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It is not innocence…


I met her while we were aboard a commercial vehicle from Lagos. From our gist, I gathered that she is a widow, has two sons and a dealer for a prominent cement brand. She also told me a bit of her story…she was widowed at age 32 and saddled with two young sons. Prior to that time, she was a naïve housewife based in Lagos with her husband.

According to her, when she lost her husband in a road accident, she didn’t know where to start her life from. She had never worked in her life. So, naturally-she turned to husband’s “close friends” for assistance.

The first reality that hit her was the cold disposition of the wives of those men towards her; women with whom she hitherto painted the town red as members of a social club.

The second reality was the men suddenly keeping appointments with her in hotels, plus those that out- rightly refused picking her calls. On a day that she called herself to a meeting, she convinced herself that she has two options…

. Allow herself to be passed around among her late husband’s friends and some ‘new’ faces on the bloc, in the name of assistance.
. Or sell off what she can, relocate back home and start life afresh.

…She chose the latter and today-the rest is history!

The day that we met, she was actually coming back from a vacation in the U.S. Her sons are at a University over there.A comment to one of my posts on Face book reads… “The worst thing that can happen to a Lady in Nigeria is to be a divorcee- because you eventually turn to other guys’ property. No one will take you serious. They will only use you and drop you -quite unlike a single lady who has chances to become the first or second wife.’’

As ‘insulting’ as that comment may seem to a lot of women, it actually portrays a dominant sentiment of most our men towards broken women (widows, divorcees, single mums) in this part of the world.

But I ask…who exactly desires a “small mind” for a companion?
Fact remains… the value that a woman places on herself is what determines the course of the rest of her life, not the sentiments of ‘small minds’.You can’t be passed around as anybody’s property or plaything when you are busy improving your lot in life. It’s your call if you let the hypocrisy in this environment get to you.

If the chop and clean mouth that pervades a lot of marriages is anything to go by…your life is more honourable!When the survey that was conducted by a condom manufacturer (in 2015) listed Nigerian women as the most unfaithful (with 62% prevalence) in the world, I do not think they meant women who are no longer under the roof of any man. That study was actually pointing to those who ‘chop and clean mouth’.

A known medical practitioner also raised some dust in the interview he granted to a national daily recently, in which he claims that most Nigerian men are lucky if two-thirds of their children are biologically theirs.After all, you are not under any man’s roof and certainly not defiling any marital bed. I can never understand women who are supposedly under a man’s roof but have no scruples sharing their ‘something’.

People may have their reasons but what then is the import of for better for worse?
“Chop and clean mouth” is no innocence, you know? Yet in this clime even the acutely guilty make the loudest noise of sanctimony.We all know that what perpetuates in most marital settings can’t be in any way equated to marriage. Yet, we dare condemn the lives of those who dared to stay true to their feelings?

The single mum you adjudged to be a loose woman…is she worse than the serial (uncaught) abortionist? Is it because she is brave enough to bring forth the fruit of her deed?

This is an environment in which a broken woman is quick to be tagged as ‘reduced’ and one wonders the kind of ignorance of life’s ways that make a people, even the supposedly learned, this judgmental towards another.

…as if we have a control over most of life’s ways.

The unpredictability of life ensures that anybody can be divorced or widowed tomorrow. You can also find yourself as a single parent -at a time you least planned for it. So, why the sanctimonious stance on issues you know that you can fall ‘guilty’ of?

A senior friend once said that she stopped worrying about people’s sentiments on her issues since she realised that a lot of the people, who are quick with condemnation and sitting in judgment of others, are actually harbouring oversized skeletons in their cupboards!

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