How to waste your life
Be born a girl in Nigeria in the 1980's
have a strict disciplinarian father
have a very enterprising but somewhat selfish mother
be loud, bold, confident and carefree
have some of the carefree and confidence beaten out of you by your father
Also be berated by him so as to take some more away
make sure to include your mother
who will use her scathing words to destroy your confidence in your abilities and in appearance
Do not forget to remind her to call you 'useless' every chance she gets
Girls grow up to become women who should be seen and not heard
Your mother is loud and 'troublesome', so your father says.
You don't want to be troublesome, so you have to try to be the exact opposite of your mother.
You want men to like you but only when the 'time is right'
Right now, you are still young and your mother will call you a whore if you even smile at a boy.
So when Jerry-the boy whose mother has a kiosk out of their garage-touches you under the blanket during one night at church
you feel sick, dirty, upset, angry and ashamed.
But most of all you feel stupid for letting him touch you and so you tell no one
You will have to deal with it by making a detour to Mama Sam's anytime your mother sends you to Jerry's mother's kiosk
When it is time to go to secondary school
let your parents choose for you
the school they will choose is not so bad,
You will start to have fun and be confident again
but once the holidays are upon you, ensure your mother punctures that air of confidence like a balloon
Be so afraid of your father that you hide under the dining table every morning
Note that this will get you no sympathy, but a look of utter disgust.
When you reach SS1, let your father choose whether you go to Arts or Science class.
It doesn't matter where your talents lie or what you are good at
Your feelings and dreams are irrelevant in the face of your father's decisions
Finish secondary school with good grades
Although you don’t know it yet
This may turn out to be the easiest time of your life
Move overseas because you want to escape the prison that is your parents’ house
However you are not totally free, you still need their money.
This new environment is fascinating
there are boys everywhere and no mother to call you a whore
so ensure that you go to town with the men folk
Be attracted to the real jerks/bad boys
ones who will beat you black and blue
ones who will break your phones, plates, cups, TVs, laptops and your heart
Fail your final exams because you get beaten so much one night that you have a blinding headache for days and a swollen black eye for weeks
This is how you will get that mark under your eye
Leave school and get a job
spend your hard earned money on your boyfriend
When you don't feel like spending
He will give you a 'little' encouragement.
when you eventually realise you're living with a monster
try to leave but get arrested by the police for fraud
the 'monster' is a fraudster and used your details in his dealings
You're arrested just as your visa is expiring
And so you will have to be detained
You are released but your life will be in limbo
Seeing how frustrated you are,
your friend Ekene will advise you to marry for 'papers'
you will beg to get the money to pay the Britico husband
you will partake in the most depraved acts-some you never know exist until you engage in them- to get that money
There will be feelings of shame and disgust but worry not
It will be only for a fleeting moment
After all you do, you will barely come up with enough to pay your Britico ‘husband’ Martins (introduced to you by a friend of a friend of a friend of Ekene's)
You pay him and naively believe that money will be enough.
Martins will ask you to sleep with him; you do so because although it was supposed to be just a business arrangement, you are desperately desperate.
He also already has your money in his possession, you have no choice.
At 4.30 am on the Monday you are to meet Martins to finalize plans, the UKBA will barge into Ekene's flat to arrest you
This time around, you find yourself on Lagos high street before you're fully awake.
Your father is ashamed, he doesn't say this(he got tired of saying it so much over the years) but you can see it in his eyes
Your mother calls you a whore
now she is justified
You will have nothing but a
And unfulfilled dreams
Congratulations, you have now succeeded in wasting your life
Written by blog reader Charla; this is a poem addressing emotional abuse of children and how this can have lasting effects on the individuals well into adulthood.