Mrs. Janet, a 40 year-old trader who is also a mother of two, is always ready to tell the story of her husband who threw caution to the wind and slept with their only daughter, putting her in the family way against tradition.
But she would always have herself to blame as she narrated that her prolonged absence from home created the gap that not only ruined her marriage but destroyed what was left of her daughter’s life.
“I was not always around. At a time when my daughter needed motherly care and advice, I was not around. At the time she had her first menstrual period, my husband was at home with her and gave her the necessary care. But it turned out to be a sordid experience as the man took advantage of his growing daughter.
He began to sleep with her afterwards, telling her if he didn’t do that, the menstrual blood would continue. That continued without my knowledge until I discovered the girl was ill. I got the shock of my life when I was told my daughter was pregnant. More devastating was the fact that her father had been sleeping with her,” she lamented.
According to her, the husband initially denied responsibility. But after the intervention of their village head, he confessed to the crime. “He was interrogated by the police, but he denied. Our king intervened and also interrogated him and he later confessed to the crime,” she stated.
On the punishment meted out to him, Janet said as is customary in the African culture, he was banished by the king from the community. “He has been banished from the village, leaving me to take care of the 13 children,” she said.
Lamenting how she has been taking care of the children, she said the punishment should also have included taking care of the 13 children she has from the marriage. “It has been very excruciating, a more severe punishment should have been given to him to take care of the children rather than leaving me all alone to care for the 13 children. Although the man was not really doing anything serious before the incident, he supported from the little pension he collected from his former employer,” she disclosed.