I will never forget my decision on the 13th of April 2008 that led to the journey of bitterness in my life and marriage. I was a very simple and loving girl until I met Dayo. My mother warned me, but I never listened. I thought I was in love, and love could overrule all shortcomings. I now agree with the Yoruba adage that says “what an elder will see while sitting down, a young person may not see even if he is standing on a tall tree”.

On the 13th of April, I brought Dayo to my mother to formally introduce him to her as my husband-to-be. It was a Saturday morning and mother had been expectant since I told her I was bringing a special guest to see her. Her joy knew no bound when I told her of my plan to come home with Dayo. I had described the person of Dayo with mama. How handsome and cute he was. Mama fell in love with Dayo even before she met him due to all I told mama about Dayo. The preparations for Dayo’s visit was like a woman expecting a king.

Which mother won’t be happy when her daughter is bringing a man of her choice to her; a Christian and a rich guy. Mama ensured she stocked the fridge and freezer with all manner of food and drinks just in preparation for Dayo’s visit. At a time I was jealous because the preparation was just too much. I never had fear if mama will accept Dayo or not because every woman will like him even at first sight.

The long awaited Dayo finally showed up. When I opened the door for him, I whispered to his ear “mama will be happy to see you”. I was impressed with his outfit and I knew that will also impress mama because he was wearing white lace. White was mama’s favourite colour. He bought many gifts for mama, so we headed to his car boot to pick the items before joining mama in the sitting room.

Mama, here is Dayo, my fiancée, I introduced my awaited man to mama. “Ekaro oko mi”, “good morning my husband” my mother greeted Dayo. I have been waiting for you since my daughter told me you will be coming. I have prepared all manner of food and I want you to be free because this is your house. Please have your seat, mama offered Dayo a seat. “My son, what is your name? Mama asked Dayo. My name is Ekundayo Adeoye, Dayo replied. Then mama looked at Dayo’s face, your name is Dayo? And you want to marry my daughter? Yes mama, Dayo replied with a smile. I love her ma, and I will like to marry her, he added. That’s okay, Kemi offer him something to drink and join me in the kitchen now. Mama said and headed to the kitchen. I was very happy that mama is flowing with Dayo. I offered him orange juice and ran to join mama in the kitchen. When I met mama in the kitchen her countenance was not as good as it was when she left the sitting room. I was shocked seeing mama with frowned face. Anything the matter mama? I asked.

I was shocked with what mama told me in the kitchen.

Kemi, you cannot marry that boy, not when I’m alive, mama said this in anger. But why mama? I asked her. You obviously don’t know that boy you brought home to me, mama sounded like she knew Dayo before now. Mama, do you know him? I asked mama. Whether I know him or not is irrelevant for now, I won’t open my eyes wide and allowed my only daughter to marry this boy. Go and tell him to go away with his gifts, I don’t want them. He won’t see my face again before he leaves, mama left me in the kitchen for her room. I followed her, but mama you have not told me why I cannot marry Dayo. At the right time I will tell you, but he must go now before I lose my temper. Mama’s voice began to go up. So that Dayo won’t hear, I left to join Dayo at the sitting room.

The most difficult thing to do was how to convey mama’s message to Dayo. In between mama’s room and the sitting room I wept bitterly. When I joined Dayo at the sitting room, he was agitated, knowing something was wrong. He looked at my face and held me tightly, what is the matter Kemi? Oh, I can guess, mama doesn’t like me right? It was a difficult question to answer. My tears became the answer to Dayo’s question. Dayo was bittered, let me go, he pleaded with me. I looked at my love being rejected by my mother as he walked away from me. I was grieved seeing him leaving with his gifts.

I went back to mama, Dayo is gone, I said and my tears moved mama to tears too. Kemi sit down here, mama ordered me to sit at her bed side. I believe you know I love you and I will never allowed you enter into a marriage that will make you unhappy all your life. That boy is hot tampered and he will kill you someday in anger, mama said. But you don’t even know him, how come you know he is hot tempered? I asked mama. I know him my daughter. Your father will not forgive me in heaven if I allow you marry this boy. How long have you been together? Mama asked. Two years, I replied. And you don’t know he is hot tempered? I kept mute because that was the only challenge I have with Dayo and I have been praying for him. I have seen him getting angry like thrice and his attitudes were heart breaking but I could overlook it because I loved him and for the fact that no man is perfect.

