Waiting for the kill

Hi, “Sometimes, I pinch myself for reassurance, just to be sure I am not dreaming everything up. To say that I can’t believe what happened to me and my children is an understatement. But it is true, the words of the will are deeply etched in my mind. I knew it was a lie and that my husband couldn’t have written such a Will. To disown his children and deny them an inheritance?”

Banke, 59 year old businesswoman and mother of three lovely children revealed as she told us her story late that night. Along with a couple of my old school mates, we had organised a sleepover at the home of Laide, in celebration of the birthday anniversary. Banke was her friend from her neighbourhood as a child.

My friend had invited her over so they could play catch up too. Banke had appeared a bit withdrawn earlier in the evening and I assumed it was because we were all strangers to her, so she was being careful not to appear too forward. But when Laide questioned her reluctance to loosen up and not allow her problems to weigh her down, I knew there was a story for me to grab here.

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Immediately, the girls began making overtures to her, assuring her that everyone there had their own problems but were just not wearing them on their sleeves. We reminded her that even our host had her own problems but was setting it aside to enjoy her birthday. No matter what the issues were, life must go one, I said. It appeared our kind words were all she needed, as a lovely smile appeared on her face. Soon she was laughing with us after Laide had given us an update on her estranged husband and his baby mamas, especially the very one that caused their separation.

The bloody Cassanova had betrayed her as well with one of their neighbours who happened to be a married woman at the time. The woman had been like a big sister to them, helping to look after the two children which they’d had in quick succession as their treacherous, lustful blood was on fire at the time. Little did she know that she was just being conned for whatever reason that suited Akin, and that he would soon do what he loved to do most, betray the love of his women.

By the time the baby mama discovered what hit her, the older woman too was already carrying Akin’s baby, even though she already had four kids by three men. All these crazy stories in that London where we have been made to believe that it is one woman to a woman? Is Akin not practicing Bigamy? Why has none of these silly baby mamas thought about suing his wondering blokus so he could reset his brain in jail?

Laide replied that the Nigerian community in London, in fact, Europe, is no different from Nigeria. That a Nigerian guy in London can have children from as many women as would allow him into their bed and the women will just be taking care of their children. They are not necessarily co-wives, but co-baby mamas, while the guy will just be moving from one woman’s house to another.

He does not have to pick the bills anywhere he goes as the women may even cover up for him with the authorities. How? Some of the women may not drop their baby father’s  names on the birth certificates of the children. Where they do, they might say he has walked out on them and can’t be located. So the government will support them with their children and they are good. Interesting!

After deliberating on this information for a while, Laide asked after Banke’s children and her court case with her husband’s family. Just what I had been waiting for, and immediately, I was all ears! So, Banke had been a second wife too. (Hmm! Na dem dem, as some of us exchanged quick glances at each other.) What is her headache, then? 

According to Banke, at her husband’s death, his children from his first wife had appointed themselves as administrators of their father’s estate. She said she did not mind since they were much older than her children and she didn’t expect any foul play. Then the Will was read and nothing was given to her three children. To make the matter even more infuriating, her husband had claimed in the will that Banke was a wayward lady whom he had simply assisted to save from societal shame and stigmatisation. (Really, how is that?)

You have a wife, she gave birth to the first child, you hold a naming ceremony and party for friends and family to announce your bundle of joy. You start taking care of this child. Then she has a second and a third, and you do the same for them. You see them through Primary, Secondary and two of them through the University, only to die and write in your Will that they are not your children? Who does that?

It was so glaring that something was fishy. Banke continued that they were all shocked by the content of the supposed Will and declared it could not have been written by their father. She said that a few weeks before, the first born of her husband had arranged that they all sign an undertaking that no one will contest the Will or cause any trouble as a result of the Will. She said she had gone along with him at the time, thinking it was weird and unwarranted since no one would think to start contesting the Will.

It was when they got to the court that they realised that there was a more recent Will besides the one she was aware of. Could her husband have written another will without informing her? Only after the reading did everything fall into place. Her husband’s children had outsmarted her and her children!

Though Banke and her children are now in court to contest the Will, she has not been able to get over the shock. Why would they want to hurt her and her children, when she has been so good to them all? There was not one of them who could boldly say that they had not benefited from her love, kindness and generosity towards them and their mother. So, it was all a lie, they had been leading her on.

She had come into their lives some 32 years ago when she met and married their father. Things had been pretty rough at the beginning but they all buried their hatchets eventually and have since accepted their situation. Or so it seemed, until the man who brought them together left the scene. Banke says she does not really know who to blame. Her late husband, or his first family? However, she is determined to get justice for her children.

Her story had deflated our high spirit, so we called it a night.

Hmmm! Do have a wonderful weekend!!

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