Growing up as a young woman in a small village in the northwest region of Cameroon, where everyone knows evryone by name and cares for one another,my mother would always remind me to keep this in mind. That the way to a man's heart is through good food and good sex. That in so doing, the man will remain faithful to me. So i was always trained on how to take care of my husband's and family's needs. She would also advise to be nice to my in laws especially my mother inlaw as she would be considered my mother.
When the time came when I finally got married to a man 20years older than me as at that time it didn't matter. What mattered was that you found some one to marry you especially if that man was working and was ready to father all your children . Mine was a man from my tribe, educated as he was a secondary school teacher and a graduate from the prestigious higher teachers 'training college. A well fixed civil servant , and with such a man, i had hit a jackpot as such complaining about his age was out of the question.
After our traditional marriage, he took me to Ekona a peri-urban community in the southwest region of Cameroon as most of our tribesmen back then migrated to the Southwest for greener pasture .
I tried to be nice and apply all as was taught. But I began understanding that reality was different from thoughts . He would give me very little or no say in the house. I never knew how much he earned nor did I ever know when ever he took his salary. He used to give me 15000 frs to run the house per month and after I complained and complained, he only increased it to 30000frs after i bore our first two children.
He would never assist me with anything in the house . Whenever I begged him to do something for me he would ask me "if he should give me money for house running and still assist me with house chores?" He would not even partake in the upbringing of the children.
When I became pregnant for our 3rd child he asked me to go abort but I refused. So he refused to take responsibility for the pregnancy. It was until the 6th month of pregnancy that I had to fight with him to give me money to begin antenatal that he finally gave me the money. I couldn't buy any new clothes for the baby. It was a good thing I had neatly kept the old clothes of my 2nd child which a washed and carefully folded them.
He owned a coco farm and another farm land. Most often we would go to the farms and spend days there maybe 3 to 4 days before coming back to town especially when he does not have classes. On the day of delivery, under severe pains, he said he was going to his farm. It was my neighbor who brought me to the hospital where I had a baby boy. He only came back the next day to settle the bills.
Two weeks later, my aunt inlaw came to the house and my husband asked me to leave my room for her. He said the baby and I should sleep on the extra metrass on the floor in the sitting room. When I opposed because the baby needed to sleep under a mosquito net, he replied " my aunt cannot sleep on the floor in my house when I have a bed. The two of you will then have to share the bed."
My aunt inlaw had a terrible cough which had still not been daignosed. She would cough and carry the baby and I was there, I couldn't complain .2 weeks after her stay, the baby was a month old then, he started coughing as well. I took him to the hospital, where he was fignosed of tuberculosis. We were hospitalised and he was given drugs but the cough didn't subside. While at the hospital, there was no one to bring me food. My husband as usual had left for his farm. I would beg my neighbors in my ward to look after the baby while I go back home to bathe my other 2 children and look for something they would eat before returning to the hospital.
It was only then I realized I didn't have a house nor a home, nor a husband . This man had married me not for love but to exploit my innocence and raise his family . He had always said he never stopped me from working but he never made things easier for me as well . I finally realised my freedom had to be seized.
I started saving from the 30000frs ($54)I was given a month to run the house. Even if it meant saving a thousand France CFA. I did so for over 8months. I enrolled in an evening school which couldn't go operational later on due to the anglophone crisis in the English speaking cameroons. So I decided to do the studies online. I picked up some free courses on entrepreneurship, leadership and personal development through the help of a friend I met when my child was hospitalised. I hope to open a well organized small business someday which will expose me and take me to a different level.