My late grandma “Sabitiu Cecilia Oderinlo” aka “Iya Alaté” (Business Woman) aka “Iya Onidiri” (Hair Stylist) aka “My First Wife” was called “BARREN” for the better part of her youthful and adult years in marriage. Was she really barren? Yes she was.
My granddad was polygamous so she nursed and raised the children of all the wives of “Pa Eniola Augustine Oderinlo” aka “Baba Ori Oke” (The man that lives on the hilltop) aka “Awole Esu” (The Destroyer of Devils House) my grandfather like her own without having a child of her own. She was called barren the abusive way and she lived with it for years and years because her husband only saw the wife of his youth and not a barren woman and that was good enough reason for her to ignore everything else and love everything that has the breathe of her handsome husband on it.
Then heaven opened up her womb after decades of waiting and she got pregnant with her first. Her first child was named “Oluwarantimi” meaning “God Remembered Me“. She was so old and the child was so handsome that the missionaries (Rev. Sisters) at the Sacred Heart Hospital, Itesi, behind Ake Palace in Abeokuta, Ogun State in Nigeria offered to help her take care of my dad until she could learn to take care of a child on her own, little did they know that she was an expert at it already, she’s been nursing her husband’s children even when there was no hope of her ever having one of her own. A few years later, she had another child “Olatundun” my aunt and by then, the woman that was once a “Barren Old Bat” was the mother of two children of her own, and the many other her lovely husband had managed to born for her to care for. She told us her grandchildren the many tales of her tormentors and accusers, their show of madness and how she realised that being called “Agan” i.e. barren was just a word describing her present condition and not her final destination.
The bible described the likes of Sarah, Leah, etc. has barren… The birth of Ishmael was almost a proof of Sarah’s total bareness but God proved everything right with Isaac. Same situation for my Sabitiu but I’m a proof that the word “BARREN” is used to describe a woman that is yet to give birth to a child and not a woman that can’t have children.
I wrote a creative piece recently and in it, I talked about Patience Goodluck Jonathan’s being without a child of her own. I thought up a very unusual reason for it, not with the intent of mocking her, just a product of my creative energy, all in a bid to pass a message about the decay in Nigeria’s academic environment and everybody just felt it was insulting, abusive, offensive and every other word that ends with “ive” without noticing the message of my art. I sat to think of it afterwards and imagined, “what if it was a comedian that shared the narratives I did, won’t we all laugh about it and call it a crazy joke?”, my answer to that was yes and it was scary. Wow! Ain’t We All Hypocrites?
My initial creative expression was filled with narratives of Patience’s bareness and how D&C aka abortion could be the cause and nobody is looking at the text holistically to see the lessons, rather we are all more concerned and consumed by the fact that I mentioned real names and used real life examples. Please tell me, if I can’t use Gooduck and his wife to illustrate our inherent problems as a people and nation, who could be more suitable?
My art addressed the issues of lecturers sleeping with students to award them unearned marks but because my specimen was Goodluck and Patience Jonathan, everybody seems to be blind to the facts of my narratives. Someone should please tell me, how Patience Jonathan pass Biology in College under her lecturer GEJ? If Patience can’t read or deliver a complete sentence without shooting down the walls of Jericho with grammatical blunders, how did she graduate with a degree in Biology and Psychology? We are all busy asking for Buhari’s certificate, how did Patience Jonathan who has one pass her General Studies courses like English Language, not to imagine the complex field of biology and its many jargons that requires you spelling each word correctly. I did study Biology in my Secondary School days and I am almost sure she would have failed Biology at that level if she attended Awori Anglican Comprehensive High School my alma matter, so I’m wondering how she passed the same subjects at tertiary level in Rivers State College of Education and University of Port Harcourt (UniPort), your guess is as good as mine. No wonder GEJ got a 1st Class PhD from the same UniPort, did I hear somebody say “settlement & runs“, and it is possible because he and she seem to be good at settling and runsing things.
What will you do if you walk into a psycho session and your shrink is Patience Jonathan, will you sit down and talk to her as your psychologist or run out screaming? What language will she use to communicate and administer the therapy, pidgin or Ikwere or Igbo? These are the questions we need to ask because my post was only addressing the decays in our academic community, the community that serves as the building block of our society.
Bareness is not a problem because it has a solution. It is either you get pregnant and give birth to your own children like my grandma did eventually, adopt or allow your husband have one or two outside your marriage and you take them as yours like Sarah in the scriptures or Patience Jonathan did, or you live with that reality. It’s hard I know but there is always a way out of bareness. There is no easy way out of the decay our academic communities are producing, that’s why we have a Dr. and an Arc. as Presidents and the top still feels empty because there is no real value driven individuals up there representing the interest of the people, that is why we have so-called graduates that are unemployable, graduates who can’t deliver a minute worth of value in the subject matter they claimed to have earned a first or second degree in.
Barren is an insultive word, D&C is f**ked up according to my cousin but it’s tight lyrics when MI Abaga uses D&C in almost every song he’s written and released, all we do is sing along. In fact rape is cool when Olamide sings about it; it is “story for the gods”. It’s excellent when lecturers award marks for sex and make life a living hell for those that can’t use biology practical to pass mathematics. Abortion is a cure for sexual mistakes but “barren” is bad word even when most of it is caused by abortion, I wonder why the word exists.
Our society can only change in the future if parents will slow down and start training their children instead of saving up for special centres. A child whose WAEC and JAMB results was purchase by her parent will gladly use biology practical (sex) to pass any course she can use it to pass, or use it to get money to buy the marks when biology practical can solve it, it’s called runs.
I feel no remorse talking about a woman being childless, it is the problem of humanity and nothing can stop bareness from existing, after all, I am Abidemi Babaolowo Oderinlo the grandson of a barren woman.
I Write What I Like