Monday, 17 September 2012

The Journey... #2.

Luckily for me, the girls called a reunion from school and i was more than happy to go. I shared my ordeal with them because i needed someone to advice me on what to do, but what they all said shocked me. One of them had been chased out of her home because she had been producing female children and no male child. Another told me a story about one of her friends that got married long before we did and what she was going through in the cruel hands of her in-laws after her husband passed away. I don’t get it, how can one labour for years with one’s partner and after it all his family will come and disregard the will and make the wife’s life hell? They seem to forget that they also have female children or sisters who also get married at one point or the other! How can a man disregard his marriage vows to that woman, and act as if its the coolest thing to do? Why is there so much injustice in life where women are concerned? Being a woman in this part of the world means; not having a voice, being irrelevant, being forced into submission, being a baby-making machine,  being a subject to be ruled upon and dictated to, being a work of art to be admired by one and all. No matter how many tribes we have in this country, they all have the same attitude to women- VOICELESS!

I went back home thinking i was one of the luckiest in all the story they’ve shared thusfar, but little did i know the story was about to change. I went into the house, and was stopped short by the sounds of people crying... too many people. I entered the living room slowly and saw Bisi (my husband’s new wife) sobbing uncontrollably, and most of my husband’s family surrounding her. My mother in-law came out from the room having heard the sound of my car, and created a scene. She shouted at me and accused me of killing her son. She even went ahead to call me a witch! None of what she said got to me, i was still trying to process the fact that my husband had gone so soon. What happened? Why did nobody call me? When did it happen? All these questions ran through my head over and over again. Next thing i knew, my mother inlaw was pushing me out of MY house, calling me all sorts of name. She called some of the other members of their household to drag me out of the house, and then it dawned on me that she wouldn’t even let me mourn my husband in the home we shared! They collected my car keys and threw me out of the gate like i was an unwanted pest! Grief consumed me, and i was scared! Stories my friends had just shared with me hours before kept coming to my head, and I feared for myself and my daughter. I wasted no time calling a taxi and went straight to the bank. I closed the account i opened for my daughter, and deposited all the money in my domiciliary account and then i filled a form to transfer all the money together into my account abroad. I was promised the transfer would be done first thing in the morning. I left the bank feeling somewhat better and headed home to my parents to tell them what happened.

My in-laws did not let me say the final goodbye to my husband, nor did they let me attend his burial. I couldn’t stop crying! He may have gone astray in recent years but i loved him.  He was the father of my child! They asked me for the documents of our house, his company, and bank accounts. I gave them all they needed but wasn’t satisfied when i gave them just one chequebook. I then explained to them that we held just one account together and i had no idea if he had other accounts that i didn’t know of. They went to his office and eventually found other cheque books, in which my husband was worth about 20 million naira in all together. They took everything as well as Bisi who bore them male children. They took all 3 cars in our compound and my mother in-law shared it as it pleased her. They never even for once asked after my daughter, they just acted as if she does not exist. As if she wasn’t carrying their blood!

I later found out how my husband died. He was scared that i accepted his wife without any fuss and thought i might have a hidden agenda so he decided to be one step ahead of me. He had gone to hire thugs/assassins that day but those ones had already shot him in the stomach before they realised he wasn’t a cop.  I chose to pretend like i wasn’t interested in why he would go hire thugs, because deep inside me, i already have my answer! I loved my husband through it all, to the very end and will not soil his memory...

This is my story and how i’ve threaded my path. My in-laws claim i led him to his death but all i ever did, was love him as a real woman would! The journey of a woman begins in the womb. That is where my life story was written, and i couldn’t have made any other choice. I am a woman, African and Proud! I’m beautiful, successful, intelligent, and patient. I never made my husband feel lesser than a man, but in the end he was scared of my attributes!

Con amor

The Journey... #1

It’s difficult being an African (especially if u stay in the white man’s land); It’s not easy pursuing success, and it’s hard enough being a woman... If you can’t help with my burden, then please don’t add to it!

