Revealing The Essence of Life…………….
At times, when you hear what some individuals are passing through or even passed through in life. I mean the kind of challenges they had to surmount, you will quickly come to a resolution that; indeed, the world is an enclosure of troubles, calamity, mischief and ungodliness as the lists are endless.
It is indeed the case of different strokes for different folks; I thought my own story was the most pathetic until I listened to my friend’s- Tunde’s tale of woes, that great evening. Tunde started his story by first introducing himself because I told him that I will publish it for the whole world to learn from it…
I am Tunde A., I was born into a polygamous family and I hailed from one of the south-western states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. My father had four wives, my mother was the second wife, although, the word of God is true that “He doesn’t forget His own, but I still ask this questions if it is indeed true?”, sorry for the little digression, the other three wives were so wicked in nature with their very troublesome children, especially Mama Mojisola, the first and most senior wife whom all would have expected to have fully matured since she is the oldest of them all with very grown up kids but she was more dangerous than a serpent, she wasn’t just wicked but I think it isn’t gainsaying If I should say she was indeed, the devil’s reincarnate.
My mother had three children. I, the male child and the first born of my mother, my two siblings are female. As a kid I was very brilliant in school, I became the toast of all my colleagues and all the teachers because of my academic brilliance and dexterity, as that got me the position of the school’s head prefect, it is undeniably factual that success has many brothers. Shade and Laolu my two siblings weren’t bad academically too and my mother was equally doing great business-wise. The reverse was the case for the other families and I think I can say things may be working for us due to our very close walk with God and our very resilient belief in Him.
My father made his money then from the government through supplies and contracts during the First Republic being one of the major contractors. He lavished everything on women, cars and alcoholic, he doesn’t even pray as he believed everything was simply working for him because of his good connections and not God. We the children clean the cars every five hours of the day as we had a roster for cleaning of the two sleek cars- his most cherished assets. But despite the roster we still engaged in hullabaloos especially when it is the turn of the children of the first wife whom were our seniors, they would rather prefer we do all their duties for them with the backing of their mother. We must do it or we will be punished.
My mother met my father on several occasions to give her a small aid at least to start something but he refused her blatantly. So, she had to meet grandma, her mother at the village who was a farmer and she gave my mother some little amount which she added to the money she realized from the sales of all her jewelries. But to my greatest amazement when my father runs out of cash he never hesitate to meet my mother for money, leaving the rest wives whom he established, especially the first wife who was the richest of them all with a very big shop at Oshodi. A major and busy area in Lagos where she deals on clothing, and whenever my mother refuses him he batters her like Mike Tyson leaving her with heavy bruises which she will continue to nurse for the rest of the week.
Really, the polygamous home is nothing but what the Yoruba’s called “Ogba were – lunatics’ den”, it is not always blissful but chaotic in nature. It’s a place where you find distinct catastrophic and bizarre happenings, as some even go fetish and satanic to hurt others. Some of the many happenings are indeed satanic, for instance seeing some women going real haywire diabolically casting spells on their husbands turning him into a remote-controlled robot who will always be at their becks and calls only. The man will also develop a deep sited hatred for other wives and not only that, their children are not left out in the victimization. Their destinies could also be truncated, such as that the helpless kids becoming victims of circumstances, all these I also learnt from my classmates, Ebubechukwu who also came from a polygamous home and Balarabe, the son of the very wealthy Alhaji Mai Nasara who married five wives. All their homes are far from bliss.
Most nights we will be woken by sudden turbulent scream and wheezing from the heavy fight between my niggling father and some of his wives, the cause was always a frivolity, as my father being accused of not coming to sleep with the woman in question on the night of her own turn but he chose to go and sleep with the other wife while it wasn’t her own turn or might be that she had had her own turn already, since he rotates the sleeping thing routine per night to a wife each and at times the woman may be accusing him of not even touching her throughout the night he was in her room, and thereby becoming a very big fight or what I called “show of shame”.
Despite my father’s well organized sleeping roster, pandemonium never stopped breaking out almost every night, which was the problem he got himself into, to them; there is never an excuse even if he took ill he must perform his duty as a husband. At first, I thought he was enjoying life but I later realized he was dying gradually and became so disturbed. The only time he had peace was when it is the turn of my mother who never stopped praying for the progress and wellbeing of my very funny father.
With my experience, especially the dilemma I went through as a product of a polygamous home, I will never advice anyone to go into it and pick a second wife let alone marrying four women and putting them under one roof like my father who became the architect of his own misfortunes by simply acquiring four beautiful women thinking that was the best way to live big or have an extravagant lifestyles what he termed “enjoy life”. He later realized they are sheer illusions. My story is so disheartening that I don’t like remembering it, but all the same we must tell it so that we can all learn a great deal from it, and who knows?-I may be saving someone’s life from this great societal menace which we thought is a way of life and evidence of wealth by being a bigamist or polygamist
My heart rendering tale started one night when it was the turn of my father to sleep in the room of my mother. That fateful night was the turn of my mother; he slept in the room of Mama Moji, the first wife the previous night. He was about entering my mum’s room when Mama Moji pulled him back and held his trouser screaming he wouldn’t go in into my mother’s room that she complained to him that she was sick but he did nothing. He pleaded with her that it was Bola’s turn this night, that is my mother’s name, that after all, he was in her room just last night and she never complained that she was sick but his pleas fell on deaf ears as she instead began to hurl all sort of insults on him. My mother rushed out of her room to plead with my father to go with Mama Moji and not to worry about her that she never mind even if it’s her own turn.
But instead of Mama Moji listening to my mother who was pleading on her behalf, she moved closer to her and gave her a very thunderous slap on the left cheek and didn’t even stopped there as she also kicked her and instantaneously hurled curses on her. My mother who fell to the floor the instant continued to weep bitterly, and by now my father had lost his patience, he slapped her, pushed her away and pulled up my sober mother from the floor.
Mama Moji held my father’s trouser, tore it into shreds and by now the Second World War reenacted in our home that night. Despite what she did to my mother, she still tried to plead with their now very infuriated husband who continued to punch away at Mama Moji. He was really bent on dealing with her. My mother now held my father tried to pull him off her but he pushed her away. Mama Moji finally gained her freedom, she broke away, moved to my mother again and slapped her, my mother went on her kneels begging her but she shouted at her that she was the cause of her maltreatment by my father. She then snapped her fingers at my mum and said “Haa! Ma fi aiye han e!” ironically meaning “I will deal and hurt you diabolically”. This literarily means to show someone the intricacies of the world. The minute she said it, she walked away making a loud hiss. We took her bragging as an empty boast unknown to us that she meant every of her threat to detail and I can say that was the beginning of our woes, predicament, pains and infirmities.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Michael F. Daramola, MFD, is a Lagos (Nigeria) based writer.