Thursday, 16 February 2017 00:11

If you want to marry a husband...

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“If you want to marry a husband, never you marry a waka about.  If you marry a waka about o, tomorrow, trouble, trouble, trouble…” goes Nelly Uchendu’s 1970s highlife classic, “Waka About.” The song tells the story of a sweet sixteen seduced by an older man whom she met at a superstore. He was ‘all correct’ – fine looks, fine clothes, fine car. Against her parents’ advice, she married him in a flamboyant society wedding. Post-marriage, she found out he was a womanizer, fraudster, and abuser who regularly used her as a punching bag. Unfortunately, the story ends with her enduring bouts of boxing suggesting that once married to him, she had no recourse. Given this premise, the best way to avoid an abusive marriage is not to get into one. Following are ways to spot a “Waka About.”

1. He plans everything: When he takes you out, he chooses where you go, what you wear, what you discuss, and how you act. He seldom asks what you’d like.
2. He introduces you to a myriad of women but you can’t tell how they’re related to him. Deep down, you suspect he’s dating one or two of them.
3. He has a thin skin and can barely tolerate a slight. If you say or do something that hurts him, he’s unable to accept an apology as the end of the matter. He keeps bringing it up or seeks revenge.
4. He finds it hard to “feel your pain.” He does not care that you’re hurt by his or other’s words or action. Or he pretends to care but repeats the hurtful words or action.
5. He’s using you – for ego boost, status, money, sex, power, etc. You feel the imbalance of your relationship and his exploitation.
6. He’s a god unto himself. Nobody can tell him what to do. No one can counsel him or beg him to treat you better.

Watch out! Stay away from a Waka About.

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Abi Adegboye Ph.D

Abi Adegboye began writing as a young girl growing in western Nigeria.  In a culture that reveres boys, she was born the second of three girls.  Certain she had to be her family's 'boy,' she climbed trees to harvest fruit, dressed chickens for dinner, caught mice, and whatever else required male-handling.  She also loved to read, write, and draw.  Her initial efforts yielded publications in local newspapers and newsletters.  However, she was advised to get a day job which turned out to be as a professor of political science.  This opened to her, a different avenue for publication in her areas of research including African women and development, women migrants, and the impact of public policy on women’s political economy.

On her 40th birthday, she rekindled her creative writing with the publication of Butterfly, a picture book and Reflections on Nigerian Christianity, a social commentary.  Since then, she’s co-authored Owanbe! Yoruba Celebrations of Life (2010), a cultural anthology and published Wanna B Prez? 10 Life Strategies from President Barack Obama’s Journey to the White House (2012), a YA motivational YA book, and Renike comes to America (2016), a novella.  

Abi writes multicultural fiction and nonfiction for children and young adults.  She shares her writing through speaking engagements, performances, storytelling, and classroom visits. 

For more information about Ms. Adegboye’s publications, or to connect with her, visit her

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