The Trials of Fatimah- the struggles of an orobo Part 6

Sorry, I had to pause the story for a while. Some wise guy was posting my story on his blog under the title “The fat diaries of kike’ (not a bad title). So I patiently put it on hold so and I cheerfully waited to see what he would post next. His readers were on his case anxiously awaiting the next episode. I kept commenting asking for the next episode on every single article he posted (I think i have a slightly sadistic side. hehehe). Anyways, I am bored with that now, so i am going to continue. I realise it is hard to control content on the web, so i am not going to make a big deal about it………..yet) Meanwhile 99th Posts. HUrrraaayyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!! Continue reading

Continuing the circle of domestic violence

A friend of mine contacted me last week asking for information as how to obtain a divorce in Nigeria. I have not practiced in over 2 years but I dealt with a lot of divorce matters in my time. I was able to tell her what she needed and directed her to a lawyer. I was very curious but I knew I couldn’t ask. This young lady got married last year and just had a kid five weeks ago, so I was praying it was not for her. I forgot about it until yesterday when she contacted me again asking for more details, specifically grounds for divorce. At this point, I had to ask if she was ok. She replied that she was not. She then went into the sad but familiar story of domestic violence. Her husband had been using her as a punching bag for months now and she had endured it, according to her, for the sake of the pregnancy (which made little sense to me, because her being pregnant even puts her at more risk, but to each his own). She said one month after her caesarean, he beat her up again in the presence of his mother and she knew she could not deal with it any longer.

I asked her where she was and she said she was at her aunt’s home with the baby. Bewildered, I enquired why she was not with her parents and this was her response (I have her permission to quote her verbatim. I removed all my questions to her for easy reading) Continue reading

The Childless Nigerian Wife

I came across this post from my one of my favourite bloggers and friend Ilsa Aida and it inspired me to write this. Here are a few excerpts

That beautiful day arrives. You dance, you are excited, you feel beautiful, finally you have been joined at the hip with the man of your dreams (or so you think)

Days pass, months crystallize into years and they begin to look at you. Your spouse begins to look at you because you have not uttered the words ‘I am pregnant’ Both families begin to give advice about how to get pregnant, you struggle with what to do while trying to stand firm on your beliefs.

When all you really want to do is run, run and stay on a bed forever.

Now and again, you are reminded that you are barren and little by little even your spouse begins to discount you as a human being. You are strong, so you must be strong.

Then in a moment of clarity in between your depression, you wonder where the ‘better for worse’ is.

You wonder if you have ever been really loved, you wonder if all the ceremony was for show. Truth is, you were married to provide a warm body and birth heirs to brag about.

Your sense of identity is lost because in your refusal to provide a child, you are not relevant in the scheme of things and everything you do is constantly weighed against the fact that you have not borne a child.

for more, visit http://ilsa-aida.blogspot.com/

Now, I have a lot of amazing friends who would make amazing wives but for some reason, are yet to settle down. Then there are those amazing friends who have settled down and would make amazing mothers but they are not yet blessed with the fruit of the womb. I see them running from pillar to post, from one fertility clinic to another and my heart breaks for them. I find myself questioning God (I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help it) why children are born into abusive poverty-stricken home with only a bleak future awaiting them and not in loving home so desperate for them.

Honestly, I cannot imagine what these women go through. They have to put a brave face to the world while their heart aches. They have to smile and rejoice as their friends and others who married years after them give birth. They turn to God in fervent prayers, wishing with all their heart and soul that they don’t see their period the next month. And when the period comes, the depression sets in month after month after month. The pressure that the husband faces to be strong for the two of them, to comfort her, placate her and make her feel secure. There are many Nigerian men who stand with their wives in this trying times, but there are so many more who crack. They question the wife’s history and assume promiscuity , they put her down, they kill her spirit and sometimes (if they are not the one with the problem) they get another girl pregnant.

