I am the other woman; I am the one who took another woman’s husband.
But wait o, I have my defense – if he wasn’t available to be taken, I wouldn’t have taken him in the first place. So, there you have it!
My husband is 26 years older than me, so I call him ‘daddy.’ Yeah, it’s funny abi? I saw the look o your face when I called him ‘daddy’ on the phone. I was not talking to my father o. I was talking to my husband, I just call him ‘daddy’ because I can’t call him by his name, you know as e get with our people?
Here’s my story.
I met ‘daddy’ when I was just 20 years old. I was working as a sales girl in Abuja. I didn’t have much education then because my father had 9 of us and he was only able to sponsor our first born, a son to university, the rest of us had to fend for ourselves. I made my five papers in my WAEC, after which I began to scout around for a job.
And let me also say that, I didn’t necessarily think education was a way out for me because let’s be honest with ourselves, there are hundreds of thousands of graduates faffing around without a job. Look at my brother, the only one my father sent to uni, he doesn’t have a job as I speak. Yes, he worked for some time but was fired after a while and is now trying to do business; so who education epp for Nigeria?
What I wanted was someone to sponsor me to Dubai, so I could go and buy things to sell. That was my main aim. But you know, I was just a sales girl at one of those boutiques in Abuja and dreaming of my own business. Then one day ‘daddy’ came to the shop to buy something for his wife.
Walahi, I didn’t see him as a ticket at first. I attended to him, asked him what he wanted, advised on things he could get for her…at the end of the day, he made purchases of over N300,000 and dashed me N5k!
I was just praying I would meet a man who would spend that much on me, too. All the small, small boys i was dating only wanted to collect the small change I had on me.
Two months later, he came again to buy things for his wife, what a lucky woman! This time he bought items worth over N400k! some women are born lucky, o! That day again, ‘Daddy’ dashed me N10k! see me, o! My salary was N15k at that time.
Ok, now, let me continue. As he was shopping, me, I was pointing out other items he should buy for madam, and also telling him he could buy a few things for himself as well, so that madam will not shine pass him, he bought all and thanked me. He collected my number and that’s how we started.
So you need to understand that ‘daddy’ was a big man to someone like me. That time, he had a boy that carried his phones and his bag for him. He had about 6 phones! Yes, he was always dressed in fine brocade and dark shades. It was later I got to know he was a director at one of the government parastatals. Very big man, o!
But I was still afraid of his wife, he later told me his wife wasn’t even in Abuja, that she was based in Lagos and that he had four children!
That’s how we started o. In a matter of months, I stopped working as a sales girl because ‘daddy’ said I should go back to school. He was going to sponsor it, even though I told him I wanted to do business. He said, what business would I do if I was an illiterate? So, I kuku ma collected form for college of education, and with entered school, to study.
All these while, I was with ‘Daddy’ o, I was his babe. Anytime, anywhere, anyhow. And I knew he was still going to Lagos to see his family. Me, I didn’t care, he was taking care of me, I was living good, wetin remain?
Did his wife ever come to Abuja?
Yes, those periods, I stayed away, she came a few times with her children. I saw them from afar. So yes. They did.
Ok, so after my NCE, ‘daddy’ said, what do you want to do? I still said business, he said, no, first go and get a university degree. That’s it o.
So, I got forms, direct entry to study English at Uni Abuja. That one too was three years and in all of those three years, I lived with ‘Daddy’ in his big house.
What was I doing there? Oh, so you expect me to live on campus and another small shory will come and entice ‘daddy’? what kind of question is this?
After my degree program, I told him, now I have satisfied your need for me to be educated and have a certificate, ok, my turn to go to Dubai for business.
I told you, ‘daddy’ was a big man in Abuja, really big, so once I finished, like he promised me a long time ago, I started going to Dubai on business trips.
For me, ba, ‘daddy’ was a godsend. I swear. I wasn’t thinking that I was spoiling his marriage because he told me a lot of things about his wife. How he was the first person to sleep with her, how they had their children in the UK when she was studying to be a nurse and he was working. So the woman is a matron in one big hospital in Lagos and she also travels to Dubai, Italy, UK to buy things to sell in Lagos. I knew his children’s names, their schools, everything about them.
But he told me he was tired of her, well, that should be expected, why would a man follow a smallie like me if there was no problem in his marriage more so, madam refused to play certain games with him saying shes a Christian…me, am I a pagan?
I also knew that this man was not the type of man to just release like that even after I got my education and started my trips to Dubai. The man had practically become my husband. I had friends who told me to leave him and go and marry a younger man. And I would have, if I wanted to but daddy invested a lot in my life. Even my family felt the extent of his generosity; I could pay my parents rent, send money and plenty of food stuff to them every month, in fact, many times, they wouldn’t have finished the money or food, I sent the previous month, before I send fresh ones…so this was not a man I could walk away from!
I felt I owed him, so when I was almost 30 and I saw that, come, o, babe don dey old finish o. I took in for him.
…I gave him three more children! He had three boys and one girl before, I gave him three boys then something happened
Ohhhh, there was a war! The wife had found out and there was war! And we fought spiritually and otherwise! I fought her back! He was as much mine as he was hers, yes, she came first but, I owned him too! The man had been chopping me like bread for over 10 years.
The fight got so bad, she only succeded in driving him into my arms even more! That’s the thing with us women, if you want to fight your man and still keep him, don’t fight too hard, you will drive him further into the other woman’s hands. I think it’s same for men, too. Anyway. That’s how it happened. His wife never found out about me until I had my first child. We had a naming ceremony and all of that, I will never know who leaked the story to her. But, why wont she find out? Will I be hidden forever?
He told me he told his wife that it was a ‘mistake’. That was what pissed me off. Me, mistake? My own child mistake, Ehehn?
Before my son turned one, I took in again and did not let ‘daddy’ know until I was 5 months gone. Aha! I was afraid he would ask me to go remove it. Remove what?
Well, that’s how we stopped at three; by the time my second born came, I had told ‘daddy’ he had to go and formally see my people. Otherwise his children would be called bastards. He didn’t like that. He was a proper man, he wanted his children to be properly brought up and yes, at this time, he had bought me a flat in Lagos but I was still living with him in Abuja.
Why a flat in Lagos? Well, because he had plans to retire and relocate back to Lagos and the house he built with his first wife, well you know I wouldn’t be able to live there. She is there with their children, me and my children would need a place to live. So he bought the flat.
I have said enough, there’s a whole lot more but I think I have said too much already. So that’s my story. We will eventually move to Lagos but for now, we are still in Abuja and yes, we have three children together and I still say it, if there had been no crack in the wall, daddy would not have married me, shikena!
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)