Monday, February 25, 2008

She is Cultured

Six years old Wemimo sat between her mother's thighs making faces to ease the pain that came from her hair plait. Her mother’s hand moved rapidly as she passed the three part hair sections over one another in turn. “Gbo ri duro fun mi*” her mother snapped sporadically in between her talk with Mama Comfort who came to share the latest gossip in the compound.

“… although I heard her scream I just couldn’t be bothered. Maybe when he beats her black and blue then she will know not to bother him when he is drunk. When will she learn not to provoke her husband? It is as if she enjoys what goes on in their lives. Imagine, she went crying to the landlord this morning. I don’t understand why she craves so much attention” Mama Comfort tattled.

“So she can cry?” Wemimo’s mother let out a loud hiss. “Can you believe she wanted to fight me this afternoon? All because I removed her dry clothes from the barbwire fence. She terrorizes the whole building with her bickering when her priority is to take care of her husband. Don’t even get me started on how she mollycoddles that rotten son of hers Subomi. He is bad influence; Wemimo I hope you stopped playing with him like I ordered?”

Wemimo murmured a yes accompanied with a nod. She felt the compulsion to defend her friend Subomi who is more mannered than Comfort the mango stealer but it was best to please her mother at the moment because she knew a knock on her already throbbing head will definitely increase her misery.


Twelve years old Wemimo walked into a scattered mess living room. The room resembled the aftermath of a violent storm. A stray paper here and a lone book there, at the corner laid her brother’s football and sneakers smeared with mud. On the center table, specks of garri swam in a ring of water, stray cheerios played on the floor while the box stood at the base of the entertainment center. She watched as brown dried leaves were swept in an air vortex then its lazy rage quit as suddenly as it began.

“Bamidele” she screeched “why is the house so messy. Tidy this place up before mummy gets home”

“Why should I do it, aren’t you the girl?” he stated nonchalantly

Her face turned red with rage. “You must be mad. Did I participate in this mess? You made it and you must clean it up” Wemimo’s mother walked in during her outburst and was taken aback at the mess.

“How can I have a daughter and still come home to a dirty home?”

“But mummy, Bamidele, made the mess, I just ….”

“Clean this up now before you father comes home. As for you Bamidele, are you a pig? Look at the mess you created for your sister to clean up. I don’t ever want you to make such a mess again. Do you hear me?

“Yes mummy” he beamed and feasted his eyes back to the television just in time to see Clarke Kent change into superman


Eighteen years old Wemimo woke up to her mother terrified screams; she lunged for her wrapper and ran towards to her parent’s room. Her mother crouched on the floor with both hands on her head; the inarticulate sounds she uttered could not be deciphered. Wemimo’s father had a Koboko in his right hand, he looked like someone who had just quenched his rage of thirst but wanted more to get the sweet feeling of the very first drop. His smiling face disturbed Wemimo, it was the same facial expression he gave when he was promoted the year before and when Alaji Bakare forgave his huge loan. To him, that smile is associated with good. To him, what he just did to her mother is good.

Wemimo helped her mother up and led her towards the door then she turned to her father “I would have been proud of you if you had done this to Alaji Bakare’s son Ibrahim when he slapped you for stepping on his shoes.” She didn’t say more but the shame of that day crowded her father face.

She returned from school to see her mother waiting at the gate. “Wemimo, I hope you did not mention what happened this morning to anybody? What happens in this house should stay in this house. When you get inside, please apologize to your father. Under no circumstances should a daughter talk to her father the way you did this morning. Things happen in marriage, when you get married you will understand”



Twenty eight years old Wemimo rushed into her parent’s home crying with her two children in tow. “Mummy, i am divorcing Kunle. He slapped me twice in front of the children.”

“What did you do to him” she said calmly

“What did I do? Did you just ask what I did to him? What ever I did should not warrant any beating from him.”

pele, ile oko, ile eko ni. He is only teaching you”. Go in and sleep but tomorrow your father and I will go there with you. Under no circumstances should you ever leave your husband home. Do you know how many women will gladly take your place”?

Wemimo fought, she pleaded, she left for her uncle’s place but she heard the same thing there “ile oko, ile eko ni*”. She sought the help of friends, she got a small place to live, She was gossiped about at work, she was insulted and spat upon – “after all a woman who earns as much as she does can never respect her husband”. She was fired from work, her children were taken from her, she was evicted with no place to go.

