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Where Tiwa got it wrong…


TiwaWhere Tiwa Got it Wrong… Was when she believed she was the one.
There you go.
I’ve said it.

Before you judge me for judging a woman for a man’s mischief, I implore you to read on.
By now so much has been said about the explosive social media storm Tee Billz’s posts online stirred that many may think there is nothing new under the sky to say about the erstwhile couple.

Many think pieces have run up countless column inches in the Nigerian papers and online – on anything from Tee Billz’s alleged depression and suicide attempt to his financial troubles, from Tiwa’s epic fail of an interview following the news of the breakdown of their marriage to Tee Billz’s epic failure as a husband.

Perhaps one fault that we all failed to pick, amongst Tiwa’s many other faults we ripped apart over the last two weeks, is where she had it all wrong – when she believed she was the one.

In last week’s, in my opinion, half-baked and ill-judged interview with Pulse Nigeria, Tiwa clearly admitted people had warned her against Tee Billz.

Deep inside, behind the steely exterior, we are all girls fed on fairy tales. While no grown woman would ever entertain the thought of being misled by Cinderella or Rapunzel, there is a little girl in all of us who secretly still believes in the presence of the knight in shining armour as much as she does in the possibility of happy ever after.

While no longer damsels in distress awaiting rescue, we still hold on to the mirage of being the one to change the “fine and troubled prince”. If you for a minute shelf the Grimm Tales and turn to Hamlet, you will find that literature warns of a watery end to such mighty delusions. Even then, in as much as we refute Cinderella, we all revert to Ophelia.

Tiwa is not the first, neither will she be the last. Look around you, how many stories have you been told or personally witnessed of women exploited, manipulated and abused by their men. And it is often women who we always thought as strong, self-assured and confident.

In complete contrast to the knight in shining armour who swoop in to rescue the damsel in distress there are predatory men in this world, sadly, who are wolves in sheep’s clothing who scarper in to chip away, tear apart and break down strong women. Flip the story of ‘the one’ who will love, cherish and honour their woman, that one true love leading to the happy ever after, those broken men women feel they are ‘one’ to change, tame, save a broken man.

A broken man can come in various forms – different devils, same old BS. A broken man is sometimes the serial cheater, sometimes the incurable alcoholic, or the goofing gambler. His brand of poison may be drugs or sex, his weakness his lack of direction, his appetite for women, his need for absolute power. His conditions many and way too complicated for this space or my basic grasp of basic psychological ailments.

Heard of the man who can’t help cheating on his wife?
The one who has stolen from his own wife to entertain another woman?
How about the one who reduces his woman to a shadow of her former self with his constant bullying?
The one who spends the baby’s food money on gambling?
The one who plays mind games with his woman to assert his power?
The one who tears into his wife at every opportunity whether it is over the way she mispronounced a word or the way she fails to make jollof the way his mother makes?

How much of the above have we heard Tiwa mention about the erstwhile love of her life? How many more men out there who fit the bill? It is only that the other Tiwas and their suffering go unseen, unheard, unreported.

We often focus so much on domestic abuse that we miss the fact that there are other forms of abuse sometimes far more harmful to a woman’s wellbeing and her self-confidence. Which is what such men prey on. Their modus operandi? Find an independent woman, court her for a period of time, once she is hook, line, sinker, the game is on. The manipulation begins.

First it may be a throwaway comment.
Or perhaps a twenty-pound note missing from her wallet every now and again.
Then there are the red herrings that the fairytale may turn out a psychological thriller after all. Warning signs or loud alarm bells, often ignored as the woman has already fallen prey; she will not hear.

She thinks she is the one to change him, mend him, save him. She is his one true love because he has told her so – as he is buying the top of the range car with her hard earned cash or booking exotic holidays with the side chick while she is away to have their baby. When called out or caught out, he will turn the tables against her – accuse her of jealousy, lack of trust, even of having mental issues, having no confidence when he is the one who took a complete woman and broke her apart piece by piece. She will still think that he will change, or that he is upset, or even that she is the one who has messed up.

What she doesn’t know is she is one of many – lefts bruised, battered, broken once the chips land where they fall.
So there you go.
This is where Tiwa had it all wrong.
She thought she was the one.

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