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LiterallyWhatsHot: Barakat Akinsiku’s “The Surrogacy Deal” is the New Eye Opener to Wrecked Homes

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“Look at you. So shameless. You are all dressed up and obviously coming from a party. Have you no shame? We haven’t heard the cry of a baby in this house since the day we paid dowry on your head, and instead of you to look for a solution to your problem, you go partying all over the place. Now listen to me. I have handed an ultimatum to my son, and it is backed by his uncles in the village… if in six months I do not get any news from my son that you are pregnant, I shall bring him a young nubile lady of Igbo descent. And you shall cease to be our wife…”

The excerpt is from Barakat Akinsiku’s, “The Surrogacy Deal”. Here, we see Mama lashing out at her daughter-in-law who has been married for four years without children. It is well known that in most African societies,  parents are eager to see their grandchildren after their sons and daughters have been married. Failure to get pregnant means hell for the woman, especially from her in-laws. It is even worse if you are not from your husband’s tribe.

Unfortunately for Kemi, this is the case in which she finds herself. She is married to Nnamdi Elechi, an Igbo man with an intrusive extended family. In the first year of their marriage, she did get pregnant but she lost the child in a motor accident on a trip from the village. Nnamdi was sure it was not a normal accident, and he blamed evil forces sent from jealous villagers. Unfortunately, four years later, his wife is still unable to get pregnant and the insults from Nnamdi’s mother, Mama, as well as her threats to bring in an Igbo wife, are starting to scare Kemi.

The real story starts at Kemi’s workplace, one of the new generation banks in Nigeria. She is portrayed as a strong lady who knows what she wants and goes for it. However,  where her mother-in-law is concerned, she is a cowering figure that begs the floor to open up so she can be swallowed.

Having met her a virgin, and after the first pregnancy, Nnamdi remains sure that they will eventually have a baby together. He isn’t worried about their childless status or the threats from his mother, and he constantly assures his wife of his love and tells her that his family has no right to choose a wife for him. Kemi, however, remains scared because she knows that in Nigeria, a man’s family almost always has the final say.

Matters get worse when she hears Nnamdi arguing with one of his uncles over the phone. She is almost sure the argument is over the issue of her childlessness, and the events that follow make her suspect even more that Nnamdi is going to give in to pressure from his people.

But then, seemingly good news arrives in form of Kemi’s old friend and ex-colleague, Busola, who had also gone through the traumatizing experience that came with being married and childless for years. Busola, after retiring from her job at the bank and going overseas for months, suddenly returns with a set of twins. Beautiful girls.

When Kemi seeks Busola out, she is stunned to learn that her friend used a surrogate. Busola advises her to get a girl and persuade her husband to impregnate the lady. Things seem to be working in Kemi’s favour as her distant cousin Joyce overhears the conversation and volunteers to be her surrogate; she says this is her way of repaying Kemi for all the help she has rendered.

Nnamdi vehemently opposes the plan as he still believes they will have their own children. However, with one trick after the other, Kemi gets Nnamdi to lay with Joyce. A few weeks later, Joyce announces her pregnancy, but instead of bringing joy to the Elechis, the announcement serves as a harbinger of worse things to come.

Kemi finds that Joyce is not the helpless little girl she portrays herself as. She is a runs girl determined to settle down with a man like Nnamdi. Joyce isn’t only interested in having a baby for Nnamdi. She’s also interested in becoming his second wife, the one thing Kemi had feared with the Igbo girl mama had threatened to bring.

Save for unnecessarily long explanations of certain Nigerian terms, I’d say Barakat Akinsiku did a good job portraying the pains and confusion childless women go through in our society, as well as how these experiences make them do anything to get a child,  damming the consequences.

Want to know more about what transpired next between Kemi and Joyce? Find out in Barakat Akinsiku’s “The Surrogacy Deal“. Available here on Okadabooks for N500 only!

***

Karo Oforofuo is an experienced freelance writer, an author of several fiction books to her name, and a blogger at Pelleura (pelleura.top), where she entertains readers with mouth-watering stories.

She also specializes in helping authors, who want to start and grow their reader base, through consulting sessions. When she’s not working, she’s busy reading the next best paranormal romance novel or writing one.

7 Comments

  1. Dee

    November 1, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Sounds nice but any typical naija woman knows that letting another woman get pregnant the traditional way ie by sleeping with him does not make her your surrogate but your co-wife! Dee

  2. Uc

    November 1, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    This must be a good write up.I got turned off with d first few lines.
    Only IGBO mother in laws need grand children and act this way the other tribes are very understanding.

    • Somborri

      November 2, 2017 at 6:42 am

      I can say with conviction that no ethnic group in Nigeria is exempt from this “you must have baby” brouhaha and the next one being “you must have a male child” and I’m pretty certain that every reasonable person knows this.

      That said, the writer has to situate her story within a particular context using a particular ethnic group, please do not take it personal ?. It’s a general malaise, even ndi ocha, Indians, Arabs, Chinese suffer from it too. Nor vex biko!

  3. Moving on Swiftly

    November 2, 2017 at 10:04 am

    I’m sorry but that is not the definition of surrogacy. You should have done your research properly before writing a whole book lady! What you’ve narrated is consensual adultery. Surrogacy is when another woman agrees to help a couple carry a pregnancy to term. This can happen in 2 ways.. 1. The surrogate does not directly have intercourse with the man. Instead the egg of the wife, fertilized by the husband is implanted into the surrogate usually through some scientific aid like IVF or something.

    2 the surrogate is artificially inseminated with the man’s sperm. This requires no sex whatsoever between the man and the surrogate. Although the egg is the surrogate’s so she is actually the biological mother. Please please please the woman na mugu if she allow Joyce sleep with her husband. Kudos for effort though.

    • Mrs O

      November 2, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      i totally agree. surrogacy doesnt involve any form of sex at all. kim kardashian’s third baby is by a surrogate and kanye ddnt have to sleep with the surrgate. surrogacy is taking the egg of the woman and the sperm of the man and inserting into the surrogate by IVF method. even with the fact that the baby doesnt have any genetic relationship wit the surrogate, some of them still refuse to hand over the baby to the mother because she has connected too much with the baby before being born. how do u even convince a young single girl to sleep with ur husband, have a baby by him and disappear? in Nigeria?????? i dont see how that will work especially in this era of young girls looking for somebody’s husband to steal. if u do this, then u can as well kiss ur home goodbye. surrogacy and wat is described above are not the same in any way. i hope people dont get the wrong idea of wat surrogacy is due to desperation. anyone who wants to do it should do good research before throwing away her home in the name of surrogacy

  4. Mrs O

    November 2, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    bellanaija, where is my comment???

  5. Comment

    November 2, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    This is NOT surrogacy at all. That’s a baby making deal. Surrogacy has a definition. Why don’t people research before they throw things out to the public? I’m sure it’s a great story but the title is a major gaffe

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