One fateful Saturday, brother Ade hurriedly did the house chores before Farida came so he would have more time with her. She came in and met bread, eggs, butter and sardines. This was luxury to this little girl. He asked her to undress so she won’t stain her outfit and then prepared the breakfast for her with rich and creamy beverage too. She was served like she was being fattened for the slaughterhouse. She enjoyed the meal. It was a hearty meal. He put on the television and increased the volume louder than before. He made her touch him the way he taught her. Then he fondled her breasts. He laid her on the bed and fingered her with the Vaseline. She was used to it now and wasn’t scared any more. What happened next she didn’t expect. He was on top of her, used his hand to cover her mouth and then penetrated the little girl. She passed out from the pain but it did not stop him from going on. When he was spent, he sprinkled water on her to revive her. She started crying. He tried to pacify her. He gave her yoghurt to stop the tears but it was beyond treats. He begged her to stop crying, cleaned her up and gave her painkillers and a sleeping tablet. She continued crying and wriggle in pain. He asked her to dress up and lay down on the bed and sleep to ease the pain. His heart was racing. He hoped she won’t spill the beans. He wondered what will happen if she does. He was so frightened; he squeezed ten pieces of N100 notes into her hand and took off.
Farida woke up alone in his room. She felt something in her hand. She saw the N1,000 he had put in it. This will make maami happy. She left the room. She couldn’t walk properly. The pain was excruciating. The way she walked was a giveaway. Mama Joy was washing in the courtyard. She watched Farida as she walked out of the room. She knew something was wrong and asked her.
“Farida, wetin do you?”
“Why you dey waka like that?”
Farida refused to say anything because Mama Joy was the compound gossip. She would tell everyone what transpired and call her names any times she passes. She didn’t get along well with maami and she would use this to insult her. Farida didn’t want that.
Ade surveyed from a distance. Ade wanted to know what happens if they find out from a safe distance. He would not like to be attacked by his compound people. He had left with his certificates and some other sensitive documents in case they decide to burn his possession. He saw Mama Joy interrogating Farida as she left the room. The woman never minds her business. He had compensated Farida very well. He was really scared but was glad she didn’t say anything.
When Farida entered her home, her mother immediately sensed that there was something wrong.
“Are you ok? Why are you walking like that?”
“I am fine ma. Take, Brother Ade gave me N1,000.00 today for my work.”
“God bless that man. This will tide us for 4 days if we manage it well. Go and take your bath. You must be tired from all that work.”
She went to take a bath and returned to the room. Her private part still ached, she could not wash it well and could not close her legs completely. Why did Brother Ade do this to her. He made her promise not to tell anyone. He also promised to buy her suya when he comes back later tonight. She made up her mind not to go back to Brother Ade’s room again. Any chore outside the room she can do but she will not enter into his room again.
Ade waited until quite late and nothing happened. He bought the suya he had promised Farida earlier. He came to her house and gave it to her. He whispered to her that he was sorry and it won’t happen like that again. Farida was numb; she was no more interested. She handed the suya to her mother and went inside to lie down. He was worried about her. He knew she would get better after some time. In the meantime, he had to appease her somehow.
After the incident, whenever he calls her to his room, she refuses to enter. She would run errands for him but would not enter his room. He was worried. How would he pacify her? She was too scared to enter his room. He devised methods to lure her and for the first time, he realised how strongwilled Farida was.
On Saturday morning, maami sent Farida to Brother Ade to work but she refused to go. She asked why and she told maami she did not want to act drama anymore. A confused maami asked her,
“What type of drama do you act with him?”
“He said I should not tell anyone. It is Mummy and Daddy play. The last time we acted the play, he wounded me. I don’t want to act the drama again.”
“How do you act this drama?”
