Association of Concerned Africa Scholars Review (previously: Bulletin)
ACAS Bulletin 83: Sexual and gender based violence in Africa

Onwu Di

September 2009

She dies and…
‘Oh! Take heart’
‘May God comfort you’
‘It’s one of those things’

He dies and it’s…
‘Aahh!!!’ ‘She has done her worst!’
‘Ajoo Nwanyi!’

On sick bed,
On wheels,
Beneath the sea,
In the air,
‘She was the cause!!!’
They always say.

The other people lament
‘What rubbish!’
‘Such injustice!!’
But to deaf ears they fall.

They come in troops
Lazy bones in disguise
To reap where they sowed not in the name of kinship.
Day by day they saunter in, to cast your lot
And at times, battle over the remnants
Like vultures to the carcass.

Stand up!
Get up from your eternal slumber and show us your slayer
For your home is falling apart.
Your kinsmen have ravaged your house.

Your wife has become a barbarian
Made to drink the juice of your corpse
Stripped of her beauty by her skinned head
Ruffled and tossed like a culprit.

They have sentenced her to a dozen months imprisonment
In the confines of your ancestral home.
They gave her white this time to cover her nakedness.
A change from the black that used to be the uniform
And until she completes her days,
The light of the sun she dares not see again
Nor witness the joys of the world.
And when that happens,
A second wife we fear she may become.

The other people lament again,
‘What rubbish!’
‘Such injustice!!’
Yet to deaf ears they still fall.
Your children, we know not their fate
Chased away from your cocoon
Scattered like sheep
Destitute we fear they shall become.

If you do not arise and prove the innocence of your wife,
Then your home we fear,
Is doomed forever.