Society thinks she has to endure, even unto death.
I did not want to start this year whinning about Violence Against Women (VAW) but I’m so annoyed right now.
Between yesterday and today, I’ve read two stories from wives who were almost battered to death by their husbands respectively. My heart bleeds. My heart bleeds that a human being would want to hurt another who is obviously not as strong as he is and for what reason?
Both women have been enduring these violence for many years, both have kids with these so called husbands. Which is probably why they stayed on, hoping that they would change, but instead they get worse. Worse to the point that one locked his wife up in a room for two days after beating her to stupor, so that she cannot get outside help. He confiscated her phone too. I’m so spitting mad, Kai!
Now, when both issues came up for discussion, women, WOMEN for goodness sakes, were encouraging these ladies to pray and endure! Duhh. One suggested we hear from both sides before we can judge. What is there to judge abeg? Who is even talking of judging right now? What could a man who intentionally set out to murder his wife tell us? He did not stop at hitting her with matchetes and sticks but had to isolate her to await her death. What could possibly justify that behaviour?
These women have been married for like ten years each, four and three kids respectively. The battering did not start last week or last month. It has been going on for as long as they were in that marriage. Why stay? For the sake of your kids? For fear that society will see you as a failure or a wayward woman? Or because you have no family to run to? One of these ladies said that the first time she ran to her father’s house with her kids, that her dad sent her back on the grounds that he has received bride price and drank wine on her head. Therefore he cannot harbour them. What is that?
Maybe I’m feeling this way because I am single. Maybe I have no right to advice anyone on this issue, but I’m gonna say my mind anyway.
- PLEASE ladies, this is your life, it has no duplicate and you have the power, in fact, you are mandated by God to protect it. I do not think God will shake your hands if you die at the hands of a husband. Protect your life!
- Seek outside help from reputable Non Governmental Organisations, from the judiciary and from the law enforcement agencies if you are a victim, before it is too late .
- It is best to get yourself empowered no matter how little so that if push gets to shove, you can pick up your life and sojourn on your own.
- There is no worthwhile reason to stay on in an abusive relationship because if you die, people will find some other topic to gossip about. They will pity you at death and what use is that? Besides, if you die or become vegetable, what do you think will happen to your children?
- As for those on lookers that believe the victims should stay on in the marriage just because it is supposed to be for better for worse contract, I salute una! While you encourage her to endure and pray, be a little more realistic. That man is not going to change. He will make promises, he will beg and plead, he is still same inside.
Sisters please take control of your lives and your children. If we do not take care of ourselves, who will? NOBODY!
STAND UP AGAINST
For more on one of the cases, visit
The country is hard, there are no good jobs to be found and as for getting capital to start up a business, it is easier for the camel to pass through a needle, except of course you have godfather or God intervenes. That is the reality, yea I know that, we know that.
Yet people triumph over these, they find a way around it and survive, some even excel. I recently had a deep interaction with a very young, dynamic, and hardworking lady whom I see almost every day but did not know the burden she is carrying. Her situation and the way she has been managing it make me admire her wit, patience, courage and doggedness.
Frances got married at a tender age. Charles her husband came, handsome, tall, intelligent, educated and managing okay as a contractor and swept her off her young, innocent feet. Despite the warnings and subsequent refusal of her family, Frances went against their will and married Charles. Therefore, they abandoned her to her fate.
Before long, the babies started coming, one two, three children in six years and with their advent came the exodus of Charles income and contracts. Guess what happened next. No, no, you got it wrong. Handsome Charles began to relegate his duties to the wife, after all, he was not getting contracts, who would blame him, economy is bad.
Frances does not possess any degree certificate, (though she has enrolled in a part time programme in the higher institution) therefore, getting a good job was even more difficult for her. So, to eke out a livelihood, Frances began doing petty businesses in front of our office complex and that was how she and I became friends. She sells corporate wears, food, recharge cards, anything she can lay her hands on.
This lady is so beautiful and young that at first, I did not know she was married not to talk of having three children. In time, circumstances brought us closer and I came to learn what a great gem she is.
Every term, she must make sure she pays up every fee for the three boys before they would be thrown out of the school. People seeing how she struggles to pay the exorbitant fees advised her to enroll them into a cheaper school. She refused because she is determined to give her boys a better chance at life than she herself got. She buys every item of clothing that these boys need, except she wants them tattered and naked. When they fall ill or get injured, it is her that takes care of their hospital bills.
Recently, she herself became very ill but could not allow herself the luxury of rest as the doctors suggested. She collapsed a number of times in her quest to make ends meet not minding the illness.
Before Frances goes out every morning, she makes sure she drops enough money for feeding for the day, not just for the kids, but also for her husband. Failure to do so means exposing her children to hunger.
