Biting off her husband’s “thing” is not right, but my daughter Sa’adatu is just exhibiting the traits of a young girl who hasn’t seen the world. She is not an evil child. She is just foolish!
When my husband told me he had made arrangements with his friend to give our daughter Sa’a to his friend’s son. I told him I thought we had agreed Sa’a should remain in school until she finished her JSS(junior secondary school) at least. She was nearly 17 years. Though, the truth is, even if we had let her finish the whole of secondary school, it’s unlikely Sa’a would’ve continued school. You see, she has no head for books.
The girl is given to frivolous things and her head is in the air. It’s all about wearing fresh la’ali designs on her arms and legs, wearing colourful hijabs, and going off with her friends to that stadium where they meet all sorts of boys. And I have often warned her, nothing good will come from these places.
She would have done well trading; making kosai, and selling small, small things as I do…you know, frying groundnut, kuli kuli, and the rest. We are not rich people but we are comfortable. My husband has a provisions kiosk where we live in Anthony village.
But my husband must have collected money from Mallam ‘Ndako, who is quite well-to-do. He has many achabas, I mean okada that young boys ride for him and bring money at the end of every day. Mallam himself sells textiles at Oyingbo market and he is doing well. He has three wives, one of whom is my good friend.
The matchmaking that went wrong
So you see this thing, it’s actually beyond me, only Allah has the knowledge. Sa’a should never have been given to Ahmed, it was a bad match, I know this as a mother. I know.
Ahmed is useless.
He is the first son of Mallam Ndako. He was born by Mallam’s first wife who still lives in their village. They come from Niger state. I never knew his mother but I know Ahmed. When he came to start living with his father somewhere in Ebute metta, he was a very bushman. He had been married before and I’m told he was very cruel to his wife, too. It was my friend, who is Mallam ‘Ndako’s, who told me. She told me many bad things about him. He was lazy, depended on his father’s money. He even refused to fully join his father in his trade. All he did was sleep and eat and go to the place his friends gather to drink alcohol.
That’s why I was unhappy when my husband said, he had agreed to have Sa’a marry Ahmed. But as a woman, my hands are tied. I didn’t know what to do. I only had to prepare my daughter to be wife to a man even I despised.
When we told Sa’a she was to marry Ahmed, she told us she already had someone else she planned to marry!
Our children have the wrong ideas
You know, because she grew up here, she forgets the way of our people. Your parents are still involved in choosing who you will marry so that you will not go astray. How can a 17 year old be telling us she had someone to marry?
Who is he?
Where are his parents?
Where does he come from?
We should know and approve!
I knew she must be referring to one of the boys she meets at the stadium who smoke weed and who have forgotten the ways of our people.
My husband was very angry and blamed me for this kind of talk.
It’s always the mother who gets the blame for a bad child, isn’t it so?
I told my daughter not to disgrace our family, we may be poor but we are good people. Sa’a sulked throughout the wedding fathia. She wouldn’t dance well or smile or even show gratitude to her in-laws and the guests that came!
I was very ashamed of her behavior.
Three days after she was taken to her husband’s house. They lived in the same compound as Mallam Ndako. So he gave them a two bedroom in that same compound. The man is quite rich. Anyway, three days after, I got a call from my friend who is Mallam’s wife, that my daughter has disgraced us and there was trouble.
I couldn’t make out what she was saying, I shouted to my husband outside to come. He collected the phone from me and afterwards told me we had to go immediately to see Sa’a that there was trouble.
I died several times before we got to Ebute metta that day.
Did anyone die?
He told me no one died but that Sa’a was in trouble.
By the time we got to their house, you know, because of taking the bus and dropping and walking long distances to the house, time had gone. I met my daughter in one corner of their room. I was told Ahmed had been rushed to the hospital nearby because Sa’a had bitten him.
She bit his ears his nose, his finger…where did she bite?
When they told me, I almost passed out!
Where did this girl learn to do such a thing?
So this is what happened.
Sa’a had refused for her husband to sleep with her. He had tried several times but she kept saying she was seeing her period. I know as her mother, that it can’t be true because it wasn’t time yet. I knew that her period wasn’t due until in two weeks. But I didn’t say anything. I think Ahmed too knew because we were told there was a struggle between them and he found she was lying. He hit her a few times.
Sa’a then told me, “He removed his trousers and I saw how big his thing is and I knew I would die if he touched me with it.”
I said, “Sa’a, you won’t die. Some men just have their own like that…”
She said, “No mother, it would kill me…”
I don’t know where such knowledge came from. I told her, no matter how big it is, a woman has been designed to take it…
She said, “Not me, Yunusa’s own is not like that!”
This thing I’m telling you in secret, her father must never hear it, even Ahmed’s people must never hear!
Ho is Yunusa! You have done it with Yunusa?
These children have done things we their mothers never even imagined!
She then told me, “So when he removed my clothes by force, he was beating me and pushing me. I was trying to cover my face from seeing him. Then I pretended I was finally agreeing to it and I put my head down on his thing and bit it hard!”
She bit off his thing
Of course the whole compound of Mallam came out when they heard Ahmed screaming. Even, I can feel his pain! He gave her a serious beating for it because her face was swollen when I saw her that day!
Thankfully, too, his thing didn’t come off, my husband who went to the hospital to see him said it didn’t come off, that it was being stitched back…you know, like you sew something back. He can still use it when he heals.
I am grateful to Mallam that they did not even report the matter to the police because this kind of thing can become a police matter. Ahmed is in the hospital and Sa’a’s father has to find the money to treat him.
Sa’a is back to the house with us and I am ashamed that people will wonder what happened since it was just last week she had a wedding. She stays inside the house all the time.
We have been begging Ahmed not to report to the police and thankfully, his father, a kind man has told us he would ensure he doesn’t but he said he can’t let Sa’a back into his house again.
That is the truth.
As a mother, I feel sad because my daughter doesn’t even seem to fully understand the situation she has placed herself in. She would be known as Sa’a the biter or something worse, and who will marry her?
She is not even book smart, I would have said, with education, she would go far…her head is too full of nonsense and I swear, I didn’t put them there.
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)