. Even though the twins had a fight, they still acknowledged their mother’s hard work for them.
Chores and cooking shouldn’t be for only the females. Just as division of labour keeps an organization going, that is how it is in a family.
I think this is in most African homes. In my home, we’ve got five girls and one boy and he’s a lazy bum. He’s always in front of the TV He has never said let him help us out when there’s lots of work to do. On Saturdays, he’ll just run to his room and claim he’s doing his own sanitation. I think both male and female should partake in household chores, it’s not just for the females
I hate gender issues. Why can’t kelechi cook? Did anyone specifically state that cooking is only for the female child? There is no way I would bring up my kids that way. Everyone must do everything in therror house. No one was born a slave to the other
It’s not encouraging segregating house chores between genders. For instance, in my family we are Five boys – no girl. In this situation who are we expecting to do the sweeping, cooking and other chores the boys most times reseve for the girls.
So there is no need for division of labour, most especially house chores among genders.
I admire how their mother wants what’s best for her children but then why segregate house chores based on genders? Parents need to learn that not only women are entitled to the kitchen! Boys too should cook, sweep, wash and do whatever needed to be done in the house.
This is the Major problem in every Nigerian home, parents over stressing the female ones while the male are doing little or no chores at all. Labour should be divided equally to everyone no matter the gender.
Kelechi is just like most boys he isn’t lazy,he just feels since Tochi is there ,why do the work. Tochi too is like most girls too,after all her complains,she still cooks,she reminds me of myself,I know how many times I’ve sworn not to enter the kitchen,but “las las” I still enter .. Lol.
What a funny story!
I’m a victim of such situation(as Tochi).
We are four girls and a boy in the house but my sisters doesn’t like doing anything.
The division of labour is; the boy sweeps the entire compound every morning and washes and irons my dads clothes.
My sisters usually leave all the house chores for me, but once food is ready, you don’t need to call them out… ??
Its very very annoying.
Well, since I’m the last girl, I badly ever do anything. My big sister’s did the whole chores with my brother assisting from time to time. It was till I gained admission and found out that I really needed to take on basic home management skills. My Mum was really surprised after my first semester. It was an interesting read all through, I’ll say I’m always an observer and not the one to get into the fight.
Thanks Ma’am for sharing
In Africa, more of the house chores are done by the female’s but not withstanding I hate lazy guys and i don’t have them in my family. All my brothers are good cooks courtesy of my mums training.
I can relate to this story very well. My mum gave birth to two sets of twins, two boys then followed by a boy and a girl. The ones that gives my dear mum headache is the second set of twins-(the boy and the girl). Exactly the way Tochi and Kelechi fights over chores that’s same way these children fight all the time until my Dad intervened.
He shared the work in a way that when one person takes care of cooking this week, the other sweeps and arrange the house then the upper week they swap chores.
My Dad didn’t leave the cooking for the girl alone because he also wants the boy to improve in culinary skills.
However, Tochi in this story is such a wise girl. I hope Kelechi learns from her.
Division of labour seriously has to be done in many homes. Girls should not be left to do all the chores in the house just because they are girls.
Janet is trying so harder to make her home suitable for the twin. But boys like kelechi are lazy and should be sorted out and made to engage In house chores.
It is same in my house too,we are just two,I and my younger brother.
I gave that little boy 9yrs gap but still do all the work at home,u will have to shout out ur throat or better still prepare for a race if u ask him to perform any chores…
The stuff is really pissing me off.
My mum will sometimes ask me to wash his school uniform.
As for me,I will train my kids equally.
Well, this days guys almost do all the house chores more than girls.kudos to them sha atleast make we rest small.
I never really faced gender division while growing up at home cause we were all girls, before my baby brother and sister came along. Anytime I travel home now, they share the house chores between themselves since they are the only ones at home now.
Gender division is very harmful to the love and oneness that siblings are meant to share. In training children, parents should erase the I am a boy I can’t wash plate, I am a girl I can’t do this mentality from their children.
Thank u ma for the story, such things happens almost in every family including mine and mothers try every strategy to settle it some times she help out herself as a mother,also she assign days of cooking to each of them
It is not abnormal to see this kind of gender division of labour in our different homes especially in our country where they believe that the female folks belongs to the kitchen, I know the same thing happens in my family but my brothers are quite different its not as if they cant cook or clean but you have to either strike a deal with them or suspend their food or wait on the holy spirit to minister to them but nevertheless I wont trade them for anything in the world
Gender division in homes is still prevalent in today’s societies with very little being done to arrest the situation. I feel that the message needs to be passed, “that boy or girl makes no difference to what one can learn amd contribut to the home as a child.” For that reason, I believe that both boys and girls should be equally taught those things we’d call “boys chores” or “girl’s chores” and let them equally participate on executing them. The story is a nice one Aunt Edith.
Is it peculiar to every family that the boys will expect the girls to do all the work in the house? In my family my own brother will even expect you to wash his cloth join lol and when food is not already on time he will be shouting but I don’t care I do it when i want if he is hungry that he can not wait, he should enter kitchen and make food for himself. This issue need to be addressed because it is becoming kind of norm that a woman place should be in the kitchen. I love the way Tochi stood up against it that shows she is a wise girl
??? everyday family routine. In my house everyone works, but there are specific chores for the guys and specific chores for ladies.