Home Away from Home with Abi Adeboyejo
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @abihafh
If you’ve ever listened to any of Dolly Parton’s songs, the one titled ‘Jolene’ is perhaps my favourite because it tells the story of a woman begging another not to take her man just because she can. The singer says she will never love again and it’s the truth for many women living abroad. I’ve got a message from those of us across the pond in the UK and other countries abroad for our sisters in Nigeria. Please, leave our men alone!
Before you start criticising this as one of those articles where women try to criticise other women, let me quickly state that this article is borne out of the real need to show that someone suffers when another person thinks they’ve hit a jackpot when they steal another person’s man.
The truth is many Nigerian families have been hit by the recession in more ways than one. Many people have lost their jobs, some have lost their houses and have had to resort to renting and some have had to declare bankruptcy, thus becoming un-creditworthy and lacking any ability to source for funds to invest in businesses, houses and such.
But like prodigal sons, many people, particularly men, have returned to Nigeria in search of elusive contracts and deals to tie them over until things improve in the UK. These men leave their wives with the responsibility of looking after the family. It is all about keeping a very normal appearance while working very hard to avoid ruin, just like the duck that appears very peaceful on a lake but is paddling furiously to stay afloat.
I know of several families in this position and some of them are actually making things work. Although the contracts/jobs the men have secured are far from the multi-million dollar opportunities that they sought in Nigeria, at least they have been able to make enough money to send to their wives in the UK to help with household expenses.
Only last week a friend told me of a couple with four boys living in Leeds, UK. The man lost his £45,000 job as an IT Manager in a company early last year. By the end of the year they were practically broke and faced having their house repossessed by the bank. The man decided to return to Nigeria to see if he could get a contract from a very influential (even if dodgy) politician relative.
He arrived in Abuja with plans and ambition. However, no job or contract materialised from the relative’s contacts.
The man’s wife worked as an administrative assistant at Leeds’s City Council and she started sending money home to her husband. She took on a second job as a carer in a nursing home for the elderly just to meet her family’s needs. You would expect her husband to make a sensible decision and return to his family in the UK when he couldn’t find business opportunities in Nigeria. Instead, he remained in Abuja. He kept telling his wife that he had been assured of a business deal/contract early this year.
You can guess what happened next. He started cheating on his wife. He spent the money she sent him on other women. He didn’t even have the decency to have an affair; at least this may have redeemed him from the throes of savagery. He had casual flings with university-age girls. It wasn’t until one of these girls started sending abusive text messages to his wife that his wife realised what was going on.
Alone in a foreign country with very few relatives, this woman wasn’t going to leave this man, was she? Imagine how betrayed she must have felt by his actions. I heard he came to the UK (with his wife’s money!) to apologise to her and beg for forgiveness, and she eventually forgave him. They had only just started to rebuild their relationship when one of the girls the man slept with in Abuja called to say she was five months pregnant.
A woman may love to share but she never wants to share her man. A woman feels that her man is hers alone. He is hers to love forever. He completes her and understands her. When a woman loves there are no half-ways, it is all or nothing. When she carries a man’s child, his blood becomes her blood. When a woman shares her bed with a man, his dreams becomes her dreams, his vision becomes her vision. A woman’s heart, once captured, is a treasure for the lucky man. She will do anything to protect her man, her family, her love.
My appeal is on behalf of Nigerian women living abroad to our lovely single sisters back home. Please don’t do a ‘Jolene’ on us. Don’t take our men just because you can. Nigerian girls are getting even more beautiful, sassier and sexier and it is only natural that men will find such girls irresistible. But ladies, enjoy your youth and all that comes with being young but leave out men with wives and kids. Leave out men from abroad. These men have lived abroad so long that they can’t believe their luck when they see all your beautiful brown faces. The only reason they are back home looking for contracts/jobs is because they are broke. They can’t get anyone visas into the UK; the UK government has put a cap on immigration from non-EU countries. You may get pregnant but these men will still return to their families when they tire of the power cuts, fuel shortage or they don’t get any more money from their wives abroad.
Spare some thought for vulnerable wives thousands of miles away, waiting for their men to return to them. Don’t be the bullet that maims the brave soldier. Let the men get on with what they’ve come home to do. However, if this appeal to the passionate and protective heart that beats in all women doesn’t work, perhaps then it is necessary to also remind girls that ‘what goes round comes round’.
Readers may wonder why I am not appealing to the men to desist from breaking their wives’ hearts. The reason is this: Men, when confronted with lust, lose all sense of reason (no offence, but it is a proven fact!). By this same token, casual sexual relationships mean nothing to many men but mean great deal to wives. God wired men and women differently, so preaching to the men will probably not achieve the same result as appealing to the better nature of women.