Better Off Dead


Rukiyat had been crying since last night. The harmattan wind was blowing through the trees as she hastened to fetch more water from the well at the Imam’s compound in preparation for the occasion. She could feel the cold through her clothes. Her jab which kept slipping off her hair provided little succor from the cold. She wished for a good cardigan or thicker jab, but her Baba whose cobbler income could not feed his family of thirteen cannot afford that. Rukiyat wondered for the hundredth time why her father had married two wives when obviously he could not feed one. Anger at her parents, the coming visitors and life in general filled her as it often did these days.

“Ruky, you have to go prepare because our visitors will soon start arriving”  her mother said as Rukiyat passed her and the other women in the backyard where they were preparing the tuwo and other dishes. Without uttering a word, she went to bathe and put on the new clothes ‘he’ bought her for the occasions. Her younger sister Hauwa assisted her, looking forlorn herself.

“Hauwa, I can hear noises, go and see if they have arrived” Hauwa ran off to check and rushed back as her sister was putting away a small dark bottle.

In no time, the ceremony was concluded and the guests made to leave with their amaria. However, all hell was let loose, the guests, including the groom began complaining of stomach aches and before you know it, corpses began littering Baba Rukiyat’s compound like flies.

It was when Rukiyat was caught fleeing the compound that she confessed to poisoning the guests’ food with rat poison for forcing her into marriage to that baba when she was barely ten years old.

11 thoughts on “Better Off Dead” by AlluringEby (@Paracletob)

  1. Kosnie (@Kosnie)

    Serves them right #childnotbride

    1. My thoughts exactly @Kosnie. Thanks a lot

  2. Aderonke Daramola (@Shovey)

    #Murder case. I feel she should have absconded rather than poisoning them.

  3. Ihunanya (@LONE)

    I concur with you @Shovey.

  4. The environment might not have given her the opportunity to abscond and to where? Besides, she felt they should be punished, being too young to comprehend the full implications of her actions. And she is underage, so will her punishment be considered if she is lucky.

  5. @paracletob I know you’re not Hausa, Jab is Hijab and the bride no matter what is pampered.
    Anyway murdering innocent people can never be justified.
    Polygamy is allowed and those people have been doing arranged marriages for centuries, not just Hausa’s but Asians like Indians and Arabs, its part of their culture to obey one’s parents, however if any party had any objection they could talk to Imam the religious leader to intercept for them.
    Well I am not objecting your story but it is unheard of that an huasa bride poisons her family and would be in laws.its like mass murder which is unforgivable under any circumstances.
    Nice story though with mass tragedies and the hausas are a major ethnic group in Nigeria, am sure your tribe would be a minority.

    1. Ufuoma Otebele (@ufuomaotebele)

      @ameenaedrees But there have been cases whereby the bride objected and they still proceeded with the marriage after all? lets forget about tribal practice lets think of the ethical part of all this. what does a 10 year old girl know about marriage?? to an old man? Whether we want to hear it or not, this is child abuse but of course to the countries who see this as nothing, so it is truly nothing to them.

      I hope all our opinions are not fighting with each other. This is issue that always ticks me off.

      Yes, she is too young to carry a crime of mass murder on her shoulders, but the parents who sold their 10 year old daughter off will surely pay for it!

  6. Ufuoma Otebele (@ufuomaotebele)

    omg… wow. I was totally enjoying the flow until the last line came. she was only ten!!!
    I think this post clearly showed the realty of young girls. You waited till the very end to shock us. thank you!

    1. Thanks a lot Ufuoma darling.

  7. @ufuomaotebele I didn’t even see that part o, only 10 years old, well I can’t contradict her story but Hausa’s are not a minority and am sure alluring Eby carried out her research very well which shouldn’t be hard since the entire northern Nigeria is Hausa.
    They carry out marriages based religious beliefs and at least the girl would be matured and at 10 I doubt she would have started seeing her period and let’s be realistic I know this is just a story but they don’t marry their daughters out at age 10, at least 13, then they’re women though they can’t bear the burden of marriage but still barely 10 is preposterous.
    When describing something like this one should get facts or some people might get the wrong message.
    I am not Hausa but I know they don’t marry out their daughters at age ten. That’s just it. And the brides don’t commit mass murder.

  8. Thanks a lot my friends, I am glad my story caught your attention. It did not set out to malign any ethnic group or anybody but to portray the ills in our society.
    I actually got the idea of the story in a news item sometimes in the past of a young bride that poisoned the guests.
    There was research on the issue of child marriage, they do marry them off at 9/10 but mostly in the olden days and keep her till she is able to bear children. I employed my poetic license as a writer to garnish the story as I wanted so as to paint the evil in its very dark colours, 8 or 13, no child should be forced into marriage when she is barely a child herself. That is the point of the story and I hope we take that point to heart.
    I appreciate the inputs tremendously, no offense meant please

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