When your father was still alive, Samuel was sick and we were rushing him to the hospital in our car but because your father was under duress just to beat the traffic he mistakenly bashed the car in his front. The damage was minimal, only just a scratch on his back bumper, he came out of his car and it was a young man. Your dad came out and begged him, please I am sorry my son, it was not intentional. I could call my mechanic to come pick the car to his workshop for a repair. All your father’s plea fell on deaf ears as the young man began to rain terrible insults on your father. You old fool, you think my car is like this your jalopy? Sorry my son, I was rushing your younger brother to the hospital, hence I was in a hurry. Who is my younger brother? To hell with him. At this time your dad was angry and asked the boy to do his worse. We were shocked when he went and grabbed an iron rod and broke our windscreen right in the presence of other commuters. One woman came out of her car and shouted at the boy, how could you do this? Don’t you have elders in your family? He became so angry and slapped that woman. When others saw what he did, they all came to take vengeance for us but your father begged them not to take laws into their hands. He entered his car and zoomed off. By the time we got to the hospital your brother gave up the ghost. If we had got to the hospital earlier, your brother would probably still be alive today. You see why you can’t marry this boy, that is the boy who killed your brother.

The story broke my heart so deeply because I had come a long way with Dayo. Why must it be Dayo? I wished this never happened. How will I quit a relationship that meant so much to me just like that? If I marry Dayo mama will never be happy with me all the days of her life. I was really confused as love and hatred battled in the spirit. Who will win this battle, love or hatred? My man whom I love so much is the reason why my only brother could not make it to the hospital. I had already gone deep with him whose anger sent my brother in to his early grave. I am now in between two hard decisions to make, either to leave Dayo and please mama or to marry him and displease my loving mother.

For a week, I didn’t pick Dayo’s calls nor return any. He sent me several text messages but I ignored them. I was boiling inside of me for the pain of losing a brother because my man was hot tampered. Dayo never gave up on me as he kept calling and sending SMS. A week later I decided to reply his text message. “Kemi, how are you today? Just checking on you”. “I’m fine”, I replied. He was so excited seeing me replying his message after one week. Can I pick you up for a date tonight? He texted. 6:30pm, I replied.

By 5:30pm he was already waiting at our gate. He called, Kemi I am at your gate. I checked the time and it was 5:30pm. But we agreed for 6:30pm, why are you coming this early, I queried. Don’t bother, take your time, I will be here waiting for you, he said. Who was that? Mama asked me. It’s Dayo, we are having a date. No way, I had told you to leave that boy. But mama that won’t be easy for me. I have not even discussed the story you shared with him yet. Let me go with him and relate the story you shared with me and see how he will react to it. Mama kept mute, not saying yes or no. I dressed up and joined Dayo in his car and we headed to a Chinese restaurant.

He placed an order, but I was not interested.  Food or drink was the last thing on my mind. I needed to confront him with mama’s story and hear him deny or accept. He noticed I wasn’t touching any of the things set on the table, Kemi, you’re not eating? Dayo I’m not here to eat, I came here with heavy heart and we need to talk. Is it related to how your mother treated me the last time I came to your house? He asked. Yes, the reason why she doesn’t want us to be married. I wouldn’t want this good moment to be affected, can’t we discuss that later? He pleaded. I took my bag to walk away when he took me by the hand, please don’t go. We can discuss it, I am all ears.

 Can you remember what happened on the 2nd of September, 1998 at about 4pm along Ahmadu Bello Way? A day a young man’s car was bashed by an elderly man and the young man got angry and smashed the old man’s windscreen? Can you remember a day a young man slapped a married woman who came in defense of an old man being harassed by a young man? Can you remember…… Stop, he screamed at me. Who told you all these? That old man was my late dad, the woman with him was my mother and the boy they were taking to the hospital was my only brother who died just when they arrived the hospital. He was dumfounded for several seconds while his head was buried down.

