I am almost screaming today because i get soo tired of people telling you how they cannot train their kids, and when you ask how many kids they have – it is never 2 or even four – it is usually something high like six or nine. Before you say anything,  many of these said people usually fall in the lower socio economic class and so even the likelihood of them earning beyond a pittance in their lifetimes hardly exist….to me it is really puzzling. Birth control is sooo cheap, and if your religion doesn’t allow it- billings method etc is taught in churches.

What future is there for a child you cannot educate properly?  Vicious cycles of multi generational poverty and societal disadvantage?  This story from SDK Blog sounds a little bit garnished but many financially disadvantaged people have been know to sell off their daugters into ridiculous situations for the “betterment” of the collective family.

Dear Aunt Stella,

One of my friends told me to send in my story because the BVs will advise me according.

I got married at a very tender age(15) against my will. I remembered always skipping classes because of my family’s financial hardships. I was a brilliant child. We are nine children(two sets of twins) in my family and I am the first child. My parents are very hardworking and dedicated to each other, but the issue of finance is always a dark cloud in their clear sky.

 One day I overheard my parents discussing about how a certain man has written to them about me, based abroad. Dad was crying bitterly and mum was encouraging him to just do it for the good of all, she even threatened to abandon him if he refuse. Later that night, they called me outside and broke the news to me – that a very handsome man wants my hand in marriage and lives abroad, they showed me his picture which was all they know about him. I had a mixed feeling of joy, fear, relief and hope – joy that I will be getting married to such a handsome man; fear that I wouldn’t be with my beloved family again; relief that am finally free from hardship and incessant hunger; hope for a bright future for my parents and younger ones.

 The man’s family prepared me for the wedding without my would-be husband, his elder brother stood in for him. I and my family have not seen such display of wealth and abundance of food. I counted myself lucky indeed. A day was set for me to travel abroad to meet my husband, all the required papers were made and my brother in law accompanied me on the trip. During the trip, he kept telling me how lucky I am, that his brother is very, very rich and handsome. When we arrived his residence, an elderly woman came to open the door, we were ushered in and to my shock and confusion Aunt Stella, a quadriplegic was wheeled out to greet us. I screamed and fainted. 

When I became conscious, I kept pinching myself, praying and hoping that it was a bad dream… But it was real, I cried helplessly and begged to return home to my people but the brother laughed wickedly, saying that everyone at home including my parents had been ‘settled’, it is either I cooperate or they will inject me with hard drugs and commit me into an Asylum for the rest of my life. I don’t know anyone in this strange land and the house is well secured, no way of escape for me. After three days of endless tears and hopelessness, the brother came into my room and explain some shocking truth to me – that he will perform the conjugal duties on behalf of his brother and the kids will be his brother’s, and that his brother will be a spectator while we are performing the conjugal duties… 

I was helpless and still a virgin. One thing that gave me hope and courage was my undying dream of an education. I braved up and told him that I will agree to all the arrangement only and if only I get a quality education, otherwise they had better pump their hard drugs into me and ship me to an Asylum. When he realized that I was not kidding, he informed his brother and family of my request. After much argument and threats, they agreed. I was enrolled in a private secondary school, I channelled all my fears, hopelessness, regrets, disgusts and hatred into my studies and I excelled such that I was awarded a scholarship for my University Education.

 Luckily for me, I couldn’t conceive even with all the ‘sexual prowess’ and medical treatments. By now I have made some friends – friends from rich, influential families but I told no one of my ordeal,  I just turned 20 and very beautiful. On the eve of my departure to school, a family meeting was held and there it was decided that it’s either I get pregnant or they will make life horrible for me and my family back home. They handed the phone to me to speak to my mum(my dad had suffered from stroke and still recovering), she warned me not to try anything funny because I stand to loose a lot…

 They now live in a better house built for them, my younger ones are all in school, they are financing my Dad’s treatments and my Mum has started selling foodstuffs. She told me to put a hold on my academic pursuit and give my husband at least two children to cement the relationship between the families because my actions and inactions are threatening everything she has. I love my siblings and want the best for them and this family is so rich and powerful back home, I can’t imagine my family back to square one. I have deferred my admission and trying to get pregnant but it’s not forthcoming, what do I do? 
Please help me,i am loosing my mind.

Sometimes I think a three or four child policy should be put in place…there is no reason for people to have kids and then turn around and exploit them.



6 Comments on Kids….

  1. Sadly this is the reality of a lot of Nigerian families; children having to cater for the family early in life, even before they are stable financially.

    The economy is terrible for people who know who to put 2 and 2 together, let alone people way down the social strata.

    Sometimes I blame parents for wanting to “use” their kids and sometimes I don’t.
    Lack and poverty causes people to only plan, seeking exit routes without properly considering implications. Sometimes it’s just about living better…the “helper child” too would live better if plans work out.


  2. I read that story on SDK yesterday, and I was sooo pained for all what the girl had to go through (abi still going through).
    Some people even complain about training 4 kids, I think a 2 or 3-kids policy will be better sef.


  3. Wow! This is such a heart breaking story. No one should have to go through all that psychological and emotional trauma.
    At this junction though, i don’t even know what to advice. The reason is because if she keeps trying to get pregnant and does not for a few years there will be trouble and she is not even sure if her not being able to conceive is her fault or that of the man. She needs to really pray to God to help her out cause he is the only one that can miraculously help her situation right now.
    This problem of having too many children can be linked to a lot of things. I have heard a pastor preaching to his members before, telling them to keep giving birth and not bother about how to take care of the children because it is only God that can help them take care of children…You can just imagine that! I believe a lot of people are learning from these happenings and now know better than to have so many children that they cannot afford to cater for.


  4. I pray never to be in a desperate situation for me to make crazy decisions.

    The girl should continue with school while still trying to get pregnant. let her be 1 step closer to freedom.


  5. This is so sad
    I pray God sees her through


  6. My father always say poor people especially like to multiply in poverty. It’s almost like their way of stating their existence. Meanwhile, it’s not them that suffer the aftermath, it’s the innocent children who are then forced to cater for themselves and suffer their parents’ decisions.
    Something ought to be done really. Children deserve a memorable childhood.


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