By Funke Egbemode
Saturday, March 06, 2010
This happened in 1992 and it got me wondering. Just how far can and should a wife go to protect her marriage? What are the limits or aren't there any, when it comes to securing your property and C of O (certificate of Occupancy)? What is the worth of a relationship and what are the things women do to keep trespassers from their 'thing'? Of course, I also got curious as a reporter and started a discreet Intimate Affairs investigation, a report I published one year later in a two-part piece, in my column. But let's go back to the first story that got me fishing.
Bisi and Ahmed (not real names, of course) had been married for 12 years and both were celebrities at the time. Bisi was a successful businesswoman and Ahmed a respectable industrialist. They seemed the ideal couple and acted it. They attended functions together and praised each other in every interview they granted. They had four children and things looked good. Now, everybody knew also that Ahmed was also a 'successful' womanizer. In fact, Bisi was not his first wife. She was the fourth but somehow had managed to eclipse her predecessors and was determined to be the last. So she kept her eyes skinned. If any fly buzzed around Ahmed's head, Bisi whipped out a shotgun. She was determined to keep Ahmed, whatever the cost. Then she heard of Ajoke, a civil servant Ahmed was paying more attention than was due a fling. He was eating in her house and travelling with her .
Some of Bisi's friends told her that on a few occasions when Ahmed had told his wife he was travelling out of town, he was actually holed up in Ajoke's GRA, Ikeja home. Where did a civil servant find money to buy a house, or even rent an apartment in GRA? Bisi and her friends wondered. They started holding meetings to do something about 'it'.
Bisi was agitated but she hid it. She also refused to quarrel with Ahmed. She went on as if nothing was wrong. She pretended as if she believed Ahmed's lies but she obviously was angry, burning up inside. She kept on a happy face.
One day, around 7pm, as Ajoke was returning from a trip along Lagos- Ibadan expressway, she was stopped by gun-totting men. The highway was not busy and it was getting dark, so nobody knew of the evil drama going on. She was driving and panicked so badly she almost drove into a ditch. She was convinced they were armed robbers but her worries were more for her life than for her car and the gold jewellery she had on. Still shaking in her seat, Ajoke begged the masked men ( yeah, in those days, robbers wore masks, they had shame) to spare her life. She removed her earrings as they dragged her out of the car, sobbing. The masked ones threw her jewellery back at her and told her that their brief did not include Ajoke's gold.
The 'largest' one told her to get on her knees while he barked to the remaining three boys to get to work. Before Ajoke knew what the entire drama was all about, her fine car had been doused with petrol and set ablaze. If these armed robbers did not need her car, why did they stop her? To what god were they offering her car as burnt offering? What was the point of snatching a car and then making a bonfire with it?
Ajoke did not have to wonder for long. The masked men told her their mission in very short sentences. Ajoke should take her man-snatching claws from the man who bought her the burning car otherwise next time she would be part of the ingredients for the burnt offering. They gave her a couple of slaps and kicks for added effect and disappeared into the darkness.
Ajoke was stunned, scared witless. One thing at a time, she calmed herself. First, get out of the venue of the tragedy. She did, after trekking about a kilometer. Then she left town for a week to sort out her swirling thoughts. She knew where the bullets came from. She knew only a woman who could kill without batting an eyelid would go to the extent Bisi went to warn a mistress. She got the message and moved on. She cut her losses and told Ahmed armed robbers snatched the car. After that she started avoiding him. The affair eventually packed up.
That was a mean one, an extreme measure by Bisi. She eventually acquired a reputation as a mean wife and that if you were not ready to fight dirty, don't go near her territory.
There was a story of another wife who told thugs to raid the home of her husband's girlfriend. They took everything she had except the nightwear she had on and promised to return to rape her if she did not leave a certain man alone.
Did you sigh and said Jehovah? You don't want to hear the more gory ones I have heard. Women can be mean if their territories are threatened. Now, what they do to husbands who betray them is worse, but that is a story for another day.