I am sorry Kemi, it was the devil that took over me that day. I know I’ve got a hot temper but I love you and that’s what matters now. Give me a chance to make it up to your family for the wrong I did to your late father and your family. I just need a chance to proof my love to you. Sorry for the death of your brother, of course if I knew the boy was in critical condition that day, I may not have reacted the way I did. I am truly sorry. He was truly remorseful in his words and actions but mama won’t accept that for the soul of her only son.

This anger in me was inherited from my late grandfather. From history, he was said to be cruel whenever he was angry. He could do anything to anyone if he is angry. I remember my dad too was hot tempered but he could control himself many times because he was a respected elder in church. I have seen him breaking glasses and gadgets whenever he was angry. His anger will only subside after he must have destroyed something or seen blood.

My grandmother told us many stories about our late grandfather when he was alive. He had a slave girl he bought from slave trade who became pregnant under his roof. We learnt he was so angry that he used hot knife to puncture the girls stomach in an attempt to abort the pregnancy. Her intestine gushed out and she bled until she died.

In another occasion, he caught a man sleeping with his daughter on his farm. He arrested the man and tired him on a mango tree for 5 days without food and water. On the fifth day his anger was not pacified so he set the man ablaze while he was hanging on the mango tree. He died screaming and wallowing in pain.

The third incident happened between him and his last wife. She was pregnant with twins when they had a misunderstanding with grandpa, the misunderstanding led to a serious fight between them, he beat her until she went into comma for three days. By the time she regained consciousness, she had lost her twins of seven months and two weeks. That thing really pained that woman so she became isolated and depressed. She never recovered again from this pain. On the day she was to die, she placed curses on my grandfather and his descendants.

If you leave me because of my temper, we will go our separate ways and both get married to people we don’t love. No man is totally perfect, not you nor me. We are all work in progress in the hand of our maker. Posterity will not forgive you if you don’t give me a chance to make it up to your family and correct my wrong. Dayo’s words were touching but they failed to heal my wound. The wound of knowing who contributed to sending my only brother to his early grave. The battle between love and hatred within me became more tensed. Dayo is now a Christian and a new creature in Christ. Even if he killed my brother directly, he still deserved to be forgiven considering how much God had forgiven us all.

But how am I going to convince mama that Dayo is a changed person? What will Dayo do to erase the pain of her late son in her heart? Will this relationship ever lead to marriage? Should I just walk away or stick to the man I love and damn the consequences? If I die I die, I will marry Dayo, I made up my mind. I know I will surely get this really hard with mama but I had made up my mind and I will marry Dayo. I remember how mama used to tell us how poor my dad was when they met and how many of her friends discouraged her from marrying such a wretched man like my dad. But she believed in him, married him and things changed for the better after some years. I will remind mama of this story if she insist I should not marry Dayo.

Mama, Dayo did not deny all you said about him but he’s now a changed man. He is born again and filled with the Holy ghost. He is no more the man who broke your windscreen. We have sinned and done more terrible things against God but he forgave us even when we never deserved forgiveness. I preached to mama. The only thing that will make me happy is to marry Dayo. I love him and I will marry him.

Mama sighed deeply after my speech. ‘Kemi, oun ton be leyin efa oju meje lo”, she spoke a proverb in Yoruba meaning “what is after six is more than seven”. Since you have made up your mind to marry him, I will not object because I want you to be happy but I will advice you take your time to think about your decision. I may be here today with you but I will surely not be with you forever. Love is a strong force but sometimes to draw a clear line between love and infatuation is a bit difficult. She gave her permissive consent. Her countenance was not good even when she seemed to have given me the go ahead.

Can Dayo come and see you by the weekend? I asked mama. He is welcome. I was very happy with the development. I called Dayo to break the news to him. “Mama is happy with you and will be expecting you by the weekend. He was glad to hear that. What did you do that changed your mother’s mind towards me? Dayo asked me. You are a super woman. I can’t wait till weekend, I wish tomorrow is weekend, he said in excitement.