Now, the landlord is on their neck to pay up their long overdue rent, Frances runs up and down looking for way to pay up before they are thrown out of the apartment. After much thought, she decided to approach schools to see if they will allow her sell food inside the school premises since she cooks very well. Fortunately, the first school she approached has allowed her to start during the weekends for the part time students which she did for the first time the previous weekend. In time, we hope she will be able to pay the rent and take proper care of herself and her family.
Are you asking same questions I asked? Where is Charles in all of these? What does he do to assist the wife despite the poor economic situation we all found ourselves in? Your guess is as good as mine.
This week, a new baby is being delivered on this blog as another category. Her name will be ‘from the horse’s mouth’. It will be featuring mostly interview of women and youth in various capacities, struggling, winning or even giving up. We want to hear their stories from them first hand.
Today, I present you the first episode of this interview session.
Our first honourable guest is alluring, young, intelligent, and independent, a go getter, a wife, a mother and a sister. Let us meet her people so you can judge for yourselves.
Alluring n Young: Welcome to our blog Barrister Ifunanya. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Ifunanya: Thanks for granting me this interview Eby. My name is Anona Ifunanya, an adult, a Nigerian, a lawyer by profession with interest also in fashion and styling.
Alluring n Young: No change of name after marriage?
Ifunanya: No change of name dear. Names are just letters.
Alluring n Young: I see. What is your general outlook on life?
Ifunanya: I see life as a market place, we come, do our buying and selling and retire home at nightfall to give account of what the day was like at the market place and we are all accountable for whatever we do in life.
Alluring n Young: Spoken as a Lawyer that you are. As a female lawyer, have you experienced any challenges because of your gender in that discipline?
Ifunanya: No challenges really when it comes to being a female lawyer. I believe that once you know your onion in the field, you will go far. Though the breach between the senior and younger lawyers is a major challenge but we will try to keep our heads above waters.
Alluring n Young: What about intimidation or not recognizing your capabilities because you are a woman?
Ifunanya: Intimidation for a female lawyer is always there but we have our way around it trust me. That is why I love the Jonathan administration; he saw the best in women and gave us chances. Lol.
Alluring n Young: Now you are campaigning for President Jonathan o. Do you have your Permanent Voters Card already?
Ifunanya: Unfortunately no. I registered in Anambra and have not been able to travel that distance to get it.
Alluring n Young: That is understandable. Now that brings us to the next question. You are still very young and a mother already, any peculiar challenges/experiences there?
Ifunanya: Yea, being a mother makes you more responsible ad instills that zeal of hard work and determination in you.
Alluring n Young: What are the high points in your life so far?
Ifunanya: Hmm, my high points, being a minister in the temple of justice, being a part of my family, having the people I have around me in life and being able to speak up for people when the need calls.
Alluring n Young: You are a minister? That is wonderful. In what capacity, as a lawyer I presume?
Ifunanya: Not just as a lawyer but also being able to speak up whenever necessary.
Alluring n Young: Low points?
Ifunanya: No low points dear.
Alluring n Young: No low points? How can that be? Are you saying you have been operating on a roller coaster all your life?
Ifunanya: I do not have low points because I try to see a god in every bad. I do not make room for regrets rather I learn from every single experience.
Alluring n Young: Hmm, wonderful. You sure are an inspiration to thousands out there I am sure. You mentioned earlier that you have interests in fashion and styling, any possibility of pursuing those dreams?
Ifunanya: Sure, I will pursue those dreams.
Alluring n Young: Tell us, what is your fashion statement?
Ifunanya: Fashion to me is comfort, coverage and confidence. Any outfit which gives me the three is a correct fashion for me.
Alluring n Young: I love you fashion statement dear, apt. From all these, what lessons have life taught you?
Ifunanya: Life has taught me to always do good to people who come around me because you do not know how much more you will be opportune to have them around.
Alluring n Young: Very true. Now before we let you go, the most embarrassing moment of your life.
Ifunanya: The day I fell down in public!
Alluring n Young: WHAT? How did it happen?
Ifunanya: (Laughs) I tripped over a bi stone in a traditional wedding venue and fell face flat. My cousin had to help me up.
Alluring n Young: Ouch! In one of those stiletto heels?
Ifunanya: Noo, the stone was the sole culprit; I was in haste and did not look well.
Alluring n Young: Thank God the damage was mostly on your ego. Thanks a lot for your time. Final word, any advice for the young ones and women?
Ifunanya: Yea. Believe in who you are and always lend a helping hand whenever you can. AlluringEby, keep up the good work too and thanks for this opportunity.
Alluring n Young: THANK YOU DARLING FOR BEING WHO YOU ARE AND FOR YOUR TIME AND LOVE.