Tag Archive : domestic violence

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As a darling little girl, i grew up with the mindset of fairies.

As a darling little girl, I grew up with the mind-set of fairies. I was pampered and nurtured well, I had everything close to my heart in little boxes. Just the way I was taught to cherish the little things; because, they are mostly neglected and a lot of people don’t give regards to them. In the irony, wedding bands are a perfect example of some of the things I owned.

I remember in every detail how momma bathed and fed me. In cold days, she’d wrap me up in warm clothes and make me sit by the fireside for extra warmth. Oh! Momma, thou art an unimaginably gifted and relentless soul with the rarest of talents. Oh! How I enjoyed being taken care of by you, it was and will be the best moments of my days.

Momma showed me how to be responsible
Growing up for me wasn’t rosy, neither was it crowded by unimportant activities. We would wake up early as soon as the cock crows at 5am, we’d head straight to our large but combined garden farm. And as little as our fingers would hold, we’d uproot the weeds with them. We weeded and planted in the early hours of the days, if there were public holidays, we’d return home early enough so we could have enough time to read and play.

Momma showed me how to be responsible.

Some of our classmates never believed I and my siblings knew how to plant cassava, let alone harvest them. They had no clue the kind of mother I have. Just like some average town girl, my parents didn’t have money to through around; but we had all that we needed. I and my siblings were molded into artists, handy individuals and so; we didn’t need to buy raw materials from the local markets.

There were days unend where we’d have too much to eat that we’d take some to nearby markets for sale. And of course, those items sold would pay our school fees and some of it would be used to buy school books and other important supplies for the house. All of these I learned; not from what momma told me, but from what she showed me. She made me enjoy doing them with her and my father till I learned to do them with my siblings and we got used to it.

Momma showed me brevity
Fights and arguments are inevitable in any relationship, but my parents had big fights and some nights, we’d stay up crying. Momma was brave, she had no one to turn to whenever my dad beat her up. I’d rage and roar, but my voice was never heard. Even with the tears in momma’s eyes, she’d still find a way to smile and warn us (her children) never to scorn our father. In her words “your father is a good man with his own shortcomings” she’d hold unto us and we’d all cry together in her arms.

Momma could have died; not once, not twice. It occurred to me countless times to run away from home, but I couldn’t do it with the thought that momma would be alone without me. I knew that my presence made so much difference and the peace I brought along with me was irreplaceable. Ah! Yes, everyone has an aura of something they carry, and regardless of our personalities, our presence means a lot to someone out there.

Momma showed me how to be an advocate
One day; I remember being 17 years of age, and I remember momma telling me something important. She told me her story, how her family neglected her and how her oldest brother refused to send her to school while living with him. Apparently, the man had asked my grandparents to let momma live with him in Jos, in the northern part of Nigeria, but it turned out that he needed momma to take care of his own children. He never let momma visit home nor go to school, for more than a decade he used my momma as his own housemaid.

On hearing this overwhelming story, I wept in my heart like a dog whose master has just been shot. And then, momma said in a quiet tone, “that is why your father treats me like I don’t matter even though I love him”. My dear child, I continue to live in this house because I don’t want you or your siblings to go through the kind of life I was once subjected to. I want you all to learn accurately like a soldier preparing for war, and as you grow, you’ll be able to defend my honor before every living thing; including your father.

From that day onward, I worked towards my future. I needed to be a woman who is strong and bold enough to stand up for humanity, for her fellow woman and the society at large. It doesn’t take millions to do it, it starts with one person taking one step towards making things right. I read more each day, studied hard, learned with every situation before me. With each experience, I grew stronger and wiser, and the best part of being wise is; knowing what to do and when to do it.

Momma showed me how to fight right
One day came upon an evening when I returned home from a long walk, my parents were arguing about something. As usual, I went in to inquire what had transpired, and to my surprise; my dad gave me a lame excuse. He said in an angry voice as though he was a dictator “I will burn all of your mother’s dresses if she wears that one with the trousers”. I looked to see what his point was, but I found nothing. It was a fabric momma got some weeks before, and I chose the style for the tailor to make for my momma.

Before I could respond, my dad gave my momma a hot slap on the face; you heard right! It was a sound slap that could shake off an early morning hangover. I immediately pulled my momma by the hand out of the living room, told her that I had a plan. There are no words to express the rift of how much level of anger I was operating on, I approached the living room and by the door I screamed. Daddy, don’t you ever in your future days lay a hand on my momma nor any woman for that matter.

