Nobody wakes up to say, “today, today, I will beat my father like shege.”
That person must be a mad man I am not a mad man. So, I am telling you there’s a reason why what happened, happened, you understand me?
Let me try and explain to you and see if you can still judge me right or wrong.
I grew up with an abusive father; I have known him to beat my mum for years and after a while it actually stopped when I turned 16 and I came in between him and my mum on one occasion.
He was beating her and I just couldn’t stand it, so I barged in between them to stop him beating her.
He hit me several times but I stood my ground, I was just crying, “Daddy, please, daddy please…” until he stopped hitting me. He stopped beating my mum since that t.
At least until I went to university, I never saw him hit her; though they still had their quarrels and he would always shout, throw things but never hit her again. They have three children and I am the first born; I am almost 23years and if not for all this ASUU strike, Covid lock down, I would have graduated by now. This would be my final year tme
Ok, I called home from school because my youngest brother, our last born who is in SS1 called me to tell me my father had started beating my mother again.
This kind of news is not the type you want to be hearing when you are writing your project and looking forward to finally finishing school.
I called my dad, I said “Daddy, what is going on? Why are you quarrelling with mummy?”
He told me “What is happening between your mother and I is no business of yours!”
I said, “Ok, but please, stop this fight, I don’t want anything to happen to both of you. Please for the sake of your children.”
He didn’t say anything, he just cut the phone.
I came home a few weeks later; I actually came home to do a bit of research on the project I was writing. Again, that night, I heard my parents fighting; that was around 11pm. My youngest brother said this was about the time they always quarreled.
I heard my mother crying. She was saying, “You will not rest until you kill me, you will not rest until you kill me for my children.”
So I went to their room to bang on the door and demanded for my father to open it.
As soon as the door opened, my mother ran out! My father wanted to follow her, so I blocked him. You know, when my mother ran out, she was almost naked, you know our people believe that it is a taboo to see your other’s nakedness? So, I was very disturbed by what I saw that day. I didn’t even follow my mother; I blocked my father’s path and when he wanted to shove me aside; look at me, at 6’2, do I look like I can be shoved aside?
I held him tightly and moved him back into their room.
He was shouting and telling me that “Oh you think because you now have muscles, you are a man?”
I pump iron because that is what people who do sports do. I am a sports person. And more so, when we were home during the Covid-19 lockdown, I did a lot of work on my body; our house isn’t far from the stadium, so I went to the stadium daily to pump iron, and so I became this buff. Even my father encouraged it at some point!
Anyway, I prevented him from running after my mum and hitting her again. He eventually calmed down and told me I would have to leave his house the following morning
I said where would I go? He said, “There can’t be two captains in one ship; go and find your own place.”
I was surprised at him, I said, “Simply because I prevented you from hitting my mother?” I refused. “I told him, I am going no where.”
My mum too said he was talking nonsense.
The following day, he kept charging at me, “Leave my house, leave my house!”
My mum I said I wasn’t going anywhere, “This house belongs to me as well, my sweat and my money is in this house and my son is going nowhere.”
You know, my parents own the house we live in; they both put money together and built it.
From that day, I generally avoided my dad in the house. I couldn’t go back to school immediately knowing that he might try to hit her again, so I waited around to make sure he had calmed down.
I asked my mother, what really caused the quarrel; she didn’t even want to tell me but eventually, I pressed her and she told me she didn’t want to have another child in her old age?
I was like, ‘wait, wait, wait…so he wanted to…and you…”
“Mummy, why can’t you do family planning? It is free, it is easy…my mum is not lettered. You know but I expected that she should know these things. She said he was on one plan for sometime but it was making her feel somehow that she had told my father and he told her to find an alternative… I know these things because I took electives in pharmacology…
You know, this isn’t even the kind of talk you want to hear about your own parents!
So I offered to go with my mum to the general hospital to have her find a better plan for her. I mean…that was where we went that day when my dad started making trouble with my mum again and this time, I was really pissed.
He should be happy I took his wife to the hospital for his own sake, instead, he told me I had no business going with my mother to family planning clinic…see me see trouble, o!
He started his wahala again and all I did was say to my mum – ‘don’t stay there for him to kill you o.’
The man just charged at me, “who are you? She is my wife and I will do whatever I want.”
I replied him, “she is my mother and I will do anything to protect her.”
My mum began to cry and tell me to leave him alone. Leave who?
I said, “Daddy, please, neighbours are hearing us…people will know what we cooked that the house got burnt…” he just wired me one slap!
He wanted to slap me a second time and I held his hand, I told him, “Never you raise your hand at me again. I held it and we struggled for a while and I pushed him away from me. He just went straight back to the room brought a koboko…horsewhip, to beat me? I lost it. I took the koboko from him and threw it away; he attacked me and I gave him serious beating.
It was still my mother, the same woman he has been beating, who went to massage his body.
I didn’t plan it o but I think I will do the same thing if he threatens me or my mum again.
It is fucked up I know but someone had to treat his fuck up!
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande)