“If you are not going to be a girlfriend and wife, who is submissive, who follows the lead of a husband, then we got to deal with this now, because no wife of mine will rule my house, give me orders or go to a separate church from mine!”, said Tendai fuming, his voice was shaking from anger, l could see he was totally charged up and no longer caring to select his choice of words.
I was also fed up myself, and l retorted angrily, “fine, if you want me to be that kind of a wife and fiancée, then to hell with it, what are we even doing now? Let’s not waste each other’s time anymore. Have a great life”. I slammed his car door nice and hard as l climbed out and walked away into the dark.
So how did things get so messy?
Tendai and I had fallen in love with each other a year ago, he was all l ever wanted in a guy, ‘at first’ and l was his dream girlfriend too. Both of us at the age of 28 just thought this definitely was it. The search for true love was over.
With time there emerged those nitty-gritty human imperfections. Tendai is traditional, old school and reserved on the other hand l am less cultural and a newly emerging activist for feminism and gender equality. He is the type that prefers to not touch alcohol, deems it unclean for his soul, he prefers the traditional kind of music, and he loves spending his days chilled, watching movies or visiting family and friends. It made me look like l was the wild one, so eager to try anything and everything, ready to live, never content with sleeping before 11 pm on a weekend, and definitely never one to repeat the same activities over and over again.
So as expected in such cases, we started getting into each other’s nerves. He began to think l was too independent, l had no respect for tradition and that l could just not make a good wife for him, but this was never said out aloud. I began to find him quite boring, and just not fun to hang with. But none of us could audibly say it out. We had just come a long way to quit because of what we thought to be a few indifferences.
In my culture, men pay lobola to show respect to the bride’s family and say thank you for raising your daughter well. The culture sort of sells women under the guise of culture. Lobola can be 15 cows including other cultural things that a guy must pay up, not to mention that after the lobola the guy must sponsor the white wedding ceremony as well. The bride’s family demands the amount of lobola they want, and the amount can even add up to 15000 us dollars, which is a 2-year saving for a typical middle-class guy who has decided to forgo buying a house, a car, and a decent living style. Lately, families have become overly greedy and are demanding alarming lobola prices. The fathers of the bride use the lobola to buy things like a fancy car or spend the money getting drunk. And in turn the bride has to leave her family, her religion, her lifestyle, her surname and almost everything else important is foregone by the lady as she follows her husband. It becomes the duty of the wife to clean, cook, take care of the husband and kids, as well as to get formerly employed somewhere and contribute to the new family income. If lobola was truly a cultural way of appreciating a partner l do not see why both partners cannot give lobola to the spouse’s family, or why a guy cannot give out what he has, but instead must toil for years to get to afford a wife.
And as you can imagine, l being a feminist, who realizes there is something seriously wrong with this culture from as early as 11 was totally ready to rebel. And certainly not prepared to be sold off, so l tried reasoning with the love of my life.
We were sitting in Tendai’s car, he was preparing to drive me home, after we had spent the day in the park, doing what we usually do, ‘Chilling’ in the relaxed way he likes. And poor I got bored; there was nothing new to say, no interesting conversation about the latest movie, or the hit song on the market. Just family talk about how we would chill like this, during the weekends once we were married.
Sol blurted out, “Tendi, love brought us together, l love you dearly, but there are a few things we should change love. For starts l would love to keep going to my church, l like it there, and l would love for you to take care of your siblings, but the family culture of a newly wedded couple living under the same roof with family relatives just takes the vibe off honeymoon phase, we can always share, but l prefer staying with you only and my kids, unless we really have to take in someone in need. Can we do that?
Tendai’s eyes grew big, as if they were gonna pop out of their sockets, all he could mutter was “whaaaaat?” Since l had kept this buried for so long in my heart, l thought, ah why not just let it all out, after all, he is my boyfriend, he is bound to see things more from my perspective if l explain well.
“Yes Tendai, l think women’s positions in the house are a bit unfair too, for instance a man gets to come back from work, sits at home, and watches tv whilst the lady who has also come back from a long day at work, breaks her back to cook, wash and do dishes as well as take care of the kids. It sounds more like slavery rather than marriage. I hope when we are married we can share tasks according to everyone’s capabilities, it would make married life easier for me love”.
