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To love and die or be alive to love

By Kate Henshaw
A friend sent me a link a few weeks back ( I was sceptical about opening it as I did not want to download any virus into my phone. I had to call her and ask what the link contained. She said to me: “Kate, open it, it is the kind of thing you would be interested in”.

I warned her that if it was something distasteful, I would delete her from my contacts. I opened the link, indeed, it was distasteful but I did not keep my promise of deleting her from my contacts, rather I thanked her.

Unknown to me, I was one of many who had read the very sad and pathetic story of a woman named Ogochukwu Onuchukwu, who was dead but managed to write her life story from the grave. Quite ingenious and creepy I must say.

It dawned on me that this story could only have come from someone who was very close to her (a friend or relation). True or not, it sparked a debate all over the internet.

A few people I talked to actually claimed to know the woman in question and I had to ask if there was any truth in the story; while one claimed the story was true, another said she did not see any signs of abuse. Maybe, Ogochukwu hid it well, who knows. It seemed the story struck a nerve in someone or some people as there was a response on face book claiming quite the opposite.

The story starts thus: My sweet Kevin, we started fighting over little things. The fights were worse after you visited home or attended any of your numerous family meetings. You came home one evening and asked me to move out of the bedroom we both shared and into the guestroom downstairs. The next time you returned from the meeting, you tied me up with a rope and used your belt on me.

No one heard my screams. I remember when you told me that your family had asked you to remarry. You showed me all your numerous landed property, including the house we lived in. Your brother was listed as the next of Kin.

When I asked you about it, your answer rocked the ground I was standing on. You said, “What have you to show that entitles you to any stake in this household?” You were referring to my barrenness.

It is funny how to my family members and friends, I was the beautiful and loving Ogo, whilst to your family; I was a worthless piece of rag. You called me barren. I could have fled but your love and acceptance was of more worth to me than the love and admiration of the world outside our home.

I desperately sought to be loved by you, Kevin. In your family’s presence, I felt unworthy, unloved and unwanted. Yet, I stayed on. I would make you love me one way or the other and I knew that one sure way would be to produce a child, an heir for you. That was the most important thing to you.

The story went on for quite a length of time and ended thus: I went in for surgery on Monday morning, February 27, 2012 and after battling for several hours, I yielded my spirit. Kevin, my husband, I lived my promise to God. The promise I made the day I wedded you.

For better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish; till DEATH do us part! And it has. Now I am dead. Just as your mum predicted; her cold words followed me to the morgue. She swore to me that I would leave her son’s house dead or alive. I couldn’t leave whilst I still breathed. It had to be through death, and death it has become. Kevin, you are free and so am I. Your freedom is temporary. Mine is eternal.

Whilst you still have freedom, remember Kamsi and Chimamanda.  Lovingly yours till death, Ogo. This is such a chilling story of her ordeal in her marriage and home.

To say that the incidence of domestic violence and abuse of women whether married or single is on the rise is to put it quite mildly. Hardly anything is done to protect women in these situations.

On a daily basis, one is assailed with all sorts of pictures of women disfigured (there is one  woman whose wedding finger has been chopped off by her police officer husband) and another battered beyond recognition. Comments on the above story ranged from disgust at what Ogo went through at the hands of her dear husband, Kevin, to her being blamed for staying in a prison she called a marriage.

One comment really riled me up as the late Ogo was blamed for not praying hard enough for God to change her husband. Change him? To what?  I think the signs were there all along and praying for a change was just wishful thinking.

I wonder what the pastor of her church said to her. (I do not think the husband would be admonished since he is the head of the home and I say this tongue in cheek).

What has come over some men that they see their wives or girlfriends as battering rams? It is a sign of weakness to hit someone who is defenceless or unevenly matched.

Real men DO NOT hit women. To the women in these situations (I will not call them relationships as they are clearly not), do not care about what society will think of you. It is your choice to live or die.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.