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Atoke: Sisi Maggie’s Alternative

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Whenever you’re poor or economically deprived, there are very restricted choices obtainable to you – particularly when you’re a lady. Whereas the patriarchy ensures that girls are firmly on the backside of the meals chain, poor girls have it even worse, as a result of they don’t have the little freedom wealth affords middle-class girls. They’ve little or no recourse to justice when they’re victimized, and there are only a few individuals keen and in a position to get up for them. Women and girls from poor backgrounds should take care of all of the filth the world shoves of their faces, by advantage of their gender, and financial inequality ensures that they wrestle twice as exhausting to get the little portion of humanity that the society is keen to afford them. Bear in mind the Cash Wives story by the BBC final 12 months? Women from poor households had been being offered to repay money owed in Cross River State. Earlier this 12 months, BellaNaija Weddings in collaboration with UNICEF produced a documentary about Grace, a younger woman who was the sufferer of kid marriage.

Poverty is rife in Nigeria, and the inhabitants of poor girls is alarming. Poor girls are raped, overwhelmed, cheated and infrequently traded as commodities. Poor women are married off and suggested that it’s of their finest curiosity to maintain their head low, be subservient, and simply perhaps, perhaps their fates will flip.


Lately, I realized of the story of an attention-grabbing blended household. They’re a wealthy, educated household. Let’s name the mother and father Barrister Steven and Architect Elizabeth. They’ve 5 kids. It seems that, though Architect Liz is the mom of those kids, she didn’t start them. All 5 kids had been birthed by Sisi Maggie. Sisi Maggie is a dealer who was within the village, and was invited to assist Steven and Liz create their household. All 5 children are grown up now, and they’re conscious that each girls are their mothers. They name Liz “Mummy” and Maggie is solely generally known as “Sisi.” They’ve a gaggle household image they usually dwell harmoniously, for all intents and functions. Maggie doesn’t have kids exterior of the SteveLiz unit, and he or she didn’t have an impartial relationship exterior of them. Consider it as having a womb on standby. You can describe it as a surrogacy of some type, however not with medical labs or something fancy like that … simply good ol’ Steven’s penis making common visits to Sisi Maggie’s vagina.

As my buddy narrated the story, I had so many questions: what method of Abram, Sara and Hagar story is that this? How do the children really feel about this? Do they like Liz? Do they like Sisi Maggie? After which there was indignation (the one I had completely no proper to really feel, contemplating I have no idea these individuals). How unfair was it that Maggie gave up her life to fulfill the whims of this classed couple? She principally was rent-a-uterus for this man and his spouse, and what has she gotten in return?

“However she has gotten fairly a great deal out of this, you recognize? She would have been within the village now, in all probability married to at least one poor tailor in Badagry. Right here she is with 5 children in Canada, and considered one of her sons has utilized for PR for her,” my buddy responded to my irritation.

“An excellent deal? She has spent the previous 35 years residing within the shadow of this household! She’s principally a 3rd wheel in a household she helped create,” I mentioned.

“Take into consideration the choice. I nonetheless imagine she made a selection to raised her life, and that was the route that finest suited her on the time,” my buddy mentioned.


That phrase usually comes up in conversations the place girls’s rights are concerned. The flexibility to decide on one’s path and never be held down by the constraints of societal expectations is among the speaking factors of feminism. Feminists aren’t only one approach. They’re allowed to be alternative ways – so long as girls’s rights to decide on are by no means taken away.

“Repeat after me, Maggie selected this methodology of getting out of poverty,” Alero’s phrases jarred me out of the my anger-induced reverie.

My different buddy, Anita, who was on the decision with us reminded us that there have been many classed girls who make these selections on a regular basis – reminding us that generally these selections of being hooked up to an present household unit aren’t merely a results of poverty. “Generally, it’s simply because they need to be part of a household.”

She reminded us of the story of a notable politician’s daughter who opted to be the fifth spouse. Her father may be very wealthy. She can be very nicely educated. In order that debunks the idea of ignorance and illiteracy because the root-cause.


