Relationships have always been complicated from the very beginning of time, people judge you for making mistakes when they have not been in your shoes, my story was one of those that people felt they could give me advice and I should just act by it.
My name is Zainab Abubakar, I am from Bauchi State but grew up in Kano, I am the first and only child of my parents, my mother died when giving birth to me..I was 6 when my father married my step-mother who at the time was a divorcee with a daughter.
My father although a civil servant always tried his best to see that he catered for us as best he could but as years passed by and he started having more kids with my step mum’ things started becoming very difficult for us all. My step mum wasn’t particularly not good to me and with time she became even more vindictive, I in particular became like her kishiya, “ke!!, zo Nan Dan ubanki” you would always hear her shout, I started doing house chores like a maid, I had just one cloth, even when I started my period at 13, my step mom never gave me the chance to ask for pad money from my dad, I was forced to use old wrappers as my sanitary pad during my period and sometimes was made to sleep in the kitchen whenever my dad travelled for official duties.
Sometimes my father commented on how she treats me she would say she was training me but of course that was a lie, her daughter, Ummi lived like a princess while I was the maid who cookes and washes everyone’s clothes till sometimes 2am when my dad travels, my step sister hardly lifted a finger to do anything except when my dad was at home.
When I was rounding up my secondary school at 16, my father lost his job and had high blood pressure which led to a partial stroke, this was when the hardship really kicked in, I was barely able to finish school. My step mother had a plan of marring me out as a fourth wife to her 60-year old rich friend who lived in a mansion in Kano with his 3-other wives.
I refused the idea but my sick father wasn’t strong enough to speak for me as his health deteriorates. In two weeks time the wedding was organized and I found myself in a very big and beautiful mansion were maids served me meals, I don’t have to cook or stress myself again.
On the day of my arrival at my so called husband’s house, the wives were all in their different apartment as I and Alhaji Ahmed went into my furnished room.
Immediately Alhaji wanted making love to me as I felt his dick so hard as he tried to hug and force himself on me, I pushed him and slapped him out of anger to my greatest surprise Alhaji looked me in the eyes and walked away, I cried profusely as I never wanted to marry, I wanted to go to school and actualise my dreams.
Back to my father’s house, my step mum took over most of the finances from my father before he could get better and that gave her more right to treat my father like a trash by marrying me out in exchange for money. she would insult my father, telling him he’s a burden to her.
The next morning in Alhaji Ahmed’s mansion, I woke up bleeding, never knew Alhaji had drugged and raped me over the night, “Oh My virginity is gone” I lamented and cried profusely as my co-wives could hear my cries.
Jamila Ahmed the oldest wife walked inside my room and asked me why I was crying, I told her everything as she wiped my tears away and bathed me with hot water and adviced me to respect our husband and give him sex whenever he wants it.
I prayed and cried to leave this house, sometimes I felt like running away. My only escape was my dreams and imagination, I would imagine marrying a really rich guy I loved and he would carry me away to a beautiful palace and we would leave happily ever after after my degree as a journalist.
I got admission to study Mass Communication in BUK but unfortunately, Alhaji Ahmed refused paying for my tuition. I paid from my little savings from Alhaji Ahmed during our 10-days Courtship.
A week into lectures as I closed from lectures on a Friday evening at around 4pm, It was raining heavily, so I was hurring home before Alhaji Ahmed returns from work, I met Nasir who offered me a lift, Nasir is one of our lecturers, apparently, he’s good looking and smells well.
I never told Nasir im married so we gisted while driving but the rain was so heavy in Kano that day that Nasir had to pack at the road side.
We stayed quietly in the car until Nasir held my hands softly and squeezed it…for the first time I feel something for a man before I knew it he came closer and we kissed for almost 10 minutes.
Oh my God it has stopped raining I have to hurry home I told Nasir.
He dropped me at my gate not knowing one of my co-wives Rahmat had seen us hugged from the balcony before he drove off.
Immediately I got to my room Alhaji Ahmed was already waiting for me, asking me;
Alhaji Ahmed: who dropped you?
Zainab Abubakar: Oh, a friend of mine in class
Alhaji Ahmed: A friend who hugged you before he drove off?
Zainab Abubakar[Amarya]: Before I could say a word Alhaji slapped me and gave me the beating of my life.
Rahma Ahmed[ 3rd wife] : Alhaji,I told you she’s a prostitute you must divorce her, she sleeps with different men in the campus let her go back to her sick father and wicked step mother.
Jamila Ahmed[ 1st wife]: Zainab why are you crying again? heard Alhaji beat you? Please marriage is patience I have been married to Alhaji for over 40years and I’m still sad in my marriage.
Zainab Abubakar [Amarya], startled and staring at Jamila for a while and she asked the maids to serve me dinner and I was given hot water to bath, immediately my phone rang it was Nasir, I picked up and before I said hello to Nasir, Alhaji Ahmed was in my room to inform me my father had passed away.
