It's high time, we do something about child marriages in Nigeria
Child marriagesI hear my father talking about a wedding I am thrilled Perhaps, my cousin Sefina is getting married Ah!!!!Lots of trinkets, lots of spices Lots of music, lots of food. I hear my father call to me; Alhaji Musa is here again Only this time, with more men; He looks at me with those eyes As if to bribe me to convince Sefina to marry him; I smile old men and their funny looks Mother is standing at the corner of the room; Her head is bowed, she looks sad I know she would miss Sefina; I would too I kneel before Alhaji Musa as usual Him and his escorts nod their head, while father dismisses me I run to the yard to play ball with my kings My kings, my brothers, my protectors Its unusual, they kick with no zest While they talk in hushed tones I ignore them and grab the ball; Watching out for father’s footsteps I wasn’t ready for the behave-like-a-lady sermon My kings are still lost in conversation; I try to interfere, but their voices vanish They keep straight faces, I laugh and ignore them. So they would miss Sefina?; Boys and their pretence… If I get married, I want my husband to love me openly Not like papa and mama…; Treating feelings like an abomination I remember my English teacher Anytime, her husband drops her at school They hug and kiss. I giggle to myself I want mine to be like that as well; I and my king waltzing on the dance floor Like Cinderella and her prince; I shall be liberated! My mother’s voice interrupts my thoughts; She calls out to me Her eyes are dark, my joy melts into worry; Everyone would miss Sefina I have to assist her in the kitchen for dinner She always tells me I have to learn all these ""things""; that I would get married and have responsibilities That’s a long way from now; At my age? 13years? No, what I want to do is be a lawyer; And choose my husband myself! Not some old Alhaji… I once said that and I got the scolding of my life She told me, my life didn’t belong to me My life belonged to my husband, an old alhaji Me and an old alhaji? I’d rather dress in pink than marry some Old Alhaji All that was two weeks ago… Now I’m eating my words Crying my eyes out While my mum is dressing me up with tears in her eyes I’m still 13yrs old and Sefina is doing the cooking, not getting married It happens I was the white elephant, everyone ignored Now I know why my kings were frowning; I know why my mother’s eyes were dark Now, I know the reason for Alhaji’s visits were not for Sefina Now, I would be no lawyer; I would have no prince charming I would do no waltzing; I would be no Cinderella Because I have no choice My mother finally finishes and drops the veil to cover my face Sefina and my other female relatives join to escort me to meet Alhaji and his escorts I shiver in fear, I must be dreaming I see my kings, standing at the corridor They were lucky not to be born female Their heads are bowed No more football, no more hide and seek No more school… I thought it would take forever to meet Alhaji Maybe I’d be 25 by then; a lawyer, before we get to him But now I’m kneeling before him with tears in my eyes I still thought of Cinderella, I still hated pink I still loved school, I still loved football I was getting married to Alhaji I was still 13 yrs old.....
Claim: Originally written by Nigerian Fiction Member 220 - Keke
Nigerian Fiction Title 105