Life in family slave camps - ONLINEAFRIC.COM

Life in family slave camps

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By Yetunde Arebi


Since infidelity is almost an acceptable norm for most men in our society, have you ever wondered what you would do, if you caught your spouse with another woman? This was the focus of my discussion with a handful of women after one of our women’s association meetings recently. Each woman had her own strategy, determined by events and circumstances. It was much fun like I’d not had in a while as we reeled with laughter at many of the stories.

Two stories however caught my attention. They reminded me of the women who my boss, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye described as ‘ibi la ma kusi’, (we will both die in this marriage) and are ready to do anything to keep the men, including fighting dirty.   The two stories are from different perspectives though.


Debby, (42), an unmarried mother of two children shared the story of her first meeting with the wife of the man for whom she later had her children.

“It was her reaction that shocked me. I never thought she would be capable of such a degrading action. I had always pictured her as a quiet, gentle and well   mannered lady”, she said.   “Prior to the incident, I’d been thinking seriously about calling off the relationship. Apart from providing my friends and I the opportunity to have a good time  out occasionally, I wasn’t getting anything that I couldn’t give up from the affair. If it was money, I got a substantial sum from my father which in fact many of my friends could not boast of.

By demanding for more, I was only being extravagant. On the other hand, if it was  “do do”, I had a boyfriend besides Dada at the time. In fact, I was becoming scared that my boyfriend might soon find out. You know, it was just fun, there was just nothing to gain from the relationship then.

Again, Dada was one of those men who never leave you in doubt about how much they love their wives and what they mean to each other. He would always discuss her with me and in turn I told him stories about my boyfriend. Over time, I could almost say with confidence that I knew his wife, even when we had never met. Secretly, I had started to like her and would always ask after her and the children. The whole thing was just fun to me, until the day I met her. That day changed everything for me.

Dada used to own a small club located on the Island. I had gone to visit him as usual when she came in unannounced. She told him she was passing by and decided to drop in. A bad day to have taken such a decision, I thought, as I sat sipping my drink with the pieces of chicken I had been served. I was seated on a long sofa, while Dada sat behind his desk.

I was happy that we were not doing anything funny at that moment. After we all exchanged greetings, she sat down to discuss with her husband. Soon, she spotted my bag which Dada had placed next to his while we were playing earlier on. She asked him who owned the bag and he told her it was mine.

I immediately sensed there would be trouble as the position of both bags was somehow personal. Suddenly, she sprang up, grabbed my bag and threw it at me. I was stunned but I didn’t budge. I kept on sipping my drink and just pretended nothing had happened. She became mad and   wanted to charge at me just as her husband began warning her to take hold of herself. He quickly got up and held her so she wouldn’t resort to more violence.

They began shouting at each other. She turned to me and ordered that I should take my bag and leave. I ignored her again and she became wild, shouting that nothing could appease her other than my leaving at that moment. All the while, the two of them continued struggling with each other, the wife trying to get at me and the husband ensuring she did not.

As she continued barking her orders, something indescribable came over me. I told her calmly that she should remember that the club was not their matrimonial home, it was both an office and a public place, adding that I could be a client for all she cared to know. I told her that being her husband’s guest and not hers, she could not ask me to leave.

At this, she simply lost it. She accused her husband of joining forces with me to insult her. She threatened to tell everyone what she’ had to suffer at our hands, raining more abuses and curses on the two of us. She called him a big fool and a useless man. She told me that I would get married one day too and my husband would go around messing up with young girls.

I told her it was fine with me, as my case would not be the first. As the struggle continued, her wristwatch broke, and she became wilder again. When I realised that the situation was getting out of control, I felt it would be ridiculous if people found us there under such circumstances.

No one would blame her for throwing such tantrums in a public place but I would have a hard time convincing everyone of my mission there. So, I took my bag and got out of the place, leaving them to sort themselves out. As I stepped out of the office, I saw a few of the staff hovering around, obviously listening to the fracas going on inside their boss’ office. Initially, I had made up my mind there to end the relationship, but later changed my mind.

An hour after I got back to school, I saw Dada. He came to apologise for his wife’s unruly behaviour, he said. He told me she had never behaved in such a manner before. I asked him to imagine what could have happened if he had not been there to hold her, or better still, if she had managed to break free of his grips. Though he promised she would never repeat such again, she did. Her violent reactions made me change my mind about her and the relationship. (That’s a story for another edition)

Lizzy, (40), a business woman, is married to Kayode (45), a yuppie business man. She describes how she fought him to a standstill while trying to pick a girl at a party:

My husband has a roving eye. I know this from the days of our courtship and have accepted that he would never change there is a limit to what he could do. I will not tolerate disrespect and he cannot marry another wife. He is aware that I am a mad woman too and can make things pretty difficult for him if I want to.

Once, we were at a friend’s party. As expected, we were sharing a table with other married couples from our group of friends when Kayode excused himself to say hello to some other people. At first, I did not think much of it, but when I noticed that he had been gone for over 20 minutes, I began tracing his movement from where I sat. I spotted him at another end of the party in the midst of some friends of his that I did not really approve of.

Though some of them were married, they could as well pass for single guys because of their uncontrollable love for skirt chasing. There was a particular one that I detested so much up till now because he was notorious for skirt chasing. His wife was so soft spoken that he got away with his activities. So, it was only natural that there would be lots of girls at the corner too who had been imported for the party and I quickly calculated that my husband had been summoned to come and pick his.

A few minutes after I spotted him, I turned again only to find him now comfortably seated and chatting away with a girl. Both were giggling and talking to each other at the same time. I felt my heart skip a beat. A few minutes later, he returned to our table. I accused him of abandoning our table and friends to sit with some other people. Kayode told me they were discussing some important business deals and that if he sat with me all night, it would not be possible to tie up the deal.

At that moment, I decided on what I was going to do to him and the unfortunate girl. At first, I was afraid of what could happen, but I soon summoned courage, and walked over to their table. After exchanging pleasantries with the few people I knew, I grabbed a chair, placed it next to his and sat. Unknown to me, I already had the support of some of the other wives and they were ready to help me. Soon, it was time for our group of friends to hit the dance floor.

As the dance progressed, the musician began singing our praises, calling our names, with our daughter’s. Kayode’s new girl had also accompanied us with her friends. I was happy that I came loaded with cash to spray and put my money to task. I didn’t mind, I spent all the money on the musician and for almost thirty minutes, he continued to sing our praises with my friends’ support. Suddenly, I saw him walk off the stage towards   the girl and her friends and started spraying them.

I was furious. When he got to her, he changed the denomination of the naira notes. I just walked up to them and snatched the money out of his hands. I did not touch the notes he’d already given her. I just gave him a freezing look, went up the stage and gave the money to the musician who began praising me again.

Just before we left, he excused himself to go to the restroom. I noticed he was going towards the girl’s table and ran after him. I saw him dip his hand into his wallet and immediately made some calculations. I arrived at the nick of time to grab the complimentary card from his fingers just as he tried to push it into her hands. Everyone was stunned at first, but they soon started giggling. One of his friends shouted, “man mi, Lizzy checkmate e this time oh” (Lizzy beat you at your game this time) My husband was too angry to say anything initially but later said “were ni wo girl yio” (You are a crazy girl).

Do have a wonderful weekend!!


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