If my heart was divided into three parts, am certain you will find a part that is joyful, sober and expectant. I know very well that the sober part will be larger because it is present. The joyful has been as a result of those beautiful days of being a beautiful and energetic young girl who believes she is going to make her generation proud. At graduating from the university, a friend said to me "may you die empty", initially I was very angry with him for such wish or prayer but when I asked for explanations, he said "you have so much in you and I pray you will give them all out", then I gave a smile.
I have lost interest in writing for sometimes now not because I do not want to write but the sober part of me is larger at this time due to women life challenges. Each time i receive email from World Pulse to share my story as i silence breaker, i knew this was an opportunity for me to speak but yet the sober part of kept delaying and dragging me down. But i have resolved to break my silence especially on this very special occasion we celebrate Women to celebrate all women who experience what i experience, women feel the type of bitterness and pain i experience. Some experience rejection from partners and family members but not so for me.
The joyful part of me is my girlhood, being the 6 child out of 8 children. Papa and mama was great in providing and sharing what they have with us equally. I did not have to sell before I feed or go to school. My friends were defendant on me as a leader, they come to wait for me every morning, join in my breakfast and then we walk down to school together. As a girl, I was not troubled of my reproductive health, my rags was there for my monthly periods until when mama understand that i now need a pad and not rags. I enjoyed the honour from my friends, I was everything to them- a good friend, a counselor, an adviser and a guide. We still enjoy our union till date but distance has really torn us apart. We only hear our voices now on phone, I continue to play my role.
The sober part of me is my present, It's taking a greater part of me gradually. I try hard everyday to do away with this challenge before me and continue my normal life. When I try to move 3 steps to carry on, it brings me back 5 steps, i feel so bad but still move a little. I lay on my bed all night long weeping and praying because I have to proof my womanhood. Yes, to proof it is what the world expects of me as a woman and to do that, I have to conceive and have children. Being in marriage for several years without a child is not a child play especially in Africa and Nigeria. It depressing, humiliating and traumatized. Seeking medical care is even more embarrassing and expensive. Alternative options like adoption sounds like a taboo in my family and the cost of IVF in Nigeria is over millions in Nigeria currency.
Women with fertility challenges has a lot of experience to share. You spend money, visit various obscure places just to carry a child. The first thing those traditional health provider does is to insert a finger into the vagina for examination before treatment. I can't even count how many fingers have entered mine. It's traumatize. Women take all such of concoction believing they will conceive. I could remember one that almost send me to my early grave, when the man was called that am dying, he laughed and said, don't worry it only pain, it will stop." I did not know what the mixture was but to give to a woman to insert in the vagina is ill-human. I was in very severe heat like pepper in my vagina. Pastors financially exploit and sometime sexually abuse women for the gift of a child. The cost of orthodox medicine is very high, while we still do our best to run all required test. When a woman's heart is weak, the mind think less and the body produce little but when the heart speaks it relax and find succor.
My expectant part may be smaller but I believe it will flourish someday. I will nourish it was the experience of my sober state and it will blossom with much years of experience to deliver on task ahead of me which is to continue to support women proof their womanhood through our Reproductive health programme, and gender focus engagement.
When i look back to my little work with women and girls in my community, my leadership in various women groups, i know i will get there, to empty what is in me. No cause never fought for girls and women is a waste rather it is profit upon profit. My experience will give me a better opportunity to know the challenges of other women especially when I met them at treatment centers.
My expectant part will one day overtake the sober part because experience is the best teacher. I am in my experience class with the best teacher and I know that when I graduate, I will be on top.
I stand with women today because she is a destiny changer, if given an enabling environment and the opportunity. She fight for justice because she is justice her, no wonder she is the symbol of justice with her sword and scale and her eye closed. she stands with everyone.