Tendai looked at me long and hard, with clear bewilderment in his eyes. “Love a woman should be a woman, know your place, and know that it will always be behind me, your boyfriend and future husband, l will be the head of the family, l will make the final decisions, you will be my wife, what is the purpose of a wife? Is it not taking care of the husband? Talk to your mother, talk to your church elders, talk to anyone and they will tell you the same! The husband leads, the wife follows. Equal rights are there, but just not on this!” He ended, fuming with fury.
I guess in his mind he was thinking, oh this gal, what nonsense is this, women are women, and they should remain women. That was the moment when l finally opened up my eyes to the truth l had refused to see all the time; nothing was going to change in this relationship. Not me and certainly not Tendai. It was my purpose to actively campaign for women’s rights. So l took my leave from the car that had become stuffy and tension-filled from the heated argument.
This is the issue that has brought about the end of our so-called love to where we are right now, bitterness, regrets, anger, and anger.
We both think we are right; we both want the other to see how they are the ones who are wrong. And above all, no one wants to compromise.
I take a taxi, and head home, with deep sorrow inside of me, hoping someday, the society will see life in the eyes of a woman because for now, life is just far from being fair where men and women are concerned. I don’t blame Tendai though; he was born in this world, where culture and tradition plays a major role in people’s lives, even if the culture clearly weakens another party and gives the other all the power. It’s the way it is, and everyone has a choice, to do away with the bad culture, or keep it alive and running for the next generation to copy.
But l know my stand on point.
I’m sure you are happy now ba? You are fanning yourself for forcefully taking my virginity away from me right?
You were my big neighbor and everyone in my house calls you brother.
My siblings and I always come here to charge our phones because we don’t have money to buy a generator. We sat down most times to watch zee world. Your girlfriend was always so kind to us and she loved having us around. Brother Rapist, your house was our second home.
You drove us to church and back, you were our personal person. You were just too quiet, everyone loved you. We always whispered to ourselves how lucky your girlfriend was and we liked the fact that she was the only one you brought home. You were soft spoken eh, always in your room and allowed us to enjoy your sitting room till you put off your generator.
So that night, around 7pm when I came to charge my phone as usual, I greeted you, plugged the phone and was about to leave. You asked me to get your phone from the room. I rushed in to get it but when I turned around you were already in the room. Your eyes were filled with fire. I have never seen you like that in my entire life. I handed the phone over to you but you licked your lips and pushed me to the bed. Brother Rapist, I begged you, I cried, I pleaded with you. Your senses had diminished. You forced your way into me, slapped me till there was no more strength left in me.
Even when you noticed I was bleeding, you were not moved. You came, grinned and went to the sitting room. I couldn’t walk for minutes and when I finally did, you gave me my phone and pushed me away. I was bold enough to tell my parents. When I saw my Father carried his machete, I knew you were gone for good. Mum accompanied him as he kept shouting and shouting. At some point, I didn’t hear his voice anymore as he came out of your house later with a cheque in his hand. You bribed him with 300k and my Father asked me to wash up that it wasn’t that bad.
My Parents sold their conscience for 300k!!
I noticed your girlfriend’s attitude towards me changed, you told her I seduced you and wanted to force myself on you? Brother Rapist, I’m sure you are happy now, I am also sure you will have a female child. Brother Rapist, imagine if she’s been raped at the age of 5 or even 10. What am I even saying? You might even rape her yourself. Brother Rapist, you got me pregnant at age 16. I couldn’t abort the child as Doctors said that’s the only child I might ever have as there was a problem with my womb. Brother Rapist, I tried pushing, I pushed and pushed. When the baby came out, he was stone dead!! I couldn’t stand it and I died of shock and pain!!
Brother Rapist, you are walking around freely and nobody can touch you. You ended my ambition of becoming the next TYLER PERRY.
I Trust you are happy now?
Now read it again brother Rapist, imagine if I was your daughter and someone did this to me.. Just pause, sit and imagine!!
You won’t believe how a flight to Vegas ended my relationship. I had been dating a guy named William for about one year. Things were going great between us and I had no cause for concern. Well, that is until he did something so thoughtless, I had to end the relationship.
