My husband’s people are against me

Good evening, everyone. It’s Bekeme, aka Mummy G. O. and you’re listening to the Good Citizen Show, brought to you by CSR-In-Action and funded by Act Foundation. I am so so excited. I know you hear me say that every week, but this time, I am truly excited because CSR-In-Action was 11 years old on the 8th. That is on Monday, yeah. And I am so excited. You know it’s not easy actually running an organization for 11 years in any country in the world. And to cap it all, we won an award as the leading NGO in mining and geosciences given by the Nigerian Institute of Mining and Geosciences in Abuja. We flew all the way in our nice outfits to receive the award, and I won Women’s role model in mining and geosciences. So it’s exciting that all of the work we do, there is recognition for all of that. I always say, you know we don’t have as much money as we should have for all that we do, (Cheers from the background) That is a (voice becomes inaudible), I will take it. I will take it. But yeah, I don’t think that we can get all of the financial remunerations that we should get all of the work that we do. But you see the work that we do, it’s not about money, it’s about impact. And I’m glad that there is recognition from such a reputable organization, and with no input from us whatsoever. I am very very happy.

I also, I am happy that to a large extent the Anambra gubernatorial election was peaceful. And that we have a governor in Soludo. Congratulations to him and to the Anambra people for actually choosing a winner without a lot of fighting and all of that. And to the women of Ebenebe who actually stood strong in their resolve, who said you know what, it’s not for the 5k that I will sell my destiny. Kudos to all of you, this is what we need. You are not necessarily wealthier than the people who say that then well this is the only thing I will get, let me take this one for now. I really think it’s a big deal. They were able to stand their ground, I will not take your money. They didn’t say, I will take it, then pretend to vote for you, they said I will not take your money, and I will vote your conscience. So, as we are looking for the next election, I think that is what we should tell ourselves. Don’t say this party is going to win anyway, they are the incumbent, or they are more powerful or whatnot, I think you should go with your heart, go with whom you truly believe in, and you would see Nigeria take a turn for the better.

I will remind you Covid-19 is still on the prowl. I had a very close friend who just recovered, let’s say like a couple of days ago for the first time we could actually have a conversation. She was bedridden for about ten days. She couldn’t speak, she couldn’t walk. She said it felt like she had 3 different ailments. It felt like she had malaria, arthritics, and I think bronchitis, her ankles and her wrist were swollen. Never been sick her entire life. She has no underly issues. So, you all just take care, take the vaccine. It is free of charge. It is free of charge. Go to the local government and take it free of charge.

So today we are going to be talking about something that is prevalent in all cultures across the countries. It’s about the women. The title is, “Help! My husband’s people are against me.” We are talking about women and women being helped.

Don’t forget, Things Dey Happen radio drama is still on. We are looking forward to the final episode, where we find out what happens to Maggie. Go to Bit.ly?ThingsDeyHappendrama on sound cloud, and you will find out more about how you can women who are marginalised within oil and gas, and mining, in fact, any communities across the country.

So, last week after the show, I was talking to our guests. Remember Ndifreke? She came from ACT Foundation, and I hope that people actually went ahead to actrustfoundation.org to register their interest in receiving a grant from Act Foundation. I did tell you all it’s free. It’s a fair process.

And we were talking about women becoming despondent, who become homeless as a result of becoming widowed or for some reason. And then subsequently, during the week, we started hearing conversations about Femi Osibona’s wife. I am sure you all know Femi Osibona. You may not know him by name, I am sure you know what happened with the collapse in Ikoyi on Gerard Road. A twenty-one storey building that was never meant to be built, that collapsed and killed over 50 people. from what was being said on social media already, his wife is being marginalized. I heard they were separated. I don’t know how true that is. That is not our business. This isn’t about gossip or conjecture. What we are actually going to talk about today are the challenges women face when they do not have a ma in their lives. This is a topic that we’ve talked about it a few times before. And I think it’s very important that we have this discussion because many women think it’s all about looking fly and having somebody do things for them. We will have this discussion.

The number to call 07009234923923. Again, 0700-923-923-923. I am giving you all plenty of time to try to prep, to try to call in. last week we didn’t have enough time to discuss, people who did call gave some rare insights that we hadn’t thought about. For instance, I remember one of our callers said, pointed out the fact that Ikoyi has really marshy grounds, and that would have been one of the reasons why that building would have collapsed in the manner that it did, considering that it was appropriately planned for.

You know, I was on a flight yesterday, two days ago to receive our awards, that was the discussion that was being heard. People who live nearby said that it was carved into the ground.

