All descriptions and events in this novel are fictitious. Any resemblance to any event past, present or future is co-incidental. The activities of the IS mentioned in this book should be confirmed. I aver that some are factual, while others are my invention.
Before you begin, I believe you’d like to go through this
I’m a raging fire even though I was born in a thunderstorm. I’m an inferno formed in the depths of the ocean. My life has never been easy. Drawing in the last my breath my lungs can pull, I recall every aspect of my life. My brain was in full capacity now. They say it’s darkest before dawn, I’ll tell you you’re smartest before death.
Where did it all go wrong? I tried to change the world, hadn’t I? My mind started its backward journey racing at a speed higher than that of light. The images pouring in my mind finally came to a rest on a very night. Everything changed since that night.
My name is Halema and I was born in a polygamous family in northern Nigeria, in Kano state. Northern Nigeria usually has its extreme weather condition- harmattan is usually severe in this part of the country than the south, also the heat is almost unbearable at times. My dad had three wives, and several concubines. It was a normal way of life for people in my area. The women who were the sex slaves didn’t mind this. They were completely stoic to whatever they are facing. They are needed only for babies. If one woman didn’t give you enough babies, you marry another. There is also the issue of male child preference. You might say it’s barbaric, but I promise you we don’t know what barbaric means. Education was one thing most people lacked.
There are some times my dad, Abdullah, would come home drunk, which is unusual for the men from my tribe. I could say Yoruba men, another tribe in my country, love their alcohol, but Hausa? Not really.
My mother, Aminat, named after the Prophet Mohammed’s mother, was the first of three wives. After marriage, she was forced to wear a black covering over her body, and head and legs and hands. She was required to unveil herself only in the presence of my father. She is to wear this covering at all times she’s in public. She complied, after all her mother, my grandmother, did the same for my grandfather.
I don’t understand the point of covering face and body in blacks. Who are they seducing? Is the covering going to be the cure to promiscuity?
If you’re reading my story, I want you to understand what these women are going through. We learned that black absorbs heat more than any colour, and white absorbs heat the least. This means that while the women wear clothes that absorb the harsh heat of the North, the men wear the white thobes which help to cool their body from the heat.
She gave birth to me before marriage and Abdullah promised to marry her right away. He was a man of his words. He married her. But unfortunately, I was the only child of my mother.
Abdullah was getting angry. He believed Allah would give him another child. But after a long time, just two years, it seemed to Abdullah Allah had failed.
He married again. This time he had many children but they were all female. He wanted a male child. Don’t be surprised, there’s male child preference in every man. No matter how they hide it
So, he married again and his third wife bore him male sons. He was glad. When my mother told me these things later in my life, I grew irritated. If my ancestress was so smarter that she could lure a man to disobey, and he disobeyed without thinking twice, then I and my kin should be treated with respect. My mom always laughs when I tell her my thoughts.
“God knows all. He told us to be submissive towards them. “, she had told me in an ever caring manner. I frowned. I always wonder why God’s principle should always favor men. I was told He transcends gender, after all.
My boyfriend, Austin, just said his goodnight and I was on the way to my house. Austin was a young Ibo man who was in my village because he was serving his country. He told me everything about NYSC, which in full means National Youth Service corps. He told me it is a platform in which everybody is given an opportunity to serve his country.
I had lived a normal life which was full of fun and simplicity. But nothing lasts forever. It all started the night before I turned 18. My puberty had come and gone. I was gradually becoming an adult. I loved my body, the nice curves, everything about it. Every time I walked in the neighborhood I was admired.
I remember clearly that night my mom told me that after the night meal something important had to be discussed with my father. I wondered what the discussion would be about. I presumed it would be about God, his prophets and those religious talks. But I would be surprised.
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