Why would a Bride do this…?

bride-veil-2Martha (not real name) fell in love with a young man, John (not real name). They both had just graduated from school. Everyone loved the couple; it felt like a relation made in heaven. Their love blossomed and soon talks about marriage popped up. Martha and her fiancé decided to tie the knot and their families began the wedding preparation in earnest. Everyone looked forward to a memorable day.
It was a bright and sunny morning. Jubilation was in the air. The wedding guests who had come from the community and nearby cities bustled with laughter and jesting filled the atmosphere. Other young ladies were teased to hurry and invite them for their own celebration.

The groom was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to take the vows with the love of his life. He waited at the altar smiling and waiting to catch a glimpse of his beautiful bride in her cutely sewn wedding gown. A gloomy face emerged and ran to the altar towards the groom… everyone wondered, the news soon filtered around, “Martha, the bride to be had run away”.

It looked like a scene from the movie, “Runaway Bride”, as I listened to this story but no it was a true life‘s experience.

Why did Martha run on the day she had looked forward to all her life? She ran because she couldn’t face John. She had a secret… “Her vagina was covered with keloid. Martha is one of many girls who gets cut on their vagina when they attain puberty. The flesh around her vagina had been cut and it formed a big scared tissue. She was ashamed, she was afraid to let John see that ugly overgrown scared tissue, now formed keloid on her vagina.

What this means for Martha/How Keloid in the vagina can affect a person’s wellbeing and life:

  • Scar  which grows excessively into Keloid tissue can be embarrassing to the individual; create uneasiness.
  • Affects the person psychologically as she might feel less beautiful about herself.
  • Keloid tissue scar makes the skin around the area it occupies less elastic which can affect certain nerves causing pain.
  • Martha is likely to experience itching and  pain during urination, menstrual flow and sex.
  • Would her husband/partner be willing to accept her as she is. He might be turned off sexually and this will not do their relationship any good.
  • She might need a cosmetic surgery and the process of treating Keloid might be a long journey. That is the swollen tissue every clears completely.

This is one of the heartbreaking stories i came away with from a radio drama script writing workshop on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) organized by Unicef in partnership with the Ministry of information Nigeria. It was an eye-opening experience.

You know sometimes we think that we know so much about a subject or issue simply because it’s a familiar subject. I am very familiar with and have lend my voice to creating awareness about the effect of female circumcision known as female genital mutilation /cutting in the past. But statistics and real life stories told by facilitators and other participants showed that the consequences of female genitalmutilation/cutting is far deeper and grave than i thought.

One thing is clear that a lot still needs to be done about changing perceptions and achieving behavioral change towards the practice of Female genital mutilation/cutting.

Many women and families suffer great consequences long after the female genitalia cutting. #EndFGM/C

end-fgm

Why is this tradition and practice still been upheld in many communities around the world?

Some people have replaced genital cutting with another practice and they justify it. What is the new trend?

I will be sharing more stories from FGM/C world in a series of  posts.

Photo Credit: DHgate.com – Wedding Veil Cathedral Thick Lace Manthila bridal veil.

Adebisi Adetunji(C)

Shela’s Dad had a Frown on his Face

angry-dad-2

Wehena stared down at me and smiled. I tried to get up but dizziness engulfed me. She gave me a hot potion to drink from a calabash and told me to rest because I was with child. Shivering and in shock, I suddenly remembered what had happened between Manya and I the night before.

At last, I was going to have a child, now my husband would love me dearly, now the gossips would stop. Day by day my baby grew and Manya walked tall in the village. Wehena, brought food for me every now and then; she was proud that her first grandchild was on the way. We all looked forward to the arrival of this child. Finally the day came.

Manya held the baby smiling but there was a sad line around the corner of his mouth. We celebrated and named her, Shela . A few days later Mama visited me to shower some love on her first grandchild. She asked me about a scar she saw on my face, I told her it was just a farm work injury. Then she said, “Tarra, I hope you get pregnant soon again”. I laughed. “Come on mama Shela, is just a few days old, and I’m still healing up”. She smiled and told me that a woman can only earn respect and show the strength of her husband when she gives him a son. I had seen the shadow cross Manya’s face as he held his daughter the day she was born.

Excerpt from my short story, “Face in the Mirror”.

Every child  boy or girl is a great gift.

Many girls lift and hold the hands of their fathers at old age

Gender does not determine strength.

Photo Credit: Angry father Stock Photos

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Pleeeeese…what is the issue here: Don’t Marry a woman who can’t cook?

DO NOT MARRY A WOMAN WHO CAN NOT COOK?
DO NOT MARRY A MAN WHO HAS NO JOB?
Seriously why is this a trending issue?

Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. I do not want to get into the argument but I do have a few frank things to say here:

A man may not necessarily marry a woman because she is a fantastic cook if I may say but seriously you need to know how to cook some good food as a woman.

WHY?
• You need to eat healthy
• You need to save some money for other things instead of having to visit the various eateries
• What exactly do you want to feed your children and family with…junks?
• And by the way won’t it be fun to be the one to teach both your son and daughter how to prepare delicious and well balanced meals…

My husband cooks and I cook and I am grateful to my mother in-law for being a good cook and teaching him how to cook.

• Why should my man know how to cook and I don’t…that’s letting men win again!!!
• I like the idea of been in charge of my kitchen

Believe it or not been a good cook is a big issue in some marriages so ladies you have to pay attention.

Don’t marry a man who has no job?

My take:

A man doesn’t have to have a seven digit paying job but he should be empowered enough to bring some money home to take care of his family.

Some women have found themselves in a bottled neck relationship where they handle all the bills…this is not funny! And lady you might not mind for a while because you are head over hills in love with him…soon it will become a source of tension and fights as bills pile up.

So think again before you tie the knot with a man who simply lives on empty promises of getting a job soon and you have been dating him for a year now.

Some women even pay all the wedding bills and the “dear husband” thinks it is going to be “wifey Christmas money” all the way. She struggles with it for thee rest of her marriage life.

I guess we all get to choose who we end up with in a marriage…the ball is in your court.

Love is blind but marriage is an eye opener. What you can not put up with later don’t keep managing it…it will only become a big issue later.

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

…..But YOU are A WOMAN – Dividends for MEN Allowing WOMEN to BECOME…

One morning while driving to work we tuned up our radio to listen to news updates, sports and any other good programme that floats out of the media. On this day it turned out to be a sports programme. I and my husband enjoyed the presenter’s style of presentation in the Yoruba language which was breezy, funny and just about right for that kind of programme. It was fun until I heard this conversation between the presenter and a caller on the programme: Women sport

Sports Presenter: Please share your thoughts on what games you think Nigeria will do well in, in the Rio Olympics 2016.
(Studio Phone Rings)
Lady: Hello…
Sports Presenter: Hello Lady…share your thoughts please…
Lady: I believe Nigeria will do well in the Track events.
Sports Presenter: Wonderful, so what sport do you like.
Lady: I love football…
Sports Presenter: Football?!! But you are a woman…
Lady: Yes I am a woman who is a football fan and lover.
Sports Presenter: Ok o…thank you for calling.

I was annoyed that in this 21st Century a man…”a media man” who is supposed to be educating people about been gender friendly still believes that some sport should be gender based. I mean as a sports presenter he should be aware that there are female football clubs/leagues as well as players!!!

In Sports like Rugby and American football that in my opinion are games of stamina and believed to be dangerous if a player gets injured badly…women are stars in these games. So seriously our men particularly African men should accept the fact that women are succeeding in every facet of life whether as sports women, politicians, CEO’s, Managers and so on.

When women are allowed to use their talents everyone benefits from it particularly the men!!!
For example: The Williams Sisters are women Tennis Champions…I know for sure that their dad and the men in their lives are so proud of them. And of course they get to share in the dividends of their success *wink*

So please as we say in a local slang in Nigeria”Free me o”! Allow women to become, celebrate them; tell them they can do it…for indeed they can!!!

Photo Source: Women’s Sports Foundation

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Dino Melaye: A Lawmaker Assaults fellow female lawmaker? What kind of laws would individuals like this make?!!!!

Dino Melaye a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria threatens to beat and rape a fellow Senator, Oluremi Tinubu at an executive meeting held July 14, 2016 in the hallowed chamber of the Senate. He boasted that he would beat her and nothing will come of it… Oluremi has since written a letter asking for security protection.

Dino’s Previous scandals  on violent tendencies
In 2011,  Dino Melaye led a team as a member of the  House of representative  and started a brawl that led to the death of a member.

How is it that a law maker who has a history of violence against women (and anyone for that matter) gets to hold such a sensitive leadership position?

Melaye’s response to the allegation“She called me a dog and when she called me a dog I stood up and I reacted….”

Is this enough reason to have threaten to abuse, rape and impregnate her? Sincerely i am bewildered by the kind of people we have holding key positions in our country. Mostly we celebrate “rubbish” – violence, crime, money launderers, and corrupt individuals.

We forget easily the misgivings of this people and elect them into office the next time an election shows up.

What kind of laws would such individuals come up with?!!!

Adebisi Adetunji(C)