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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.

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Jan K Askin's picture

My Story: Miracles

Dear Oluwaremilekun,

Thank you for writing this story of persistence in the ongoing pursuit of justice for your son. It is gratifying and a miracle, that your husband could see beyond the violence of your past that you are a true and unselfish woman. I hope your story can be shared with many more in similar situations in your country. Many more men, as well, would benefit from your husband's example.

You must be so proud of your son. I have two sons and would do anything for them.

Your sister,

Jan

Jan Askin

Oluwaremilekun's picture

RE: My Story: Miracles

Thanks Jan.

Yes, Men like my husband in Africa, especially Nigeria are uncommon. Probably 1 in I million. And I am doing my best to educate young women and girls on the need to be themselves instead of compromising with their circumstances.

I am really proud of my boy.

Oluwaremilekun

Frances Faulkner's picture

Oluwaremilekun, What you term

Oluwaremilekun,

What you term as a miracle seems to me to be a function of your own hard work and determination. You created your own miracle! Traveling through such hard times offers you perspective and appreciation that is hard to get any other way. I imagine you are a helpful mentor and example for other women around you who are struggling.

Thanks for sharing,

Frances

Oluwaremilekun's picture

RE: What you term miracles

Hi Frances,

It is still a miracle cos it was a tedious journey and I felt like bolting out. I never knew I would be alive to tell my story today. I am really happy that girls, women and even guys in my environment now know that 'No condition is permanent in life' and they are all striving for that change.

Thanks.

Oluwaremilekun

sallysmithr's picture

Amazing story

I truly enjoyed reading your story. Although you went through very hard times you were determined to succeed and you have in many ways. I am so happy for you and wish you the very best.

Sally Smith

Oluwaremilekun's picture

RE: Amazing Story

Hi,

Thanks Sally. Wishing you the utmost best too.

Oluwaremilekun

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