We got wedded on the 17th of May 2008 and the first one month of our marriage was heaven on earth. Marriage wouldn’t have been better than what we experienced as new couple. We traveled to Dubai for a week of honeymoon characterized with dining, wining, having sex, shopping, playing games, watching movies and sleeping. This was the first time in my life that I will wake in the morning and not think of house chores. It was really a nice experience with Dayo. He gave me everything I wanted and those things I never asked for. I was proud to update mama daily about how Dayo has been treating me. She was grateful to God for my testimonies about my marriage.

We returned back to Nigeria on the 24th of May and we arrived Lagos, his brother came to pick us at the airport with a brand new car. We got home and met some of his friends and family members. Hello everyone, I am delighted to present my first special gift to my dear wife, he collect the car key from his brother and handed it over to me right in the presence of his friends and family members. They all clapped cheering him and celebrating my car with champagne. I felt good and on top of the world. Dayo was the best choice I ever made in life, I muttered that within me. I took the key and went on my knees as a typical Yoruba lady to thank my husband. He put his hands on my shoulders and lifted me up. Even though I am a shy woman I didn’t know when my lips grabbed his and I kissed him passionately right in front of our guests. It was a happy moment.

Mama had been battling with diabetes and high blood pressure. Everyday I called mama, I will always end my calls with “have you taken your drugs”. Dayo became inquisitive, what is wrong with mama? He asked after I finished talking with mama. Mama is diabetic and also hypertensive, I told him. Okay, we will see her tomorrow after church, Dayo promised. After service on Sunday, he took me to go and see their senior pastor, pastor Jerry. He prayed for us and advised us to be tolerant with each other. He made a statement in his counsel that I wished he never made. “Marriage is always rosy at the beginning but challenges will show up later. Be prepared for this time”. In my mind I prayed and rejected that part of the counsel. My marriage will be different, I assured myself.

After seeing pastor, we drove to mama’s place. She already knew we were coming so she made us pounded yam with egusi soup. We ate and played with mama throughout the day. As we were preparing to leave Dayo whispered to me “let’s fly mama outside the country for medical attention “. That will be nice dear, I whispered back. Are you people planning coup against me, mama asked jokingly. Yes mama, we had planned a coup against you, Dayo replied mama. We will be taking you to India for a medical attention next month. I will arrange for your international passport and visa next week. Mama was happy and began to pray for Dayo.

To crown my joy, I missed my period the following month. I took in a month after my wedding. What more can I ask for? I became the happiest woman on earth. I didn’t find it easy when Dayo resumed work after his one month leave expired. I was lonely staying in our big mansion all alone from 7:30pm to 6pm everyday but Sunday. I had enjoyed Dayo’s company so much that hours of separation seems like years of separation.

The first shocker of my marriage journey started on the 2nd of July. My husband came home moody, unlike him. What is the matter dear, you are moody? Talk to me, I am your wife, I pleaded with him. He raised his voice at me, “you are not my wife, you are your father’s wife”. I tried to understand his grievances but couldn’t place it. What is the matter, why did you say I am my father’s wife? What did I do wrong? You are also single, yet to be married, he said. His words got me more confused. Dayo, can you just tell me in plain language what I have done wrong? I requested.

It took me almost an hour to get him voice out what my offense was. You’ve been married for almost two months and your status on Facebook is still showing your father’s name and not mine. Your marital status also is still showing single. Is that all, I asked him. I am changing them right away. I picked my phone and began to make attempt to update my Facebook status but the network that evening was terrible. I promised him I will do that when the network is restored. That evening at dinner, he was not that jovial Dayo I have been married to. At night I attempted like twice to make the change but network was still not available. We slept off and I forgot to revisit it again.

It was when he came back again with a long face the following day I remembered I had not been able to change my status on Facebook. I quickly rushed in to try it again. He came after me, collected my phone and smashed it against the wall. The phone he bought with his own money. My eyes were red seeing my phone scattered on the ground. I didn’t say a word, I just walked out of him. He began to shout at the top of his voice. Must I force you to change your status on Facebook after one month of marriage? You are not proud of me, that’s why you left your status the way it is after one month of marriage. You don’t want your boyfriends to know you are married so you can still be seeing them. You will return back to your father’s house since he is your husband. Those words were like arrows in my heart. I was really disappointed at Dayo’s attitudes.

