In high school, you stayed indoors, couldn't go to parties, couldn't go to see your friends,
couldn't watch tv, couldn't go on excursions
holidays were spent reading for the next term, no time for slacking, they said.
Those that came first did they have 2 heads?
any teacher complained and you were dead
"just go to school and pass so you can get a good job, was that too much to ask for?" - your mom would plead
You can enjoy all you wanted after school
everyday you looked forward to what seemed to be your freedom
The day you came home with your results and a D in Chemistry,
Your mum came to your room that night and nearly murdered you with the head of a broom,
The next day your dad shaved your hair, you were too distracted and needed to focus more,
They would remind you of how much they sacrificed to pay for your fees, clothe and feed you, you ungrateful child
After 21 years of school, a first class in accounting and not having a life
you were home, unemployed and still very dependent on your parents
After 5 kids, expanding after each one, becoming big enough to house them
He didn't see what he wanted anymore; a thin waist, perky breasts and firm buttocks
He loved you once, you are the mother of his children - and maybe that should be enough.
You had to learn that everything is temporary. your body, moments, feelings, people
He came home late reeking of other women
when he was around, he was absent
And everytime you summoned the courage to ask
He made you apologise for daring to question his love
Sometimes you would even beg - you couldn't understand how he was so cruel,
After you poured your entire soul, blood and energy into loving him
As a girl child you were made to sweep the house, clean the floors, dust the furniture.
Your mother would come to perform the solemn ceremony of sliding her bare feet on the floor, checking for sand.
She slapped your back when you didn't bend well enough while sweeping.
You washed the clothes, cooked the food, your tiny hands wrapped around the mortar pounding yam
Do you think a man will marry you if you cant cook?
Do you want him to eat outside and let another woman steal him?
The way to a man's heart is through his stomach
You were shut up instantly when you asked why your brothers were not given chores
Did you think it is easy being a man? why didn't you come out a male child?
No man marries a lazy woman, who will look after your home?
You dared not mention the thought of getting a house girl
Who spends more time with younger girls with foreign accents and no home training who cannot cook
22 years of being a virgin and needing love from the wrong people
And then he came, well chiselled face, intense eyes, built body
You knew you were not the only one
But he made you feel so damn good
telling you it was different with you
You felt you could save him from himself and the urge to want other girls
He told you it was the only way he knew how to love
So you gave yourself that night
screaming into a pillow, your legs spread apart, clenched muscles
You didn't want this, but you wanted him and he wanted this
Not you? you became an unpleasant nag, always needing attention, he said
Now you had given away pieces of yourself to him that you couldn't have back and somehow everything reminded you of him
Some days were bearable and on other nights your heart woke you up to a shattering pain
and now you knew what it meant to grieve for losing someone who was still living
It had been months now since you had tithed your entire month's salary
After your hungry looking pastor who was always dressed in an oversized 3 piece suit regardless of the fact he was sweating profusely, was screaming into the microphone -
"You're sick because your ways are not right with God!"
"You're unfortunate because someone somewhere has stolen your destiny!"
"You're poor because you do not give to God!"
he shook his head aggressively, and then went still
"God is telling me someone here is the next billionaire in town, i can see jeeps, range rovers waiting to be received. i can see new born babies waiting for their mummies"
The congregation jumped up screaming amen, some with their hands outstretched receiving in faith
That day people came forward dancing in victory, disposing all the money they had with them
Some of you who were more stupid went forward to the altar to pledge your salaries
You went back to your pastor to seek counsel on why God didn't want you to have good things
He told you to check yourself, that you probably didn't deserve good things because you are paying for sins you don't remember