Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Our Union

Restless is the way I feel as I walk round the big house, thinking. Worry has caused a big crease on my forehead, making me look much older than I am....

How do I explain to my in-laws , my family that my husband is dead? How do I tell them he died in the arms of his lover and that the said lover had just summoned me to court.

My name is Amara obviously from the eastern part of Nigeria, and I married a man from a different tribe- Olu. We met when I went to get my MSc degree in South Africa. Olu had been living there for awhile training to be a pilot. The night we met was one like most nights, at the club a stone throw from campus. He was charming, funny and he wooed me almost instantly. We had already dated for 2 years before the difference in our tribes started to trouble us. We wanted to be together so badly, and started to plan our wedding. We visited both his parents and mine in Nigeria, and introductions were done. My family accepted his totally, but I was unlucky with his family. His mother already had a Yoruba girl that she wanted Olu to marry, and saw me as the stumbling block.

Olu and I eventually got married after series of argument, and troubles. We settled in South Africa since we both got well paying jobs in the country. The fact that Olu's mother loathed the sight of me, made me eagerly accept to move permanently to South Africa.

Seven years down the line, I had become more of a career woman and mother than a wife. Olu started having an affair just 3 weeks after we said our vows and he didn't even hide it. He did not hide the different girls warming his bed. In the bid to have a peaceful home, my husband took my gentleness for granted. My two girls hardly know their father. A few months ago, Olu confessed his lover was carrying his child- his son, he had called it. To say I was furious is an understatement and to top it up, I had absolutely no one to talk to. My parents were no longer interested in the affairs of my life, and his family weren't my biggest fans. According to his cousin, Olu had already taken the South African born Yoruba girl home to his family and she was given a grander welcome than I was. They had even gone ahead and done a traditional marriage.  Olu and I started having heated arguments about her, until he opted to leave and move in with her.

Today, I got the news that my husband died a week ago (less than 2 months after he left me), and his lover is suing me for child support for a baby she hasn't even delivered yet. I am still Olu's legal wife both in Nigeria and South Africa and I have been his next of kin long before we got married. It's obviously time to go back to Nigeria with my girls but how do I face his family?

Wednesday, 23 December 2015


You know how it feels when you meet a guy suddenly after suffering a massive heart break, and that guy seems to be exactly what you needed? The life saver that would rescue you from self destruction? The one that suddenly happens to be the only one that makes you believe in yourself and the world? That's how I felt a few years ago. Kola was my dream man, actually he is every woman's dream.

We met through a mutual friend of ours and everything picked up on its own. We got swept up in the attention, sweet talks, laughters and surprises we gave each other. We talked at length, and got to knew each other fairly well. It was like Allah had finally heard my plea and decided it was time to make me happy. Kola and I had the same religious beliefs- Islam, and we were both from the Yoruba tribe. To crown it all, we had a matching state of origin. This convinced me beyond any reasonable doubt that we were meant to be together. When we talk, it was filled with intelligence, knowledge, and understanding. We made jokes and shared stories. It was the best month of my life getting to know one another. I started to understand Kola a bit better and did everything to make him happy. As far as I was concerned, I was in love with Kolapo and he loved me too, hopelessly. I called him every night, and we sent each other text messages all day- everyday. We talked about our families and how they would take the news of us getting married. We picked baby names and decided possible places to live. All was perfect, except "we had to keep us a secret"...

By the second month, Kola and I had settled into a comfortable rhythm. I felt like he loved me wholeheartedly, so I never questioned his reason for wanting us to remain a secret. He started asking to see me, he wanted to spend quality time with me alone. He wanted us to be together. Initially, I eagerly agreed and we planned to meet at his friend's apartment the next weekend. A couple of days of thinking and anticipating however, changed my mind and I called him to change venue to a cinema. He told me he was unhappy with the development but would accept it.

It's not like I suspected any ulterior motives on his part oo, but I was born into a very religious family and I have grown to be a very religious young lady. It's bad enough that I had to court a man in secret (which is apparently a sin), but it's even worse that I am willing to go out on a date with him without any chaperone. This is what scared me enough to change our plans. We saw a movie and it was fun. Kolapo never missed an opportunity to touch me; initially it was subtle but by the end of the day it had gotten bolder. I wasn't entirely comfortable with his touches, but I loved him and should tolerate it right?

The third month passed, and I talked to Kolapo again about meeting his siblings at least. I had told my brother about him and he was eager to meet the guy I had fallen in love with. Kolapo gave me excuses again as to why he felt it best to hide our relationship until our wedding, and I let it go again. After six beautiful months of having the perfect relationship, Kolapo was finally able to coerce me into having sexual intercourse with him. He assured me right after that it wouldn't matter much as we would soon get married anyway. That day, he also promised to take me home to meet his family the next week. He told me how happy his family would be to see me with him. I daydreamed and imagined all sort of scenarios with his family- my husband's family, and I was tremendously happy.

By the second week (after a second go in my pants), Kolapo suddenly stopped picking my calls. He stopped replying my text messages, and all my effort to contact him went futile. That I was heartbroken is an understatement. At first I was worried, then I was scared, later I got angry, and then frustrated, before resigning to fate.

I found out I was pregnant the day I got his email (about 2 months after he went MIA). He told me how sorry he was that things couldn't work out between us. He also took the liberty to tell me he was getting married that morning and would love my forgiveness before the new chapter in his life began. Yes! I was angry all over again as you can imagine, but I did not fall apart. I told my family about him and my pregnancy. They took it bad. My brother took every turn to remind me how stupid I was, my mother reminded me always that I had embarrassed her amongst friends and religious peers, my father as good as disowned me the minute he heard I was breeding a 'bastard'. Life got hard, and I spent every second of the day seeking Allah's forgiveness.

I'm not sure if I've been forgiven as my parents refuse to forget, but I got a good job with a private company, I raise my 5year old son alone, and I have started all over again in a different environment. I was beginning to have a new shot at happiness until I opened my door on a peaceful Sunday afternoon to Kolapo's tear-stained face staring back at me pleading...