Farida narrated to her mother from the first day to the last all the activities they engaged in during the drama. She told her the things he bought for her to buy her silence. Her mother was shocked. Men are mean. It was condition that forced her into this life. Now look what happened to her daughter. Why was life so cruel? Why was fate so wicked? This was their only source of livelihood. Farida was bringing in way more money on the weekends than she gets from the work she does. What should she do? She thought about it for the whole day. Such things are not exposed. It will be a stigma on Farida and other men would want to take advantage knowing she was now open. She didn’t want that life for her daughter. Ade will be taught a lesson. He had to pay for what he had done. She knew she had to be more protective of Farida now. They would use the incident to their advantage. She wouldnt work for him but he will keep paying her until she was satisfied.
That night, she called her daughter and talked to her about.
“I am sorry my daughter. You have become a woman so quickly. This is the way of the world. We will use it to our advantage.”
“You will tell brother Ade that your maami is asking questions. She wants to know what happened in his room. That the compound people are talking about it. He will be afraid and give you money not to talk.”
“Ah maami! What if he touches me again? It was very painful; I don’t want him to do it to me again.”
“He won’t. He will be too afraid to do it again.”
“I don’t want to do drama with him again. Please maami. Tell him I don’t want to act mummy and daddy with him again.”
“Don’t be afraid. You will not act drama with him again. Just tell him what I said.”
Maami’s idea worked. Farida told brother Ade that maami was asking questions and people are talking in the compound. He took her into his room and begged her not to tell anybody what he did. He gave her N2,000 so she could keep quiet. Maami used the defilement of Farida to make money for the family. Whenever she greeted brother Ade, she will eye him and give him a knowing look; When they are in a meeting, she deliberately calls his name and looks at him with disdain without saying anything. Ade, out of fear, will call Farida and give her money. Farida didn’t need to do chores to get money. This was way easier.
Maami also refered to as Iya Farida was the last wife of Alhaji Abubakar. She was barely 15 years old when she was given to her husband as a gift. She was in S.S. 1 in the government girls’ college when the marriage took place. She had other plans for her life but her father insisted that she gets married to Alhaji. Alhaji was older than her father but she didn’t have a choice than to obey him. She was wife number four. He had to divorce one of his wives to be able to marry her. The night of the wedding, Alhaji forced himself on her. It was the most painful and disgusting experience she had ever had. She watched him snore fast asleep after the act wondering what she was doing with a man old enough to be her grandfather.
She was made to ‘service’ him every day except the days she was “unclean”. By the next month, she was pregnant. Alhaji was very happy and allowed her to rest during the pregnancy period. She begged Alhaji to allow her to continue her education; she wanted to have WAEC at least. That was when she received the first beating from her husband. Alhaji beat her to a pulp, raped her and locked her in the room. She stayed there for three days surviving only on water before he allowed her out. He warned her that women do not have ambition in his house.
She delivered her first child, it was a baby girl. Alhaji called her Farida. After the delivery, Alhaji requested for her almost every night. She conceived again not long after.
One night, Alhaji sent for her and she sent word back that she was not feeling well. Alhaji was angry. He came to her room and saw her shivering in bed with her daughter. He descended on her. He beat her, punching her face and stomach. He then had his way with her and left her there. By morning, she was half gone. Her bed was soaked with blood. It was the cries of her baby Farida that drew the attention of the other wives. She was rushed to the health centre. She had lost the baby and almost lost her life. The doctor asked her who beat her in this manner. She confessed it was her husband. The doctor advised her to leave the marriage. The next beating, she might not survive it.
She visited her parents and complained to them. Her mother told her to bear it and try not to provoke her husband. She said, “Matter between husband and wife are not discussed with a third party. Stay back at her husband’s house and endure”. For how long was she to endure? The man was mean to her. He only desired her body and nothing else. He never talks to her or discusses anything with her. After some time, she accepted her fate.
The doctor put her on a daily pill so she doesn’t get pregnant so soon after the miscarriage. She continued with the pill after she had finished the initial set. Her husband and his wives were illiterates. She was the most educated of all of them. She worked on improving herself. She made sure she read a book or any other material on a daily basis. She didn’t want to lose all she had learnt.that night for a future yet unknown.