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My problem, my solution... 2013 VOF Week 3

My family consists of my father, three wives and thirteen children. I am the eleventh and last of my mum who is the second wife. Our kind of polygamous home is such that the responsibility of the children lies with the mother. I was lucky to have a working mother who tried her best to see us through secondary school. The norm is after that you are on your own. Either you learn a trade or skill and get married or have a rich boyfriend to sponsor you through tertiary institution. I can't explain what made me decided, maybe due to my nature of always being different, I made up my mind to further my education not at the mercy of any man but through hard work.

It wasn't easy. I never had enough, am always lacking something. Can't afford handouts most times so I would collect from my friends, read and jot down things I can read during examination. During school breaks I would travel round visiting uncles and relations so that by the time school resumes I would have some money for tuition fees and accommodation. My mum also sold her gold and also helped with her pension to encourage because my sister and I were so determined to be educated.

During my travels I learnt how to bake, make beads and a little of hair dressing. Most times I do buy things to sell from the money given me by relations but I can't sustain a business because as am selling am using the money for upkeep. At every opportunity I get to make money I used (legally). I worked in a radio station for two years and had to stop when it started affecting my studies. The journey through school was not easy but am glad I passed through it because that's the story am using to teach less privileged teenagers. It also taught me to be contented with the little I have, live simple and to manage my resources well.

It was through my struggles I realised the solution to my problem- entrepreneurship and skill acquisitions. If I had that knowledge earlier I won't go through so much hardship in school. Am glad some private educational institutions are taking entrepreneurial studies serious and are including it in the school curriculum.

I graduated from the University as one of the best students in my department (so proud of that), I finished my Youth Service last year and am presently working at the Centre for Entrepreneurial Development Studies of Covenant University, Nigeria. At every opportunity I get I teach students the importance of acquiring a vocational or enterpreneurial skill. I admonish young girls that they have no excuse of not been educated, all they just need is determination and a little push through encouragement to learn to be self dependent. Am proud of what I am and what I will still do to help young girls be employers of labor by maximizing their skills and potentials.


Am sure I've exceeded the word limit. I can't just stop writing because am always excited sharing my story. Sorry pls *winks*

This story was written for World Pulse’s Girls Transform the World Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring girls greater access to education which will transform their lives, their families, and communities. The Girls Transform Campaign elicits insightful content from young women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as women, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
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pelamutunzi's picture

wel done

your efforts deserve applause. many girls feel that there is any easy way which is older, married men and many have seen their early death because of this. share your story with many other youths so they can follow.
thanx for sharing

we may be powerless to stop an injustice but let there never be a time we fail to protest.

Beckybold's picture


Am grateful for the compliment. I sure will do that


Maya Norton's picture

Lending an Easy Hand

As a matter of curiosity on the word count, yours was precisely within the recommendations of 500-800 words at 495. Here's a good tool for calculation should you need to find one quickly:

It sounds like your upbringing made you independent and resourceful. From where do you think you and your sister got your determination and dedicated to be educated? Was it from birth, something that was just part of you, or does it stem from the influence of a particular person or event?

~ Maya

Stacey Rozen's picture

Would you marry into a

Would you marry into a polygamous family after being raised in one, Becky?


Beckybold's picture


I will never allow such Stacy. Ignorance and low self esteem are some of the reasons women are under bondage called polygamy. An educated, self employed, confident with a good self esteem would never be a slave to it. That's one of things I strongly speak against.



Stacey Rozen's picture

There's been so much talk of

There's been so much talk of it in SA as our president is married to multiple women with over 20 children. Your strength shines through and I admire that you rose confidently. You learnt so much about life in your own home as a young girl. Thanks for sharing, Becky. Keep writing so insightfully.


Beckybold's picture


A man's wealth shouldn't be an excuse for polygamy. I wish your president long life.
Thanks for your word, so encouraging.



Estherkitenge's picture


I appreciate your determination, I encourage you to continue like this

Beckybold's picture

Loads of gratitude

am grateful dear, God bless @Esther.


j3ssm3ss's picture

A great lesson

You haven't exceeded the word count Beckybold it was 5-800 words this week!

I really loved reading your account - I think the situation you describe is such a widespread one and one women from many different nations and situations can relate to, especially when the cost of University tuition is getting more and more expensive in many places.

Your story really sends a clear message to other girls that there is another way, a more empowering and responsible way. It may seem harder and less certain but I can tell just by reading your writing that this whole experiences has also equipped you with really important life skills and most importantly independence! I'm so happy its also led you to a career that allows you to pass on this knowledge to other girls. A great response to the assignment!

Catsilveira's picture

Good for you

You took your destiny in your on hands. good for you. Is great to hear that your mom was able to help you get started as well.
really looking forward to read more about your intake on poligamy (by your comments here I get you have strong opinion about it)
on a more curious note (I have never had the chance to exchange thoughts with someone who knows how poligamy fells like): do you have close contact with the the children from the other two wifes? were they also able to study and persue careers?

more power to you!

and thank you for writing.



Beckybold's picture

Thank you

@Catarina, thanks for your compliment. i sure do have a lot to say about polygamy am even thinking of writing a book one day about my experiences *laughs*. its a barbaric practice having many women fight over a man. yes i have contact with my steps-siblings but not close. when we meet at gatherings we exchange greetings but there is a big gap between us. thankfully some of them went back to school and some are trying to go.
I wont mind satisfying your curiosity, please feel free to contact me



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