There’s a new show I already really love, it’s titled Bob hearts Abishola. Asides being groundbreaking in having a Nigerian immigrant as the principal character, it’s interesting, funny, quirky and it pulls at the heartstrings with great force. It was also created by Chuck Lorre and that tells you a lot.
So, Abishola is a Nigerian nurse practicing in the US, living her usual hectic life until a fifty-year-old White man is admitted at her hospital and is placed in her unit. He is attracted to her immediately but she takes her sweet time in coming around, she has finally admitted her feelings for him (understated it a little though, as a typical Nigerian woman should).
She lives with her aunty and uncle and she’s separated from her husband in Nigeria while their only child lives with her. After she met Bob and her relatives encouraged a relationship between them despite her reluctance, her aunt’s friend tells her she wants Abishola to marry her son and asks for her permission to set things in motion.
The young man is a handsome pharmacist named Chukwuemeka, they got off on the wrong foot when he told Abishola that he would allow her keep her job as long as she ‘behaves well’. She turned him down as any wise woman should but he quickly regroups and tells her he was wrong.
However, he is only just saying this to win Abishola, he had absolutely no intentions of getting rid of his chauvinistic tendencies. He admits this to Tunde who is Abishola’s uncle and this alarmed him. Uncle Tunde already preferred Bob to Chukwuemeka because he thinks he has a good heart.
Uncle Tunde contacts Bob and tells him of the new development after swearing him to secrecy, Bob decides to check his rival out at his job at the local CVS pharmacy. Chukwuemeka is played by the actor Tony Tambi who is Nigerian and Igbo and drop dead then resurrect gorgeous.
The pharmacist is also competent and friendly when Bob comes to the counter to get his advice on his medication. If I didn’t have any reason to love the show, that scene was enough. The portrayal of the helpful pharmacist was solid and that is the default mode of pharmacists around the world, amazing human beings.
Maybe I’m biased though.
Anyway, Bob comes home to meet Abishola who is working in his house taking care of his mum who had a stroke recently. After she tries and fails to get him to join her and his mum for an afternoon stroll at the park, she prods to know what his problem is.
He finally admits to knowing Chukwuemeka and he thinks he is a much better choice than him as they have more in common than Bob and her will ever do. Plus, he is younger and very good looking.
“When you care for someone, you fight for them.” Abishola said and walked out while he tried to explain that he meant well.
I connected strongly to his action because it is exactly what I would do in his shoes, although I’m not sure I would even let her know I found out about the other guy. I would walk away with a smile on my face because I am securing the happiness of the person I care about.
I find the concept of fighting for love distressing, to have to prove to someone that I am the better choice would probably kill me. What if the other person is better? What if staying to me is the shitty choice? Most of all, how would I ever relax in that relationship? I would be plagued by the need to show that the choice of me is valid. You know what? I pass.
I’m a lover not a fighter.
There is a certain Nigerian city which I cannot visit without seeing a certain friend and his family, the last time I was there and I spent less than 24 hours in that city, I still had to spend the evening with them. Nearly a decade ago, like Bob I was faced with the choice of making my friend go for someone who was better for him despite loving him fiercely and knowing that I was loved even more.
Every time I visit (the last visit was in 2018) or I talk to my friend on the phone, I am glad I made that choice. They have far more in common than he and I had, I also think we’re better now in this incarnation as friends than we were before. I would do it again if I was in that space even now.
One of my brothers thinks it’s commitment phobia, but to paraphrase the words of the great MI in the hit song One Naira – What does he know? What does he know?