I grew up in a polygamous home. My Dad had two other wives that lived in other parts of the country. I was the first child of my mum, I had five other siblings. I had just one brother who was the last child.
We lived in a two-room apartment in a remote village in Kaduna State. My Dad was a retired soldier and mum, a trader. Dad got a job as a security personnel in a manufacturing company after his retirement.
Life was not that fair to us. Mum suggested we go stay with relatives to relieve her of the burden of training us all because Dad was not supportive at all. Dad was a drunk and a smoker. Most times when he comes home drunk, he beats my mum.
My immediate younger sister who was twenty years old when she was forced to go stay with a relative, dropped out of school when she was twelve. After one year of staying with this relative of ours got pregnant for their security guard. The security guard eventually stopped working for them when she told him about the pregnancy. She took her child(a girl) to stay with her mum. Three years later, she got pregnant for another man, when she gave birth, our relative told her to go stay with my mum. She had to learn tailoring to make ends meet.
I said I won’t allow my younger sister’s story discourage me from studying. I got admission into a college of education. My performance was average. I was someone that loved serving God. Before I graduated from school, I was close to my Pastor in fellowship. He was glad I was zealous with the things of God. He was already a graduate waiting to go for NYSC. We were very close to each other. I saw him as a brother and a spiritual mentor. He taught me many things about God. My spiritual growth was rapid. I never visited him though I knew about the location of his residence.
One fateful day, I heard he was sick so I decided to visit him. I went with fruits and food. When I got there, he was feeling a little bit better. We conversed for long. He pleaded with me to just spend the night with him that nothing was going to happen. I was scared but I told myself that he is a pastor and that he cannot rape me, besides we are friends. I spent the night there and nothing happened.
The day I graduated, my pastor told me he would be leaving going for NYSC camp the next day. So I decided to visit him again. He welcomed me warmly. He prepared spaghetti for dinner. We ate together and I decided to pass the night there because it was already late. I took my bath and slept on his bed. When he was done reading the Bible, he came to join me on the bed. After some minutes his hands started caressing the sensitive parts of my body. I had not felt that way with a man before. We had a great romance. He deflowered me and we both enjoyed what followed.
The next morning, I freshened up and saw him off to the park. I also moved out of school and traveled home to see my family. I never told anyone what happened between my pastor and me.
Three months after what happened at Pastor’s house, I observed that my menstrual flow ceased. I decided to open up to my Pastor about what happened. He was angry at the news, he said i should abort the child and never call him again. I felt humiliated and shattered. I told my mum what happened, she rained all sort of abusive words on me. I began to question God. I was depressed for a while but I told myself I was not going to abort the baby. So I got a job as a cleaner in a school because no organization was willing to employ a pregnant woman.
I gave birth to my baby a few months later. I got a better job in an audit firm. Six years later, I got married to a Chartered accountant. We were married for five years but still remained barren. I decided to bring my daughter who was already eleven years old to come to stay with us. My husband was comfortable with the idea of my daughter coming over to stay with us. A year after she stayed, I caught him at night harassing my daughter sexually. I passed out.
When I recovered I decided to rent a comfortable apartment my daughter and I. My husband impregnated a colleague of his at work after a few months of our separation.
I told myself I will never have anything to do with a man. I began to have doubts about the existence of God. I made sure I helped my daughter recover from the emotional trauma of the sexual harassment she had with my ex-husband.
I built a house for my parents and helped my younger ones that were already leading wayward lifestyles. I decided to turn my pain into gain. My belief in God was restored. I became the CEO of an NGO that aids single mothers financially, emotionally and spiritually.
One day, after counseling a woman I smiled and said: “Indeed God is faithful”.
Livingstone Imonitie is a writer, blogger, public speaker, and inspirational coach. His main aim is to motivate, inspire and teach young folks around the world. His articles and books are being read not only in Africa but around the world.