Live By My Rules, Or Else

Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Happy Friday. This is Bekeme, aka mummy G. O. and you are listening to The Good Citizen Show. I am always excited to be here to have these thrilling conversations about the value of living in Nigeria of today. I hope you all have had a fantastic week. It’s happy to be Friday. Then there is the weekend. Enjoy as well. I hope you enjoyed today’s discussion which was a carryover from last’s week discussion o widowhood.

The topic today is “Live by My Rules, or Else!”

Anyway, before we go into that, the usual housekeeping. I need to remind you that I am not tired of talking about Covid19, even though I say to my friends that if they ever heard that I caught the virus, I am sure they will laugh. I am so particular, sanitizing, doing everything all the time, doing all that I need to do, and I hope that this is something that you’re doing as well.

Last week, actually early this week, we did announce it, and I hope that someone managed to turn up, there is the first Lagos Island Youth Summit in Lagos Island, and if you go to lagosislandconnect.com, you should find more information about it, and get in some way connected with your community. And I am hoping that this is something that we can continue to do across different local government areas in Lagos and in Nigeria.

Did you miss the final episode of Things Dey Happen Radio Drama on Tuesday? Finally, the bad guy, like my baby would say, Oga Solo is fingered in the death of Maggie. he is indicted. At this point, community members realise their unwitting complicity. Oftentimes, it is too late when people realise the part that they play in all of these and start a course toward protecting women, which is what we are hoping would happen even in real society following this. And in the upper week we are going to start the Hausa version, so listen out for more information about that.

But (voice becomes inaudible), go to Soundcloud and visit Bit.ly/ThingsDeyHappendrama tomorrow Saturday at 10 AM, you can listen to all of the episodes so far.

So, we did touch on harmful widowhood practices last week, and we had many callers. The phones were ringing off the hook, and then we thought that we would carry in with that conversation. Because I was happy to hear from the men who called, and we’ve got really useful advice. People were saying, you know what, if you give the impression that you have a great relationship with your spouse, then people would respect that, and it’s not just about giving the impression, it is about actioning it. It is about communicating with your spouse. So, if a man had properties, his wife should know about it. Her name should be on it. And you know, she should know what to do. If the relatives are not the confidant, if your spouse is your confidant, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem.

So, thank you so much for all the callers, and we did talk about how in-laws should treat their wives, how wives can manage their in-laws, how husbands can manage their in-laws; because this is a two-way street.

To the matter on ground, so I thought this is going to twist because we were up yesterday for hours till… I don’t know. I probably went to bed at 4:30 am. We were discussing this issue about a man who purportedly sent rules to his wife. So, the person who shared it said these are the rules and regulations a friend gave his wife. Apparently, they have had scuffled. The wife had moved out, obviously, she wasn’t happy. We don’t know whether there was domestic violence involved. She moved out. And he says rules before consideration of XYZ to return home: “1. resign from work immediately and focus on fixing your home, as I see the distractions have fully set in. this is where he starts saying, oh you now having bad friends, and bad guys that you’re rolling with. 2. You must improve in your home cooking. How you learn on it is entirely your problem. 3. You must get involved in domestic housework; I say this because the children must not be raised seeing maids do their work. They must follow the footsteps of their parent’s good impact as they grow in their own home. 4. Breakfast should not exceed 9:30 AM. Lunch 3:00 PM. Dinner 6:30 PM. And probably serve with table manners also, create a full timetable for all to follow. 5. Family and friends were prohibited from my homes till further notice.”

So, I am reading verbatim that this man has given in order to let his wife return home. “6. You must now take up some cost responsibilities. 7. Your attention to the children in all sectors now stands at 100%. 8. Unwanted calls suspended from 10 PM. Focus on the kids going to bed. Also, you as well, except on emergencies, which must be communicated. 9. Make ETC to stop calling of my room and your room. Now your full responsibility, except in emergency cases with meaningful. 10. Turn regular check up on children at night. 11. Visitation of your family members on my approval and 12. Your visit to family members, or friends, church, or parties to be discussed at my convenience” he says. But I guess he meant convenient for approval.

The person who shared this message was saying, just wanted a few people to know these things happen. He mocks some of our friends as the wives in marriages, and this is about how he is in charge of his marriage. Right?! And so (laughs) if you’re listening to this, this is the part where you will think some of these things make sense, and of course, some of these things make sense, but what doesn’t make sense is: There is a huge problem if a man is already, if a man has to write rules for his grown educated wife to live by. These are not contextual rules, these are rules telling her when to sleep, and also telling her to resign from work immediately, and also be in charge 100% of the children’s welfare and then to take other cost responsibilities.

