The Years that the Cankerworms Have Eaten...Restored
In Africa, when a woman has a child outside matrimony, she undergoes a lot of shame and tragic moments, mine was not different. After my Bachelor’s Degree, I met a guy with whom we started out as friends but with time, we got intimate. Before I knew what was happening, he raped and got me pregnant in 1996. He wanted me to abort but I totally objected it because of my religious views as a Christian. I tried to pressure him into us getting married but it was a futile effort because it became glaring that his family members were against our marriage. To them, “As an MSc holder, I was more educated than him, therefore, there was the likelihood that I would control him after our wedding” even though he had a bachelor’s degree. To say that I suffered was an understatement.
Unfortunately, in this part of Africa, if a man wants to marry a woman but realizes that she has a child outside marriage, he quickly dumps her because she is perceived ‘second hand‘; What this meant for me was that there was no relationship, love or even marriage proposals. To worsen the tragedy, I became a beggar in order to survive and for my son to start off schooling.
But God’s ways are marvelous and miraculous, no one can understand it. I got a teaching job in 2004 in a miraculous way. Out of the seven applicants that sat for the conferencing styled interview, I was the only female person but I was the most favoured in terms of answering questions posed to us all, and was selected for the position I applied for, ending my years of begging and going to bed without nothing to eat all in the bid to satisfy my son. I bagged my Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Political Science from a foremost university in Nigeria in 2005. To crown it all, God sent a man that despite ‘being second hand’, he agreed to marry me in 2006. It was unexpected because I had lost all hope. We had a solemn wedding ceremony. All the years that locusts and cankerworms have eaten were regained again in my life. This year, my son will be 14 years of age but the last time I saw his father was when he was 9 months old.