THE RIGHTS OF THE NIGERIAN GIRL CHILD

THE RIGHTS OF THE NIGERIAN GIRL CHILD – By Nnabeze Adaoma

My dad wasn’t so happy to see me. Although I couldn’t see him either, I could tell he wasn’t glad just as my mum bore me in her arms with regret and love.

My brothers went to school, I should feel happy making ‘bole’ and cleaning the house. I wasn’t allowed to talk when we gathered as a family for meetings, my mum wasn’t allowed to talk either, perhaps that is my great task, to listen, yes, I have to listen.

My friend Nsikak said she would soon be going to that big house where the boys are allowed to wear beautiful shirts and shoes that all look alike, and write with the local white chalk on a burnt, blackboard; but she has to wait for her brothers to finish first.

She is so glad that her place is in the kitchen; mama said that that is our second highest goal. After primary 5, she will be getting married to Alhaji Yusuf, that big man with the very round stomach, and the ‘blackest’ smile I have ever seen.

My dad loves me, he said I won’t go to school and marry at ten like Nsikak, I will marry at 15 to a man I don’t know, but mama says he will take good care of me, I just have to do everything he asks me to do and say nothing when I feel like saying something; then my brothers will be travelling to the big cities, they have to get good jobs and marry when they find a good woman who doesn’t give ‘trouble’ and doesn’t rub those colourful paints on her mouth. A woman who covers her face and respects her man by hiding in the room.

Storried The Rights of the Nigerian Girl Child

My mum is so scared. She always thinks my papa will beat her or throw her out; so she must not dare talk. Mama’s friend was thrown out because she didn’t give birth to any ‘useful seed’, her babies were all girls. ‘Papas’ don’t like girls but they need us to help do things like giving birth to useful seeds, and taking care of them and their home.
My friend’s father loves girls, he wishes he never had boys. Lola was beaten and hurt by a man, there was blood in between her legs, she was crying but she was flogged anyway, she was called a disgrace and no one is allowed to talk to her. I wonder what the man did to her. I just saw him drinking with the other men who flogged Lola. I wonder if they know he’s the one.

On the 11th of October, a woman came to our village with her car, a very fine car, women are not supposed to have cars. She looked so lovely and all the girls shyly admired her. She smelled so nice too. The men detested her, they said these are the type of women our brothers are not meant to marry. They are the ‘trouble’ we were told about. But we liked the woman and she spoke to us. She wasn’t afraid of the men, although I fear the men would be angry with us when she leaves; she had big, hefty men with her, bigger than Papa and most of the men. She told us she went to school, she made me not to be afraid. She said it was a day made out for all the girls in the world, and that is why she has come to talk to us. I could not believe there was a day for mere girls. I felt so proud and important, it felt like a crime. She spoke to us for a long time… And now I know how powerful I am.

I am delicate and special. In my less tedious but plenty and great tasks, I am as important as the men, as important as the boys. They also won’t exist without me and those like me. They made me think marriage and procreation are my highest goal, but now I know I have a much greater task. The men have theirs as much as I have mine, and non is less important. I am not to struggle to become like them. I hold things together, I bring beauty, I mediate light from my other father who I am told is above. I nurture things, but it was never a low task nor a crime. I never knew…

Protect the girl child, Protect their future, Fight for their rights.

The International Day of the Girl child: The Rights of the Nigerian Girl Child.

 

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THE RIGHTS OF THE NIGERIAN GIRL CHILD

By Nnabeze Adaoma

My dad wasn’t so happy to see me. Although I couldn’t see him either, I could tell he wasn’t glad just as my mum bore me in her arms with regret and love.

My brothers went to school, I should feel happy making…

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