Names used are fictitious to hide the identity of the real persons.
Musa was a well known easy going young man in a peaceful community in North west Nigeria. He was a civil servant who also had a trade he engaged in, which made him comfortable by average Nigerian standards. When it was time to get married he looked for a lady from a responsible family and proposed to her. The fact that he was close to his prospective mother-in-law and knew how disciplined she was about her children gave him the confidence of a blissful marital life with her daughter Mariya.
In no time it was no longer a secret that the two had become love birds and their marriage happened without much delay. Because of what was apparent of emotional connection between the two, friends of the duo pictured a blissful togetherness of them and prayed for same.
The marriage was barely a month old when the first signs of trouble reared their ugly head. The sweet, all nice Mariya became a tough nut to crack after marriage. She contested every of his intended decisions and begrudgingly did any of his biddings. She was simply deliberately difficult to reason with and only did as she wished. Even to cook, she blatantly told him she found it too herculean a task to get up so earlyto make him breakfast before he left for work, why can’t he make his own breakfast? Was she his slave?
Musa felt too ashamed to start reporting a marriage that was still in its prime, instead he tried his very best to endure the ordeal perhaps she will come around. In the morning he will stop by either the mai shayi joint or the woman that sells kosai (bean cake) on his way to work to have breakfast.
On one such occasion he stumbled upon his mother-in-law who was shocked that her son-in-law whose wedding was only a few weeks old is having breakfast at such a joint patronised primarily by bachelors at such a time. Musa quickly made up some excuse about his wife being indisposed and not wanting to bother her. She had her suspicions but she gave them the benfit of doubt.
In a closely knit community like the North, word travels fast. It didn’t take long for Musa’s friends to come to know that their friend had become a regular customer at the ‘mai shayi’ joint and they promptly reported same to Mariya’s mother confirming her suspicion. She ordered her daughter to come and see her and asked what exactly was going on in her marriage.
Her response shocked her to the marrow.
“Mama these men are not reliable. If you bring your head down for them they will use it as slippers. It was in the olden days when women did not know their right that they did all that submission thing, nowadays you have to raise your eyes so that your husband will know your worth and not mess up with you…”
Mama Mariya nearly fainted! This isn’t the daughter she painstakingly raised, whatever injected all these poisonous ideologies into her daughter’s head (she is the original narrator of this story, corroborated by community members). She did her best to admonish her daughter but she was just as adamant and defiant when she returned home.
The last straw that broke the camel’s back was when Musa had pre-informed his wife he was coming home with his friends to eat and pleaded with her to make them lunch. They came home to meet an embarassment of a meal. He had to take his friends out to eat. He then reported to her Mum who said she was out of ideas on how to curtail her daughter’s excesses. She then suggested that Musa hints that he will be taking another wife if she continues the maltreatment perhaps that will make her adjust.
Mariya sniggered, mocked and dared him to go ahead, after all is that not what men know how do best?Infuriated and frustrated, Musa made up his mind to take another wife, a plan he never had at least in the present time.
A man of Musa’s financial status will be highly sought after by women , so the search and the marriage happened in a very short period. The new wife brought a breath of fresh air into the life of Musa as he finally got a chance to enjoy what it felt like to be married to a dutiful wife.
Mariya could not believe her eyes. She boiled and bubbled in rage and hurt. At first she was hostile and nagged ceaselessly, Musa just kept his cool, endured her days and looked forward to its end to go to where his paradise was. when eventually she saw that all her antics made no impact, she finally came to her senses and started trying to win her husband’s love back, even reaching out to the new wife, a move rather too late you may want to say. Well, better late than never!
Make of the story whatever you wish, a word they say is enough for the wise.