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Sweat Patches a.k.a Map of Africa

Posted by on March 6, 2016
When you are surprised by what's happening under your arms.

When you are surprised by what’s happening under your arms.


About two weeks ago, I needed to quickly go by two offices. As most days seem to be in Lagos, Nigeria, it was a very hot day that Wednesday. I figured I wouldn’t be out long and I also had no plans to ‘melt or fry’ in the sun. I decided to wear a top made of really light material, it was a tulle like top but a bit thicker and more sewn together than tulle (I’ll add a picture in my next post).

Although I was in a bit of a hurry, I remember thinking to myself, ‘Toju, you’re going to get a sweat patch in this top. The type that really shows. Shouldn’t you change?’ Alas, it was one of those days I didn’t want to iron and all my other clothes didn’t just feel like what I should or could wear that day (whatever that means).

Guarding my mind with the thoughts that I didn’t want to be hot, I was driving a car with good air conditioning and I’d be in and out of the offices, I semi-confidently wore my top and dashed out. In the words of my husband’s friend, ‘Na had I known dey cause I could have.’ I really don’t know how to interpret that, but pretty much, I found myself in a situation of ‘If I had known what was going to happen, I would have changed my top.’ *Sigh*

I parked a block away from the first office where I saw convenient parking. I walked up to the gate only to be told that they had moved the location of their head office. Between walking from my car to the gate and now back to my car, the map of Africa had begun to form (In Nigeria, we sarcastically or jokingly call sweat patches, especially big ones under armpits ‘map of Africa.’) Gosh! See me stretching my arms over the steering wheel so all the air from the AC (which was now in full blast) could hopefully remedy the situation.


This can make you feel so uncomfortable and irritated

This can make you feel so uncomfortable and irritated


Unfortunately for me, the second office was just a minute’s drive from my first stop so I had to get out of the car soon. Out again into the sun I went. I spoke briefly with the receptionist and handed her my details. I was racing back to my car and about to unlock the door when I was called back. The head of office had noticed and recognised me looking out of his window and wanted to chat. I was really happy to get an audience with him, but I felt so conscious and embarrassed about the map I had growing under my arms. Getting into his office, I knew I was in for it. It was either there was no light at that time or it was just a fan on. I don’t even remember, I just remember that I was hhoott!!!

I decided to focus on the chat with him. We laughed, talked about past memories (I knew him as a child) and also what had brought me to his office. After a good twenty to thirty minutes in the ‘hot heat,’ I slowly walked to my car. No need to rush or try to salvage anything now. The worst had happened. As I sat in my car, I looked at the huge sweat patches I had never had in my life that formed under my arms. What would the man be thinking? What if he was some top-no-nonsense-boss? What if it was an interview at a school of Etiquette? Maybe I’m being dramatic.

It goes without saying that I sat in my car till I was ddrryy and ensured there were no marks on the top. I would have gone back home if there were. I dashed into the new location of the head office, thankfully, their ‘oye’ was pumping (their AC was functioning very well.) I did what I had to do and made my way home to have a much needed bath.

Next week, we’ll talk about how to avoid sweat patches…as much as possible.

Have a great week!

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