If there’s one reason for me not to give up with my dreams, it’s because my mother has always made me believe in myself and believe “I’M POSSIBLE”. She was not so privileged in life, but she has given me the privilege to be my best version. This story was told to me at a point in life when I felt like giving up because I thought I was of no use to myself and maybe to my family. This story made me see my worth as a woman.
Growing up in a polygamous home was not an easy thing, given the large nature of the family and the difficulties in such a home. Yes, every home has its troubles, but polygamous homes have double troubles. My grandfather due to this could not sponsor all his children in school. At that point in my mother’s life, she couldn’t watch her future and that of her siblings go down the drain. So she had to do the painful sacrifice to ensure this. She dropped out of school and sold fuel wood, will produce garri at every other day and trek to far off markets to sell and raise funds. Those who know what garri is, understand how strenuous the process is, but she had to do that. To my mother, it was not an easy sacrifice, but the thought of her siblings kept her going.
As years went by, she had to become a house girl for a family far away from home. She became a “slave” to this family as the mistress of the home turned to maltreat her and left the responsibilities of her home to my mother. My mum will start her day at 4a.m. and will only go to sleep at midnight after everyone else had settled in bed and everything used that evening washed and arranged. The Master of the home started making sexual advances at my mother in her adolescent age. He tried on several occasions to have sex with my mother and also tried to convince her to escape with him, but my mother stood her grounds. She finally had to run away when her master plotted to take her away to another place without her knowledge and a good car loader told her the plan and helped her escape.
After all her struggles of life, her elder sister became a nurse and she and her husband sent my mother back to school where she got her First School Living Certificate. There after she received an In-service training as a nurse assistant, where she met my dad and they got married. Life still wasn’t easy but she being the industrious lady she had always been still survived. Finally, when my elder sister was born, that is the 5th of my home, my dad sent my mom to the Teachers’ Training College where she was trained as a teacher, a profession she did till she retired.
When she told me her life's story, I couldn’t help be cry, because I put myself in her position and it was really a painful experience. She being the tough lady asked me not to cry but to learn from her experience. She said all what she went through made her stronger and she was proud of the fact that her sacrifice paid off greatly. He younger brother lived his dreams, her sister lived her dreams. Though she did not become exactly who she would have loved to be, she is a very happy person because the success of her siblings has a great impact in her life too. Secondly, she taught me a big lesson of what sacrifice really meant. She told me one thing “Never give up on anything you are doing, because even the little things you do pay off greatly.” She went ahead to tell me she’s a wealthy woman today, not because she has money, but because she has people who can stand up for her. Finally she encouraged me to be the person she never was.
Ever since my mother told me this story, it has always echoed in my head. In everything I do, I think of where I came from and think of what my mother had to go through and all I want to do is to make sure I give her the best I can. She has also been my support system in everything, and encourages me in my advocacy activities. She tells me always to fight for what is right, no matter what the consequences may be.
There was no one to fight for my mother, no one made her know she could resist men’s pressure at her adolescent years, no one taught her how to survive from the violence she received from her mistress, no one was there to help her when she need a shoulder to lean on and get some comfort.
I don’t want to see what happened to my mother happen to any other woman especially the adolescents and young women who go through one or two desperate situations. I dedicated myself to speak up for women and girls, and I am not giving up on that. I don’t want to see young girls suffering from situations which could be prevented.
I have am Standing up for the girls and women!!!