Tired and broken she went back home

Home was with Kunle

He gave her a room, he gave her the children, he got her a job, and he beat her once a while

But she survived


Fifty four years old Wemimo sat on the balcony in her house with a newspaper in hand. Temilade her daughter rushed in crying “Mom, I am done with Dapo, I cannot take his daily physical and emotional abuse any more”

“What did you do to him”? was the first sentense Wemimo uttered.


*****************************************************
Gbo ri duro fun mi – Keep your head straight
Pele – Sorry
Ile oko ile eko ni – Your husband house is a place of learning

(Sorry for the errors.. no time to proof read)

36 comments:

fumosh said...

Yay! I am first...

Great work...again

The Life of a Stranger called me said...

Cycle...... vicious cycle. A cycle that can not be broken becasue women are taught that it is ok to be beaten by their husbands. Very sad indeed. Very well written as always.

Sherri said...

the vicious cycle!
and very sad.

how i hope and pray this generation can breaks this cycle.

nicely written babe.

Jaycee said...

Good...number 4...be right back!

Jaycee said...

Oh Lord! The horror of being a woman when your voice can never be heard. You really know how to write abt scenarios that may be fictional, yet so real and evident in the society we live in. This vicious cycle still can be seen in a few communities today, and women need to speak up. It's time for their voices to be heard...

In this story, Wemimo gave up. But we must never give up, not if we want change to come...

This was totally beautiful...I couldn't stop reading till the very last words...felt every emotion that comes with the story...

Afrobabe said...

Funny enough i was just writing a story with that same story line....

a vicious circle that has to be broken....

not for my blog though...

laspapi said...

You just wrote a V. Monologue and you wrote it very well. Many are content to remain in these evil situations.

Arewa said...

Domestic Violence....it has been accepted as the norm but it shouldnt be so. it is not right for a man to hit a woman for any reason whatsoever ..just a woman should not provoke a man to the extent of making him hit her....
I absolutely enjoyed this piece.

30+ said...

You this babe...you have started again you have struck a chord again (3rd time you doing that). Just yesterday I was meditating/thinking along this line.

Beauriful

Pink-satin said...

vicious cyle...the life of a woman!

anonymous gal said...

hmm no 11 not to bad. i love the way u played wit time in the story.

Jinta said...

marriage is based on mutual respect and violence occurs when respect's gone out the window.

great post and i especially liked the alhaji bakare's son analogy. violence begets violence and it is not necessarily only physical. also, it goes both ways and both males and females can work harder to break the cycle

Anonymous said...

well written . however it this also happens where daddy didnt beat mummy some men are just plain wicked .....misspumping

Today's ranting said...

very nice piece, this is exactly what women experience in our society - to accept injustice in marriage. Honstly, i've been thinking along this line for a whle now and i'm really concerned with this issue. What exactly can women do to liberate themselves from the oppression from men in patriachal homes? Even when you try to move out of such violent relationships, society wont just let you be.It's even females like you that will rebuke you for trying to stay out of danger and I bet you mothers will encourage you to endure the brutality for your children's sake arghhhhh so sad.What is the solution to this culture of slence???Has any got any offer?

darkelcee said...

hmm does it have to be the woman?

why not ile iyawo ile eko ni? or somin better?

this world isnt fair at all

God help the women fold.

Rinsola said...

Imagine what women go through. But seriously can this cycle be broken?

Ms. Catwalq said...

Until we decide not to be part of the statistic can we reallt discoer ourselves....

This was sad and disconcerting.

Uzezi said...

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! That's me releasing a long breath! So long. And worth reading too. What goes around comes around.

Queen of My Castle said...

Ahhhh, such a vicious cycle. I am now prone to believe that this can be a generational curse. Once one becomes numb to the emotional pain it becomes rather diffucult to empathize with one going through the exact same thing you suffered through.

You are such a wonderful story-teller!

In my head and around me said...

When one hears the same thing over and over again, it begins to sound right and after a while, we begin to bend, against our will, to the expectations of society.

Sad thing is that after a while we then become "society" and preach the very things we rebelled against to the next generation.

s.chic said...

jeezzz... well written... the thought of this abuse is just so scary though..

bumight said...

vicious cycle and the sad part is when we begin to think its normal...

