The Crayfish is an important celebrity that has been appearing in a number of soups, stews and other Igbo meals for a long, long time. But what is the cost of this level of fame?
In this week’s Interview With, the superstar talks to us about its life, hard work and secret struggles.
Zikoko: Igbo kwenu!
Ahan. Crayfish like you. How long have you spent with Igbo people that you are this proficient in Igbo language?
My dear, when you are in Rome, behave like the Romans oh. Since Igbo people adopted me as their community member, it’s only right that I learn their language.
Besides, they are the only family I know. When I opened my eyes at birth, instead of seeing my fellow water creatures, what I saw was Igbo people. I had no other choice but to accept them as my own people.
Hmm. Does this now mean you are Aqua-Igbo?
What is Aqua-Igbo?
It’s dual heritage. Aquaman, but Crayfish edition.
You know, half aquatic, half Igbo creature?
Oh, I see. Nwanne m, after appearing in every Igbo dish, I think I am full-blooded Igbo. That Aqua-Igbo thing does not perfectly describe me. If it’s not because this interview was impromptu eh, I would have brought you my net singlet.
You have a net singlet?
Yes oh. And I have my own container too. Although I use it to bring in other crayfishes. Igbo people have shown me the good life, I also need to show other crayfishes the way.
We rise by lifting others…
Gbam! They are all my brothers and sisters. Nwanne m, nwanyi. What other choice do I have but to help?
You are regarded as a celebrity. And from our short time together, I can see that you are one.
You are correct.
But I want to demystify you. Who are you outside of the celebrity lifestyle?
Don’t hold back. Let it all out. This is a safe space.
Nwanne m, I am not happy. Waking up in the morning, thinking about so many things, I just wish things would get better, I’m trying to get rid of them but nothing seems to stay the same.
Ehya. And other food items are looking up to you oh.
That’s the problem with being famous. Everyone thinks my life is perfect. They look at me and my relationship with Igbo people and assume that it is a balanced one, but it’s not.
If only you knew what this my tiny body has gone through. If you could see what these my tiny eyes have seen. You would go down on your knees and pray for me.
That’s a lot. I’m sorry. Care to share?
Igbo people are overworking me. Every single time, I have to make a special appearance in one food or the other. Can I please rest?
But you said they made you famous. Don’t you think it’s a fair trade?
Hian. If that is the case, they should come and collect their fame back and let me go back to my old life biko. It is better for me to be unknown and at peace than to be a celebrity and be overworked.
Even Buhari that is the president of a country does not work as hard as I do. And look at him, travelling to London to enjoy.
Easy on the Buhari slander, please…
So that what will happen? If Buhari thinks he works harder than I do, let him come out and say it. Let both of us sit down and count.
I regularly appear in Egusi soup. Has Buhari done that? Can Buhari do that? Oha soup, I feature. Ogbono, I am there. Ofe Onugbu, I get land inside am. Okazi, I dey there. Even stew for rice, I feature.
You people think it is by sitting down inside Aso Rock? If not because of my hard labour in the hands of Igbo people, do you think I won’t consider going into politics?
Na wa oh. Have you spoken to them at all?
Igbo people? Their coconut head is not from this world. You complain, they increase your labour. At first, I was just used to flavour soup, and it was fine. I don’t know who asked me to answer them and enter Jollof rice. The moment they discovered how hardworking I can be inside Jollof rice like this, they started putting me inside everything.
Now, I enter Jollof rice steady steady. Fried rice nko? I dey. Even Indomie.
Small time, they will include me in pancake and puff-puff. Or maybe even crayfish-flavoured biscuits.
Na real wa.
My own is, what about the other food items? There is okporoko, ponmo, goat meat, but it’s me that has to do all the work? That’s not fair at all.
But then what can I say. I will overcome.
I’m rooting for you.
And I should even be happy because I am not being rejected by abroad people. Look at how Buhari that entered London and some people protested against his entry. Can never be me.
No, I’m just saying. I can be overworked oh, but I know that I am widely-loved when it matters.
True, true. Igbo kwenu!
Check back every Friday by 9am for new stories in the Interview With… series. Read older interviews here.