Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Love and Marriage ... Goes Together Like Abandonment and Penury

The Price Of Disobedience
Agnes was disowned by her parents several years ago because she married a man from another faith. A mother of three, she regrets ever disobeying her parents. Ruth Choji narrates her story.

“I was born 34 years ago in Kachia, Kaduna State. I am the second child of a family of five. My parents were not rich but they tried in their little way to provide enough that would see us through school. As Christians we were made to understand that we could not marry outside our faith.
‘’When I graduated with a diploma from the Kaduna Polytechnic, I got a job in a small printing company, pending when I would get admission for HND. That was where I met Awal. His office was close to mine; he had a car and would give me a ride after work.  We started dating. At first I kept it a secret, but our love became so deep after two years that we started talking about marriage. Having known my father and his position in the church, I knew that he would never give his consent, but my love for Awal was so strong that I was ready to go to any length to keep it.
‘’His family was the first to kick against it, saying I must become a Muslim. At first I refused because of my family, but Awal assured me that after the marriage I could go back to my faith, adding that it was just to get his parents’ consent; and I believed him. My parents refused to even hear of it. I begged them, tried all I could to make them understand that we loved each other, but my father was adamant.
‘’He refused to see Awal’ s family nor accept the bride price. I had to go and beg one of my uncles in the village who stood in as my father.  We went ahead and got married. I was later told that my father came out in the middle of the night and placed a curse on me for bringing shame to the family.
‘’My first two years of marriage to Awal were beautiful. He was loving, caring, and even allowed me pray; but he wouldn’t let me go to church because people were likely to tell his parents. After the birth of my baby, my once loving husband changed. He became hostile and moody. He would not talk to me and stopped me from praying in the house, saying that I would spoil his faith. He started behaving strangly and I couldn’t report him to anybody as my father had forbidden members of my family from coming near me.
‘’When the second child came, Awal told me that his parents wanted him to marry a proper Muslim woman, and that a date had been fixed for the weeding. I cried and begged him; I even reminded him of all the sacrifices I made to marry him. He went ahead and married a new wife. ‘’Life became hell for me in the house; he stopped giving me money for feeding. His new wife became the main wife, everything was referred to her.
They would pray together and go to his or her parents’ house while I was left at home. Awal stopped buying clothes for me, even when he had already stopped me from working after our marriage. With the new development, life became more difficult. The new wife would court my trouble, and whenever I reacted she would call me and the children infidels. She would still tell lies against me while reporting me to Awal, who would refuse to   hear my side of the story. My once loving husband would thereafter beat me black and blue. ‘’This went on for three years and I became a shadow of myself. My parents heard of it and people went to beg my dad. My uncles and aunties tried to make him accept me but he refused. Awal married two other women and we became four. It was when he wanted to marry the fifth wife but couldn’t because of their laws that he divorced me.
My younger sister and her husband took me in. He refused to give me the children, and I really couldn’t take them along because I couldn’t feed them. I am now trying to get back on my feet. I have gone to beg my father; he has forgiven me, but we are still not close. I have learned my lessons and vow never to disobey my parents again.

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