Hello beautiful people,
Today, you will be reading a story written by Hadiza (not real name). She shares excerpts from her diary and wants to let the world in on the battles she has to fight as a young lady just to get education. It’s so sad that these practices have continued till this day and in many different forms. I hope someone reading will take a step to put an end to sexual abuse in all it’s forms.
Read, Think, Act.
8pm to be exact!
He always came at this time every other night, just before Aunty Khadija returned from her bank job at 8.30. After today’s chores, I sent the Amina to sleep as usual and now I am sitting on my bed half-praying he forgets and half-waiting for him. I don’t want any more injuries due to my previous resistance and pleas which always fell on deaf ears.
The pattern was the same and the time never changed; he would open the door slowly, give me that devilish smile, remind me to be calm and then after shutting the door securely, he would mount the bed with his full weight on me. He would quickly satisfy his lust and when his desire wanes, he would leave with a piece of my dignity. Though it didn’t last long; less than 10 minutes, it was usually rough. I didn’t bother crying anymore since it did no good.
“No living soul should ever hear about this, not even my wife or your mother or I will kill you.”
Then he would hand me the pills with a waiting glass of water and watch me take them.
“Be a good girl and I will send you to the University.”
I would nod as usual and recoil in the bed, trying to gather what was left of my stolen dignity.
I wasn’t allowed to scream or even relish the beautiful pleasures of intimacy with the right man and at the right time. My voice was submerged, not just in his wild moans but also in his threats.
He would also remind me that this was my way of showing gratitude to him for paying my school fees since my father’s demise.
Right now, I can only wish for a better life; I long to be back in the village with my mother and six siblings. I prefer to stay with my family no matter how hungry we would go, but Mama insisted that I came to the city with Uncle Abdulhamid. She wants me to be educated and become a Doctor in the future, she wants me to get married to a wealthy man and take care of her and my siblings.
Uncle Abdul promised her he would take good care of me and train me in the University immediately after my secondary school education. He made sure he called her every two weeks to tell her that I was doing fine; he also sent her food items, gifts and money whenever any of his friends was travelling to the village.
He sent pictures of me on school uniform to her too, reassuring her that he would make sure I got the best of education.
Mother would never believe my story; she held Uncle in high esteem and would rather believe him than me. The last time we travelled to our village in the Northern part of Nigeria, I tried talking to her about my desire to return back to the village to be with them.
“Rufe ba kin ki!” “Shut up your mouth!” She yelled. “Keep quiet Hadiza, you are still a child. You are only 15 and you don’t know anything. Somebody is kind enough to promise to train you and you are being rebellious, I wish I had that opportunity when I was your age. I wish I wasn’t married off at 13. I never went to the city, no education, no future, I just married your father and began making babies. Now, he has left me to suffer alone with all of you, you should be obedient and grateful to your uncle.”
With that, she began to cry. How I hated to see mama cry! She was the sole reason I agreed to go back, but she never bothered to hear my own part of the story.
I gave up trying and decided to accept my fate, but for how long? With every passing day I am being reduced to nothing but a mere object of sexual satisfaction, my heart has been ripped apart with no remorse and my body filled with pills that do more harm than good. My self esteem is trampled on mindlessly and my dignity sold for a fleeting promise of education and a better future.
But what better future can I have when my will to live has be crushed beyond mending? A future filled with guilt, hurt and shame? One darkened by nightmares and scars? One filled with resentment and hatred for men? That future scares me so much I don’t want to meet it.
There is really no one to talk to, it will not be of any use since they would never believe me. Aunty Khadija has been very nice to me; I don’t want to wreck her home and her marriage. Besides, I doubt if she would even believe me since her husband acted like an angel who would never hurt a fly.
Now I am wondering how many more are like me and if they will ever be free to live and share their story. I imagine if they had diaries like mine filled with their hopes and dreams but buried under their untold stories.
As for me, it seems I will have to wait for the day my breath would cease. Will it be today, or tomorrow? I don’t know but whichever day it would be, I think I will be better off in the cold hands of death than underneath the body of a monstrous man whose untamed desires I live to satisfy.
I am Hadiza, I want my voice to be heard.