When I could no longer take his insults, I moved away. You are walking out of me? He asked while following me. I can no longer take your insults again, and I wouldn’t want to talk back at you. Leave me now and let me be alone. He dragged me by my left arm, you can’t be alone while we are in this house. I tried to snatch my arm from his grip and my hand hit him on his face. By the time I realised what happened, my husband had beaten me blue and back. I laid down there and wept.

In the night I couldn’t sleep. Mama’s proverb kept ringing in my mind “oun ton be leyin ofa, oju oje lo”, “what is behind bow is more than arrow”. I kept hearing that every now and then while my husband was deeply asleep as if nothing had happened. What had happened to Dayo the lover boy? Why was he able to deceive me with his mantra of “a changed man”? Has he really changed? Did he pretended all this while just to get me? Could it be that mama was right? I hope I have not made an eternal mistake?

I was in the dark because Dayo had destroyed my phone. I have everything saved on my phone. If you are a married woman reading this and you haven’t changed your status on Facebook after marriage, I beg you in the name of Jesus Christ to do that before you continue reading my story. This innocent mistake had stolen my joy. Don’t say “my husband understands”. It won’t cost you anything to change it. Some men are not as aggressive like Dayo but they are not happy seeing their wife’s status still showing single or their father’s name. This is Africa my dear sisters. If you have not done your change of name after marriage, go ahead and do it without wasting time.

Dayo began to keep malice with me even after I changed my status on Facebook. I begged him to forgive me for not changing the status on time but he claimed he had forgiven me but his attitude never showed that. I became fed up with his malice because of my condition, so I moved in with mama to look after me. Before I left, I dropped a note telling him I had gone to mama’s place. When he got home and he didn’t see me, he sent me a text, “come home before  I come there to force you out”. I didn’t reply him, I dared him to come and carry out his threat. Mama knew I had problem with Dayo but she didn’t talk to me about it. I lied to her that he is not always around hence I want her to look after me.

I forgot to tell you that mama didn’t go for her medical trip again. Dayo cancelled it because I made him angry. I had to tell a lot of lies to mama on why she couldn’t go for her medical trip again. Our moment of joy was cut short. The Facebook status seemed to be the mistake that triggered the slumbering giant of anger in Dayo. All my attempts to make the giant go back to sleep or die never yielded any result. Dayo’s anger and aggression increased by the day.

True to his words, he stormed mama’s house three days after. Mama, why did you keep my wife with you for three days against my wish? If you are a good woman, you should have asked Kemi to go back to her husband. It is either she follows me now or be forever married to you. Like mother like daughter, he insulted mama with foul words. I couldn’t take his insults against my mother anymore, I didn’t know when my hand went to his cheeks. I landed him a dirty slap. I bet you if you were in my shoes, you will do worse. I thought he will respect mama and not slap me back in her presence but I was wrong. He rushed me back with some slaps on both cheeks. Mama stood and was speechless. You monster, leave my house now, mama ordered him out but he will not. Mama called on Musa, the security man to come and take Dayo out of the house. It became a battle between Musa and Dayo. Our neighbour called on the police and Dayo was arrested and locked up in police custody.

Few hours later, he was released on bail. Right from the police station he came in with two men. Where is the car I bought for you? He stretched out his hand towards me. I quickly went in and brought the car key and threw it at him. He took the key and drove my car away. With all that happened, mama never said “I told you never to marry this boy”. She kept encouraging me everything will be alright.

His brother who came to pick us at the airport called me to hear my own side of the story. I told him everything that happened and he began to apologize on behalf of his brother. Timmy, this is beyond me. My uncle is already involved and there is nothing I can do about it until further instruction from my uncle. My uncle is a no nonsense man who retired from Nigerian Police Force four years ago. Without our notice he had written to Dayo’s family to come for the bride price they paid on me. He was ready to refund back their bride price and keep me back. A meeting was scheduled for the two families. They reconciled us, asked Dayo to apologize to me and mama. He did and I returned back home. Unfortunately he had sold my car before I returned home.

