Women and Children

The Priceless Gift of Motherhood

Motherhood is not a day’s job. It’s a special gift  bestowed by God on women. It is a privilege as well as an honor to be a mother.  Continue reading “The Priceless Gift of Motherhood”

Africa, Women and Children

Thoughts On The Pregnant Cameroonian Woman Who Was Left To Die.

I watched with horror and a deep sense of loss the video  of a pregnant woman who was abandoned by a Cameroonian hospital because she couldn’t afford to pay the stipulated fees.  She was in labour when her niece brought her to the hospital but the staff refused to attend to her until her family paid the hospital fees.  The fact that she was  pregnant with twins couldn’t change their mind. Continue reading “Thoughts On The Pregnant Cameroonian Woman Who Was Left To Die.”

Women and Children

An Open Letter to Boko Haram

 

 

Hi Abubakar,

 

I didn’t intend to write you this letter initially as I feel that all the media campaigns are enough to touch your heart, if you have any, and bring you to your senses.

 

However, I met with a pastor at a conference who showed her sympathy for the atrocity you and your men are committing. She said that her daughter in Sweden is concerned about the kidnapped girls and prays for their safe release. I wondered that if people from other continents who are unrelated to your victims and their families could show concern for their fellow humans , how much more should you feel if you were born by a woman.

I thanked her for her sympathy and told her that we will continue to pray until good triumphs over evil.

 

When I returned home, I thought about our encounter and decided to write you this letter to at least lend my voice and pray you have a change of heart

Hope this will not be like a salt that is poured into the ocean which makes no different.

Credits: Creative Commons
Credits: Creative Commons

It might be coming from a nobody but it’s from a heavy heart filled with pains and sorrows. You might have ignored all the entreaties from the most influential people in the world but please do not over look this. Treat this letter with the utmost importance and urgency it deserves and ‘bring back our girls’.

 

Have you no compassion on the thousands of innocent souls that are wasted by your group on a daily basis. They are human beings like you and I and deserve better than being roasted like yams and goats. Would you like to die that kind of painful death? How cruel can you be?

 

You capitalize on the corruption and ineptitude of the present government to make sure your tracts are covered but how long do you think it will last? Remember the saying that nothing is hidden under the sun? Everyday is for the thief but one day is for the owner. How long can you be on the run?

 

How about past notorious dictators and rulers? How did they end up?

The blood of the innocent citizens will be on your head and that of your sponsors.

 

What is your anger? You are opposed to a Christian president and western education. Isn’t the country for both Christians and Muslims so why can’t either of them be in power?

 

You will rather the girls are married off before their first menstrual cycle so that they will be perpetual slaves in their husband homes. Men and women are created equal and none is supposed to enslave another. The wife is to be a helpmate and not an object in the house to be used by the man however he wishes. And how can this be if she is not educated to be able to think for herself as an entity.

I assume you know the benefits of  literacy  as you attended school yourself and can express yourself in the language of civilization.

 

I need not remind you of the things you are fully aware of but feign ignorance.

Enough of the bomb blast and killings. Enough of fighting for a god you obviously do not know. Turn from your evil ways and surrender your arms.

Refuse to be used by evil politicians to disrupt the present administration.

 

Now is the time to give in to the world’s pleas for tomorrow may be too late.

Read this letter carefully and bring back our girls!

 

From a concerned citizen,

Hope

 

 

Women and Children

A Letter to an unkown Girl

A Letter to an Unknown Girl

The past few months saw a bombardment of open letters to different public figures in Africa’s most populous country. It began with a Past president airing his discontentment at the affairs of the country he apparently left poorer.

His action elicited numerous criticism and tongue-lashing not only from the addressee but from the general public.

Soon after, it became a popular means of expressing grievances and even employees began writing open letters to their employers. Voracious comedians also found it interesting and made several jokes out of it. Who knows if Nollywood, the movie industry, has also made flicks on the subject matter.

Though belatedly, I decided to write my own letter to an unknown girl who could as well pass for the girl next door. She could have been a relation, a friend or just any young girl out there.

To whom it may concern.

Dear Lady,

Do not be surprised that I am writing this letter to you . It should have come earlier but I had to wait for the euphoria of open letters to end so that you don’t dismiss it as a common thing.

This is not intended to judge you because on one is permitted to be a judge over another. After all, peculiar experiences have contributed immensely in shaping our personalities .

You may have countless reasons for your chosen profession but none could ever suffice to justify the harm you are doing to your body and your generation unborn. Would you be proud to tell your daughter that you once sold your body to countless men to earn a living? Or would you rather she follows your footsteps when she grows up? There might be people to blame for your metamorphosis but you still have a choice to quit and move on with your life.

It’s true your parents are so poor that a decent meal is almost in possible at home, therefore, you decided to leave the shores of your land to fight for a brighter future. They told you a decent job await you on the other side of the globe and you readily bought the lie because you were desperate to bid farewell to poverty, forever.

