I recalled my paternal grandmother's saying that if you had seven female children, you had not given birth to any child. And my mother had eight of us. Thus in her own case she had only one child because she could only give birth to just one son. I could also recall seeing my mother so depressed in those days as people laughed at her because her case is not the preferred one in a marriage where the other women are the ' boys borners". She was certainly not the favourite wife. So my mother had to work hard on her girls by encouraging us as her children, mothers and friends. It was in the early 1980s when must girls drop out of school because of teenage pregnancy. “Your education should be uppermost in your minds" she would say! Each day we are been reminded that very soon, you would all become pregnant and fall by the wayside. The miracle today is that we are the ones feeding the men in the family because all the seven daughters are made. My younger sister is a medical consultant in the Teaching Hospital, the other one is about backing a PHD in Biochemistry. Also, one has an MPA, and the youngest of these girls is working on a master’s degree in Manchester University. I am a lecturer in the university and will be starting a PHD programme next year. There is no one of us that dropped out of school or eloped with a man. We all did our mother proud. My mother confessed that if there is a second life after this one, she would like to have us as her children all over again!
I looked back at the stress and pains of those days and I know it’s a miracle indeed!
Gerty Nnamso. Lagos, Nigeria.
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