Some stories are hard to believe; but it doesn’t change the fact that a lot of strange things happen in our society every day. I was shocked to the marrow after reading Bintu’s story; but again nothing comes as a surprise in this my line of duty. It is such a cold and wicked world out there…
After childhood, as soon as a woman gets older, household responsibilities and duties start to weigh her down and then she marries. If luck is not on her side, she gets married to the wrong man and becomes burdened for the rest of her life. As soon as I turned 19, I was married to my cousin, Ado. Within three years of marriage, I had my son, Talib. He was born prematurely at seven months, and through a caesarean session. Rather than be a source of strength and togetherness for my husband and I, it signalled the start of a big problem that involved his family.
Everyone began mistreating me when I returned. My mother-in-law and his sisters didn’t give me spending money, food, and worst of all, no one loved my son. I began earning my own money and taking care of my son in their home. Ado may never have beaten me, but he managed to hurt me emotionally in so many different ways. He never accepted our child as his own. He married another woman behind my back and created a whole new family with his new wife. His mother and sisters were all involved in his second marriage. It has been miserable after Ado’s second marriage.
This became unbearable for me and I had no choice but to come and live with my family. When my son Talib turned three, I had no choice but to get a job so I could take care of myself and acquire other things. At times, I would not be able to see him for a month or even more; ha! It was not the best way to raise a child that had an uncommon delivery.
I am still too young to remain unmarried—that is what people keep saying; but is it not better to remain single with a son than go back to slavery because that is what marriage is all about.
The problem I will sooner or later deal with is having to tell my son who his father is since Ado has flatly denied being his biological father. Talib doesn’t have the same look as his father; but that makes me very happy and satisfied even though it worries my parents. No law says the child must always have similar physical or facial structure of his father; after all every child is a product of two people (a man and the woman). He does look every inch like me, and that brings me joy and much comfort.