MY NAME IS ABDULLAHI JAKOLO. I AM 33 YEARS OLD. I AM FROM SOKOTO STATE. I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE MY DIVORCE DIARIES WITH YOU.
I met my wife Rahila on Face book in 2011. I had just finished serving the nation and was doing nothing waiting for a job to come. It was not a good time at all, because I had become accustomed to getting money at the end of every month to cater for my needs and all of a sudden I had no income. I had an older brother who was a civil servant and I hated depending on him seeing as he too was struggling to make ends meet.
Honestly I began chasing her as a fun thing not that I was actually serious. We would chat for hours and hours about the most mundane things. I was always upset when I ran out of data on my BBM plan then because as I got used to talking with her I could not bear the thought of not talking to her.
To ease the strain I asked her, after about 3 months of chatting with her, to give me her phone number and she agreed. I did not have enough money to call her as I liked during the daytime so we ended up participating in MTN free night calls then from 12 midnight to 4 am. I didn’t have anything doing so I would sleep my afternoons away and prepare myself for nonstop gisting with Rahila till dawn. Without realising it I fell in love with her.
After about six months Rahila came to visit me from Kano. I was really shaken to see the kind of car she came with and the hotel she lodged in. I scolded myself to cut ties with her because her class is more than my own. I did not even own a motorcycle talk less of a car. I had to find my level fast.
But fate had other plans.
Rahila told me she could get me a job in a top Federal Parastatal in Abuja if I agreed to move to Abuja and marry her. I felt like I was in a kannywood film. This kind of thing hardly happens in real life. I could not believe my luck! I tried to refuse the offer but deep down I knew I would take the offer because I had no alternative. I told her I would think about it. It seemed like an offer too good to be true. She could help me make it out of the vicious cycle of poverty my family and I were currently in. The only catch was that I had to marry her…
She was a very attractive woman, and she seemed to like me a lot. What could I possibly have to lose?
I was struggling, no doubt about it. Her offer seemed like an offer too good to be true. I confided in my friends who all advised me to accept Rahila’s offer or they would. I called at her hotel room and accepted her offer but with conditions; I would not be disrespected as her husband just because she was richer than me and she would have to submit to me as her husband. I also reluctantly agreed that she had to fund the wedding as I was penniless. I could not afford Kayan Lefe or any wedding expenses. But I needed her to keep this secret; I didn’t want anyone to know about this, I did not want any one gossiping about me.
Rahila suggested we do a grand dinner in Abuja far away from my people in Sokoto. I had no choice but to agree. I was ready to change my life from struggling for what to eat to being self sufficient.
Everything was sorted.
A couple of weeks after we agreed to marry, I got a call from a top government official informing me of my appointment in the Parastatal he was heading. He asked me to come and collect my appointment letter. I could not believe my luck; just like that I had a good job after suffering for years and years!
We got married, and life with my wife started to unravel. I struggled to fit in with her family and friends.
Her parents hated me. They had so much disdain for me, probably because they thought their daughter married down.
We moved into a very beautiful house with all the modern contraptions and luxuries, I settled into life as a husband of a big girl. I tried to provide for Rahila as much as I could within my means. At first she was a good and obedient wife who was really devoted to the marriage. But eventually her true colours, like everything else in life began to unravel for me to see…
Everything I did was amusing to her but amusing in the way that a monkey in a motor park would amuse you; ‘wannan baqauyen’ she would tell her friends ‘he does not know what a chicken alfredo is’ in my presence and they would burst out laughing. She did this on purpose to ridicule me in front of her friends.
If it was not amusing it was irritating to her. I could not drive her car so I had to go to work with public transport after she warned me never to touch her car in front of our guard. I swallowed all these things because I loved her and also because I felt it was just a matter of time I would get my own.
I continued to stomach act after act of disrespect and intolerance. She owned me in a lot of ways and I was trapped for the time being.
Rahila was in a marriage with her phone. She was constantly chatting and posting on social media, everything about our lives was online. I just did not understand her need to put everything on social media. It was as if she was doing everything in real life to show off to her social media friends.
But that wasn’t the only problem with her social media activities, my major problem was with her endless chatting with ’friends’ who somehow all happened to be men…wealthy men. Chatting all day and night about very personal things like her nightly bath or what she ate for lunch… nothing seemed off limits. The painful thing was that she had a habit of telling me about these chats over dinner. At first I didn’t want to rock the boat and would play along and laugh with her but as time went by I frankly felt insulted by it.