The number to call, you all know is 0700-923-923-923. Again 0700-923-923-923. We want to hear what you think, and about this resolution by this husband.

Obviously, some of the challenges that are facing them, people don’t necessarily understand each other when they get into marriage. Some of the things we touched last week was the fact that two don’t actually become one.

(Call comes in)

Bekeme: Hello

Caller: Hello

Bekeme: Hello. Thank you for calling The Good Citizen Show. What’s your name?

Caller: My name is Kunle. I am calling from Festac.

Bekeme: Hello Kunle from Festac. What’s your take on these? Should men give their wives rules, you know is it contextual? Should it be? What’s your take on it?

Caller: Obviously, it should be contextual. I mean the marriage is of both parties, not just for one party.

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: if they are rules, it’s okay to put the rules down, but then the rules must be discussed and negotiated

Bekeme: Hmm Hmm

Caller: and agreed by both parties.

Bekeme: And

Caller: ( Cuts in) and

Bekeme: Okay, carry on

Caller: Yeah. So, I thought I heard something about the guy who gave all those rules basically thinks he was in charge of his marriage

Bekeme: yes

Caller: Okay, my statement to that will be what marriage? I don’t think it is called marriage

Bekeme: (laughs) I think you just hit it on the head.

Caller: Because his wife is gone, and then he got rules. He doesn’t have a marriage. If he wants to have a marriage, he needs to make those rules and think back on how it can be discussed.

Bekeme: Yes

Caller: and negotiated with his wife. That is my voice becomes inaudible)

Bekeme: Thank you so much

That is what I would have expected. I just, I was taken aback by it. The first time when I read it I was like you know, he should have married a chimpanzee, who he could just direct to do whatever he wanted to do. I choose a Chimpanzee on purpose because this is an Ape that behaves very much like a human being. At least you’d feel like you are married to a being (Laughs) but then you can control them as you wish. The number to call is 0700-923-923-923.

(Calls comes in)

Bekeme: Hello!

Caller: Hello. Good evening.

Bekeme: Hello. Good evening. Thank you for calling the Good Citizen Show. What’s your name?

Caller: This is David calling. David

Bekeme: Hi David

Caller: Fine. I heard the rules and I just laughed. Let me come in on a comical part. That rules that I heard is just practical of Nigerian government policies that ehn

Bekeme: (Laughs)

Caller: (Laughs) that never goes through

Bekeme: (Laughs)

Caller: I believe you are not married to a machine now…

Bekeme: (Laughs)

Caller: …and I just heard some of the rules, and I just, maybe I just ask, what about if the woman is holding is a high post, and maybe she needs to go through her paper works around 11 or 12. I think that men don’t have a marriage.

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: I think the man should just go and marry a man. Let him marry a machine and out in the house.

Bekeme: Absolutely

Caller: It’s just gibberish. It doesn’t work. Even your children, there is a level to the level that you

Bekeme: (cuts in) Hmmm

Caller: What about if they wake up and they are restless

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: Will you force them to sleep?

Bekeme: Hmmm Hmmm

Caller: Okay what about you as a man? You said go to bed by 10. There are some certain times you just want to think some things through. Sleep doesn’t come but you need an answer. But sleep is not coming. Will you force yourself to sleep?

Bekeme: But those rules don’t apply to him. It’s a robot that he is married to that (laughs)

Caller: In fact ehn, those rules are just ehn, in fact, let me just say it for the last time, it is the kind of something that Nigerian government make that will never see the day of light

Bekeme: (Laughs)

Caller: He himself cannot even keep it

Bekeme: (Laughs)

Caller: My sister, good evening oh

Bekeme: Good evening my dear brother. Thank you so much for calling.

You see, we laugh but the truth is that when we were having this conversation on that platform, my friends were saying they know many women who are actually going through the same thing. Can you just imagine?

I would like to share your thoughts. It’s 0700-923-923-923. Again, it’s 0700-923-923-923

Yes! So, apparently, some women are actually going through these. Going through this same challenge, and you know, when persons say you know, I don’t believe that it’s true, the last caller said, this is Nigeria regulations that cannot happen, but apparently this is what women are suffering through.

