There was a big fight in the village between a husband and his wife. She was crying and he was insulting her:
– You are a useless woman. You can’t cook. You can’t do anything. Why did I marry you?
He was shouting so loud that villagers gathered around their hut. He then got out and said to whoever would listen to him:
– This woman here can’t make good food for her husband. She can’t even broom the floor properly. Look at her. Oshi ni e le! Stupid woman!
The woman’s sister approached the crowd. They were burning with rage.
– Our sister can cook. You are the one who can’t be a man! Oloshi! We re! Mad man!
The man was obviously furious that the sisters interfered in his marital affair:
– What’s your problem in all this? Go back to your husbands’ homes. Foolish women!
– Who are you calling foolish? Don’t talk to us anyhow.
The wife finally said:
– Don’t talk to my sisters like that!
The husband was angrier:
– Who told you to speak?
The women fired back:
– if you wanted a wife that can’t talk you should have carved yourself a mask
– You women act foolishly. Is this a way to talk to your sister’s husband?
– Aah! So is it a way for you to treat our sister?
The man feeling ashamed now that those women were talking to him in such in public said:
– Look at you! You are not women. You are Tigress!
– Thank you! Oshe gan! – the women said in unison – You just paid us a compliment. A tigress is strong and has courage unlike you who can only show your strength when you are with a woman.
– A woman should remain a woman and not act like an animal! – the man said.
– A man should remain a man and treat a woman as iyao not as his slave. – replied the women
The man muttered under his breath with defeat:
– Tigress, you! That is what you are. Lioness! Tigress! owo oloshi! You woman I
Want you out of my hut. Go back to your family!
The woman packed her stuff and left with her sisters.
When we got home mama said:
– You have power beyond your imagination. When I got married to your grand-father. I let him know that he had to better not marry a second wife. Did the man hear me? He didn’t. We were living happily together. We had your mother and uncles. I cooked him the best yam in the village. He was good to me and I tried my best to reciprocate his goodness. He showed me respect and I too him.
Soon when things got comfortable for both us, your father was getting to our hut later and later after working on the farm. I found that he was drinking with his childhood friends who had many wives and concubines. I was angry. I told him that he had to better not bring his friends to my hut. He never did because he knew that I wouldn’t hesistate to tell his friends to leave my home. So he carried on seeing them outside our hut. They were a bad influence on your grand-father. They drank palm wine in excess but I kept my cool and patience with him because I knew a day would come when all this would end.
That day came when your grand-father announced that he was taking a second wife and he was building a hut for her. The girl was much younger than me. Can you imagine the insult? I told him that there was no need for him to build a hut for her and that they could have mine. I left with your mother and uncles the same day. We went back to my father’s village. My mother was angry with me because she felt that I brought shame to her. I ignored her complaints and supplications that I should accept such thing. I build a hut for myself and my children. We struggled a little but we managed with the crops we grew.
Your grand-father came and beg me to come back. I refused. I told him that he had made his choice against my will. He kept coming. He gave us gossip of the village we had left behind. In the end he told the young woman to leave the hut. He gave back the family their dowry plus compensation because the girl was bearing a child for him. He thought that I would come back like that but I refused. I wanted to teach him a lesson. So I started courting some men from my mother’s village. I wanted your grand-father to know how he hurt me. Your grand-father who was not a man to show his feelings declared to me his affection. He became really good to me. He took me to the beach. He cooked for me and the children when he visited. I didn’t let at any moment come close to my body. He played with them. When I was satisfied and that I got word that he stopped frequenting his friends and that he hasn’t been with any other woman since he repudiated the young girl, I accepted to go back to the village with him. There was a condition. If he was to ever behave so foolishly again he was sure not to get a second chance. He promised he would be good. He was true to his word. From that moment he was always the first one home amongst all the workers.
Let no one make you feel less than your worth. Know your worth. Because when a husband knows that a woman knows her worth, it is the woman power and it last longer than beauty will ever last you
Harmonie Loko (Sade Farotade) Copyright 2010