By Amie Sillah
Negative Influence in Marriage
Aji Neneh is from a struggling family of peasant origin. Her father died and her mother was a struggling widow whose late husband’s relatives refused to marry her because of the fact that she is a ‘no-nonsense woman’ who could no bet exploited or intimidated. She now concentrates in taking care of her teenage son who is in university studying computer science; her daughter,AjiNeneh, married a responsible man from an affluent family staying abroad.
Kenbugul, her husband, is an Electronic Engineer who has set up a companyemploying Gambian youths. The couple is happily marriedand their union blessed with a boy and girl, Papa Gheran and Mama Mussan.
He isAjiNeneh’s younger sibling, being sponsored by Ken. He rents a house for him close to the university and gives him pocket money. He is very grateful to his brother in law. They are one big family.
She is AjiNeneh’s mother who is industrious and transforms every support given by her in-law into a productive venture. She is very grateful to Ken who built a durable duplet in her husband’s compound to the envy of villagers, in the midst of abject poverty. The compound utilizes solar energy and solar pump for water supply; every month Aji Neneh brings her monthly provision.
Her late husband’s family hated her guts.
“She is a champion (borr), see how she has tied her in-law around her wrapper. That was what she did to our late brother, he does everything for her and I understand he is also sponsoringBuraima’s university education,” Saffiatou told her friend Degeen.
The gossip is around the village that Aji Satang uses ‘juju’ on Ken.
“My hands are clean, I have not taken my in-law to any Marabout, and Allah is my Sering. What do they expect? They rejected my children and I and expected every other person to do the same? I served my parents and my husband until I buried him. When he was seriously ill they abandonedhim in my hands in the hospital. My co-wife decided to stay at her village and refused to come and take charge in turn in taking care of our husband. Therefore, I received his blessing at his death be,”Aji confided in her best friend Ya Sabel.
He is always on the move around the globe, especially in Asia where his business partners are. He was travelling to China and Aji Neneh’s birthday was due the following week. His children pleaded with him.
“Papa! Mummy’s birthday is next week, are you going to attend? Do you know there will be no celebration without you?” They argued n unison.
He assured his family.
“You know I love and value all of you; by Allah’s power I’ll do everything within my power to be here to grace Mommy’s birthday. She is very special to us as a mum and wife. Just pray for me to go safe and come back safe from my journey. Anything could happen, I could die in a plane crash.”
This shocked the family and they all protested.
“Don’t pray for bad omen we all detest it.”
“I am very sorry but we should not rule out death as long as we live. Let us all pray for our wish to be granted.” He kissed and bade them good bye.
The Birth Day
The children and mummy dressed up to the occasion and they all went to bring the cake, but still daddy did not arrive and the children were worried but Mommy was not.
“Mummy! Daddy has not arrived and you don’t seem to be worried; don’t you want him to grace it?”
“I am not worried because I know daddy will grace the occasion God willing.”
The land phone rang and the kids and mummy ran to it. She picked it up;
“Hello! Who is speaking?”
“You cannot recognize your husband again? Let me return to China.”
“Your voice is hoarse, what happened?”
“I caught the flu and was hospitalized for two days; I could only meet some of the partners and not all.”
“We are sorry, waiting for you to cut the cake!”
“I’ve taken a cab and would soon be there in a jiffy.”
The kids were very happy knowing full well that daddy would soon be there in a jiffy.
He arrived and after hugging his family, he went straight to cut the birthday cake after spelling Nene’s name. The family sang ‘happy birthday’ for her. Afterwards she served their delicacy ‘Mbaahal bu Tilim’ and home made ice cream. The family ate organic, no processed food coupled with a home gym to keep fit.
She visited the village with Mussan to take mama’s provision. When her daughter arrived, she was overjoyed and she hugged them and asked after Gheran and Ken.
“They are fine mama and they all asked after you; get Buraima to bring down the provision.”
“He has gone to the garden behind the compound, he likes garden work. Let me exercise and bring the light items.” Mussan also helped to bring in some items. She likes the village where she can eat farm produce and play with animals. She wants to be a zoologist.
“My in-law has done it again, may Allah shield him from evil eye and evil tongue.”
“Amen O! Amen!”Aji Neneh chorused.
She took out D10, 000 and gave it to her as fish money.
“All this for me? I do ‘osusu’and keep some money at the village bank and use it in times of need. I hope you are equally saving my daughter?”
She told a lie.
“Definitely mama if I have 2k I save 1k for sustainability.”
“That’s my girl, ‘aduna du chere why dengecolalo’ (tomorrow is pregnant so prepare for it.) Buraima told me that Ken had already paid for his admission and hostel, what can I say about this in-law? He is my son, how many sons can do such things for their mothers? I am always praying for you and him.” She danced and sang for her in-law.