The level of wickedness that a childless Nigerian woman sometimes faces from her own fellow woman is unbelievable. Even those with wonderful mother in-laws begin to feel the brunt when years pass without a child. They begin to ask questions. Some want to find out if there is something spiritually wrong. Others get downright hostile. In gatherings, women constantly talk about the achievement of their kids in the midst of the childless one. I am not saying that you are not allowed to celebrate or be proud of your kid simply because someone else is yet to have, but a lot of tact is required in such circumstances.

I know a lot of my readers would probably be wondering ‘What is the big deal? Adopt already!! Use a surrogate or something’. These are excellent choices but Nigeria is still a long way from this. Thankfully IVF is catching on and more couples are going for it. However, it is very expensive and sometimes it does not work, discouraging a lot of people from trying. There are a lot of abandoned kids just looking for a home but the average woman wants to carry and birth her kid. And who can blame her?

I say a long deep prayer to all the ladies looking for a child. It is not easy to be patient and no one would ever understand how hard it is. All one can do is empathize. Please be brave ladies. God is not asleep and he will work, but don’t sit on your hands waiting. Get proactive, get fit and visit the fertility clinics. Baby dust to the childless Nigerian wife.

Open Letter to Aida Zoe

So my little BeeBee is 2 weeks and 4 days now (Feels way longer) It has been an interesting learning experience. Good news! I am 10kg down already. Hurray (No, I am not exercising or dieting or deliberately trying to lose weight yet. I am vain but I am not that vain). I am eating well so the baby eats well. So imagine when I start putting in some real efforts. (I have 7kg of pre pregnancy weight and 10 kg of pre Bahrain weight to lose in 2014). I gat time.

I am really so blessed. Sure, this has been a very frustrating period and I have thought of ingenious ways of killing my husband, hiding the body in the desert somewhere and collecting his life insurance (If he has one). Let’s just blame hormones. But my little one is perfect. She is so active and loves to play with her hands. She hates being swaddled and has the most adorable sleeping position. She doesn’t cry at all. She fusses when she wants to be changed or fed and just stay calm afterwards. She takes her baths, injections and massages without a whimper. My mum says I was like that (I doubt it). Everyone says she looks like me now. I can’t really tell, but if she does, I must be STUNNING.

Musing done. I came across this amazing poem on the blog of a good friend of mine. It really got to me. It is something I and I am sure billions of women around the world can relate to. You can check out her blog “Through my eyes” at http://ilsa-aida.blogspot.com The poem was aptly titled “I am waiting for you” but since it is the season for open letters in Nigeria, I am going to title it here “Open letter to Aida Zoe’. Enjoy. Hold a hankie. Continue reading

The Trials of Fatimah- the struggles of an orobo Part 3

Sorry, it has been so long since the last Fatimah update.

Excerpts from last post
“You are very pretty, Fatimah’
“No, I am not” Darn it. Me and my big mouth. A boy calls me pretty and I go ahead and deny it. Genius me, but thankfully he goes on
“Nah you are pretty. In a chubby way. And I like Chubby. Want to have lunch here tomorrow, same time?

At this point, I was speechless. He called me chubby. Not fat, not orobo, but chubby. I think I am in love. I nod my acceptance and he smiled again, shook my hand and left.

I have a date. Me! Fatimah Yusuf has a date. I am finally part of the rush. Woohooo!!!! I need another plate of rice. I cannot contain my excitement! Tomorrow is so far away.

    AND NOW
    June 28 2005

‘That’s not a date’
“of course it is.’
No, it is not. He said “want to have lunch tomorrow”. that doesn’t make it a date jo’

That’s Ngozi. Trying to ruin my one good moment. I had told my room mates about my date when I got back to the dorm. While Stella was excited for me (Stella is an amazing roomie, even though she did pour my miracle weight loss formula away); Bose was indifferent.(I can’t blame her. She had a lot of boys on her case. I personally think it is only because of her “assets” because I found her rather plain looking…..or maybe its my beef talking), but Ngozi took it quite personal. She decided to analyze the circumstances and the words spoken to decipher if it was truly a date. According to her, the tone did not indicate a romantic overture, the school café is the most inappropriate place for a date as it was too public and the third unspoken reason(in my head at least was that she felt that I was too fat for anyone to want to go on a date with) I was getting mad, as she kept pushing but I knew I had the perfect come back

‘So when Oke invited you for the weekend and you didn’t let us hear word about the date, but it turns out that two of his friends and their girlfriends were also there. Then, according to your analogy, it was not a date either since it was not romantic enough as four other people were there abi. Didn’t the boys share one room and the girls shared another?’

