It’s true that once you are a parent, you cease to be self centred (or at least try not to be). I know we all have our lives to live but one can’t help but think how our actions can affect the well being of our children.
For example, I had this aunt in England who was seriously overweight and as a result of her health problems, she decided to have one child. Now that was one unhappy child who was always teased and bullied by her classmates over her mums weight (Mrs Somebody, you think naija kids are bad? Try British school children… cruel). At one, point she begged her mum to stop coming to pick her up from school as it was causing her so much distress. The little girl also started lying to friends that she had a baby sister, because she just felt odd as an only child.
Now, on to the main story. This is based on a true story and inspired by Daddy’s Girl blog.
Aisha was a wild child of the 60’s; extremely independent and always wanted to have her way irrespective of who got hurt in the process. As soon as she got her WASC (or whatever they called it back then), she left home and got her own place in the city. This upset her dad who being a single parent. needed her help and extra income in bringing up her younger siblings. “It’s my money. If I want to use it to pay rent then its my business” she told her dad when he protested.
Before long, she had fallen in love with Tunde, an older man, and before anyone could blink she had moved in with him. When her dad found out he was livid but trust Aisha, she couldn’t be bothered
Aisha— “Daddy I love him and that’s all that matters”
Daddy— “but you’re not married, this is abominable. Why do you insist on disgracing your whole family? Ahh… your mum will turn in her grave”
Aisha— :”Abeg Baba leave mama out of this, Tunde will come and see you. He is a nice man and he wants to marry me”
Just like Aisha said, Tunde came to see her dad and asked for her hand in marriage, he however came alone. Baba Aisha wasn’t impressed, “what kind of man comes to meet his in laws without a single family member? Surely, he can’t be a good person” he concluded. Baba Aisha complained about this to his late wife’s family, they agreed with him but at the same time advised him to accept Tunde as people where already talking and it would even be worse if Aisha got pregnant out of wedlock.
Baba Aisha reluctantly agreed to the marriage. Unknown to him, Aisha and Tunde had a fiery relationship; Tunde was abusive and though he showered Aisha with gifts he also beat her mercilessly. Of course. Aisha kept this beating to herself. When she came to see her sisters, she showed off all the jewellery and exotic gifts her husband had given her. Her sisters may have been younger but they were not stupid. Jamila especially had a keen eye and had noticed the bruises and swelling on Aisha’s fair skin, also the fact that Aisha permanently wore sunglasses worried Jamila.
Jamila— Abeg Aisha remove these your glasses, na wa because you’re married I no fit see your eye again? Remove them jare.
Aisha— Don’t you know what my eyes look like? Just tell me you want a pair and Tunde will buy you one on his next trip to Lagos.
Jamila— Abegi make I see jor. You too dey pose! (with that she snatched off Aisha’s glasses). Subha na llah! (Gracious God) Aisha! What’s this? Who did this to you? Baba! (she calls out to their father)
Aisha— shush..keep quiet, what do you know about men? It’s because he loves me that he beats me. If you tell Baba I will stop giving you my old clothes!
Anyway, Baba was told and ordered his daughter home. She refused and decided to move away from Maiduguri to kaduna (where Tunde did a lot of business). She needed to be as far from her meddling family as possible.
The beating continued in Kaduna and grew more violent. The fact that she didn’t get pregnant immediately also earned her more beatings. To add insult to injury she discovered that Tunde had another Wife and a child in Minna. She was a yoruba lady from a prominent family and was obviously getting a better deal.
After 3 years of marriage, a slight limp (result of Tunde throwing her down the stairs) and low self esteem, Tunde kicked her out. His business was dwindling and he couldn’t afford the luxury of maintaining two wives especially a barren and disfigured one.
Aisha returned home like a prodigal daughter and her Dad welcomed her back with open arms. On her return she met a new neighbour John Nwachukwu (who was incidentally Tunde’s old school mate) a very handsome young man. Within days she was smitten and before long had started an intimate relationship with John. Her Father called her:
Baba Aisha– Aisha my daughter, remember you are still married. What are you doing with that nyamiri man? Please I have tried to be an understanding father, just be patient I have sent for your husband and I am sure he will soon come for you.
Aisha— come for who? Baba I will never go back to that monster. Besides I have nothing to loose I am a barren woman and I prefer to just stay here and look after you. Don’t worry about John we are just friends
However, Aisha was in for a rude shock when she missed her period that month.
…TO BE CONTINUED