As we were having this discussion, a video went viral. Zack Stacey, who is a former NFL player, was caught in camera brutalizing the mother of his 5-month-old baby. And I think one of the things that I heard her first say in the video was something like, “Oh! Things were not like before.”. And in my mind, I was thinking he probably had this kind of rules of how he had to behave around him, around other people, because they say, abuses start with that. They start by alienating you from anything and everybody that you know in order that they are able to brutalise you. And the truth is that, had that video not gone viral, you would not have believed or that woman would not have been able to explain what woman put her through.

Before I go on, I just want to remind you that the number to call is 0700-923-923-923. Again, it’s 0700-923-923-923.

He literally picked her up like a rand door, slammed her against the TV, it was like 60-inches or bigger TV. That TV screen fell on her. The 5-month-old baby was on the couch crying and then he acts like he was going towards the door, he comes back, picks her up and slams her against the baby’s bouncing chair. It was like a troller, and that one crashed to the floor. And obviously, before this hit, he punched her, slapped her face, all of that. Apparently, that woman didn’t have any life-threatening injuries. I don’t know how that happened. It just tells you the resilience of women, but she went to the emergency unit, but you know, she was discharged immediately. But this is what tends to happen, and I think this conversation is very critical, this conversation around “Help My Husband People Are Against Me”, as we talked about last week or “Live by My Rules, Or Else”.

And if you’re a man who is prone to this kind of behaviour, and you’re listening out there, I want you to listen very carefully to the conversation that is being heard. The callers so far have been men, interestingly. Denigrating that sort of bad behaviour. You know, it is not just something that should be condoned in a civilised society.

Again, the number to call is 0700-923-923-923. And you can send a WhatsApp message if you are having challenges reaching us, to 0817-313-6193.

And you see, it’s a vicious circle really when this kind of thing happens when people sit through this kind of situation whether it is man and Women. As we were having this discussion, I was saying, you know what, we started talking obviously about the divorce rate, and the thing that causes divorce among married couples

(Call Comes In)

Bekeme: Hello

Caller: Hi

Bekeme: Hello! Hello!!

Caller: (Voice becomes inaudible)

Bekeme: What’s your name, please? Can you speak up too as well?

Caller:  Okay. Hi. (Voice becomes inaudible)

Bekeme: No problem. I don’t know if your volume is up. I can still barely hear you. Can you speak up, please? Did you say Biola for the purpose of the call?

(Call ends abruptly)

Oh! We lost you. You did sound like you have a perspective, a strong perspective. I’m sorry. If you can, do call back 0700-923-923-923

I wasn’t trying to make it difficult for you, I just wanted us to have an enhanced experience to hear you properly.

Again, it’s 0700-923-923-923

So, I was saying that we were discussing the challenges, the reasons why this kind of thing happen. And I was saying that it’s important that people, everyone brings value. That everyone brings value to a marriage, and that they identify the value beforehand.

So, I get a message that I am trying to read. “Having rules for the family, for the spouse, and family is not a big deal as long as they are reasonable, mutual and contextual. Unfortunately, from what you read out, I very much doubt, the above is the case at all. There is definitely trouble in that home. Nevertheless, we should also dig deeper into the root cause for these rules in the first place without being so emotional about it. That way we can proffer workable solutions. We (not just I) have rules in my home too. And we, including myself, adhere to them.”

Micheal Okon, Thank you so much

(Calls Comes In)

Bekeme: Hello!

Caller: (No response)

Bekeme: Hello!!

Caller: (No response)

Bekeme: Hello!!!

Caller: (No response)

Bekeme: Hello! Can you hear me?

Caller: (No response)

Bekeme: Okay! We can’t hear you. If you can call back, it’s 0700-923-923-923. Again, it’s 0700-923-923-923

The last part of Michael’s message was that he said “In fact, my 3-year-old son question me if I break the rules. And I apologise and make amends.”

So, yes! It just speaks to communication amongst married people. Among family members. Obviously, this is not what I am seeing here. Typically, abusing marriage isn’t often one-sided. It can come from either side. It could be the man or the woman. It could be that the woman has been an abusive spouse and it could be that truly she is not available to look after the family. She is probably not the breadwinner, or she is not doing the things that she needs to do.

However, this is an adult we are dealing with. When a man does that, does a woman come out with these kinds of rules without engaging him? Does she tell him, she parks out of the house, or do whatever, or does she attack him physically? You know, this is the issue here, really.

It is very important that people when get into a marital union, it will be clear with their expectations from either side. Everyone must behave themselves literally. And as I always say, communication and symbiosis are key. So, basically, for a union such as marriage to work, everybody needs to come correct.

