Eighteen-year-old Rekia came home from school one Saturday morning to spend the weekend with her parents. She ate and chatted a little with her mother before heading to her room. Just as she entered her room, she heard the gate of the compound opening and suddenly her mother burst into her room and knelt down.
“Rekia your Dad is around, please say that the man in the house is your boyfriend and he came to ask for your hand in marriage, please.”
Rekia was confused; she did not understand what her mother was saying. “Which man?”
“Please just say he came to ask for your hand in marriage,” her mother begged, clasping her hands together.
Rekia’s father is married to three women: one in Kaduna, the other in Zaria, and Rekia’s mother in Abuja. Not long ago, rumours reached Rekia’s father that whenever he travels, Rekia’s mother brings a man home. So that fateful Saturday, he decided to come home unannounced in order to catch her red-handed, and he came with his two brothers.
When Rekia’s father entered the house, he met a man seated in the living room who looked to be in his 50s.
“Who is this man and what is he doing in my house?”
“He came to ask for Rekia’s hand in marriage,” Rekia’s mother answered.
Rekia’s father called her out and asked her if she knew the man, and if he came to ask for her hand in marriage.
“Yes, baba,” Rekia lied.
When her father asked why he came so early in the morning, Rekia said he was coming from a long distance and had to leave Abuja early. In fact, since he had been told Rekia’s father was not around, he was on his way out.
Rekia’s father looked at her with disappointment and betrayal in his eyes. He asked again if Rekia knew the man and if indeed he had come to ask for her hand in marriage, and again Rekia affirmed her mother’s story.
At this, her father said he granted his consent and that the wedding should hold in 3 weeks.
Rekia does not approve of her mother’ actions, and she knew nothing about her mother’s adultery until that Saturday. She took the swift decision to cover her mother because theirs is a polygamous family and the shame would be too much if her father divorced her mother. She and her younger brother would have to go and live with their stepmothers, and they would suffer.
Rekia’s father on the other hand feels betrayed by Rekia. He cannot believe his own child would do that to him. Her uncles are begging her to tell the truth. Rekia had not expected her father to come up with the decision for her to marry the man. The father she knows would never give any of his daughters in marriage to an old man.
Now, Rekia’s mother is begging her to stick to the story and not expose her.
Please advise Rekia.