This post is for all parents and guardians who have admirable daughters. I had a bitter experience and I feel every one of you should read and learn.
Growing up as a young village girl, I had many admirers. Many men and boys could not stop preaching to my parents how much they loved me. Some still do today. Some admired my beauty, others my innocence, intelligence, others my boldness and many other reasons some of which I do not know.
They made jokes and called me “My Wife“. Their parents supported them and it was always something the whole village and city neighbourhood knew. They made countless visits to our home and Papa P (my dad) and Mmayoyo (my mom) welcomed them with food and drinks. Some of my friends even called me “Madam…..” using their names like I was their wife.
My reaction? I was very excited because I received lots of gifts and attention. Everyone loves when they are showered with love. I always rushed to my supposed husbands’ houses to play with friends and help their mothers with household chores. We were many of us in the village and cities who passed through this. The joke was exciting you know.
Since I knew I was someone’s wife, the African wife in me didn’t let me be. Hahahahahahahahahah. I always updated my in-laws and husbands of my next step. For us in Babubock, my village, it is dubbed “pride” when you visit the village and don’t go round the quarter to notify every mom, dad and friends, you have come from the city. But that was not the case in towns. I always saw most of my friends at school when I came from the village.
So there was this fateful day I left Kumba for the village during the long vacation. I was so excited to join my friends and family in the village. It had been long I went to the village so, this time was the killer. I had grown big too with some “oranges” on my chest.
As usual, I did my visiting rounds. People shouted in awe when they saw me. I was excited to see them too. I chatted with friends and they gave me “first-class” (everything that made news while I was away). I had many husbands, so I went to their different homes to greet them and my mother-in-law. I went and came back in the evening to see the ones I couldn’t meet during the day.
Then I visited that particular house. I met “my husband” at home unlike some of the others.
Woooowww! He exclaimed. “…Na you are such a big woman now too. What has your sister been feeding you within Kumba? I am so happy to see you again after a long time. What class are you now? I don’t need to ask about your results because I know you made it …”
This particular loved me because of my intelligence and beauty. He always spoiled me with lots of gifts when I was younger. I couldn’t stop smiling when he held me in his arms. I was 14 then. There was no need for panicking, I had known this uncle my entire life. He had been nice to me and my family and never did anything to get me angry.
We discussed and I left for my home. It was getting dark and we were not leaving in the same quarter. So I had to rush home before the heavy dark falls. You know the village is not like the cities where there are street and security lights everywhere. 7 PM in my village is as dark as midnight and the roads are slippery. ‘Me sef I di over fear me dark‘. I have always had the notion of witches and wizards performing in the dark. That thought made me rush home early and quickly.
But I ran home with a heavy heart. “That grand Frere tell me tin wey I make my head no select“. He asked me if I was still a virgin which I answered. But the other part of the discussion was new to me.
Like I said in my menstruation post, anything that had to do with anything down there was “Bad Fashion” to me. I was young, yes, but could read where the conversation was heading to. One of the reasons why I left and started rushing home.
Oh, this my supposed husband was ready for his manly duties when he saw me. He started doing some funny touches and reciting some funny lines. He wanted to force himself on me you. The whole idea was new to me. But I saw this in the movies and the outcome was always poor.
I didn’t want to embarrass him and myself so I decided to go home quietly and say nothing to anyone. If there is one thing I hated about myself then, it was my timidity. I couldn’t explain to anyone what always happened to me. Same as the menstruation story.
That spoiled my evening. The things he said to me made me lose my appetite. They came echoing in my head like I was dreaming. I couldn’t sleep that night. I remembered how my heart pounded so fast when he made his advances at me.
…Na, I have been waiting for this time. You have grown so big. I was serious when I said I wanted to marry you. You are very intelligent. Your skin is so smooth. This is exactly the kind of woman I want to marry…”
To make up for his wrongs that evening, he came to our house the next evening and demanded to see me. The normal me will not see him and pretend like I didn’t. Mmayoyo came and told me my husband was looking for me.
‘The old ngah no wise me ya. I will be don hang on top some bag cocoa di do my own stuff‘. I was afraid to see this grand. The sound of his voice outside made me tremble inside the house. The whole scene came back to me like it was about to happen again. I heard him telling Mmayoyo he wanted to see me. I knew that was another hell for me.
How do I tell her I don’t want to see the man I used cherish a lot? When I went outside, he asked me to bring a seat for him and myself. He started apologizing for his actions the previous night. The devil has always been in trouble since all the bad things are attributed to him. But that could not change what was in that little girl’s mind already. I was bent on not going to his house again.
My mom was surprised at my attitude towards him but couldn’t guess what was wrong. If she sent me there, I wouldn’t go. If she brought up any topic about him, I wouldn’t respond or contribute to the discussion. It was that way until I went back to Kumba.
Since that day eh, I look at every man who calls me his wife as a joker. You never know eeehhh, they may be saying so and are serious about it. It didn’t happen to me alone. Papa P had problems with other people because he didn’t allow my elder sister to marry those who used to call her their wife.
- Dear parent/ guardian, please do not allow any uncle to call us his wife when we are still young. We give them so much trust which can be broken without even you knowing. That name “My Wife” exposes us to many dangers you and I know.
- Even if you are to allow him to call us that, watch the relationship closely. There are times we may change towards them especially if they try to do something bizarre.
- Dear men, trust is broken just once. Please use it wisely. If your third leg is causing you harm, please marry and don’t look towards our direction when it wakes up.
- My ladies, please do not trust a man that easily. Let’s curb the excess trust our younger sisters and children have in that uncle who may one day be tempted by the devil to do something stupid. #SexualHarassment is real.
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