Mama Chika has always been that frail looking, yet hardworking woman with four kids, who did whatever she could to take care of her children. She did everything to survive. Whenever it was Mango season, she sold mangoes; whenever it was corn season, she’d roast and sell corn; when all that’s over, she’d sell plantain, Rice, Gari, anything to survive. I remember whenever we wanted to buy fruits or anything from her, I’d look at her and wonder how she managed to push those children when she looked so thin, like an AIDS patient, and how she managed to breast feed them when she obviously had no breasts, at least from what I observed. My mum had even told us once that she had lost her husband a while back and she was the only one catering for the kids.

My mum always gave her money every now and then, but she was scared of making it a habit because she didn’t want to start what she couldn’t finish. You know how we Naija people behave. Once you help them once, they run to you whenever they are in need and expect some help, whether you are able to render it or not.

All of a sudden, she started looking leaner and frailer than before. I didn’t even believe that was possible. Then she started falling sick from time to time. I remember the gate man would always come to tell my mum that Chika, Mama Chika’s 11 year old daughter, wanted to see her and she would come and beg for money for school or for food. She even started handling the mother’s meager business, a little child of just 11. Word on the street was that she cooks and takes care of her siblings, you know how fast gist spreads. You can’t tell who you heard it from, but you know you heard it from somebody at least. Maybe the wind whispered it into our ear, who knows.

One fateful day, the wind blew news to our house. Mama Chika had died. She died of a strange illness.

From the great vine, we heard the full gist of Mama Chika’s story and why she was always falling sick. She really had AIDS, and that was what killed her because she didn’t have either the money or means to take good care of herself. She contracted it from her husband who died of the sickness, luckily for her, the baby she conceived through the act somehow managed to escape the HIV scourge.

Now, Chika and her siblings have been taken to their village by their uncle. Only God knows what has become of those children.

Apparently, Mama Chika’s husband had used his retirement money to buy an Okada which he used to cater for his family and himself. He wasted most of the proceeds from his Okada business on women of easy virtue, where he contracted the incurable disease. Poor Mama Chika, unsusceptible to her husband’s philandering contracted the disease in the discharge of her marital duties.

She was a very young girl when he married her,  and very old (physically, nothing to do with her age) when he left her. She gave him four kids, he gave her AIDS. Unfortunately, she had to single-handedly try to take care of both.

Men, there is just no limit to what they can put a woman through.
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Looking at Mama Chika’s story, would you blame women when they deny their husband the privilege of having sex with them, with or without a condom; demand for an updated HIV status test result before having sex with their spouse and or close their legs permanently from him? Would you?

Why do people cheat? I know guys would raise uproar and be like, “Women cheat too”, or maybe say something like, “It’s a man’s world and it’s natural for a man to cheat”. Who made these silly rules? Don’t give me that crappy “Society makes these rules” answer we get all the time. What or what makes up the society? People, I presume? These people, are they made up of just men, women or a combination of both? Why would anybody put their partner through that? Mama Chika is no more today, because of her husband’s frivolous ways. Her children are orphans today, because of their Daddy’s infidelity. If you know you can’t be faithful in a relationship or in your marriage, then remain single and unmarried and live your life the way you want to. Don’t make people suffer for your mistakes and escapades.

I don’t believe in people saying a man is allowed to cheat because he can love his wife and still cheat on her but women can’t because they attach emotions to everything. No one is allowed to cheat. Even if you don’t love your partner, putting anybody through the same stress you wouldn’t want to go through is, to put it lightly, cruel.

You know you do not want to be cheated on, so why cheat? If you do have feelings for your partner, the thought of how much you’d hurt their feelings if they found out about what you did, should be enough reason to stop you from doing that.

This brings us to the situation young girls face today. You don’t want to have sex with your boyfriend but you go ahead and do it anyways because you don’t want him to cheat on you or even leave you. I believe that if a man can’t stay faithful in a relationship without sex for maybe a week, month or even a year, how can he stay faithful in your marriage for a day? If you can’t be in a no-sex relationship, what happens when your spouse goes on a trip for like a year or more, what makes you think they can remain faithful to you? Many problems have resulted today because of cheating. People committing crimes of passion, people breaking other people’s homes because of adultery; people becoming evil, sinister and not being able to trust their next because of the lying and cheating ways of the ex etc.

Apart from the venereal diseases we try to avoid these days, there are so many reasons why you’re not supposed to cheat. There is trust, honesty, self-worth, self-control, dignity etc. so please, do us all a favour, next time you want to cheat on someone, DON’T! If you can’t stay in the relationship and you are tired of it, walk away. Don’t cheat. You’re causing more harm than good by doing that. I don’ know about you, but as for me, if any man cheats on me, I’m walking away, no matter how much I love you and how hurt I’d be. I’d rather cry myself to sleep every night, knowing I’ve lost you than cry myself to sleep every night, wishing I had you all to myself. I don’t like to share. Even our God loves us so much that he gets jealous when we give our attention to other gods. Isn’t that one of the Ten Commandments? So if our perfect God can get jealous? Who are we mere mortals not to? Why believe that it’s okay for your partner to cheat as long as they love you or as long as you don’t find out?

Nobody should ever be comfortable with a cheating partner, unless you do not know your worth. If you truly love, respect and care for me, you would NEVER cheat on me, whether I find out or not. And whatever you do, please, don’t go and fight with whoever your partner cheated on you with, the problem is your partner, nobody else, as long as they weren’t raped.

The next topic we’re going to discuss is ‘Who cheats more? Men or Women?’

 

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