“Shut up!” He yelled, pulling her hair at the same time, “I will end your miserable life if you ever lock yourself up in any of these rooms again. stupid girl”
Feke stared at herself in the mirror with half torn clothes, “this nonsense has got to stop!” She yelled at the mirror, “you are weak and irrelevant” came a voice from within. She broke down on the floor and wept some more.
Feke is an 18year old girl from the northern part of Cross River State, Nigeria. She has two brothers who are in school. Eteng her eldest brother is in his second year at the university of Calabar while Ubi who is next to Eteng just completed his senior Waec.
“Mma when will I also go to school like my brothers?”
“Kedei, us woman, we no need plenty book like men o, you don finish jss3 make e end there”. “But but mama some of my female classmates proceeded to” …“common fai! next week mummy Justin go come carry you make you go stay with her, atleast you go follow make small money for your brothers school fees” …“ok mummy”.This marked the end of her innocent happiness.
Feke’s future became vague soon as she stepped into the Johnsons’ house.
Mrs Johnson was always ready to tan her hide at the slightest mistake.Justin their only child was a reckless kid who had everything at his disposal.
“I’ll be joining my husband in the States tomorrow, so make sure you take care of Justin and give him all he wants” said mrs Johnson “and I’ve sent money to your mum” “yes ma” said Feke.
The gate was locked from inside, her heart pounded heavily as she tried to climb the fence but ended up with bruises. “You can’t escape me” came a voice. Feke looked up and saw him wriggling a bunch of keys.Her days of torment had begun as she experienced days and nights of rape.Justin even broke the doors whenever she locked herself in any room.
On one of those days, she hid behind the door breathing uneasily with a pestle in her hand,as soon as she got a whiff of his presence she swung the pestle with all her might, baam! “oh! You missed” Justin said as his strong arms turned her over, she tripped over, hitting her head on the tiles. Justin didn’t care that she was bleeding from her head and unconscious but forcefully devoured her.
Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months and on the third month, Feke reached her breaking point.
Hair cut low, hysteric low laughs, he was asleep as she approached silently, with one swipe, she dipped her hands between his legs and cut off the unscrupulous tool with a kitchen knife.“I’ll bring it to hell” she said as she spitefully slit her wrists and let the bitter-sweet taste of death envelop her. Laying lifeless on the floor, the tight grasp she had on it will make you think she won a grammy.
NB – Feke means ‘death’
I look around and see the inhumane treatment meted out to women, women suffer for lack of education, ignorance, lack of empowerment and helplessness. For instance a woman and her female children were beaten because they stole pepper and the hot pepper poured into their private parts. Should we talk about the woman who was burnt alive in Kofar Wambi market, Kano, Nigeria? Year in, year out, we count thousands of rape cases, abuse from even husbands, fathers and brothers. Shame on the perpetuators of these evil acts, violence on the female gender doesnt show strength but weakness on your part. I yearn for a world free from abuse, molestation, ridicule and violence on the female gender, only then will my heart rejoice and hum to the tone of ‘i was here’ by Beyonce Knowles. We need all hands on deck in order for us to achieve our so wished Eldorado and avoid weeping.
Can womanhood achive this? YES WE CAN! I say YES WE CAN defend ourselves, YES WE CAN rise above violence, YES WE CAN if we know our rights and values, YES WE CAN if we seek awareness. We must look on to the brighter side and give the female gender much more credit.