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!