You and I know how miserable you are despite that you own a fat bank account and other material wealth. Yet, nothing is able to truly compensate for what you have lost, self dignity. Are you not afraid of STD s? How about your counterparts who went on night shifts but never returned alive? Their dismembered bodies were found littering the street.

Don’t you love your life more than the few notes you stuff away in your purse? You want to make sure your parents and siblings escape poverty before you quit but what if you die in the process, will life not go on? I know you are not ignorant of the risks involved in your trade yet it is difficult for you to quit.

I don’t intend to write more than this because I know you are very smart and can make a good decision. I may not have time to write to you again concerning this matter.

Act quickly before it’s too late and find a decent means to earn a living.
A word is enough for the wise!

Women and Children

A Still Birth (Part Two)

Faith’s brother fought too and nail to ensure she got a university education along with her three sisters. He knew the great difference between a university graduate and one who did not see the four-walls of the school, a stark illiterate. Therefore, he decided to squeeze out money, no matter the cost, to see them through.

He was not fortunate to be educated himself as their parents were peasant farmers who could barely afford a three square meal. The children did odd jobs to support the family’s income when it became clear they couldn’t survive on the meagre sales from farm produce.

Okenna found himself as an apprentice trader in the neighbouring city and from there he set up his own electronics shop. With the proceed, he was able to pay their school fees and other miscellaneous expenses.

Faith was the first fruit of his labour and her younger ones looked up to her to be like him and help others.
It was rather difficult getting a job notwithstanding a second class upper in banking and finance. She spent the next two years in a frantic job hunt. One would have expected her land a fat-paying banking job soon after graduation.

Still, she could not afford give up, if only to secure a job from where she can save some money to establish her own business firm. After a long search, she had to settle for a private school job as a kindergarten teacher while still applying for her dream job.

A few months after she became a teacher, she met a handsome young man who found her irresistible and proposed marriage.

And in less than a year of courtship, they became husband and wife. And since children are the sign of a fulfilled marriage to most Africans, she conceived in the first month of marriage.

Everything seemed normal at first, she began to attend antenatal at the local clinic and despite it been scarcely equipped, it was better than nothing; especially as it was the best she and her teacher husband could afford at the time.

Unknown to her, there were complications which the health workers failed to diagnose.
As she was rushed to the local hospital one Friday morning amidst severe pains and ruptured water, her husband was told the nurses were on strike and must pay twice the original amount to convince any of them to work. What was more, his wife’s life was paramount.

He hastily signed the paper. It took about three days to get the baby out and Faith was exhausted by then as they insisted on a normal birth. She gave up soon after, even before blood donors were found.

The story of Faith (a symbolic name) represents that of many other Nigerians, and indeed other Africans, who were victims of the poor health facilities. Whose lives were cut short in their bid to procreate and not allow their family’s lineage close . Moreover, a childless African woman is usually ridiculed by her in-laws, and the society at large. She knows no peace until she has a child of her own or her husband brings another woman to do the ‘job’.

They had dreams just like every other human being but could not live to actualize it due to corruption and the country’s failure to care for it’s citizenry.

Many young Africans may not have the same opportunity as I to give birth in developed countries but their lives can be saved if they have access to quality health care, during and after delivery.

Have you been affected by the death of a loved one as a result of poor medical facilities or negligence? Please share your experience in the comment box.

Women and Children

A Still Birth

Faith was an aspiring young woman with visions and hopes of what she intends to make out of life, like me. We both have similar background of being sponsored through school by the selfless efforts of our relations. The only perceived difference between us is that while she remained in Nigeria with her husband, Providence availed me the opportunity to travel overseas.

I was only a few months pregnant for my first child when we relocated to South Africa. There, the government has a universal free health care for pregnant women, from conception to delivery and afterwards. The only criteria for assessing the services is being a (legal) resident.

The facilities were relatively sound when compared to Finland where I had my second child.

Still, it ranks higher than the private hospitals in Nigeria, not to mention the state owned clinics which are in a deplorable condition with very little facilities in place.

It’s been a dead trap for many aspiring mothers; countless dreams and skills have been truncated at these places yet, the government seem less concerned. Families who do not have access to a private health care are left to their fate and a successful delivery is only by chance or miraculous.

While no one can take away the pains associated with childbirth, much can be done at the hospitals to alleviate the pains. Sometimes, it’s obvious that a woman is unable to have a normal delivery and an operation seems the only option. Still, the personnel in charge will insist that the baby be pushed, at her own detriment and because there are insufficient equipments to carry out a surgery. The consequences are better imagined; some die while ‘pushing’, others give up soon afterwards from an excessive loss of blood or other avoidable complications. Some other women end up with other terrible deformities for the rest of their lives.

‘Am sorry, we lost her’.

Yet, another preventable death!

For instance, I have a relative who is unable to move around freely because of the offensive odour emanating from her private part. It began after the birth of her second child and no tangible solution has been proffered ever since. Instead, her husband married a second wife and left her in the village.

Isn’t it pathetic?

Recently, I have received sad news of women who die at child birth, close and distant relatives alike.

(To be continued)