I sat across them with a defiant look. They couldn’t dictate my life to me anymore, I wasn’t a child anymore, maybe not by age but certainly by experience I was not. I was going to take my own decisions this time. I rubbed Bamidele’s back as he hiccuped. The young boy’s body shook against mine. I had him when I was in my early teenage years. I was allowed a certain measure of freedom while growing up, this made me somewhat reckless and well, look what happened.
Bami was my greatest joy, yet he made people look at me with accusing eyes. I was 15 and being pregnant, my parents couldn’t cover their shame. I was their only daughter and they loved to boast of how clever I was to their friends, I guess finding out that I was pregnant changed things forever.
Years had passed by and I had become a full grown woman. After having my child, I sat for WAEC and then completed my secondary and even tertiary education. I had gotten a job in a telecommunication center. Bami was 8 years old and looked exactly like his father. His father my teenage crush and the first man that ever touched me had long disappeared after the pregnancy. We were both young and never expected this to happen. I spent many years hating and cursing him for disserting me but these days, I don’t even blame him anymore, I only wish he had come around to at least get to know his child.
Getting a husband was not very easy with the stigma. My parents could not wait for me to start my own family and leave the house. Sometimes it seemed like they enjoyed the life Bami brought to the house and enjoyed their role as grandparents, other times I got the feeling that they couldn’t wait to be rid of us altogether.
“He is a what? “ My mother demanded.
“He is an Igbo man, mum. And I am going to marry him.” I said determined.
O ti o! laye laye! She retorted, “Don’t you know how the Igbo people are? They are just money minded and see their wives as part of the property they have acquired. Look here, I do not care if he is educated or not, you can’t marry an Igbo man.” She ordered.
“He is the only man who knows I have a child and is still ready to marry me. Mum, he is also a good man.” I informed.
My family and I had a dispute concerning the issue. They rejected him due to his tribe. I couldn’t let him leave, I was in love with him. He treated Bami like his and was ready to take him up and sponsor his education. I was determined to make my parents change their minds. Kelechi visited regularly and tried being close to my family. Bami started to call him ‘Daddy’ and my family began to realize that he was going to be a good one. Eventually, they caved in and started to accept Kelechi.
Not long after, he brought his people to see mine and really everything was straightforward after that. The wedding was small and the guests from our side were mostly relative (as I had few friends left). We had a quiet court marriage at Ikoyi registry and the traditional marriage ensued in my father’s compound in Surulere.
When it came to love, I knew that tribe difference was not a barrier. Kelechi turned out to be a very good husband, he looks at me every day like he is seeing me for the very first time; he calls me “Ifunanya” and before I even knew what the name meant I loved it already. Even with the language difference, his family accepted mine and I began learning his language.
Story: Simisola Sowole
Edited by Dibia Valentinoe
Photo Credit: @smilesfotografi
Model: Joy Yetude
Otalenigba Eye ni be nigbo
Sugbon iwo ololufe mi lo lori won
Oun fo bi eye
Sugbon labalaba ko le dabi Eye iwo onitemi
Etido ni mo wa nigba ti atuko odo ife re de
IFe re gbemi bi Aja
O wumi, kere ninu oro ife wa
Mo ti be lu agbami ife re
Afi kin yo bamu bamu
Eyin feran enu ,ofi se ile
Irun feran ori ,ofi se ile
Irawo owuro temi nikan
Ninu aba aye yii
Ekuro mi ni alaba loo ewa re.
Thanks for reading, God bless you.
PS: Today is our blog anniversary…