I moved into this compound 2 years ago. My landlord,a old man of almost 80 has several wives and children and grand children. I tried to mind my business in this compound because of so many people living here. I am a Computer Science Teacher in the secondary school in our town here in Oshogbo here.
From time, I never wanted to marry anyone from around here. The ladies and even the men here are too corrupt. I am from Ibadan but I grew up and work here. Like I said,the people here are corrupt. I see how wayward my landlord’s wives are. Of course,being an old man,he cannot take care of all of them so they run on rampage.
The younger wives and daughter have tried to be friendly with me but I push them away cos they are not my type. I see how they run around younger men in town. Even the sons of the baba Landlord,some are married,some just behave anyhow.
Make no mistake,I am not a saint but I try to be a decent man. I had a girlfriend whom I thought was different but she ended up like most girls here,run around sleeping around. My plan was to either find someone from outside this town or remain single until I get a job that will take me out of this town.
Last December,my landlord married a young bride of about 20 years.This girl was forced into the marriage and she was not happy from the moment she arrived at the compound. Of course,baba Landlord being old could barely even treat her like a proper wife.
Her fellow wives advised her to meet with younger men to get pregnant and satisfy her sexual urges. This girl refused and they mocked her and made life hell for her. One day,she met me and asked me if she could come learn how to use computer (cos I have a side job at a computer science centre too).
I encouraged her cos she spoke like someone who is intelligent. The only problem was that she did not have the money. She begged me to allow her and pay me by working for me. I spoke to the owner of the centre and they employed her as a cleaner.So she would work and learn how to use the computer.
Not long after she started,her fellow wives became jealous of her because all of them are illiterates. They cooked up stories that I was sleeping with this young girl. This made the baba stop her from continuing the computer training and I was given quit notice from my apartment.
The trouble was so much so I got a new place and moved out. I have been staying in a new place for 3 months now. One night,around 7.30pm,someone knocked on my door so seriously and I knew the person was in a haste. It turned out to be this young wife of my former landlord. She was in tears. She had been beaten and raped by one of baba Landlord’s sons.
I was enraged but I did not know what to do. I asked her to run away back to her parents,that was when she told me her story…her father had worked for Baba landlord for years as his Farm manager. She was born in on the farm. Her father became sick and could not work anymore. He was to be thrown away from the farm but her father begged him to let his family remain on the farm so they can feed
She was 8 years old at the time. Baba allowed her family and she was promised to him as wife after she finished secondary school. Her father had passed on 6 years ago but gave strict warning that she must fulfill his agreement with baba. She must be married to him after secondary school.
She tried to avoid it but her family lives on baba’s farm property with no where to go to,she had to obey her father’s wish. This young woman’s dream is to be a successful lawyer one day and free her family from poverty and baba’s hold. She prays daily for his death so she can also be free but she said there are talks that even with Baba’s death,she could be passed on to another baba’s family member to be married off.
Since that day,this young lady has been coming to my place to find refuge anytime things get ugly at the compound. I feel for her. I admire her courage and determination to learn and succeed despite her predicament.
But that is not the real problem. The real problem began when …