Monday, August 10, 2015
A woman's short ecstasy
Njola was a widow who lost her husband eight years ago. She lived in a dilapidated house with her children.
Njola as a woman and a mother had lived a joyous life with her husband before his untimely death. She later fell into the hands of his womaniser boss who was just interested in abusing her and left her to die a sympathetic death. Many a woman has died a similar death.
Njola has been a pride of her family when she got married to Sutuko, a construction consultant who worked with an engineering company, immediately after the completion of her senior secondary school.
Her husband's talent had saved the engineering company a fortune during his seven years of service. The young consultant enjoyed life with his wife. He always felt proud of her among her peers. He found Njola as a virgin when they got married. This earned Njola respect both in her family and that of sutuko.
No sooner was her husband elevated to the position of chief consultant than his services were terminated. Neighbours, relatives and friends attributed it to superstition.
As Sutuko remained jobless, Njola convinced him to move from the flat they were living to a less expensive house. They searched for a house, but the only house they could afford was a dilapidated house, where they moved to settle with their three children.
“Things started to tumble down only when my husband was making enough money and progressing professionally”, cried Njola.
A year later, Sutuko felt severely sick. When he visited the hospital, stroke was diagnosed. In a short while he died as a result. Njola had no idea what widowhood entailed.
“I am shocked by my darling's death; the bringing up of my children is my biggest headache now. I feel as if my blood is draining out of me. I don't think I'll ever get married again. I had 8 years with my husband. I loved him and he loved me. I and my husband called each other Honey as if this were an exotic intimacy,'' said the widow, screaming at the top of her voice.
She always looked at her children and shed tears. She decided to stay at home to mourn the death of Sutuko for forty days as prescribed by tradition, before she could find any job.
The frantic energy about feeling lost, alone, frightened, disoriented and anger was filled in Njola's mind like one who has been slammed over the head with a sledgehammer.
After the forty days, she visited Sutuko's colleagues at the company to enquire whether he had any money there or an account elsewhere, only to realise that there were none. She then depended on the charity money given to her from sympathisers for the upkeep of her children in the meantime. She continued to manage with her children in their dilapidated house.
“With all what I enjoyed with my husband, we have no home of our own or an account that the family can depend on for survival. My children have nothing to inherit from their father in terms of wealth. This means that we were spending all what Sutuko was earning. This is more than an incident”, she said to herself.
With the assistance of a former class mate, Njola picked up a job at a petrol station in Kanifing. She started to pay the children's school fees, rent and provide feeding from her meagre salary.
She was unfortunate to meet a boss who was a womaniser who takes advantage of women's situations. When he knew Njola's condition, he promised to move her to a new flat and pay the rent. The poor isolated widow accepted her boss's proposal.
She has been feeling worthless, but persuaded by her boss to trust their relationship as she was promised that money was not going to be her problem.
The boss always spent most of her weekends with Njola at the new rented flat.
Her best friend and former class mate who facilitated her getting a job visited her. When one realised that Njola was in love with the womaniser, she gave her a good sisterly advice to be content with what she had. “This man will play with you like a toy and throw you away. Njola you were proud and praised. You were married as a virgin. Do not allow your condition to be taken for granted by such men. If you continue struggling, one good gentleman would soon come across you by the grace of Allah”, her former class mate told her.
My friend, Njola said, “You have told me a stark truth. But this new life of mine is just going to be a temporary one. If you have nothing people treat you as nothing”, she shyly responded.
But she could not change. She was thinking that the man would salvage her from her present situation.
Few months later, Njola became pregnant and was given a leave by his boss. She was the talk of town in the neighbourhood. In a short while, she gave birth to bouncing twin baby boys.
When this news hit her employer, he gave a draconian warning to all his employees that if they mentioned Njola and his issue they would lose their jobs. He went to Njola and told her to continue with her indefinite leave.
As the matter became a scandal, Njola's boss left for the UK where his family is staying. He left Njola without a job, with no means of survival and no one to help.
She could not explain this to anybody.
When the Imam in her area knew that she was suffering, he told his wives to be giving her food.
Njola was so desperate that she had to join the ranks of sex workers. She started roaming between brothels for survival.
She became briefly ill and subsequently died.
Her children continued to suffer. They are now taken to an orphanage by an Afro-American philanthropist.
How many women are dying this way leaving their children in the worst situation a human being can face on the face of this earth?