Friday, 28 September 2012

Drawing the lines

She was my mum’s neighbour, when I was about 6 years old. There were 3 young married ladies in the house at that time, my mum, her best friend at that time and this particularly quiet and extremely beautiful woman. For some strange reasons, they all had babies at the same time, so they were home for about 6 months taking care of their children. My mum said, this woman I will refer to her as “Mrs. A”, even though reserved and a kind of fear written all over her. she was constantly looking at the time and at 5 minutes to 3pm she would jump up and run down to her flat, at first my mum said she and her best friend thought Mrs. A did this out of respect for her hubby, who was a civil servant at that time and was always home at 3.30pm, but after a while when they noticed that whenever she saw them in the compound and her hubby was around, she won’t greet them or even acknowledge their greetings. They knew something was fishy. They tried to find out what, but she wouldn’t say and will always find a topic to divert their attention.
So one day she opened up and showed them all the bruises she had on her body. In my mum’s words she told me “I could not just fathom how that Mr. Kinta Kunte (her phrase for very short men) could always beat that woman. To be honest we are talking Danny Devito and Naomi Campbell here LOL! (Small man big ego) I hope you have started to laugh? Anyway, one morning Mrs. A came up and told my mum and her friend, that she knew how the beatings would stop, my mum said, she said it in a very gentle tone, and they could not imagine that she was going to do what she did.

They noticed that after a while she had no more fear written all over her, she made her hair, wore a bit of make-up but she was still the dutiful wife and mother, the only difference was she was happy. They continued to ask her what she did, her hubby no longer had that ego written all over him and she greeted them even when her husband was there and even the man became friendlier.

My mum said they were dying to know her trick, but she was too private a woman, but one day as they asked her again she told them, but what she said was mind blowing. She said “I gave him the beating of his life”. My mum said, Mrs. A said it in a gentle voice that they thought they heard her wrong. “What did you say? The other woman asked”, without a drop or a raise in the pitch of her voice she said  “you heard me right the first time, I beat him, he has beaten me for almost 11 years every other day, I have not said a word or resisted, but I couldn’t take it anymore. So when he wanted to beat me, I held his hands, you know I’m taller than him, I gave him two dirty slaps and beat him till he was begging, but to cover his shame since the children were used to him beating me in the bedroom, I was the one begging him to leave me and that I was sorry”. My mum said she couldn’t believe what she just heard. She continued with her story, that after she was satisfied she went to the kitchen to serve his meal which was the usual thing to do after he beats her, but for the first time in their years of marriage, he couldn’t eat.
The Children were surprised but she carried on as if nothing happened. She said that Mr. A woke her up at the middle of the night to ask for forgiveness and to say he was sorry. “What did you then say?” asked my mum, “nothing, she replied. I just smiled and, went back to sleep”.
So I ask you today, who was wrong? Who was guilty of spousal abuse? Mr. or Mrs.? They are grandparents today. A friend shared this story, I thought to share with you; Ask Sista Bola, that’s her page on facebook.

Another story: Mrs B. was extremely intelligent, kind, simple and most of all was so in love with God and His word.  She was 35 and married with kids, she was loved by her family, friends and all who knew her but on, her husband.  We don’t know what happened between them but this man had developed a bad habit of hitting her. Her friends had all begged, prayed, complained, reported, and fought, just to get him to stop beating her. You could notice the black eye, the swollen face and the bruised arms day in and out and she had constant headaches.  Their fights were incessant (fights?  Pardon me, I meant to say the beatings) , her friends were getting scared, there was little they could do, the man kept telling her if he beats her to death, there would be no proof as this is Nigeria and he would walk free. The poor wife reported to the police and she was advised to go and settle her domestic violence her way (I am yet to comprehend which way is ‘the way’ for a woman constantly beaten). This day, she did something “wrong” again and she got the beating of her life; he had beaten her so much for sending her own money to her mum without telling him, and when she tried to protect herself by pushing him off her, he got infuriated and hit her head on the wall. This time no black eye, no bruise to worry about, she just did not wake up.  And that was it, she was dead!!! And yes, her husband did not go to jail, he even has the custody of the kids. shares this perfectly well, in a case of domestic violence, you need to be in the abused shoes to feel what she is feeling, a hug, a listening ear and empathy would do better in convincing the abused to seek for help. But honestly sisters, marriage is till death do us part, not till he or she kills you. Even if you think the abuse would pass, stay away till he overcomes his bad temper or insecurity that you might not end up like Mrs. B.
It’s your life and in any kind of relationship, not necessarily marital, you need to draw the lines when abuse becomes a factor, there should be a boundary. If you don’t have the strength to draw those lines by yourself, seek for help, someone says when the going gets tough, seek collaboration. May your love never go sour, amen


  1. Well done Bimbola....sisters leave him before he kills man is worth dying for.....