(Calls Comes in)

Hello

(Calls ends)

So, I was saying I heard that it was though the first, second and third carved right into the ground, and everything collapsed on top. It kind of made sense to me because I was thinking, the amount of rumble that we have above ground wasn’t commemorated with the stories that the building purportedly had.

It is important that we do interact during this section because it is really not about me talking. What do I know? I am one person, and we run a democracy. It will be really really great to hear from you.

As I was saying, unfortunately, regarding the ethnic group that we come from, when a woman loses their husband in some way, there seem to be challenges. Now there are particular families that are particularly enlightened, and that avoids this. Or there are husbands who are smart enough to prepare wills, say they die. They are smart enough to prepare wills, but to prepare wills that are good enough to protect their loved ones. I know that we can be very superstitious in our part of the world. And usually, I see banks come around, trying to sell their products, saying, oh, we can prepare, I think it’s insurance companies, saying we can prepare a will for you, a simple will to lit all of your properties, so that your loved ones will be protected. We say God forbid. I am not about to die. God forbid. See, the surest thing in this world is that we all die. The surest thing is just like encountering failures at some point in your life. Those are the surest thing in life. Those are the surest thing.

These are discussions that we must have, both of the point of view of the women, and the point of view of breadwinners of families. Because I can’t actually say that it’s a one-size-fits-all situation. I can’t say this is happening because women aren’t going there and working and looking after themselves. Because there are situations where the woman has to be at home. There are situations where it is not ideal at that point in her life, for her to go out and source for a living. So, it is important for us to have this discussion. Other people who are listening in, to listen to learn, and apply as applicable in their own lives.

Now again, the number to call is 0700923923923. And you can send a WhatsApp message to 08173136193.

Let me relay, relay this really sad story that I heard about. The truth is that this story is a story that most of you have heard about, (voice becomes inaudible), who we simply call Mrs Shine, shared a bitter experience of how she was denied her husband’s properties by his brothers. Even before he was buried. I mean this Osibona one now, we heard they are not even allowing her access, blah blah blah. Right?!

Mrs Shine, aged 62, explained that she actually toiled with her husband. She worked really hard to acquire the properties that they had, the lands and all of that when they got married because initially, it was as rousing for him as it became eventually. She stated that her husband started having problems with his siblings after a while. Because siblings are typical siblings in many families’ situations. It seems like every family has a couple of people who feel entitled to their family member’s wealth. They sit on the outside, and they make assumptions that you have some of this cash buried somewhere. And I always say these are the kind of people that always make politicians steal. Honest to God. Because the needs and the wants of the family members are insatiable. And if they are not leaving the same exact same quality of life that you are leaving, you’re not doing well enough by them.

So, she stated that she started problems…

(Call comes in)

Hello

(Call ends abruptly)

We lost that call again. 070923923923. Again 070923923923.

In her words, she says, “My problem with my husband’s siblings started even before his corpse was taken to the mortuary. As soon as I have informed them…”

(Call Comes in)

Bekeme: Hello

Caller: Hello. Good evening

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

Caller: My name is Elder Nkwocha. I’m calling you from Ikotun

Bekeme: Hello, Elder Nkwocha. What’s your contribution to this sir?

Caller: This is a very important question, my sister…

Bekeme: Yes sir

Caller: …and very crucial in our various homes.

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: You see the thing is in two ways

Bekeme: 

Caller: One, the perception of our culture.

Bekeme: Hmm Hmm

Caller: (Voice becomes inaudible) Africans, Nigerians in particular do not have much respect and regard for women

Bekeme: Yes

Caller: They felt like women are servants

Bekeme: Hmmm Hmmm

Caller: except those of them that are in the north

Bekeme: Yes sir

Caller: This is one of the problems that we are having, even in our homes, when you see a moving married woman in a home, the mother of the husband, the family in some cultures subject her to some certain percentage of attention that is not very very acceptable.

Bekeme: Hmmmm

Caller: That is one.

Bekeme: Hmm Hmm

Caller: The other angle may come from the woman herself

Bekeme: Okay

Caller: These women, some of them may come from poor homes, homes that are very manageable. Luckily for them, they got married to a wealthy and rich man, you will now see their conduct, their behaviour, the way they do things, they like to overshadow everything. Control their husbands.

Bekeme: (Laughs)

Caller: Pushing some of the husband’s relations away

Bekeme: Right

Caller: They may not have the opportunity to grab or be part of what their brother labour for

Bekeme: Hmm Hmm

Caller: So, in the event I this kind of situation, the husband’s relation may have the upper hand. Because of our constitution, our culture does not have proper protection for our women

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: This is it

Bekeme: Thank you, sir

Caller: Thank you

Bekeme: Thank you so much elder Nkwocha. I mean you nailed it. You actually totally nailed it.