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I told the truth about my brother’s bride and everybody hates me

Yes, I have been away for a while and I sincerely apologize………again… for my absence. (This has to be my third apology, right?) I am beginning to sound like a broken record. No excuses. Been trying to get a grip of myself for a while now. I think I have succeeded….maybe…. who knows? Time will tell. At least I am blogging again, so Hurray me! Thanks for all the mails and stories sent in over the last couple of months and all the updates on the stories I have earlier blogged about. I Would dedicate this month to answering the mails and updating the readers. To those who sent mails asking me to help them with visas…….hehehehehehehehehehehe………….no comment.

Musing done. I got this mail last month and a reminder two weeks ago. I will not lie. I was not exactly sure how to react to it or whether I can entirely fault the sender. Sometimes when a loved one is involved in an issue, common sense doesn’t become so common, This is Kelvin’s mail.

“Hi Hera. I am in a mess right now o! Please analyze this for me, not as a girl, but as if you were directly in my shoes. I am in my 30s and I am based in Calabar, graduated from xxx. In April, my younger brother told me he was getting married. Of course I am very happy for him. Although, I never met the girl in person, I saw her picture all the time on his DP of his Blackberry. Now she looked eerily familiar, but I just assumed that it was as a result of seeing her all the time on his BBM. Her name is Evelyn. The wedding was in September. I invited all my old school friends for the wedding. You know, awon big Fagi things. Everything was going smoothly. I noticed my friends snickering and exchanging knowing looks during the reception ceremony. I ignored it for a long time because I was busy. Towards the end, I called aside my best friend to ask him what they were saying, thinking the others had been saying nasty things about the food or the hall or something relating to the ceremony. He was extremely uncomfortable and very reluctant to talk to me. Eventually, he told me that the guys were laughing because my brother married ‘Ever ready’.
Hera, it was then I knew why the girl was so familiar to me. I didn’t know her name, but everyone in our clique knew her then as ‘ever ready’, a very promiscuous club girl from the university days. She drank and smoked weed back then. She was basically the school whore and had slept with at least three of my friends. Luckily, I never did anything with her. There was a gist in school that she had done so much abortions that she didn’t bother to use any protection with the guys she slept with, because she could not get pregnant. I don’t know how much of that was true, but there was no party organized by students that ‘Ever ready’ and her crew didn’t show up……………and now she was my brother’s wife!! My innocent goody two shoes brother? I was so livid. So incredibly angry. My friend tried to calm me down, not to cause a scene that they are already married and I should not do anything. But What would you do in my shoes?

That evening, my brother and his new wife came to the house to pray with my parents before heading to the hotel they had booked. I called him aside and told him that he has not found a wife. That all this ceremony that he has done was a waste and I would not let him ruin his life with a woman who would probably give him Aids and never have kids. Maybe I didn’t present the situation well for him, but the next thing I knew my baby brother gave me a very heavy blow. I was shocked and angry and I rushed him. That’s how we started exchanging blows. Of course everyone came to separate us asking what happened. My brother stormed out with his wife. As they were leaving, I screamed ‘Ever ready. You think you can hide abi?” The look of shock, panic and terror on her face as she whirled to look at me was deeply satisfying and convinced me that I was not being paranoid. I then had a private discussion with our parents and the other siblings and told them what I knew. Hera, you won’t believe. They were all angry with ME. Telling me I acted immaturely and I shouldn’t have said anything. My sisters were livid with me. In fact, my father told me not to come to church for the thanksgiving the next day till they sort things out.

