Monday, 30 January 2017

Victim Of Domestic Violence, Zainab, Wife of Rich Oil Magnate, Abdulsamad Shares Divorce Diaries(2)

Fil photo: Goog;le

Zainab Mai Pampo, continues the narration of her experience  of domestic violence suffered in the hands of her husband:

"He stopped praying even though before we got married he was always reminding me of prayer times. He hated prayer. Very early on we fought about waking up for fajr. He was so angry that I woke him up for Fajr prayers he slapped me twice, and warned me never to try that sort of thing again. I was shaken. Even as a small girl no one had slapped me before. On the face. Not even my own father or mother.

From that day, my husband became very comfortable hitting me, slapping me, and kicking me. At first I thought maybe he was having problems at work and he was stressed out, but as the months passed and became a year, the beatings became more and more frequent. More wicked and brutal. He had different ways of beating me. Sometimes, on the good days, he would use his hands and fists. But on the bad days, he had an array of belts, chargers and lamps to hit me with.

It was like he hated me. As if my problems were not enough, he kept rubbing his relationship with his former girlfriend in my face. He would put her on speaker phone and I would have to listen to their conversations or face a beating. On some nights, he would ask me to stand up then he would examine me and criticise parts of my body while comparing my body to hers.

One day I decided to report him to his mother. I figured as a woman and a mother she would protect me. I was so wrong, the moment I told her what was going on, she laughed. She laughed and said:

“You are a very stubborn girl, how do you expect your husband not to beat you when you needlessly provoke him to anger? Successful wives are those that know how to manage their husband’s moods. Or is it that you enjoy his beatings?’

I could not believe it. Clearly I was on my own in this family. I was going to tell her about his girlfriend too but after those remarks I decided not to. I listened quietly while I burned inside. She continued to talk.

“If you want your marriage to succeed, u must learn to manage your secrets. You must manage your husband so another woman will not come and make a fool out of you. You must also manage your husband’s image, if you tell anyone else all you have told me, do you think anyone will respect your husband, especially your family members and friends? You must manage your husband well for you to enjoy him. Kinji ko? Allah ya muku albarka Ameen”

I sat there and I thought of my life. Supposing she was right? Supposing I was being beating and brutalised because I was a poor ‘manager’ of my husband? What if she was right? I was the cause of my husband’s brutality towards me. I had to try and do better as a wife. I had to try and manage my husband kawai if I wanted peace in my home and on my body.

So I set to work, I cooked more elaborate meals and smiled more. I also started to avoid him when I noticed he was talking to his girlfriend. I tried as much as possible to be quiet around the house, to be silent and pleasant. For like a week it worked but then a leopard never changes its spots. What still astounds me is that Abdul is an upstanding gentleman in public and outside his home.

Everybody he was a good man and that I was too stubborn.

The beatings started with a fresh brutality. My scars multiplied. Since we were in separate bedrooms, he started this trend of breaking down my door at night, sometimes he would force me and sometimes he would beg me. I could not do or say anything. I felt helpless. Even if some spirit entered me to fight back or leave, I would remember the words of my mother in law and swallow everything. I wanted so bad to be a successful wife, a wife that her husband would be proud of. So I endured, and endured but things didn’t get better.

One day, my husband beat me so badly I almost died. He beat me because he said the food I served him for dinner smelt rotten. I was in the middle of my apology when a hot slap thundered across my face. I fell to the floor and the agony of being kicked and hit with several blows was too much for me to bear.

 At this time I was already a few months pregnant, I was using all my strength to protect my baby. I put both hands on my abdomen and curled into a ball. That provoked him to kick me even harder. I held on to my abdomen. I was not going to let him kill this baby. No way.

Suddenly I gathered strength and I pushed him off me, he was so surprised he didn’t move! I ran out of the house unto the main road..."

To be continued