...I remember it just like yesterday, and it was years ago before we got married. My fiancĂ© and i were talking about our future and i told him what was next in action for me. I told him that my father had decided i was the one to uphold the legacy of his companies. I was going to manage his various companies as soon as i completed school. My beloved looked at me in horror and said, “Are you sure that is a good idea? I will like to start from the scratch, and will not like people to think u’re the one feeding me...”. That statement should have jolted me awake, but like the fool in love, i stayed asleep.

Any man scared of a woman’s success is not fit to be called a MAN, nor is he for her... The woman of today, has grown in intellect and reasoning. She is educated and knows her rights. The woman today, understands her place in the world and strives to make her values known. Today’s woman is strong, hardworking and is not a liability to any man.

It’s been 8years after that statement was made, married to the same man for 5years and i’m starting to think i made a mistake. As expected, i’m swimming in money and i’ve managed my father’s companies very well. I’ve also started a couple of businesses of my own and they’re all doing well. My husband also has a job, but he doesn’t earn what i earn. I have been very careful not to make him know my true worth, especially now that he’s showing his true colours. We live in a very comfortable and well furnished duplex, and we have 3 cars in the garage (1 being mine). My husband insisted we start a joint account to “strengthen the bond between us”, and being the good wife i agreed. At first, i would divide my profit from the companies in half and put it in this joint account, as well as all the profit from my own businesses. I had to trust my husband, if i wanted the marriage be forever and so turned deaf ears to all voice of reason. I even went ahead and closed all my personal accounts. One day, 3years after we tied the knot, my business was failing and i needed to save it with a huge sum. I asked my husband to co-sign a check for our joint account and he blatantly refused. Telling me i spent too much money on things that didn’t matter, and that i wasn’t touching the account. At first, i thought he was joking but after 2 days of futile effort, i started to suspect something. I went to the bank and requested a statement of the account, and to my amazement i saw that the account was almost empty. He had been making online transfers from our account, into another account. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, i realised i had been the only one making deposits into the account.

How could this have happened to me?
I couldn’t stop thinking back and trying to figure where and how i had gone wrong. All i did was love him unconditionally, all i did was trust him, all i did was have blind faith in him! I felt like dying... My business was failing and i didn’t know what else to do. I developed a nagging headache during that period, and had to be admitted at the hospital. I had a crisis, my bp was high, and my heart rate was not stable. The doctors kept warning me to take it easy, but who could i tell? I would be labelled a fool and i definitely didn’t want to hear that line- I told you so! After several weeks of being hydrated, and hospitalised, i started focusing again! Doctor told me i had had a miscarriage, and my husband was the angel. He was so caring, and sweet, and it actually looked like he felt my pain. At that point however, the miscarriage was not painful, it was the fact that i had ignored all the signs and went ahead to make the mistake that hurt! While growing up, i remember sitting with my friends and saying i would never let a man use me, nor would i cater for a man!. His deceit was the most painful of all; after all i did to make it work, so i decided to confront him over the issue. Each time i tried to bring it up or ask him though, was never the right time. He always gave the excuse of being busy, and never had the time to talk.

Two years have passed and i’ve gotten over it. I borrowed some money from my sister, with the promise to pay her back with a 20% interest, and i saved my business. I opened a domiciliary account, and created another account for my daughter. I bought a house, invested a lot for my daughter’s future, and i decided not to make him suspect a thing. I kept paying peanuts into our account every other month and i told him business was bad.
We celebrated our anniversary a few days ago and he was the man i fell in love with again, sweet and charming! Two days after, his family marched to our house, led by his mother.  They went on and on about how God had a reason for everything, and how their son had behaved badly but the mistake had already been done. Danger bells rang in my ear, but i never made a sound. They told me my husband had taken a second wife and she had just been delivered of her second son. My mother in law told me it wasn’t easy for HIM to shuffle between houses, and so i should learn to live with the woman in peace. She then went ahead to say that if i couldn’t, then i should leave her son’s house. The house i paid the bills? I looked at my husband, and he was just sitting there, silent like he had no words to say. Two sons my head kept ringing, and i plastered a bright smile on my face while imagining the worst deaths possible for the stranger i’ve called husband for the past 5years. I thanked his family for coming and assured my mother in law that i was good with the arrangement. I then went into the kitchen to make lunch for them, and yes! I was tempted to end their miseries that day but i wasn’t that sort of girl.

Con amor