My phone dropped from my hands and fell on the tie, Nasir kept calling, because I was weeping didn’t notice Alhaji picked Nasir’s calls and that was it.
I worked up the next morning with a text from Nasir that broke my heart more even though it was my father’s burial.
The burial was successful, my step mum and siblings were looking starved and unkept, never knew things were very tough for them, I had to give my step mom 10,000 to support herself as we departed…
Only Jamila Ahmed [First Wife] attended my father’s burial, the other 2wives never attended.
The next Monday I was in class when lecture was going on, I threw up (Vomited) in class and my course mates came around and I was rushed to the school clinic only to confirm I was 4months pregnant gone.
Oh ALLAH im not ready to keep this baby! I didn’t tell Alhaji Ahmed when I arrived home as I planned on aborting it… Alhaji Ahmed forced himself on me that night as this is the only method he could have sex with me, he smells and have an offensive mouth odour whenever we kiss.
The next morning, I found myself feeling feverish and headache, so I called Alhaji Ahmed on phone and he sent me the family’s doctor’s contact to go to him, Alhaji Ahmed has warned all of us never to visit any doctor except the family doctor.
Dr Aminu attended to me and gave me bed rest and adviced me to be careful with school stress since it’s my first pregnancy and it’s at an early trimester.. after the treatment I went home, on getting to my room my phone rang it was Nasir I picked he asked why he hasn’t been seeing me in lectures told him I fell ill so he jokely asked if I was pregnant, I didn’t reply as this was his first call after my husband warned him never to call me again.
I and Nasir spoke at length that night before we ended the call.
On a Wednesday morning as I was preparing for lectures, I found myself bleeding profusely, I searched for our family’s doctor’s contact but couldn’t find it, tried calling my husband, his numbers weren’t going, Jamila Ahmed [First Wife] wasn’t at home that morning she had visited her daughter who gave birth in Niger state.
So I hurried put on a pad and took a taxi to a nearby hospital, thank God I met the doctor on duty, he attended to me and took my blood sample and put me on bed rest for an hour after the nurses had cleaned me up neatly.
Dr Hashidu called me to his office to inform me that he wants to tell me something that I should put myself together as it’s not a good news, so I replied him I’m all ears, he went ahead to break the sad news that I have lost my 4-months old pregnancy via miscarriage and that I’m HIV Positive!
On hearing this news, I passed out, woke up 3hours later with Nasir by my side on my bed rest in Dr Hashidu’s Hospital with 20 missed calls from Alhaji Ahmed.
I was seeing Nasir very faintly and started speaking out of sense. I said,
“Nasir nice fa, Zainabun ka ce”
After an hour Nasir forced me to eat and I picked Alhaji Ahmed’s calls, the first voice I heard was,
Alhaji Ahmed: “Dan ubanki” were are you?
Zainab Abubakar [Amarya]: I’m in the hospital Alhaji.
Alhaji Ahmed: What hospital? I just called our family doctor and he said he didn’t see you today.
Zainab Abubakar: I’m in a different hospital, Dr Aminu’s Contact wasn’t reachable.
Alhaji Ahmed: Didn’t I warned you never to visit any hospital except our family doctor?
Before I could talk further, Alhaji Ahmed has started insulting me, shouting over the phone and calling me names. I ended the calls and started crying, I couldn’t hide the secret from Nasir so I told him Alhaji had infected me with HIV and i had miscarriage.
When I got home that day before I could confront Alhaji, he divorced me and sent me packing out.
Nasir couldn’t give me shelter as he told me he was married with 2-wives.
I was in d street for over 2-weeks…I slept in garages and motor parks..
I stopped attending lectures, Alhaji blocked my calls and Nasir stopped picking my calls.
My career ended, I started washing plates in d motor pack and I’m paid 100 naira daily.
Take a look at my life now, I would have been able to complete my education by now. I would have been a graduate. But because my step mother sold me out for marriage in exchange for money because of temporal promises from Alhaji Ahmed and abject poverty from my father’s house, now I am starting all over again washing plates for 100naira daily. Have I not cheated myself? Why do we girls, ladies & women always be at the receiving end?
Thank you for reading my story. I really hope it will touch a girl, lady or woman out there who is in the shoes I used to be in. Thanks to Healthforbes Media for publishing my story. I hope it will touch our parents to ensure we further our education in the university, get a job before they start investigating potential spouses for us. I wish our parents will give us listening ears and not force us into early forceful marriages because of poverty or circumstances.
I really hope our parents will reflect on my story and stop this practice of early forceful marriage in the northern parts of Nigeria. A good person is a good person, regardless of education. I also hope it will touch these old rich men who are out there to ruin a young girls life.. May God help us all.
Please if you have a sad divorce story like mine please send it to Healthforbes Media to publish to educate the younger arewa girls growing up.
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