The first time I contacted gono, I mean gonorrhea, was in 2016.
At first, I didn’t know what it was; I was always tired, I was sweating so much at night, my body was aching, so I began to take agbo, thinking I had malaria…after three days, I noticed that my ‘under’ was always itching, I was seeing pus-like and bloody discharge on my pants and sometimes, my ‘under’ would be swollen, if I was in public, I would just go to one corner and scratch and scratch and scratch till blood came out. I was miserable for some time because, I mean, what’s the meaning of this?
And when I wanted to pee nko? Fire.
I live at Makoko, as you already know, I sell fish; we bathe and live in the waters, so that time too, I felt maybe it was because something else had entered the water, because at that time we had water hyacinths, I thought, maybe somehow, the water was not good to wash ‘under’ and that’s why I became infected… I thought that it would go after a few days…I would buy pure water in sachets and use to clean myself and it used to sting so badly.
One day when I was absent mindedly scratching the ‘thing’ my sister, who also sells fish beside me at the market asked me if I had gone to the chemist for drugs for the itch. I said, ‘So you have noticed?’
She said yes, that she too had before, she got it from her husband.
O gbele o! When I realised I had caught a serious disease from my oga, I was very angry. I was angry because there I was struggling to feed our three children, enduring his battery because of the children and the stupid man was busy putting his thing in every available hole and he didn’t even stop at that, he had infected me with a disease.
I also knew my sister’s husband was a useless man; in Makoko, his love for ogogoro and small girls was well known.
So what did I do?
I followed my sister’s advice. I went to the chemist near the market, I told the man at the counter that I wanted…you say pharmacy? No, I went to chemist not pharmacy, those people at Pharmacy charge too much money. How much money do I make in a day selling fish that I would now use everything to buy medicine? No, I went to the chemist and they also sell good drugs there and I also went to alagbo, I bought the one that cures this types of diseases, they have plenty of it; I combined the two.
That’s how I cured myself o. The chemist man told me I should tell my oga to use the same medicine so that he too would be cured; even alagbo told me the same thing. I did not tell him, because my sister said when she told her husband, the man beat her to pieces.
I am tired of being battered, even if I do not accuse him of anything, he beats me, so where was the courage to tell him about gono?
I bought the medicine and put it on the table where he I knew he would see it. You wont believe it o but he asked me what it was for, I told him that the hyacinths in the water was making my ‘under’ to scratch me…
He said, ‘Ha, the same thing is worrying me, too.’
Immediately, I said, “You better be taking the medicine, o because my own is getting better.”
That’s how we both used the medicine o, till it finished. I asked him one day, “Your own is ok?” He said yes.
Cunny man die, cunny man bury am.
Oga did not touch me that period and me too, I just gave him 100 yards.
The second time I contacted it again was last year, 2018. That time, I knew what it was and I was not going to pretend anymore. I told my oga that I had contacted gono again, and he was the one who infected me! He said it didn’t come from him, he accused me of sleeping around…can you believe that!
Where would I get a disease like that from if not from him? That day we beat ourselves like mad because I knew he was lying and I was just tired of his ways. He beat me, I used all the instrument in the house to fight him back!
See this pestle, I picked it and hit him on the face, it broke his front teeth. That was when he became gentle.
I packed my load and took my children in my boat and we moved to another part of the waterside; enough was enough.
How can he he beating me, eating my food and be giving me gono again…haha, he wants to kill me for my children?
I have left him o. He didn’t do anything for them before so what exactly is he useful for? The only thing he has to give me is disease and I don’t want that anymore!
(series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)