The Counselling Session With Madam K : Her Name Was Simbi

By Onozasi

Welcome to the counselling room with Madam K. As usual, we will read stories from survivors, people who have been through the odds and have stood against the odds. I am sharing these stories to awaken us, to make us know that people are going through a lot of inhumane treatment. 

On the couch today, I have a woman who has faced the vicissitude of life. She lost her daughter Simbi to underage marriage. She wanted more for her, she wanted her to be an economist, she wanted her to blossom like a fine wine but traditions, inhumane traditions took her away from the juice of life. It cut her life off the dreams she would have fulfilled.

Join me in this conversation with Halima, Simbi’s mother.

muslim women

Madam K : Can you share your story with us?

Halima : My name Hajiya Halima from Nasarawa, the second wife of Alhaji Musa in Nasarawa. I got married to Alhaji when I was 17. It is a tradition from where I come from. I struggled with child bearing for four years after marriage before I had my children. I gave birth to three kids. Simbi was my first child, a smart girl and I sincerely didn’t want her to experience what I experienced. Simbi was smart, she could identify anything from a very tender age, she did well in her nursery/primary school. I was proud of my daughter and I remembered that I went to beg her father to allow Simbi decide who she wants to marry and when she wants it. He assured me that nothing would go wrong with our daughter and as my daughter began to grow, I noticed she took calculations seriously, she was an accountant. She gave account for the littlest things. She didn’t want to see anything go wrong around the house. My baby girl! {breaks down in tears}

Madam K : Calm down… So, what happened to Simbi?

Halima : As Simbi got promoted to  SS2, I already started making plans with a friend of mine to Lagos so that Simbi could go to Lagos. She has started preparing for her senior WAEC when her father gave me the most disturbing news. He said his friend Mustapha likes the smartness of Simbi and would want to marry her so he can groom her. That’s how they say it, you will get married to an older man who would groom you. Whether he has three wives or more, he wants to groom you. You are not allowed to talk. So, he came and told me that Simbi would be going to Kano after her school session and would become Mustapha’s wife. Mustapha already had two wives, Simbi would be the youngest and according to them, the smartest for his business too. I begged my husband, I told him Mustapha could easily marry someone else and leave our Simbi alone but he refused he said Mustapha would take care of Simbi.  Moreover, giving Simbi to him is little to what he has done for him and his business. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t talk to anyone because no one would listen to me. Simbi was just 15 years old.

Madam K : She was married out at 15? 

Halima : Yes. She was married out at 15.  The night my husband told me, Simbi over heard the conversation and begged me to beg her father. I cried to sleep that night and I was sure my baby girl didn’t go to sleep too. I tried all I could to persuade her father to let this slip but he refused to listen. So, after that term, she was given to Mustapha as wife and she left for Kano. We didn’t see her again, her father told me not to visit her so she could concentrate on being a good wife and learn from her older wives. She couldn’t go to school anymore because they felt it would make her rebellious or she might run away from home. I really wished my child ran away from home to Lagos. I wished someone took her away. After sometime, precisely after a year, I was allowed to go visit her in Kano. She looked pale, she looked sick, when I saw my daughter I was sad. She hugged me and wept bitterly. ‘mama, I want to go  back to school, I want to fulfill my dreams’ those were her words. I couldn’t take her along, they will kill us both. There was nothing I could do again so I told her that someday, she will write a different story in a different place. That night as I Journeyed back to Nasarawa, I was in severe pain. What happened to me was happening to my daughter, Simbi. I wanted to go to school before my father took me to Musa’s house to get married to him. Moreover, I was sent to Simbi to ask why she hadn’t gotten pregnant for Mustapha... Can you imagine?

Madam K : What? 

Halima : Yes, Madam K. I was told to go talk to her to get pregnant but when I got there, I couldn’t say a word even though I lied that we discussed when I got home. Some months after I went to Kano, Simbi became pregnant and my husband celebrated the news like none other. He was happy but I wasn’t, I was scared. Simbi was too young and fragile to handle pregnancy but I got encouraged that the older wives would take care of her. I spoke with the second wife to help me monitor he. Let me also say, the second wife of Mustapha was just 20 and she already had three kids for him.  She promised me that she would take care of her and I kept praying to the Almighty to help my daughter.

Madam K : So, what happened? She lost the baby?

Halima : During child birth, she was taken to a local maternity centre, that’s where the family uses. They were told to take her to the hospital after 7 hours of labour pain they realised that her vaginal was too small to bring out the baby so they needed to do an operation for her. By the time they got to the medical centre, Simbi had lost blood, water and strength. When she got into the theatre, they were able to bring out her baby but they lost Simbi. She died.

Madam K : What a tragedy!  What do you intend to do now?

Halima : After the whole thing, I got home, packed my bags and left with Simbi’s baby and my boys. I came to stay with a friend of mine in Lagos and I started petty business, started sending my boys to school. I am determined to take care of my children and my grandchild. I will send her to school and this time, the story will be different.

Madam K : I am willing to support you. I will give you a place in our home for women. We will take care of your boys and take care of little Simbi. This time, the story will be different. 

Halima : {Breaks down in tears} Thank you Ma. Thank you and her name is Aishat.

Madam K : Aishat will live, she will blossom, she will fulfill her dreams. Well done, Fearless Woman. You are an inspiration. Well done. 

To be continued nextweek…

Source: Above Whispers

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4 Responses to The Counselling Session With Madam K : Her Name Was Simbi

  1. Olakunle Olajide January 25, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    So sad and painful. This early child marriage is sincerely untenable. It is a wicked act and as such a deprivation of the lives of young girls. This is just so sad and to think of it that it is still rampant in this jet age is just so confusing.

    Reply
  2. Vivian January 25, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    Oh my God! there are thousands of girls facing this in the north. It is so sad.

    Reply
  3. Oluchi February 1, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    Aishat will live her dreams.

    Reply
  4. DSEED February 1, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    This is so pathetic. And what has the father gain losing her daughter cause of foolish tradition. No to premature marriages.

    Reply

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