Yes, it was the last straw, I lost my voice and could speak no more. You could tell from the movement of my lips and the light in my eyes that I had so much to say. And the last thing I remember telling him was; I am going to the police station and afterwards, I will let them charge this case to court. Daddy, you need to learn the same pains you have been inflicting on my mother for the past two decades, this is the end. I dashed out of the house on my heels like a wounded lion.

My dad hated policemen because he was a retired soldier, I didn’t care; at least it is his best chance at telling the policemen his content towards them while in their custody. My guess is “it would be a show down” since he knows how to throw his fist; they’d all enjoy the party. As soon as I arrived the police station, behold my cousin by the gate. He looked as though he had a lot to tell me, I couldn’t understand his countenance, so I approached him for the sole purpose of getting the information out of his lips.

Your daddy called and asked that I met you her, he said. My eyeballs almost popped out as I tried to extend their shape in shock. He says, he is sorry, and he wants for you to come home so he can apologise in camera. Freddy’s words were just dashing in and out of my earbuds, I wasn’t bulging till my dad called him again. And I had purposely left my phone in the house because I had my mind made up. After so much beseeching by my cousin, he proposed to follow me home just to make things calm.

Momma showed me how to forgive
I got home eventually with my cousin Freddy, on approaching, I didn’t hear a sound. Just by the pavement in the frontage of our house was my mom, seated and singing in our dialect. Her eyes were clouded in red, I could tell that she’d been weeping. Not from the present incident, but from the re-occurrences of it. I approached and sat beside her, I sang along as tears rolled down my cheeks. Freddy had gone in to notify my dad of my presence, he came out and summoned me. But my attention needed no diversion and then he realized his legs were functional and decided to use them.

I approached and sat beside her, I sang along as tears rolled down my cheeks.

He started by saying a few words; I cannot kneel before you both because I am the first son of a king; it is forbidden. But I sincerely apologize from the bottom of my heart and ask that you all forgive me my wrong. He continued, It all just happens so fast repeatedly that it’d become a habit, and before my father’s name and God’s; I truly am sorry. I apologize that it took me this long to realize how blessed I am to have you as my family. It is a shame to my name that I have let myself become so weak that I now show my strength by my own fists. I beg for forgiveness and I hereby promise to make a change. Starting now, I nominate myself for the position where I need to be advised on how to make things better.

I will, for the rest of my life, cherish this rare opportunity. He looked my momma in the eyes and implored her, saying; please, I ask that you beseech our children on my behalf to pardon my wrongdoings, for I was ignorant and stupid. Shortly after, he returned to his quarters and my cousin followed him. My dad was proud but also very intelligent, he knew when to read between the lines.

And as the evening grew darker, our voice traveled peacefully without hindrance. I always enjoyed singing with my mom, but on this day; it was spectacular. We sang tirelessly until my mom paused and spoke gently. You should talk with your siblings, remind them why we must forgive ourselves. Especially because we are one, one big family and your father is a big part of it. I truly believe he is sorry, don’t forget that without forgiveness, love will not foster……..and till my father passed away, almost a decade later, he was a changed man.
In memory of; Late Apostle Solomon Ogunbiyi

Fight right and stand up for peace.
Two wrongs cannot make a right.
Say no to domestic violence.
Notify lawmakers of any domestic violence in your home.
Stay safe and let love lead.

First publish on www.pulse,ng

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The Broken Vase chapter 2

April 19, 2018 | Articles, True Life Stories | 4 Comments

As I once wrote “if that which was hoped for fails to manifest; then the lingering faith propels the mind for better opportunities to thrive”.

As long as the heart keeps pushing, the body will not faint.

Sleeping in peace

Just as “belief is a personal confirmation of an acclaimed truth”, Amaka did believe that God was real. And so, she continued to pray till she fell into a deep sleep.
Medically, such a sleep could be termed as “coma” but in this case things were different. It started off as a beautiful sleep where Amaka saw herself dreaming about the things she liked. And in that dream, she saw her father calling unto her and waking her up. Amaka didn’t understand any part of the dream because it probably wasn’t a dream.