Long and short, I am now the bad guy, the black sheep and I feel it is really unfair. What kind of brother will I be if I keep quiet? If anything goes wrong and he catches a disease or they are unable to conceive, is it not the same people that would ask me why I kept quiet since. This is my brother, not some random stranger. Why should he be stuck with this kind of girl? I am sure she kept her filthy past away from him. Why is everyone alienating me and NOT her? Please if you think I did wrong, what should I have done differently?

UPDATE- No one is talking to me o, even my mother. I don’t know what is going on in the house. I call my people and they are all cold to me. I know that they haven’t told other family members because I still relate with everyone normally. I don’t know what is going on with my brother. The only time I called him, he said I should pretend he does not exist for now. That I ruined his life. When I began to argue that I was not the one that ruined his life and that he should not blame the messenger, he hung up on me. I feel so victimized.

Kelvin

This is a very complicated matter for me. My first response was to reprimand you for saying anything at all, YET I understand why you did. It is your brother after all. That being said, you handled it very badly. It is easy for me to sit here and tell you what you should have done instead. Very easy….but I am trying to put myself in your shoes, trying to understand your emotions at the time, the embarrassment you felt that your friends were discussing your brother’s wife, the anger you felt knowing her past. But he who is without sin…………. Personally, I feel the best way to have handled it is to call the girl aside, tell her you know who she is and hope she has changed her ways. Sure, this could backfire. She now knows you know. She could pretend then to listen to you and them systematically drive a wedge between you and your brother, so that anything you ever say about her would not be believed. (I watch too many Nigerian movies).

Please anyone who has a better advise for this young man should please comment. thank you.

The ‘me and my husband’ syndrome

So this week, my husband and I went on a voyage of sorts. Eight game stores, five malls and four hours later, we finally found the games we were searching for. He was on the hunt for Fight Night 4. I was on the hunt for any WWE game. I finally found WW 12 on sale. While I am yet to enjoy it as I enjoyed the earlier Smackdown vs Raw versions that I grew up with (Plus disappointed that there are very few female wrestlers (divas), I was super excited to finally get it. As I settled in to play on a beautiful sunday morning, I noticed that I had a message on my BB. My first instinct was to ignore it, but then I felt it vibrate (I have been pinged). This is how the conversation went between Sarah (not real name) and I.

Sarah- Aisha are you there?

Me- Yes. How far?

Sarah- I am so angry right now

Me (drops game pad) What happened?

Sarah- My husband is pissing me off bad

Me- (smiles) Kpele. Don’t mind him. Men were born to piss us off. Just take it easy

Sarah- Can he imagine? His mother is coming to visit.

Me- ehhhhh……………okkkkk

Me– Sorry, coming to visit or coming to live with you guys?

Sarah– Coming to visit and stay for a while of course. Come and live with us ke? Is she mad?

Me– Babes. That’s your husband’s mother. The mad bit is not cool. Do you guys have bad blood or something? How long is she coming to stay for?

Sarah- Does it matter how long? Why would she come and stay with us at all?

Me- Because she is his mother?

Sarah- And so? I am his wife!!

Me (now I am starting to lose my patience) Babes, are you comparing yourself to his mother? Stop that o. Your husband’s mother is not someone you want to offend o. You have been married for only two years. I don’t care if she is the devil incarnate. You have to tread softly because she is still his mother.

Sarah- Well, my mother doesn’t come and stay with us. Why should his??

Me- Babes. Your mother came to stay with you when you put to bed.

Sarah- that’s different

Me- (patience exhausted) Babe…..Ok What has your mother in law done? Just tell me the worst thing. You don’t have to go into all the details.
Sarah- She hasn’t done anything per se. You know me. You know I no dey take nonsense. It’s just that she is always so cold to me, she is always calling her son everyday. I would tell him to do something. He would ask his mother and she would suggest something else and he would do that. They are too close for my comfort and it is irritating me. Secrets he should share with me first, he would go and tell his mother first….