When I returned home, I became aggressive and hot too. I needed to wear to put on that nature to defend myself from the venom of Dayo’s anger. He taught me how to shout back at him. I lost my gentility and meekness. It was tooth for tooth thereafter. We fought like almost everyday. No moment of peace again in the house. We no longer talked like husband and wife. It was insults vs insults on daily basis. As my pregnancy advanced, I stopped giving him unnecessary attention. I focused on the arrival of my baby.

He stopped eating my food nor coming close to me. That never bothered me because I was relieved. He also stopped giving me money for upkeep. I reported him to our pastor and he invited both of us for a counseling session with him. I didn’t tell pastor the details of what Dayo had been doing, I only reported him for not giving me money again. The pastor scolded him very hard and mandated him to make a transfer into my account in his presence. He picked his phone and credited my account with N55, 000.

We got home that day and hell was let loosed. I will make life unbearable for you in this house, he threatened. You have the guts to report me to the pastor, you slut of a woman. Only a foolish man will call his wife a slut, I stylishly returned his insult. Who is a foolish man, he asked and was moving toward my direction. I moved back and picked a scissor to scared him away. In rage he went inside and brought out all my credentials and set them on fire. I tried hard to put the fire off but he pushed me away and made me watch all my years of academic sacrifices burn in a jiffy. Dayo, you are wicked, I regret ever marrying you, I wept.

As I tried to come to realization of what Dayo just did, it dawned on me that all my certificates from primary school to the university were gone. He won’t go away with this, I promised. I began to target his own credentials too. He must experience the pain of losing a lifetime credentials just in a moment. For two weeks I searched for his credentials but I couldn’t lay my hand on them.

After much search, I laid my hands on them. He hid them after he burnt mine. The heart of man is so wicked, it took diligent search to be able to discover where he hid them. At this time my conscience had been locked up in hate and vengeance. I took all including the photocopied ones and burnt them one by one. You are free to judge me, Dayo taught me to be this wicked. He didn’t discover until two weeks later. Where are my credentials? He screamed at me. This time I was ready for anything, my heart was hardened and cruel. I didn’t do as if I heard him. He came close and grabbed me as usual to start beating me, then I rushed to the kitchen to  pick a knife to defend myself. His anger this time was like that of Simeon and Levi. He overpowered me and took the knife from me. Beat the hell out of me, stabbed me on my neck twice. He only stopped when he saw me bleeding. He left me in my pool of blood and fled. I managed to call on one of our neighbours who came and rushed me to the hospital. I was wheeled to the emergency wall but it was too late. I lost my pregnancy.

From the hospital, my uncle came to pick me to his house. That was the end of my marriage with Dayo. He would have killed me if not for God who saved my life. My uncle tried to get him arrested but he was nowhere to be found. He abandoned everything and ran to only God knows where. Mama could not bear the agony of my predicaments, she died few months later. As I write this story, I live with my uncle and his family.

I haven’t seen or heard from Dayo now since five years. I will be 39 next month and I want to move on with my life. There is this guy that have been coming around, will you advice me to give him a trial or just live my life in peace without marriage again?

For my sisters out there yet to be married, I beg you in the name of Jesus Christ to listen to the voice of elders. Love does not cure bad character. Before you walk into the isle, subject yourself to deliverance if you have negative inheritance. Dayo never did anything serious to break the jinx of his grandfather’s excessive anger. I was non challant about mama’s warning. Mama, please forgive me from your grave. I should have listened to you.

For my sisters living with a hot tempered man, I understand what you’ve been through. Don’t take it lightly, go on your knees and remold him or else he will kill you someday. If he is not willing to change, don’t stay in an abusive marriage at the expense of your life. Your life means more to Christ than your marriage. The price he paid on your soul was too expensive to give it away at the altar of uncontrollable anger.

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