Soon afterwards, she was awoken by a painful and somewhat sting from her back. She open her eyes to find herself on a hospital bed, with her dad by her side. That little moment Amaka dreamed her dad was waking her up was clear reality. Her father had closed early from the office that day, and planned on going to Amaka’s school to get a transcript for her transfer to a new school.

Saved by the bell

When Mr. Joseph opened the entrance door to his apartment, he immediately noticed the absence of his wife and daughter. He thought they had gone shopping or probably visiting the mall for a change of scenery. All for him to find his only child laying helplessly on the floor with blood everywhere. Mr. Joseph would have preferred to hold his daughter and cry on top of her like they do in the movies; but this is broadly midday and he wasn’t naïve.

He acted as fast as possible; carried the little girl to the car at once, ran back to take his mobile phone and locked the door to shut invaders out. Mr. Joseph drove as fast as he could and he searched in his mind for a nearby hospital that could save her daughter’s life. He finally found a specialist hospital and rushed in screaming on top of his lungs; Emergency! Somebody help, this is an emergency!! My daughter needs help, somebody!!!

The Lies

After Amaka was taken in to the theater for the removal of the broken piece of vase that had pierced her back, Mr. Joseph needed to call his wife. He ranged Ngozi’s phone twice but there was no answer, he dialed the number again and again till she finally answered.

My dear, Amaka is in the hospital……I met her bleeding when I got home from work this afternoon. Ngozi screamed Jesus three times as though she was surprised to hear the bad news…….. But I just left home some hours ago to visit my friend in the salon and also to make my hair….na wa oo, (she exclaimed in pidgin English). She then offered to visit the hospital but her husband advised she went home to take care of things.

Ngozi was fully convinced that Amaka would dare not reveal the truth behind her accident. Because often times, she’d threaten the little girl with all sorts of monstrous punishments. Unknown to her, Amaka had made up her mind that there was nothing worse than a “near death experience” and Ngozi’s threat were nowhere close to this.

Related : The Broken Vase chapter 1

Amaka is Sasha fierce

The first thing she did after regaining consciousness was to reveal everything to her father……. As Amaka narrated her ordeals, her father couldn’t stop the tears from falling. He blamed himself for putting his little girl through so much pain. But then, he refused to wallow in self-pity; he knew just what to do and how well he’d pretend to keep his cool in order to prevent Ngozi from hurting either of them if she realizes something was up.

He stayed by Amaka’s bedside, his mind was full of thoughts and appreciation because he could have lost Amaka due to his wife’s cruelty and unkind behavior. Mr. Joseph was smart, he knew what was at stake and whatever his decisions were going to be, he’d put “safety”first.

Freedom at last

Amaka got authorized to be discharged from the hospital, and in a few days, she was back home. Her father took an emergency leave from work because he needed to take care of his only child. He’d watch cartoons with her and prepare nice assorted pepper soup for Amaka. The little girl was living the life of a princess she deserved.

Our children deserves everything good…..

Meanwhile, our dear Ngozi couldn’t stand that Amaka was getting so much attention, she was pretty jealous. There were no more unnecessary errands and curses to be laid on little Amaka, she was definitely free from the domestic abuse and battering. It was just the beginning of her anticipated good life, and to crown it up her father got a home tutor to help her study.

Broken chains

Just like a “thief in the night crawls up your window” so did Ngozi’s divorce papers. She got served, and was advised to accept it in good faith. Attached to the papers were documents of the crimes she committed towards Amaka, her jaw was literally on the floor. She didn’t know how to apologize because what she did was beyond pardon”.”

I suppose sometimes; “I’m sorry” doesn’t cut it…….there are things beyond pardon….

So, Mr. Joseph decided to focus on taking care of his daughter and change some of his work routines in order to have enough time with Amaka. He employed temporal chef and cleaners to tend to their needs and he made up his mind to adopt a child later in the near future so that Amaka would have a sibling. It was a good call, and he was lucky to have listened to his daughter.

When you listen with your eyes and mind, you’ll find the hidden truth in the tongue of a scared child.
Save a child from mental instability and stress.

Give a listening ear and pay attention to their body language.
There are monsters amongst us, and they are robbing us off the belief that the good still exists.
Spread the love and not the hate.
Hate is easy, but love is the easiest because it is free.

Also published on Pulse.ng