I married my wife when she was in her early twenties; she had just come back from Europe at that time. She was deported from Europe where she told me she was working.
I asked, “as what?” but she said nothing.
I am an old man, when girls say they went to Italy, they went to Germany, Spain…we all know what they went to do.
When she came to me for help, I saw a beautiful young girl. I saw a woman full breasted and young and I knew I wanted this one. Why let her go back to Italy where men who don’t know the value of a true African woman use her? Look at her, front and back…she is full. I wanted to save her from herself.
But I didn’t tell her that day. She was sent to me by her father, who also happens to be a friend of mine. The man was worried that his daughter was just wasting away after her return from abroad. You know, when they deport you, you come back with nothing. Her father wanted me to do some ‘medicine’ for her, to help her go back.
Yes, I am a herbalist and I am in my 80s already.
I deal in the customs of our people. I know herbs, I know how to use it to help people. So when this young woman came for help, my mind spoke to her “You will not go anywhere, you will become my wife.”
Was I married then?
Yes, of course. I was married with five children at that time but nothing says a man cannot have a younger second wife!
I told her to come back the following day with a few personal items because I wanted to prepare ‘special herbs’ for her. I told her she had to stay under my watch so I could monitor the spirits. I told her that once she took the herbs, even border customs would not see her; she would be able to travel back to Europe and never be deported again.
She believed me.
I put her in a special room I reserved for serious work; gave her some herbs, told her she has to bathe with special soap at the river not far from my house…you know na…?
But I knew she was going nowhere. Who will see a fine woman like her, everything still in place, breast, hips, fine face…she wasn’t going anywhere.
So after the baths and the things I gave to her to eat…she just began to live with me. She didn’t ask to go back to her parents’ house, we slept together regularly as husband and wife…I sent word to her father that she was now living with me as my wife and he said it was ok.
I have been the happiest husband in the whole wide world.
I didn’t know I still had anything in me to give to a woman. Just looking at her alone makes me come up every morning to do what husbands do…you understand? Despite the fact that I am almost 35 years older than her, you will not know the gap is that much but we have been happy in the last 12 years. She has been a good wife to me and as much as I can, I have provided for her.
What is the problem?
She wants to leave me and I cannot allow that!
I cannot let her go because if she lives me, I will die! That’s it, I will die! True I am no longer performing as I used to but this woman, even if it is to sleep on her breasts, this is what I live for, I can’t let her go!
Why does she want to go?
You know women. She always complained I do not let her go out of the house regularly and it is true. I fear that if she goes out, other men will entice her and she would leave me to go with them. So I am afraid of that. I also know she could have friends who will influence her to leave me. I often insist she is accompanied by my own children whenever she needs to go to the market or visit her family; I try as much as possible to keep her indoors. She gives me joy. I won’t lie, I am very much in love with her and I can’t let her go.
I asked her why she wanted to leave me, she said I was too old for her. I asked her, “what do you mean by old? Am I not taking care of your needs?”
“Do I not provide for you?”
“Was I not more than three men with you in the bedroom when I was younger?”
She said yes to all.
“So why do you want to leave me?”
“You want to go to Italy and prostitute yourself again?”
She said I am now too old.
“Too old to perform? Too old to give you what you want, more than what those small boys can give you? Even till now, I perform better than many young men out there, even if I do once in two weeks. is it not good for you…?”
The truth is, I suspect they have begun to tell her stories outside, bad influence; she is not going anywhere, I will make sure of that!
We will be together until I die!
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)