I work as a financial consultant and although I travel a lot, my job is quite flexible. He worked as a fitness trainer so his job was also quite flexible. When we started dating, I felt the flexibility of our careers was a good sign because we could spend more time together.
Severally, I would invite him on trips with me, most especially when I knew I would be gone for a week or more. He turned me down all the time with the excuse that he had a fear of flying. I even went as far as trying to get him to enroll in a “defeat your fears” simulated flight program, which he blatantly refused.
I decided to overlook things, after all, there were other communication options while I was away. We kept in touch whenever I travelled, in fact he was very attentive so I did not see what was coming.
During one of my business trips, our flight got delayed and because I was in a hurry, I decided to change flights and take a connecting flight through another airport. This would have saved me two hours and given me enough time to get home to prepare for my meeting the next day.
As my flight landed, I glanced down at my watch and realized I was running late and may just miss my connecting flight from Dallas to Vegas. I hurried off the plane and proceeded to the next gate, hand luggage in one hand, laptop bag in another.
A few moments later, I heard my name announced through the airport loud speaker. I ran as fast as I could and although I was the last to board, I was glad I made it. I could feel the sweat build up on my brows as I pushed my way through the airplane aisles trying to locate my seat.
As I gradually made my way down the first ten or so rows, you will not believe what I saw!
There he was, sitting there, nuzzling the passenger next to him. Yes, you guessed it right, my boyfriend of one year, who did not like to fly, was flying to Vegas with another lady and he was so smitten by her that he did not see me stroll by.
I was absolutely livid! I could feel the heat intensifying in my stomach as I contemplated causing a scene. It took a lot of self-control but I decided it was best to stay calm. Quietly, I walked to my seat where I fortunately, had a good view of him and his lady friend. This was where being patient played a good role.
I watched as they interacted with each other, partly because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t jumping to conclusions. From where I was seated I got a good view of them kissing, I even watched as they took a short nap with her head on his shoulder.
As I watched all this happen, I took several pictures on my phone as evidence. Although the pictures were not so great, there was no way he could have denied it was him.
I never knew I had that much self-restraint but somehow, I made it through the flight without going up to them. When we landed, I waited for them to get got off the plane first. I purposely stayed back so that I would not run into them.
Later that day, while sitting at my computer with a glass of wine in one hand, I sent him a text message saying it was over. I attached the pictured from the airplane. Although he tried to call me several times that night, I did not pick his calls. It has been a couple of years now, and I have not spoken to William since then. After all, good riddance to bad rubbish, right?
The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh in the United States has suspended Nigerian priest Cyprian Duru from ministering, after accusation of rape and legal action by a 68 year-old retired English teacher, Kathy Coll.
In addition, he has been banned from presenting himself as a priest or wearing clerical garb.
According to CBS Television, Coll in a legal suit, detailed how Duru stopped by her home in December 2016 on the pretence of giving her a Christmas card and allegedly raped her.
Coll claimed that when she offered him a cold drink, he followed her to her family room, overpowered her and assaulted her as she screamed for him to stop.
Since then, Coll claimed she has been trying to seek healing from the trauma of rape; adding that the shame, anxiety and depression were daunting.
“The hardest part was telling my pastor, who sat and cried with me and then notified the diocese,” Coll recalled.
Last week, she filed a suit against the St. Teresa of Avila Roman Catholic Church, the Pittsburgh diocese, and Bishop David Zubik.
Coll maintained that she was disappointed that District Attorney Stephen Zappala’s office said prosecutors lacked sufficient evidence to pursue charges.
But the retired high school English teacher said her biggest disappointment was learning that a church she continues to love and turned to for help had scant resources for abused women.
“There were visits by the (Pittsburgh) Diocese Trauma Team to my house offering prayer and help to find a therapist. But I found out they really don’t have anything for women who have been abused,” Coll said.
Coll said a therapist the diocese recommended within minutes of meeting her declared that she was depressed, anxious and suffering from PTSD.
“He said, ‘We’ll get you on medication and four or five sessions here, and you’ll be on your way.’ I walked out of there after 20 minutes and never went back,” she said.
Eventually, she found a therapist who helped her marshal her strength.
