Nigerian men need to drop their Superman Syndrome – Nkem Ndem

Nigerian men need to drop their Superman Syndrome – Nkem Ndem



I am not picky with men, Nigerian men inclusive. I have never really been. And why do I say that? If you asked me the things that would turn me off from a man; I would only list three things: Lack of hygiene, being stingy and narcissism. I really do not have a long list.



With the lack of hygiene also being a deal breaker; it comes with the fact that I have a strong sense of smell. It’s almost surreal how I can literally list the exact ingredients used in preparing a meal; just by sniffing its aroma from five miles away. I can tell you the exact place a smell is coming from; even when everyone else cannot identify its source.



Of all the smells I abhor, the most disgusting for me I would say is mouth and body odour. It is so serious that, I actually kept my “lipginity” till I was 24; as it was very difficult to find any other mouth that was 100% free from odour.




Nigerian men need to drop their Superman Syndrome - Nkem Ndem


Over the years, I have made a conscious decision to try and be accommodating to certain pongs that are consequent to owning a human body as apparently; some are sometimes inevitable…like the morning breath. However, while this has worked, there are times I still meet people who just make “accommodating” so damn difficult that ultimately; you realize … you just can’t.



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I decided to go on a movie date with a Nigerian love interest last night and had the most peculiar experience. As agreed, he came to Lekki to pick me up. He was about an hour, 34 minutes late. However, when he finally arrived, I did not kick up a fuss as I understood the new challenge with extreme traffic; ever since the Lagos State Governor initiated a ban on all bikes and tricycles in the city.



As he drove in, he apologized profusely and offered to take me out to dinner instead. I was not very hungry but I felt he needed to shell out some money pacifying me. He opened the door to the front passenger seat for me to go in; and the first thing that hit my nose was the smell of stale/moldy food. As though he could read my mind; he apologized that he had the take-away pack from the food he had eaten in the morning; still in the car. Thereafter, he took it out and trashed.



Next, we got in the car and started heading to my favorite restaurant in Lekki – The Junction. I thought to ask him about his day, and that’s where I think I went wrong. As soon as he started to talk, the entire car started to smell of stale breath. It was the very strong kind that could make an infant’s intestinal wall corrode and bleed.



Nigerian men need to drop their Superman Syndrome - Nkem Ndem


Worse, the AC was chilling it all, making sure the odor from his mouth lingered. I did not want to be rude as I understand that he had had a long day and was probably starving; hence the bad breath. I politely asked him to let us use the fresh air as opposed to the AC and he agreed.


Just as I was about to heave a sigh of relief as the air became less clogged with the smell of his foul breath; I started to smell something else. My first instinct was smelly shoes. But I also considered the possibility that it could be a bad smell from outside; oozing in since the windows were open. On instinct, I looked down at his feet and to my dismay he had removed his shoes. The smell was indeed coming from him!


Ugh. I didn’t want to be rude so I just asked; “Do you smell something like a piece of clothing that is not properly dry?” The plan was to give him an opening to take the hit. Luckily he caught on and said: “Oh I’m sorry, it must be my shoes. I thought I could take them off now since we have the windows open.”


I guess my facial expression urged him to put them back on as that was what he did next.


Perhaps I was being way too much, but how does a guy pack up such smells and not know? Why on earth would a handsome grown man have a breath that foul? My research on this led me to a discovery. Apparently, there is a syndrome that fuels this behavior in men – the Superman Syndrome.




Nigerian men need to drop their Superman Syndrome - Nkem Ndem





Basically, Superman Syndrome is the idea that some men tend not to take good care of themselves, hygiene wise; because they think of themselves as being sort of invincible.



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While it is ridiculous that certain men would actually have this notion; it made me better understand why Speed Darlington would make a video addressing the lack of hygiene among Nigerian men.


Truthfully, the rise of the metrosexual and, today; the “spornosexual” has not done much to see Nigerian men’s habits change for the better.



Of course, I’m not saying that Nigerian men are a bunch of uncouth ignoramuses; who need an article reminding them to practice better hygiene. I am just saying they need to do better.

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