Finding Her Voice; Finding happiness.

Tag Archives: Marriage

March 8th as usual is the International Women’s Day when we celebrate the past and present women who have fought and sacrificed in big and small ways to make our families, societies and the world a better place.

This year, the theme of the celebration is #BeBoldforChange. To the men who stand with us and against us and to every woman, could you be bold for change? We ask that you be bold for change in attitude towards women’s plight, be bold for change in actions, from negative or lackadaisical to positive and active.

I just want to share a little story about an incident that occurred recently in my local area which made me proud of women all over again. (As told by one of the village women)

A guy impregnated a girl and declared his intentions to marry the said girl. The guy’s family refused even after the girl delivered a set of ‘male’ twins. The family alleged, wrongly too, that the girl was an osu. Osu is a caste system prevalent in the eastern part of Nigeria.  They also were not comfortable with the place of origin of the girl. So for these two reasons, they refused the marriage but their son was bent on marrying the mother of his babies. 

The guy’s mother, to prove her point, chased mother and babies out of her house where they were staying. The youth of the village packed them back in and warned the mother not to try that again.

Then the sister of the guy one early morning brought policemen to thier father’s house, jumped fence, and gave the police access to the house. The police promptly arrested the guy and took him off to their station in another town. All hell let lose at this.

The village women, through their female towncrier went round the community shouting to everybody’s hearing that every woman, old, young, cripple, so far as you are a woman, you must come out to this warring family’s house. Before you know it, the place was swarming with angry and agitated women of various ages and shapes.

These brave women of Umuoji in Anambra srate gave the guy’s family an ultimatum that the guy must be released that same day or they will face the wrath of the women. The women went ahead to go round their community chanting songs of anger against the mother and the rest of the family. By evening of that same day, they accomplished their aim and the guy was released and returned to his father’s house.

I will not bore you with petty details, only want to throw light on the power of a united women. They fined the guy’s mother and sister, excommunicated them till further notice and anybody found communicating with then will be fined too. The entire community stood still for these women. It might seem like a small feat but it speaks volumes. The town as a whole took notice of the case because of their activisim. The case is now in court because the sister alleged that the guy beat up their mother even though the mother said her son did not lay a finger on her. The women promised to continue their agitation till the matter is settled amicably.

How I wish that women will be bold enough to change and begin to stand together more. I wish that women will be their sisters’ keepers, that we will stand by each other through thick and thin instead of hating on each other and pulling each other down.

If the women in the neighbourhood of that victim of domestic violence can stand together with their sister and fight back, if the female judges and law enforcement agents could see themselves in the victims of rape and domestic violence and fight justly on their behalf, if my fellow female passenger could lend a voice when the guy beside me in the bus is sexually harrassing me, if only the female excisor would lay down her blades and knives and stand against female genital mutilation, if the late husband’s sisters could protect rather than join the men to intimidate their late brother’s wife and children, if only…

We can do it. This fight is ours first before the men, they will support us when we get serious about it. Time to act is now, not later, not tomorrow. United we stand, divided we fall.

Kudos to all the women who over the years have fought for their own rights and that of other women.

#BeBoldforChange

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What you gonna do about the time ticking away, ticking fast towards the shores of your late thirties and forties or even fifties, ticking towards that dreaded period of menopause while you are still single and seriously searching? You look around you and most of your mates are mothers and some are even getting on to grand-motherhood, then you look at yourself, at forty and still no husband! Tragic, aint it?

When you think on it, really think on it as you often do, when you are all alone with your thoughts, late at night, you wonder, for the thousandth time why it had to be you. Yea, you compare yourself to Tola, Tola who used to be the mean bitch in school, or Nancy who was as ugly as the devil himself way back {forget that money and the joy of marriage has transformed her now}, or is it the stupid Sandra who was busy hopping from one man to another with too many abortions to her credit? Look at them all, all happily married and with kids too. You ask God {that is if you still believe in Him}, God, why me of all people? If God should bless people with good husband and children, you ought to be top on the list because whatever a man desireth, you possess – beauty, class, intelligence, poise, courage, good manners, godliness, even wealth – you are equal to the task. So how come you are still here watching your fertile time slipping away into the infertile?

TIME

TIME

Friends brag about their hubbies and children and bombard your social media newsfeed with pictures and sweet words of their cute families. As if that is not enough torment, your family, especially your mother is always on your case, harassing you to go find your own husband and leave their home for them, after all, all your younger sisters are happily married. Yet, you still have no man to call yours.
You have helped plan and attended innumerable weddings of colleagues and neighbours that you might as well become a professional wedding planner. Your wardrobe is filled with uncountable array of aso ebis that you wore to friends’ weddings. Same goes for child dedication. Tick tock, tick tock…

They used to sneer at you behind your back, but now, they do it to your face and dare you to do your worst. Small children insult you as they like and their parents watch and cheer them on. The gossip mill has it that you are single at fifty because you are a retired prostitute, so when you have little issues with them, they call you ashawo. And so, you continue to shed tears in the dark wondering when and if ever you will ever one day be called ‘my darling wife’ not talk of becoming some cute kids’ mummy.

The only prayer houses that you have not visited are the ones that are still in the pipeline. Every powerful man of God around town knows you on first name basis. These days, you have even graduated to the ‘corporate native doctors’, the dibias, the babalawos. You have employed all the strategies they suggested, bought rings, wedding gowns, chosen your colours and bridal train and maid of honour. Yet, your nights are spent alone with just you and your tears of frustration for company.
You have allowed yourself be used and dumped by every Tom, Dick and Harry in your bid to get them to love you enough to want to pop that all important question – nothing. You trimmed down in weight, toned up in colour (almost as fair as the Europeans), ‘tushed up’ in class and all – no husband and time is ticking by.
What then is left for you to do that you have not done? Nobody understands. None is left to encourage or console you. You are on your own. So what do you do when the chips are all down, when the tide is flowing against you, when you have been pushed to the world and have nowhere else to go?

I do not have the answers. I do not know what else you should do or where else to go. I have no idea where the solution lies. All I know is that you need to look inward and find it yourself, find the peace which the world cannot give. Oh and that reminds me, I know only one way out – seek ye first the kingdom of God… There is no guarantee that the long awaited husband will materialize immediately, but you will have peace, you will find joy flowing like a river and you will find yourself and realize that the fulfillment of your purpose in life is not dependent on a husband despite what our African culture hammers into our brains. Your happiness does not lie in any man’s pocket; it is in your own pocket.

There comes a time when you need to let go and let God.


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.

Barrister Anona

Barrister Anona

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.

Aifee Doing her thing the traditional way

Aifee Doing her thing the traditional way

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.