As she regained her footing in the world, the widowed mother of two adult sons resolved to doing something to help others.
I recently went through Chimamanda’s article on feminism and truth be told, I was convinced that it is an ideology worth practising, howbeit with a few exceptions and disagreements to certain things about it, such as the desire to completely change things as they are, and of course, the name itself which I feel does not do justice to the human race in the larger picture. In my opinion, which I know is shared by many, the rightful term for ‘Feminism’ should be ‘Egalitarianism’ which simply means ‘equality of all races, religions and sexes.’
Many may argue that every good campaign or ideology has a title which invigorates the emotions of the followers, thereby building in them an unflinching and diehard feeling of ‘No Retreat No Surrender Until Our Grievances Are Met.’ But the title ‘Feminism’ as I said earlier is not one that can bring up these feelings in many an Individual, most especially the men, due to the fact that it sounds too feminine and also because to many, it only covers the rights of women and their whims (which is actually not true).
Despite the fact that I know what feminism is all about, it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth whenever the realization of what it has turned out to be in a world already hanging precariously on a line as a result of segregation. Feminism is meant to unite us all, instead of being an object of division and ridicule (It is not uncommon for people to scoff when you mention the word ‘feminism’) and political imbroglio just like other ideologies such as ‘Negritude’, ‘Zionism’ and ‘Nazism’ (I am really sorry for including Nazism due to the world’s history with the dreaded Adolf Hitler because feminism has never been as brutal but I hope you get my point.). This is because what most women call feminism is simply radicalism or a thin line from it. In this part of the world, violence by a woman on a man is usually branded as feminism; a woman neglecting her instinctive duties as a mother is also addressed as feminism or some may say ‘Women Revolution’. You will hear things like ‘After all, men have always been doing it’. But like I always say, ‘Violence is violence, evil is evil no matter the perpetrator.’
Just like negritude, feminism should not be about a particular set of people, it should be about humanity in general and the respect for people’s rights as individuals. Despite the fact that we are likely not going to get a name change to this ideology, I still agree with Chimamanda when she said ‘we should all be feminists’ because truly, the women have been marginalized by various nefarious laws from countless ages ago, and also, the status quo which we all met that automatically places a man ahead of a woman, irrespective of their qualifications. Laws that brand females as weaker vessels were probably once useful in the days when brute strength was needed for survival— that is, in the stone ages. But in this generation, these laws are quite useless because the trait needed for survival is simply smartness, and this trait is not exclusively reserved for any gender. Leadership positions and employment opportunities should be acquired by merit and not by gender, age or race.
All these changes we expect cannot happen in a twinkling of an eye because it is a gradual process and must be practiced systematically. This is because a die hard African man or male chauvinist will surely take an exception to a radical change in the status quo— that is, the belief of male superiority over females. The first step to ensure this idea is bought by the majority is through ‘home training’. Boy should be taught from a tender age that girls are not toys. I know a man (I am not going to mention his name so I will call him Mr X) who has four children: two girls and two boys. The sons of Mr X are allowed to keep girlfriends and do absolutely what ever they like while his daughters are literally imprisoned by him all in the name of protecting them. This experience made me ponder a lot of things ‘Why was this man teaching his sons not to respect girls in the name of training them to be independent young men?’ ‘Who was he protecting his daughters from? Men like his sons?’ ‘Who is protecting the girls being used like hand rags by his sons?’ Sadly, most parents are guilty of this, and that is why we have boys who grow up into ‘wife beaters’ because the idea of superiority over women has been implanted in them.
Girls also should be taught never to be dependent on boys for anything— most especially money— because naturally, the person who pays the bills also calls the shots when it comes to decision making. While many a lady is out there trying to get what they deserve and also trying to implement the doctrine of equality to the world, we still have ladies posting on social media, supporting the idea but still expecting the man to shoulder all the financial burdens in the relationship. This is the highest form of unseriousness— or should I say HYPOCRISY? Therefore, it is the duty of every parent to teach their children respect for every gender by setting a good example for the children to follow.
