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BN Prose: You Married a Ten Year Old by Bomi Ehimony



dreamstime_m_31395740Her thirteen year old brother told you he would wash your clothes and your feet for the rest of his life – if you changed your mind and not marry his little sister. He stressed the little. You said you were marrying her for his own good, for the betterment of his family; that he was an ingrate fool who did not know anything about how life worked and that in a few weeks his little sister would be your wife.

You married a ten year old whose name was Muni; whose favourite thing to do was to play hide and seek, who thought that children came the same way rain did. The day her father told her she would be going to live with someone else, she asked if the person was going to be another mother to her; he hesitated and said: ‘no, another father.’ When they killed her mother, she was there, she was eight. The insurgency was at its peak and people were being killed left, right and centre. She had accompanied her mother to the market that day. Before the explosion, her mother had asked her to go across the road and buy a disposable bag inside which the unsold wares for the day would be taken back home. Her mother had saved her life. She had been gone for a minute when she heard the bang. Later, after she had failed to figure out what happened to her mother and her mother’s shop and had sat on the ground and begun to sob, she saw her father and brothers wandering about the marketplace, screaming her name and asking other people searching the rubbles for survivors if they had seen a little girl about such and such height wearing a blue hijab.

You married a ten year old but you were not going to touch her until she had reached menarche. You were going to be a father to her because that was the correct thing to do. And then on one fine Monday, you returned home late after going for drinks with some of your colleagues at work and Muni, your ten year old wife, was the only person who had come out to welcome you. She said ‘you came in a bit late, hope everything that went on during the day went on well?’ You responded that everything went fine. You swore she was looking beautiful. You wondered when she became so beautiful. You led her to your room and you took off her clothes. She asked what you were doing and you put your hands over her mouth. She told you that she was in pain, she begged you to stop. She cried. But you did not stop: you were performing your marital duties as her husband and the owner of her body.

When she miscarried, eleven months later, after enduring a torturing 82 hours of labour and crying all through, you told her not to worry: she would get another chance to bring a baby into this world before she knew it. She smiled because she thought you were trying to make a joke, to lighten things up but when she looked at you and saw that you were not laughing, the bewilderment on her face made you wonder if she was going to pack up and leave your house at the first opportunity she got.

The day the doctor told you she had obstetric fistula, you asked him what it meant and how she got it. You told him to test you to make sure she had not transmitted the disease to you. He told you it could not be transmitted to you: she got it because she had a prolonged labour. You asked how much it would cost to treat and he said a sum you could not afford. You told your colleagues at work and one of them suggested a doctor who lived close by and who practiced his own medicine quietly, inside a shack built from empty cement bags and aluminium roofing sheets. He said this doctor did not charge exorbitant amounts of money as those so called elite doctors. You took your wife to this doctor.

She died almost immediately he began the operation. He injured her and she bled to death. When you took word to her family, her father almost had another heart attack and her thirteen year old brother, who had begged you not to marry his little sister because of God, held you by the collar of your chest and swore that he was going to kill you the same way you killed his little sister.

Photo Credit:Dreamstime


  1. wow

    December 14, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    Wow, I should not have read this.

    I am in pain.

  2. Spunky

    December 14, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    If only this was fictitious…someone, somewhere is being molested as we debate on this. I can’t understand how one sees a child and is consumed by lust,nor look at a child with all her innocence and not want to protect her. I feel bad and wish we could do more…we can!

  3. ferrari

    December 14, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    these damn onions…..

    • Mrs M

      October 9, 2017 at 2:07 am

      I know right…. they just make it seem as though you are crying when you are not
      I mean who cries just because a 10year old was sexually abused and led to an early grave…. mscheew… I aint got no time
      Its def the onions

  4. Anon

    December 14, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    I even thought the essay was going to be about women having to feed, clean after, cater to etc a grown man as though he were a 10 year old. But after reading this, maybe it’s the same thing. Perhaps a man who likes young girls is somewhat psychologically underdeveloped i.e. he’s sick.i don’t know why society condones the ill treatment of women as child brides or housegirl wives

  5. The Real Oma

    December 14, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    But when are we going to put a stop to this madness? How can we?
    It is heartbreaking…

  6. Sapphire

    December 15, 2016 at 11:31 am

    In such situation, the parent of the girl child should also be blamed because I can’t understand why one would subject his/her child to this fate and then weep when the inevitable happens

  7. Chu

    December 15, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Its heartbreaking that this is the realities in many homes in the north in Nigeria. When will we develop? When would we have functional laws that would eradicate this sort of behaviour.?Sometimes its easier to block it off and not think these things happen but it does happen and it is real. I weep for this country.

  8. ilori

    December 15, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    Uhmmm! Really Heartbreaking…
    Nice write up Bomi

  9. Ayeni

    December 19, 2016 at 7:19 am

    This is sadly a present day reality. Good work sir

  10. Afolabi Joseph

    December 19, 2016 at 11:21 am

    This is just one out of many problems we have in our so called Nigeria, anywhere you go or turn to, you see wrong things which has the backing of sometimes the people, culture, tradition, illiteracy, ignorance, government, power or fear, some how there will be an explanation, be it reasonable or illogical, if not imagine a multitude of girls missing for over how many years now and we are all sleeping and waking everyday, we don’t know where the next bomb will blast yet, that’s to mention but few, so sir all this things are called third world country, under developed country, Africa or Nigeria

  11. Eli

    December 20, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    I like, it shows a glimpse of the truth which is tragic and very upsetting..God help Us all

  12. Bennie

    December 21, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    Tears in my eyes, on my pillow and i ask which way? what can be done to help? This is so sad!

  13. Deerex

    December 30, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    This is just horrible! Too hurtful to read, I wonder how the person going through this would feel? Lord make a way!

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