Me- So he is a mama boy?

Sarah- not really, but he puts her first before me.

Me- I don’t think so. Like my husband says. Mother and wife has different places in a man’s life and only a stupid man would allow a situation where they would clash. First of all, na she born am, na she raise am. If she hadn’t made him the man he is today, you won’t have married him. Unless she is doing some Patience Ozokwor things, I think you should chill out.

Sarah- Really, you are not helping me. I thought you were a blogger and can give advice

Me- Sorry. No vex. Not a certified advise giver. what exactly do you want to hear? Keep fighting your husband until he says his mother is not coming again??? Babe, don’t ruin your young marriage na.

Sarah- so what am I supposed to do?

Me- Same thing your husband did when your mother came over. Smile, grind your teeth and be the sweetest that you can be. Be charming and hospitable and all that jazz.

Sarah- You mean do ‘eye service’

Me- EXACTLY

Sarah- why????

Me- BECAUSE NA IM MAMA

Sarah- If I okay his mother coming, then the next thing, his aunty would come. then all his sisters and his brothers……..
Me- Babe, you no get case. We are Nigerians. We value extended family. We may not always like it or them, but the fact remains you gats treat your husband’s people well.

Sarah- so I should turn a fool for them

Me- Who said anything about you turning a fool for anyone? I am not saying you should allow anyone disrespect you in your matrimonial home, but when it comes to his mother, nothing wrong in playing the fool for a bit, as long as she doesn’t abuse it. You have said she is only cold towards you. Who knows? She may change whatever opinions she has about you. You make his mother your biggest fan and you would have a great marriage.

Sarah- I have heard you.
Me- Cool. Can I blog about it?

Sarah- Whatever.

Me- You dey vex for me?

Sarah- Not really

Me- I will take that as a No. So I blog?

Sarah- yeah yeah

Me- Cool. Now relax and be a good daughter in law (continues my Dolph Ziggler versus Randy Orton match. I am yet to figure the ‘how to break a submission hold’ control)
me and my husband
A lot of women like to have their husbands to themselves. They want to become the most important person in their lives. Some even use the bible passage of a man leaving his parents and clinging on to his wife to buttress their point. The fact is that he had a life before you, a mother, a father, siblings, relations, friends. He should not have to choose, same way you would hate it if you are made to choose between your family and your husband. I believe that they operate on different levels and shouldn’t clash in any way. Sure your immediate family is paramount, but your extended is equally important especially in a society as ours. You cannot practice ‘Me and my husband” Alienating your husband’s people is one of the greatest mistake any wife can make.

That’s my two cents on the matter. Drop a line. Do you agree that she is suffering from ‘me and my husband’ syndrome or is she being rightly precautious?

My Judgmental Friend ruined one of the best Moments of my Life

Hello everyone. So the The dogs of Al Burhama are back again and even more organized. As I was preparing breakfast for my boss, I noticed another boss(dog) accompanied by two other smaller dogs. They were racing towards something, barking ferociously. Their target turned out to be two other dogs behind a net fence. Obviously the dogs could not get at each other and just kept on barking. For some reason ‘Westside Story’ came to mind. These dogs are the rival gangs and there are probably some poodles on both sides, in a doomed love affair. I strained to see if there were any dogs brooding close by, not involved in the confrontation. I couldn’t see any.(Perhaps this is just Scene one). Will keep an eye out for Scene two. (the height of joblessness)

crazy dogs

Rambling done. I received a mail two days ago. It was an online conversation between two girls that used to be close friends in school.

