Building Girls, Repairing Women
As young girls who are caught up in between the old andnew generation girls of my age have found very many challenges in manging relationships. our parens are not practically culturally attached yet they would wish us to believe that they are acultural. At 19 i met this young man looking enterprising and agreed immedicately to found a home. hardly had i been culturally prepared for mariage and to make matters worse had been in a single sex school for high school. i always wish that my parnts had had a time to talk to me about the challenges we are likely to face in marriage so that when i go i could actually have gone itno marriage with a gait and soem idea what was expectdof me. so iwas never bult to maange marriage as a girl. Here i come and in my first year had produced and next year. ihad never had any trainig in lif skills, while i was confident as person sometimes chalegning theis man ovr family issues became tough. however when i clocked 32 i decided to return to school. do you knoewhat prompted me i landed a memonrandum of assocaition that declared all theswaet /property and entire livelihood assets under the ownership of my husband, his mother and my two sons excluding me and my only daughter. i asked myself what can i own and no one steal, i thought, 'girl go backto school'. I was so trusting that i asked him to provide me alittle money to buy application forms (10 dollar equivalent) to undertake a postgrduate course. i had invested all my youth and my salary from teaching for twelve years, i had been foolish, had never saved for a new day. Since my parents are still together, i will also surely die with my man. When he refused my parents provided me the money and i successfully applied. i informed my husband first for sponsorship but he refused. He said i find me a sponsor. my parents and sisters anbrothers agreed to contribute. a week or twointo the cousre the man started to behave roudy, locking meup not to goto school. he asked me to choose between himor the family. i said i would not once again forgo my studies, previousy had abandoned business becuase of this very utlimatum. i realised this man was not feeling that i should improve my status that would usher in higher development indicators.what happened thenhe had a seriesof reporting me to police, friends gathering and i insisted i leave school which irefused. I was in and out of home now and them for batttering, chasing out of the house at night - my 4 year old would give me his blanket to face the cold. I thought he would change. He arranged and called his family gathering in my marital place. When i arrived at home only to find a whole village gathered. he said, 'this woman does what ever she likes she no longer listens to me, she wants to kill me and the children, she hates my whole family and am tired of her' my father in law asked, do you have any thing to say? i have nothing to say unless this is for reconcilitation! 'we are tired of you Flavia, leave our home, you told my wife, my other wife had died of AIDs, in fact we have your things here we dont want you in our family', my brother in law retorted. this ws a fat he was decievign his new wife the old wife had died of an accident when she had actually died of HIV. As i speak now this brother in law is dead from denial that he was also HIV positive despite all the signs. I realised it was a conspiracy.
i gained courage i asked my husband, 'is it true what your brother said'. He said yes. i thentold the gathering how iwas thankful that this man had surendered me when i was still alive bearing inmind allthe torture i had been through for 12 years. i then told the commmunity that its fine since my parents are still alive and would clean me if i got malaria bearing in mind that me and my husband had knowm we were HIV positve since 1994. 'you are mad', he shouted caught off guard by my disclosure to the village. i had made my point and everyone started asking is it true i said yes and i demanded have my children and my personal effects. before that i asked them to perform the cultural tradition of taking me back to may parents and decalare am not fit to be awoman, the leaders a greed. However 9 km formthis village adn 40 km on to my ancestral home on a saturday at 5pm in heavy rain in a village-this man dumped me along the road and left me to the world. To Gods grace i got transport and arrived home at 10pm. My parents were dumbfounded but had me there.istarted the process of seeking custody of my three children aged 2 and half, 7 years adn 11 years. my biggest disappointment in all this was the women lawers who let me down. the case dragged in court for 2 years until my immunity dropped to 89 CDcells. i realised i may die and leave he very children am dyong to have. i left the caepending and todate have not followed it up. Remember i didnt contest property but i worked hard and secured a plot and built me ashelter. Todate all my children are with me but the man is aloof, cant support at all. The God that gavethem tome and the life i have will provide for them. i hate going through courts and usually coursts require one ot be loaded. I was never buld as agirl but todate am a repaired woman, we need more expereincesharing to touch theo others who think they cant make it. Laws must be enforced to ensure that the vulnerable are protected. The irony is that while i was never built as a girl for marriage i was built for survival since i was educated. I have been able to secure a modest livelihood without depending on any other man. Also to build my girl i have remarried to ensure my daughter knows there are many good men out there, i also married because i need a companion to take care of my emotional needs and i his in future when the children are of age and leave us, i also at the back of my mind married so that this man kills all the ideas of ever coming back, or the children asking for reunion, and finally to challenge culture that even when divorced women can still get married and its not their fault that marriages fail as often it is presumed that all wrongs are because of women. For some reason am repaired and my daughter is in the process of being build to prepare for the future. Yes it is possible to build your delicate daughter, sister now and repair your mother, sister or daughter in challenging relationships. es you can!!!!!!!!!!!!!!