I started to show my displeasure at this attitude of hers. One day at dinner as she was chatting away I brought it up
‘Rahi my darling do you think it is proper for you to be chatting with these men, now that you are a married woman?’
She looked up at me and shot me a murderous look. She hissed so loudly I think I started sweating out of shock. Why would my wife look at me in such a manner? After all I wanted to caution her to stop doing something bad. I was not going to take it, NO!
She said nothing and continued to type on her phone. It was as if I did not even exist in that space at all. That attitude infuriated me and I hit my fist on the table. I started shouting and I made to grab her phone. She fought me back. Before I realised what was happening my wife and I were beating each other up. The domestic staff rushed in to separate us. One look at her bruised face and I knew I was in trouble. She was screaming at the top of her lungs ‘wayyo zai kashe Ni’
I wanted to stop but I could not stop the seething anger and rage that was boiling in my heart. The ferocity with which she defended her mobile phone confirmed my fears that she was having affairs with those men. She took me for a fool that is why she enjoyed telling me about her lovers. I was angry that this woman treated me like her toy instead of her man. I was angry at this country for making me dependent on a woman for my manhood to be recognised.
The anger in me surged and I lunged at her again, I could not hold back the punches hard as I tried! All the workers tried to get me off her but I was just too strong for them. I picked up the phone from where it lay on the floor and went to my bedroom. I locked the door and looked at my hands; there was blood.
I sat down on the floor and tears flowed freely; tears of guilt and humiliation. This is what I had reduced myself to: beating my wife like a wild beast.
I looked at the phone. It was locked. I went back to the dining room where Rahila was still crying. Wiping tears from my face I knelt down and asked her for the code. I expected her to scream and yell at me but she was subdued. She unlocked the phone with trembling hands. I sat beside her on the floor as I read all her messages with a contact saved as ‘PRESTIGE’.
‘He does not even know how to kiss… oh my prestige I miss your kisses. This guy is just a bush man ko blowjob bai sa ni ba’
‘Rahila hold on a little, we will soon get rid of him and you can have all the kisses you want’
‘Prestige di na yaya zan samu let him divorce me? This plan is wearing me out. He is taking this marriage thing seriously fa’
‘The malam said we have to wait one year mana before we get rid of him’
At this point I flung the phone. The rage was boiling again.
WHAT THE HELL IS THE MEANING OF THIS RAHILA?????? I thundered. She sat up, alert like a hunted animal darting her eyes from left to right. I put my hand on her throat, feeling the pulse quicken. I wanted to kill this woman. She was a demon. I had been a fool all this while.
‘Rahila you have 10 minutes to explain to me who the fuck is prestige before I kill you!’
‘He is my husband; Aminu. I started chatting with you while I was still married to him. We love each very much other but the problem is that we fight a lot. He owns this house. He owns me. We have exhausted our three sakis so now we cannot be married again…’
I wanted to fall and die at that moment when I realised what had happened. I had been used! An yi auren kashe wuta da Ni! Wa Iyazubillah
‘Aminu has this malam who suggested that I marry someone for a little while, end the marriage so that we could be married again.’
I had no strength left in me. I was just weak. I was a pawn in her little game. And this Aminu was truly a sick bastard.
‘Rahila you are successful in your mission! Kin sami abunda kike so because as of this minute our marriage has ended. I am no longer interested’
‘No wait a minute, you ungrateful bastard! Instead of you to take things easy! If you walk away wallahi Aminu will destroy you in this town… na san kai Wawa ne amma surely you are not this stupid to walk away from all this! Think!’
‘Who do you think you are talking to me like this, after everything that has happened today??’
I walked to the bedroom to start packing my small belongings. I was not sure if what I was feeling was anger or shame. This is what poverty did to me, it turned me to a place holder husband with no real power or responsibility or prestige. I finished packing and on my way out of the house Rahila threw me two bundles of 1000 naira notes and said ‘so you don’t starve’.
I know what you are thinking but I took the money. I bent down and took the money. I needed it. I had no pride or dignity in her eyes anyway. I took it and left. I lodged into a hotel.
The next morning I went to work and was told by my Director that I would be transferred to Sokoto. I already knew why. I accepted it quietly and returned to Sokoto. I have not told anyone what happened to my marriage. I mostly keep to myself here, I hardly socialise. My family have probably given up on ever finding out the truth. I still love her, I think. Or maybe I still love the version of Rahila I knew….
Sometimes I am grateful they didn’t get me sacked, at least I still have a good job. Life goes on I guess.
All thanks to Jaruma Magazine Chief Editor For Allowing Us to Re-Broadcast it.
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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