Black Fiction Indigenous

It is becoming a regular trend in the Biafra land these days. Regular in the sense that it had been existing since organized living but it was rare. This time around, it is turning out to be common practice.

A man married a woman and they don’t have an issue and the man died, the woman if she don’t consider any man, many of the He-goats walking around as men in the village worthy to see her nakedness, or that she is too religious to engaged in bearing kids that isn't of the man she married, she will gather a few of her kindred, intimate them in what she has in mind and go and marry a young woman that will produce kids to continue the name of her dead husband And family line. 

Mostly, the women that agree to such marriage are those out of contention for normal marriage maybe due to giving birth outside wedlock or getting old. They see it as a thing of shame not to marry and with time, they get tired of their father’s house and any opportunity that comes, they jumped at it.

That was the situation Mary found herself in. She had given birth to a daughter out of wedlock in her father’s house and all her mates had married and no one wants to get married to an old cargo. Her situation seems to be compounded by the fact that she is not a person you would consider exceptionally beautiful and not educated too.

So, when Mrs. John Ikolo came for her hands in marriage, she jumped with two feet like the Olympic longer jumpers. Mrs. John had married the love of her life and after a few years of trying to conceive without success, she had resigned to her fate when her husband suddenly died, she concluded that his death was questionable. 

She was suspecting her husband’s relatives but she kept her mouth shut. She never accused anyone and as she advances in age, she called her husband’s relatives she was suspecting were waiting for her demise to pounce at her husband’s lands and tell them about her plan to marry a young girl that would continue her husband’s name. “He would not just be forgotten like that,” she told them.

The array of shouting and curses that followed her words convinced her that she had been right in her suspicions. The thing with this type of cultural problem is that the woman is not always put in her proper place like they used to say here. The He-goats roaming the village always see opportunities where they exist and do not exist. So, the relatives of the dead man always found it too difficult to pocket the widow.

Mrs. John spent another three years from the day she first put that proposal to her kindred and the day her dream became a reality. It was a weekly weekend kindred court, from there to the village and from there to the town union court. Three healthy good years. Within that period, she learned a lot and most of her fears of the male folks disappeared. She learned a lot about how disputes are settled in the village. Learned how even the past disputes that baffled her then were handled. Certain events within that three years made her shake her head always at the creatures called males.

Almost fifty percent of them from that village were rotating around her none stop throughout that period for sex they kept requesting indirectly for their support and most were hinting at being in line to father babies their mother is yet to be known by them.  

Is it not the madness of the highest order? When they are not getting their way with her, their hopes were shifted to yet to be married women. Had the woman known how many- goats waiting for her arrival, she would her said capital No to her offers? Some were doing almost all her daily chores just to be in her good books and some were suggesting for her their girlfriend as candidates to be considered.

Throughout that three years, she was living in fear of her husband’s relatives despite the presence of the village he-goats circling her. She is not blind not to see their frustration in what they had thought would be an easy case of pushing her aside and as it progresses to their chagrin, they had started naming names of those visiting her house each day as her lovers and reasons they support her in the dispute due to their sexual relationship.

For a fair hearing, their allegations were considered to some level, and the issue moved from the kindred to the village and from there to town union.

The village heads were getting frustrated too for her none ball playing. She had entered one of that new-generation churches for protection from her husband’s family. They reported her to the catholic priest the church she wedded in and when they found out that she had no intention of doing any U-turn, they joined the villagers in fighting her.

It nearly turned into a religious war between the Catholics and the new generation of church most members are from the same Catholic.

Mrs. John was eventually granted permission by the town union to go ahead with her plans and the day she went to the neighboring state to marry Mary, it was full of married males that had their hopes high. When Mary entered that family, she had her plans. She was careful not to annoy Mrs. John by jumping into the arms of any man she didn’t approve of. 

Six months later, no approval from her, and still, the whole he-goats were rotating around with their hopes high. Then suddenly, they noticed that the woman have turned her sight to the neighboring village and after two births, another round of scatting attacks of not being fully a member of the village, and therefore not qualified to join any meetings or gathering was raised. 

Their unfounded allegations were gathering momentum and several enemies increasing each day. Many were the he-goats that had been serving Mrs. John for long with their hopes high. 

At each monthly meeting, someone will raise her case even in some gathering that her case has nothing to do with. 

One man was particularly annoyed and saw Mary’s act as belittling and insulting. 

He told her one afternoon whether she knew that her acts were insulting to the males of the village.

“So, you didn’t see even a single man in the whole village and that is reason you went to the neighboring village ah?”

The woman didn’t waste time in reporting the man's comment to her friends and family.

The wives of all fighting her on hearing that comment the man made shifted their support over to Mary’s side out of anger. They became informants, advisers, and confidantes to her. That was how Mary and Mrs. John regained their freedom and peace of mind and the smoldering fire was shifted to many families fighting her.

There was never any more talk on the extradition of Mary to her father’s house and her two kids to their father’s.

Another two male issues followed the first two and none to the best of the people's knowledge has a father from that village. 

Some were saying it was the handiwork of Mrs. John while some were of the opinion that Mary has a high taste. 

January 14, 2023 04:45

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Lily Finch
15:01 Jan 15, 2023

The story has a lot of confusing moving pieces. But it also deals with real-life issues. Which can be confusing. Thank you for the read. LF6. This sentence is one such example: For a fair hearing, their allegations were considered to some level, and the issue moved from the kindred to the village and from there to town union. The sentence is awkward as written.


Philip Ebuluofor
17:12 Jan 15, 2023

In that order, kindred to the village to town. That's usually the order disputes are settled here. The leaders in the first two believed the lover point of the woman relatives and shifted the case to the next level but the town leaders don't see the issue from that lovers supporting her accusatory point and gave her her rights. maybe am not expressing myself well enough but that is the point there.


Lily Finch
18:49 Jan 15, 2023

Oh, that makes sense now. Thank you. I thought it had something to do with that. Thank you. LF6


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