Omosewa said...

lol, its a cycle indeed.

I've heard things like if ur husband throws your things out of the house,put them together and go right back in, jokes.

I cant imagine my husband hitting me,not to talk of using koboko,lmaooo too funny, just ridiculous.

laspapi said...

salud, allied.

fantasy queen said...

another classic girl...
so sad how strong intelligent educated women subjected to this, not able to cry foul cos they have no support from their family.a woman can be broken to a piont of accepting the wrong done to her as a norm, something she must go through,thus passing this lesson to her daughter who would pass it to hers, and thus a generation of women who think its right to be abused by their spouse...pathetic!

rethots said...

...'m awed.

Hmmm, what do i see? The sacredness on the union (oops, marriage).
But then, the question should be, "Is it possible for a man not to hit his wife?" I daresay yes.
...and the next goes, "How?"

Sasuke said...

this babe i done tell say make you go write book. nice work allied such pure talent, such beautiful pattern of thought, such logical sequence such relatable story..you are simply brilliant.

princesa said...

Sad And true!
“What did you do to him”
Must something be done to him?? A man who loves to beat his wife most times don’t even need a reason to. They just do it!

Ms. emmotions said...

this crazy, a wicked seed planted at a tender age to be passed on from generation to generation,
am lost for words, dont know wat to call this , if i call this ignorance,....will it then m,ean that no educated woman or women ever find themselves in this mess? we all know this is a lie....so sad, like afro said...a vicous circle...hmmmm

Uzezi said...

im on a mission today, telling bloggers to update. im running out of fresh materials things to read! kidding.

OluwaDee said...

And the cycle goes on and on. This is so wrong, so so so so wrong.

onydchic said...

Annoying story. Annoying in the sense that it happens. Annoying cos the people that advocate it the most are WOMEN. Enemies of our own progress. It's almost disgusting. If you try to liberate yourself, they say, you'll die single. Rather alone than unhappy. We need to start breaking this mold in our culture, of taking whatever crap is thrown at us.

Allied said...

@ Fumosh – Thanks

@ TLOASCM- A vicious cycle indeed. Teaching gets imbedded into culture then it becomes the norm

@ Sherri – I seriously pray for that and resistance will ask for a price which I hope we know it is not steep to pay

@ You are right, it is not only in Nigeria, the change has to take place in lots of places where women are been subjected to “second beings” – weaker vessels

@ Afrobabe – I will like to read your story… Omo hook it up

@ Laspapi – When do I get my copy?

@ Arewa - I actually saw a woman hit and slam herself against her husband shouting “you must beat me today... beat me”. He did… should I say he was fair? Perhaps. But was he wrong? Yes

@ 30+ - Thanks

@ Pink Satin – hmm

@ Anonymous gal – It takes time to accept this barbaric act of violence

Allied said...

@ Jinta – Yep… I think we females need to do most of the work. Educate our girls not to take this rubbish and likewise teach their sons how to respect women.

@ Misspumping – True…

@Today’s ranting – See my reply to Jinta. Because something has gone on for so long doesn’t make it right. I hear women say...”what can we do? Our voice would drown” Please we can all do something.

@ Darkelee – I wonder

@ Rinsola – yes it can… Serious prayer and wiliness from both men and women

@ Ms. Catwalq – U hit the nail on the head

@ Uzezi – Yep...

@ Queen of my castle – A killing disease disguised as submission.

@ IMHARM – Very very true

@ S.chic – It is very scary…

Allied said...

@ Bumight – You will be surprise how many percentage of women think it is normal

@ Omosewa – Lol... me too.

@ Fantasy Queen – I think we have a solution... we should so the same thing but in reverse... Pass the right information down... till the next generation gets it

@ Rethots – Is it possible for a man not to hit his wife? YES... How? Respect. Just as he wouldn’t hit his mother when she drives him mad…

@ Sasuke – Thanks oh... you this boy, I can see ur soft side oh

@ Ms.emmotions – You are right it is not called ignorance... more like forced culture

@ Oluwadee – Hmm

@ Onydchic – That is the catch “ you will die single” a society that is so craze with “I have to marry” will rather be beaten than not marry.

ablackjamesbond said...

Nice...sad...