Another problem facing feminism in Nigeria is called ‘BRIDE PRICE!’ While I agree with the notion that every man should pay a certain amount of money to the bride’s family as a sign of respect and regard for them, and perhaps, our culture. It should not be seen as an opportunity to literally rip the man off. We see a lot a families collecting huge amount of goods and cash from the groom, and this automatically places the woman under his control, and in most cases, she will live the rest of her life trying to always please her man at the expense of her goals in life. How will women be regarded if the practice of literally selling them off continues? It is high time we stopped auctioning our ladies to the highest bidders because a buyer can use his goods the way he wants.
Feminism is surely going to be much more effective in our part of the world if certain things are phased out. These things include: the extra bit of affection awarded to male children over their female siblings; the unnecessary rigours men go through to marry in the name of bride price; and not forgetting, the existing state of affairs which brand it as the responsibility of every man to single-handedly pay the bills in every relationship. In conclusion, everyone should be a feminist.
“I was sad, but no one noticed. All they saw was my forced smile. My accursed dimples were a suitable facade to hide my depression. One forced smile was enough for all to think that all was well with me. But all was never well, I am a wraith who is awaiting final obliteration. I crave the blissful kiss of death, perhaps, I shall find peace in the great beyond.”
The rate at which the young people in Nigeria commit suicide is really alarming. It is quite difficult for one to browse the internet without seeing new cases of suicide. At this point, one may be tempted to blame the tools which these individuals have improvised for this act as the cause of the mass suicide currently trending among the youth, or perhaps, the fact that the ubiquitous nature of suicidal news on all the social and mass media platforms have given certain persons the encouragement they need to kill themselves. But the blame game does nothing.
Recently, I have seen a lot of online campaign that advocate the banning of the insecticide called “SNIPER”. But this is just a perfect — or near perfect example of “Chasing rats when one’s house is on fire.” Placing a ban on sniper will likely trigger another round of suicides because a lot of employees will be without a job, hence, giving them the time to contemplate evil thoughts. If Sniper should be banned by the government, then it is high time they did the same to not only the lagoon, but also, to knives, guns, ropes and every form of harmful chemicals which have served as suicidal weapons. Before the existence of sniper, a lot of people have been committing suicide. At this period of time, people should focus less on the instruments of suicide. Rather, questions like “Why is life becoming so unappealing to people?” “What is the matter?” should be asked.
Answering the any of the questions listed above is as enigmatic as other philosophical questions. There are so many reasons why one may commit suicide, but the most glaring has to be depression. Depression simply means a period of low morale or unhappiness. What makes depression deadly is the fact that it is neither seen as a sickness nor a cause for emergency in Africa. This is either as a result negligence — or the overhyped machoism of the common African man. Sadly, most parents fail to “see through” their children until it is too late. By “see through”, I mean the sudden changes in the behavior of a child; the effect of the parents/guardian words on a child; the kind of company the child keeps, among many others. We may hate to admit it, but the facts do not lie— that is, depression is real, and a lot of people are currently in its vice-like grip.
A typical example of one of such person’s is the late student of English, Akachi. Going through his facebook timeline was not only horrific, but also traumatic. To describe without mincing words, it was like watching a horror movie, one which sucks out the happiness and optimism in any individual, just like the evil “dementors” in JK. Rowlings’ masterpiece “HARRY POTTER”. He cited his personal battle against depression as the chief reason for killing himself. One glaring factor that caused this depression has to be neglect. His updates were always about different people who committed suicide; every post he made was a not-too-subtle hint about his suicidal plans—and these, perhaps, should have served as a clarion call for his loved ones that there was something religiously wrong with this child. When life becomes insipid and unappealing, it should not come as a surprise when an individual decides to take his life because at this point, it becomes poetic — that is, beautiful, too good to be true.
I do not intend justifying suicide. it is a dastardly act which should not be carried out by anyone, no matter the situation. I just wish we humans could be more understanding as regards the plights of others. There are so many people out there that are facing one form of depression or the other, help them to overcome this in any way possible. Remember, it could have been you. This is not a didactic piece, neither do I intend to masquerade as one of the cocky inspirational speakers who proffer panaceas to every problem by prescribing that their clients find their “inner tiger”. There are many Akachis out there, they need love and not words. To those facing depression around the world, chin up, tomorrow will be better.