(Conversation is as is, except for the name changes and the removal of smileys)
Grace- I just had a baby!
Helen-Congrats!!!!
Helen- Wait! What??
Grace- lol
Helen- Babe, you didn’t even invite me to the wedding.
Helen- Hello???
Grace- Babes, I am not married
Helen- Excuse me????
Grace- It is complicated
Helen- What nonsense is this? Were you raped? If na play, stop am
Grace- Nonsense. Are you calling my baby nonsense. Rape? God forbid!
Helen- This is absolutely nonsense. You are telling me that you have a baby and you are not married. What is wrong with you? You that used to be a senior member in fellowship back in school. You that used to stand on the podium and preach to the girls to abstain from sex. You can now open your mouth to not only tell me that you are having sex while not married but that you have a baby too. I am bitterly disappointed in you.
Grace- What is all this na? As my close friend, I expect you to be supportive at least. I don’t need this condemnation from you. What are you ruining the moment?
Helen- You are a single mother. You want me to support that? Babe, we only became friends because we had similar principles about life, sex and marriage. You started all this. You didn’t tell me at all for 9 months and you expect support.
Grace- This is why I didn’t tell you. You are so judgmental
Helen You for no bother tell me at all ooo! Don’t you feel shame??
Grace- What? Go to hell jare!!! Good bye

Grace sent in this conversation with a single message. Why are people so judgmental??.

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Girls are Hyenas. No such thing as a Girl Code

Hello everyone. Happy Sunday. Now a bit of good news before I delve into the issue of today. Read yesterday on Yahoo that a man who started an exercise regime, developed an illness called Rhabdomyolysis (the ‘R’ is silent….I think). His muscle fibers deteriorated to the point that his urine turned to Coca-Cola (his words, not mine). I am totally going to ignore the fact that this was P90X Insanity, which as the name implies, is arguably the toughest regiment out there, and the guy who had not exercised in years jumped into the rigorous program that his body obviously wasn’t ready for. I am going to ignore all that and say ‘EXERCISES MAKE YOU SICK’

Husband- Are you not working out today?

Me- What? Are you kidding? Don’t you know that doing exercise now gives you Rhabdomyolysis? eh hen!!! That’s your plan abi. You want me to fall sick and die so that you can marry another wife (breaks down crying)

Husband (confused)- huh?

Ok, the above scenario has not happened yet, but I intend to use it in the nearest future

Rambling done. So a few days ago, I posted a mail sent in by one of my readers. There was a comment made by a friend of Mine, Tokunbo that inspired this present post. You can read that story and the comments here, but the short version is that she mentioned that one of the parties messed with the girl code by sleeping with her friends’ ex and I was like “There is a girl code????””

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I need to tell my Best friend that I slept with her fiance. She deserves to Know.

Hello everyone, happy new month. It is a beautiful day. I had a zombie nightmare last night. Luckily for me, I had a gun that actually worked. I fired the gun and blew up the zombie’s head (hurray). However, in typical nightmarish style, the Zombie didn’t die and kept coming. I remember thinking “*&^% this. That’s cheating”. Then I woke up and I smiled. Usually you wake up from Nightmares when you are about to die. I woke up because my rational head interfered with dream world. So I win.

Aha, that’s enough rambling for today. I got a mail from a Ghanaian. Usually, most of my mails come from Nigeria, but now I got one from Ghana. Pretty cool right? Kawula(hello). Thanks for reading. Thanks for sharing your story. I will be brutally honest with you, but I am glad you wrote to me (In other news, we kicked your butt during the Nations Cup, ha ha ha). Ok. Serious. Here is Louisa’s story.

Hello Hera,

Hello. I hope you can help me with my dilemma. I know a lot of people are likely to judge me, but as they judge, I hope that they can give me real solid advice as well because I really can’t tell anyone else.

I have a good friend. For the purpose of this write-up, I changed our names and our schools. I am sure you understand. Nana and I have been very good friends for 7 years. Nana is very pretty and gets all the attention. I am quite dark and ordinary looking. I have spent a good part of my life in Nana’s shadow, but that has never really bothered me. Nana is a nice girl. Yeah, she did a lot of things that hurt my feelings and have taken away the attentions of guys that I admired, but I know she never did any of that intentionally. She is not that type. I guess it is just one of the things that comes with having a very hot friend.

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