As I read through her site, I didn’t know exactly what to conclude. I wanted to quickly know if it was some cute thought-provoking write-up, you know, sponsored by some anti-violence-against-women NGO or an actually true story. I first saw the story on Linda Ikeji’s blog. The caption there reads “My Story: Ogochukwu Onuchukwu – A woman shares her story from the grave”. If it were a true life story, the question then would be “how would a dead person write a letter from the world beyond?” On the other hand, the story was beautifully (albeit sorrowfully) written as ACTUALLY EXPERIENCED by a REAL woman who went through hell in her matrimony.
As I read on, I focused attention on the bitter experiences of the key character regardless of whether she was fictional or real. It’s a tale of sorrows. I wondered if things like what she describes in the write-up still existed in today’s Nigeria. You know, it brought to mind those scenes from Igbo films, where the wife was under constant pressure from her husband’s family, particularly the husband’s mother, to ‘conjure’ up a child – as though she were God.. as though the infertile one in the matrimony has to and must always be the woman.. A really funny one (that does happen) is when a husband keeps demanding a male child from his wife. That’s the height of ignorance ‘cos the truth is he (the husband) determines what the baby’s sex is. But his cerebrum’s probably too stuffed up with crap for him to ever know that. The very husband who swore to God before witnesses to hold his wife and care for her till death does them part then turns his back on her (on issues that could entirely be his fault). He who’s meant to shield her, protect her, defend her and be her constant reason to smile then becomes the reason why she cries.
In these Igbo films, upon a husband’s death, the wife is dispossessed of all her property by her in-laws. Frankly I felt all such scenes as these belonged in the movies. Sad to announce, they’re right here with us. These things happen in the cities (where folks are thought to be enlightened) as much as in the villages where education’s not a priority.
The sad thing’s that regardless of what girls (and guys) read or hear, many will still end up in abusive relationships. I hope you learn from late Ogochukwu’s story. There are so many lessons to pick from Ogochukwu’s tempestuous matrimony. She valued the vow she made to God and even though she was battered through and through, she didn’t walk away. Only death (which I’m certain was contributed to by her husband and his family) freed her from that marriage.
A man who would hit his wife or threaten her is a foolish coward. The only reason many men harass their wives’s cos they’re physically stronger than her. This is tantamount to reasoning through your anus. Jude (a character from The Punch Newspaper’s Efe and Jude cartoon) would never lift a finger against his wife not because he doesn’t want to, but because she’s twice as muscular as he is. I got a lot to say but I’ll just hang the topic and wrap it up with the following:
Women are fragile. Handle them with care.
Show your wife love and care. You’re accountable to God who sees her tears.
Ogochukwu died last month. According to Linda Ikeji, Ogochukwu’s story was “written by someone who was part of her life and witnessed her struggles. RIP Ogo”