Nonetheless, why does this nonetheless sit uncomfortably with me? If a lady is free to make the selection, and he or she is just not doing it as a result of she is being backed right into a nook, why is that this such a niggling subject in my spirit? I’ve not but narrowed all of it down, however right here are some things that come to thoughts.

1: On the root of it is a system that continues to foster the assumption that attachment to a person is a type of security web. You is perhaps studying this and considering “ansofokwat?” Properly, right here’s why it is a downside in 2019: We now have too many ladies who’re economically deprived just because they’re widows. Go searching you, if you consider widows in Nigeria, you in all probability assume “this poor lady not has somebody to pay her kids’s faculty charges.”

Many non-governmental organisations are centered on supporting ‘widows’ as a result of we all know that the lack of a husband means the lack of a canopy (or earnings stream). This could undoubtedly not be so. A partner shouldn’t be a major supply of earnings, contemplating the fickleness of human nature, and the mere indisputable fact that we merely don’t have any approach to make sure that individual goes to be there all the time. At the very least with a Registered Retirement Financial savings plan, you recognize it’ll convert to a Registered Retirement Earnings Fund if you flip 70.

2: As a result of we by no means see any younger males marrying girls who have already got husbands, simply to be part of a household, it’s protected to say that the ‘selection’ is just not one that’s open to each women and men. Patriarchy means this selection is one which society forces girls to make. Wealthy or poor, girls are considered as a commodity – both self traded or publicly traded.

three: When a person is sterile, you’ll by no means see Michael the housekeeper, who’s the organic father of the kids within the family, posing with Deborah and Amos in a nifty household photograph. You already know why? As a result of the sanctity of a person’s manhood is protected in any respect prices. Even when Deborah has sought different technique of conception, it is going to be a secret. No person is bringing Michael residence as Bobo Michael beside Daddy.

Whats up Patriarchy, the protector of males – wealthy and poor. So long as patriarchal methods stay firmly in place, the idea of selection can be a dicey factor. How a lot selection does a lady have when she’s struggling to place meals on her desk in a society that sees her as a device for males? How a lot selection do you could have when you may’t afford contraception? How a lot selection do you could have when your selections are deep blue sea and blue-eyed Lucifer?

Sisi Maggie’s selection was pared right down to this as a result of she’s a poor lady. Poverty + womanhood = Unhealthy Market x2.

I do know feminine empowerment is a buzzword that everybody desires to experience into the sundown, however so long as the world stays unfavourable to girls, so long as society continues to see girls as commodities, then empower all you need, however the consequence will stay the identical.

Lastly, whereas we sit in our cool workplaces and lie in our comfy beds considering of how fortunate we’re to have the ability to sit in rooms with males, we have now to ask the query: when are we going to start out extending these choices to poor girls?

When will marginalized, indigent girls be capable of make selections from a pool of choices which can be equitable?

We’re not free till we’re all free.

When you’re right here, there are a couple of methods you may help economically deprived girls round you. This consists of donating to organizations that assists them. Listed here are a couple of of them:

You by no means know who would possibly want this info. 😉 #WomensRightsAreHumanRights #EndDomesticViolenceInNigeria

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— Atoke (@Atoke_) Might 13, 2019

Challenge Alert:

— Atoke (@Atoke_) Might 13, 2019

Aunt Landa Bethel Basis:

— Atoke (@Atoke_) Might 13, 2019

Human Improvement Initiative:

— Atoke (@Atoke_) Might 13, 2019

Stand to Finish Rape:

— Atoke (@Atoke_) Might 13, 2019

Mirabel Middle:

— Atoke (@Atoke_) Might 13, 2019

CeCeYara Basis (Youngster sexual abuse)

— Atoke (@Atoke_) Might 13, 2019

WARIF (Ladies At Threat Worldwide Basis)

— Atoke (@Atoke_) Might 13, 2019

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