In summary, everybody needs to be bringing some sort of value. Marriage is like a joining of two sensible people, at least a successful one. And I always believe there is room for improvement. Sometimes, it’s the case of emotional abuse. Sometimes, the person gets really upset, they leave their hand. Is that the immediate end? Probably not. But if the person opened to counselling, to coaching? Is the person open to change? These are the questions. Alright!

So, call in. so we can hear your thoughts? 0700-923-923-923

So, we don’t want a situation where either person dies physically or physiologically. Or you know, as we say in this part of the world, have you noticed that many women because we say divorce is really low compared to the western world, have you ever thought about how matured women, who have matured children go on permanent Omuguo, they never return?

(Call Comes In)

Bekeme: Hello

Caller: Hello

Bekeme: Hello! Thank you for calling the Good Citizen Show what’s your name?

Caller: My name is Davis, from (voice becomes inaudible) Ade

Bekeme: Davis?

Caller:  Yes!

Bekeme: Alright!

Caller: I was just tuning in, and you are discussing marriage

Bekeme: Yes sir

Caller: But I didn’t get the intent of what you are discussing.

Bekeme:  So a man laid down rules for his wife to follow, so he basically was telling her when to sleep, when to wake up, how she must stop work immediately, and at the same time she must take up some cost responsibilities, and she must pay 100% attention to the children, she must clean the house by herself, cook the meals by herself and all of that, so we were saying is this the way to engage the partner in the union?

Caller: It is not. Definitely not   

Bekeme: Humm Humm

Caller: Marriage is a joint venture.

Bekeme: Yep

Caller: And if there have to be rules to be put down, it has been jointly, mutually agreed to…

Bekeme: Hmmm Hmm

Caller: …to run the home. It’s a pity that the God who ordained marriage, as at the time he ordained Marriage, asked the man to go out and fend for the home, while the woman should take care of the home. Unfortunately, at that time we had traded by barter.

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: As at the time money was now coming in to replace trade by barter

Bekeme: Hmmmm

Caller: The man was getting money outside and he was not being honest with it. And this is where all these problems started from.

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: From the inception, when the man goes outside, whatever he brings from the outside belongs o the family.

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: So, it is today, the money that is causing the problem, whatever money whatsoever partner that goes out there belongs to the family. And they jointly agree on how they appropriate this money.

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: That is my take

Bekeme: Thank you so much, sir. You are very spot on.

There is a lot of dishonesty in marriage today. There is poor communication. There is all the selfishness.

(Call Comes In)

Bekeme: Hello. We have another caller.

Caller: Hello

Bekeme: Hello. Great. A woman before we end. What’s your name, please?!

Caller: Na Peace oh

Bekeme: Peace?

Caller: Yes, peace

Bekeme: How far?! What’s your name on these rules and regulations?

Caller: That man does not need a man. He needs a slave.

Bekeme: (Laughs)

Caller: Because you cannot set those rules for your own wife. One body, flesh. The two of us are one.

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: So, he does not need a wife, he needs a slave. Thank you.

Bekeme: Thank you so much, Peace.

In summary, you can’t actually want to helpmate and behave like that

(Call comes in)

Bekeme: Hello

Caller: Good evening

Bekeme: Good evening. Thank you for calling the Good Citizen Show. What’s the name?

Caller: Mrs Kolawole on the line.

Bekeme: Thank you for calling Mrs Kolawole. What’s your take on the discussion, please ma?

Caller: I want to know, this number, I want to check it maybe it is correct, If I want to call your station

Bekeme: Yes, this is correct ma

Caller: Thank you very much

Bekeme: Alright! Thank you so much ma for that

So, basically, I think we are all agreeing that this is not the right way to engage in any situation. You would not engage like that with people in your office, with people that you meet on the street, so why do you think it’s okay to engage like that with someone that you call your partner who is supposed to help you grow.

So, thank you so much for your contributions to the show. As someone said, we are not being emotional, we just saying the truth. So, this is it. Everybody needs to come correct and behave themselves. Any rules that are made will be the joint family rule.

Thank you much for listening on The Good Citizen Show, remember this marriage thing is per head there on point.

It’s still next week Friday on The Good Citizen Show. Same time, 5:30 pm. And my name is Bekeme aka Mummy G. O. all the way from CSR-in-Action and funded by ACT Foundation.

Have a great weekend.

Bye Bye.

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