At 49, Jubril was thought to have an enviable marriage by his married friends – a 22-year partnership with beautiful Tumi who bore him three lovely children. They met in college and were almost inseparable.
Then she became a mother of three, and gradually her appearance at parties with him began to fade. “When Jubril started staying out late and at most weekends, I warned my daughter of its implications”, Miriam, Tumi’s mother said. “As a Muslim, Jubril could be polygamous if he desired, but Tumi seemed to trust him not to take another wife. Well, he did. Not only that, he had said that since they lived in a sprawling accommodation, the new wife could have one of the chalets. At his age and with his position, Jubril said he wouldn’t want to be running from one woman’s house to the other if his new wife were to live on a different premises. Tumi was devastated to say the least. She’d invested so much into her marriage, and to be replaced with a new model in her life as if she was an old car, was too hard for her to take.
“I had to counsel her all of the time, to tell her that she too was a product of polygamy, but she believed her husband was throwing away all they’d both worked for, all the investments in emotions and their home for a gold-digger. She was sure her husband would soon regret his decision. When I eventually met Yosola, the new wife, I was a bit taken aback by her simplicity. She was young and fresh-faced all right, but you could hardly call her a gold-digger. She came from a very strict Muslim background. Her parents were rich and she turned out to be a successful business woman.
“She deals in household goods and is a major distributor for a few manufacturing companies. She also imports some of the items she sold wholesale.
“I was ready to dislike her, but you just couldn’t help admiring her resolve.
You could see she was prepared to do anything to make the relationship work. She was very polite to Tumi and the children. When she learnt that I dealt in some of the things she sold, she compared her prices with where I bought mine from, and she needn’t twist my arm before I agreed to be buying from her. My daughter was livid. She thought Yosola was trying to buy my affection, but I told her she was being silly. The prices she quoted were lot less than I was currently paying and she even said I could pay her after I’d sold the goods! It was too good to be true but because I got the goods for less, I was able to be a small distributor in my own right! Small stall-owners started patronizing me and in two years, I was able to rent another shop – a bigger one at that!
“It took a long time for my daughter to see that one could sometimes benefit from a seemingly bad situation. Since I started dealing with Yosola, I no longer ask for any material things from my daughter. I was able to help my other children and I now have a pick-up van I use for my business.
Jubril is happy at the turn of events and Tumi is also learning to live with the situation. Her children are grown and doing well in school while Yosola’s two children are in primary school.
“It is not really a thing one looks forward to when one has to share one’s affection with another partner, but it could be worse. What if my daughter’s husband had ended up with one of these desperate women who are bent on unseating the incumbent wife?”
When Eno met her son-in-law’s new wife, she was determined to hate her. The fact that Bukky, the new wife, met her husband after he was widowed; had nothing to do with how Eno felt. “He married her too quickly after my daughter died”, Eno fumed. “Though she’s as nice as wives come, every time I look at them together, see how happy they are, I just can’t help thinking she’s a poor replacement for my darling daughter. She’s also almost twenty years younger than Dominic.”
“But your so-called son-in-law is in his late forties and his new wife is no teeny-bopper – she is 30 years old”, I pointed out. “And breeding like a rabit”, snapped Eno. Gently, I reminded her that even though she tried, her late daughter only had a child. Surely, Eno would want Dominic to have more; children? He has always encouraged Eno to visit her grand- daughter more often but she wasn’t having any of that. “My blood boils any time I see that woman in my daughter’s former home, using her things and my grand-daughter calling her mummy. I mean, she’s not her mother and what would she be to me? A daughter-in-law? I’m sure she too wouldn’t want “me around, cluttering up her newly arranged matrimonial home!”
What You See Is What You Get! (Humour)
Unbeknown to his family, a man joined a nudist colony. A few months later, he received a letter from his mother who wrote that she hadn’t seen him for a while and would he send a recent photograph? Unfortunately all the photos of himself were in the nude so he cut one of the pictures in two and sent her the top half.
A couple of days later, another letter arrived from his mother thanking him for the photo and asking him to send one to his ageing grandmother! The poor old dear’s nearly blind, he thought to himself, I’ll just send the other half of the photo, she’ll never know the difference! Some time passed and one morning, a letter arrived from his grandmother. “Dear Ernest,” it read, “thank you for the photo, though I must say that your new hairstyle makes your nose look much longer.”