Truly like you said, when people are not in crises, it’s a case that they don’t seem to realise, and even when they profess to be Christians for instance, they don’t seem to realise that you leave your father and mother and cleave together as one.

(Call comes in)

Hello

(Call ends abruptly)

We lost that call. You can call 070923923923

Like you said Elder Nkwocha, they don’t seem to realise, you know that you’re now with a new person, and you should work together. It’s from both sides. It’s from men and women.

(Call comes in)

Bekeme: Hello

Caller: Hello Bekeme. Good evening

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

Caller: Ololami

Bekeme: Ololami

Caller: Yes

Bekeme: Thank you for calling again. So, what are your thoughts

Caller: You see ehn, this life, when you have love, this love for humanity, even the bible says, love your neighbour as yourself

Bekeme: Hmmmm

Caller: every other thing will fall in place irrespective of religious or ethnic diversity or wherever we come from

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: And again, when you know that these earthly things, what do we need them for? Nothing. Vanity upon vanity.

Bekeme:  Totally

Caller: You understand?

Bekeme: Yes

Caller:  So, see the reason why most time, the wife or the husband family normally have a problem with the woman is just that there is no love. The love for humanity comes first irrespective of, she is married to the man,

Bekeme: Hmm Hmmm

Caller: Everything automatically is her responsibility. Once they agree with that, you know that some greedy in-laws will not remove their eyes from whatever their brother labour for so many years.

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: Some women, they don’t even have their responsibility. Some are greedy

Bekeme: Hmm Hmm

Caller: We have so many greedy women that are married

Bekeme: hmmm

Caller: that are married

Bekeme: Hmm Hmm

Caller: If the in-laws remove their eyes from their brother’s property or anything, the world will be a better place.

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: Even the women that they think is going to take some of the property might not even be interested in that property.

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: She might even have something that is far better than what their brother has left behind

Bekeme: Yes

Caller:  If they take that away, I think especially this country will be a better place. In the south here, it is a very terrible situation, when a woman loses her husband, the family wage war against that woman.

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: I think she is human. I think she is more human, like them

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: what is it? Is it that the women do not have a place in their husband’s home? If the husband is no more, they cannot take care of the family

Bekeme: there ae furniture. There are supposed to be purchased furniture (Laughs) 

Caller: even families that are even shouting up and down, they don’t this, they don’t that when they were drinking garri or drinking water, maybe they had so much, were they ready to give out?

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: A lot of things to attend to this issue of women always at the receiving end when the man dies. Whether we like it or now, even those relatives that come and wage war, some of them are even women, sister-in-laws

Bekeme: Yes! Yes! Absolutely

Caller: They are the fall front to fight this woman because their brother left something behind

Bekeme: Yeah

Caller: (voice becomes inaudible) how many are they going to go with?

Bekeme: Something that will finish soon self

Caller: Most of them even mismanage this thing self, even in at the end

Bekeme: (cuts in) Ah! Ah!!

Caller: because they have never worked hard. They never know how that company

Bekeme: (cuts in) Absolutely

Caller: (voice becomes inaudible) something that you didn’t work for, you will just misuse it and mismanage it

Bekeme: Totally

Caller: There is a need for reorientation

Bekeme: Hmm Hmm

Caller: of our, I think it’s both side sha

Bekeme: Yes

Caller: I just think there would be a program for in-laws alone.

Bekeme: (Laughs) They have taken notes.

Caller: This is against the wife

Bekeme: Yes

Caller: Program for the wife. Reorientating her on how to treat her in-laws.

Bekeme: Yes, good stuff

Caller: All this thing that we always lie under, lie under tradition.

Bekeme: Tradition actually evolves. They don’t seem to realise that.

Caller: They use to do a lot of harm especially in this part of the world. Especially in Africa, they lie that when the husband dies, the family automatically be in charge. The elder brother is the one to, to do what?

Bekeme: Yea

Caller: To do what? Leave all those traditions. Who are the authors of those traditions? Does that mean the woman cannot take care of the family when the husband passes on? There is a need for reorientation for

Bekeme: Yes, Thank you! Thank you so much

Caller: Let me put it that way. We have a sister who went through this thing. These terrible in-laws came and packed up everything from us

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: and left her only (voice becomes inaudible). Everything. In-law should learn and work and be satisfied with what they have. They should stop stocking their nose or hands into their brother or their sister, or whoever, things that he has worked for

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: People should learn to be satisfied, contended for whatever they laboured for

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: Thank you

Bekeme: Thank you so much Ololami. Thank you. Thank you so much. I was actually going to

(Call comes in)

Bekeme: Hello

Caller: Hello

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

Caller: My name is (voice becomes inaudible)

Bekeme: Your name is what?

Caller: Tunji

Bekeme: Tunji, thank you for calling. What are your thoughts, please?

Caller: Okay, I think

Bekeme: Do you have your radio on? Can you turn it down, please?

Caller: I think the (voice becomes inaudible). Having realised what the something now, it is when you’re still alive as a man, you’re married, you have a man, you have your own children, it is better now that you have (voice becomes inaudible) that man should take responsibility before he dies

Bekeme: Hmm Hmm

Caller: Set the boundary for the family. If you don’t set a boundary, and let them know, then there is going to be a big problem for something eventually happens. Men should (voice becomes inaudible). I think churches should do more in educating their men

Bekeme: Hmmm. Speak it

Caller: In educating men

Bekeme: Hmm

Caller: danger of not doing the right thing, for the sake of your wife and the sake of your children.

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: God bless

Bekeme: God bless you. Thank you so much. I mean very valid contribution.

(Call comes in)

Bekeme: Hello

Caller: Hello

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

Caller: My name is Ken. I am calling from Okota

Bekeme: Hello Ken from Okota. What are your thoughts, please?

Caller: Yea, my own contribution to this topic is that this issue is long overdue. I wonder why we are always discussing these in this 21st century.

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: For me, I believe the fault of the problem is from both couples. If for instance, couples trust themselves and loved themselves that much, I wonder how the in-laws will penetrate when the man is not there. Because if they really trust themselves and loved themselves very well, they suppose to have a laid land procedure of what they could do in the demise of any of them.

Bekeme: Hmmmm

Caller: For instance, the woman should have access to the man’s account

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: They should have a joint investment. If you are buying land, the land should be in the name of both parties.

Bekeme: Yes

Caller: you understand?

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: building a house, the house should be in the name of both parties. You understand?

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: In a situation whereby, we see in-laws encroaching on all these things, it is as a result of, sometimes, I feel like maybe, the man or the two partners don’t really trust themselves. The man now places his trust in his relatives.

Bekeme: Yes

Caller: For the fact that he places that his trust in his relatives

Bekeme: Hmm

Caller: now see it as an avenue to encroach on the man’s space when he is not around.

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: You know there is a display of their affection and trust, you understand?

Bekeme: (cuts in) Right

Caller: between the parties involved

Bekeme: Right

Caller: (voice becomes inaudible) The man knows very well that this man and this woman has the joint investment, they won’t think about coming close when the man is longer there.

Bekeme: Hmm

Caller: You understand? The reorientation will be talking about is people finding a perfect partner for themselves, knowing fully well you’re going into marriage for better or worse. The thing that you want to do, you will do it together.

Bekeme: Then what if they are aggressive, the family? Like regardless, what if, because some people say they are willing to use diabolical means whatever, even if they know there is a close relationship. What if that happens?

Caller: Well, the law doesn’t recognize all those diabolical means

Bekeme: I agree, but the woman is panicked by it. Some of them are physical and forceful

Caller: Even the clergy people let us understand that the spiritual cannot work without the physical

Bekeme: Hmmm

Caller: A document that has already been signed in the name of the woman

Bekeme: Right

Caller: Some things can be very factual

Bekeme: (laughs) 

Caller: Some things can be very factual. You cannot do away with it. No matter how spiritual you think you can be.

Bekeme: Yes

Caller: Because (voice becomes inaudible) it will not work.

Bekeme: Make sense. Thank you so much, Ken.

Caller: It will not work. So, both parties should entrust themselves. That is what I am saying

Bekeme: Yes

Caller: (voice becomes inaudible) to avoid this kind of thing from happening regardless of the demise of any of the partner.

Bekeme: Thank you so so much for all those contributions.

Starting from Elder Nkwocha, he says communication is very important. I think that a lot of people bring forward bitter experiences, and they now allow it to sour their relationships. Ololami says love and contentment are important. She pointed out that you can have wills. Tunji says set boundaries, and religious institutions must play a strong role in educating people. Ken finally crown it all by saying, trust partnership. He pointed that the spiritual cannot work without the physical.

It’s been very valid contribution today to the show. Thank you so much. So, whoever is out there listening, You can, you can take this thing into considerations, and support women, your families, yourselves when the time comes.

Take care. God bless. See you next week Friday, same time.

It’s been Bekeme on The Good Citizen Show.

Bye!

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