Home General Issues Guest Contributor Ekuba: Were you fucked up after he fucked you?

Guest Contributor Ekuba: Were you fucked up after he fucked you?

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When did you hear the word “fuck” for the first time? I heard it for the first time in Sunday school when I was an innocent eight-year-old girl (yes, I will start therapy soon).

An impish boy, whom we shall call John, gave someone the middle finger while we were all singing: Jesus loves me this I know. Immediately, a tittle-tattler among us yelled:  “Bro. Sammy! John just told someone to fuck off?!!!” So, Bro. Sammy, our long-suffering Sunday school teacher was forced to tell us, albeit shamefacedly, the concise meaning of the word “fuck” and why good Christian children do not use that word. Don’t ask me to tell you what Bro. Sammy said, I can’t disclose it.

Ladies, the question I want to ask you is: “Were you fucked up after he fucked you?” Was your health messed up after you had sex with your lover/ partner/ fling? Were you infected with HIV?

You see, some months ago, I had to answer that question. After consecutively dating a slew of losers (I swear, my girlfriends were fed up with my dating drama), I met my boyfriend whom I love and who treats me like a queen.

After dating for a while, my boyfriend and I agreed that we were going to start giving each other some ‘sugar’. Since our sexual relationship was going to be strictly exclusive, we decided to get tested for HIV. Yikes!!! HIV? You see, I had not exactly been a saint in my past relationships.

I dated Slippery Jack. Anytime I had sex with Slippery Jack, the condom slipped off. Diverse condoms were used but they all slipped off. Finally, I said “what the fuck?” (No pun intended), went on the pill and started having unprotected sex with him. When our relationship ended, the fool admitted to me that he used to surreptitiously take the condoms off during sex and pretend that they had slipped off by themselves.

Then I dated Mr. Sleazy who was married (I was such a fool). I assumed I was his only mistress and since he didn’t like condoms and I was on the pill, you know what happened, right?  After all, he looked so respectable and intelligent; he couldn’t possibly be HIV positive, could he? (As I said, I was a fool). Soon, I discovered that I was not his only mistress. Mr. Sleazy regularly banged his female students in his office (what did I expect?). You know how we learnt in sex-ed class that if you sleep with someone, you are sleeping with all the people he has slept with? Well, thanks to Mr. Sleaze, I slept with half of the graduating class of 2013- without protection!

As I thought about my past mistakes, I became too terrified to take the HIV test. What would happen if I tested positive? Would I lose like one hundred pounds within one month, get shingles and die? Would I have to swallow fifty bitter pills daily just to stay alive?

Distressed, I googled “women living with HIV”. That was how I discovered the girl like me blog http://www.girllikeme.org. Its bloggers are women living with HIV around the globe. They are soccer moms, teachers, artists, models and all the cream of society you can think of.  They blog about coping with the disease and the drugs they take which ensure that they live healthy lives for a long, long time.

My stereotypes were shattered. These were strong, beautiful, intelligent and dignified women who could have been my aunts and sisters and grandmothers. Several of them had HIV negative husbands and partners who were aware of their HIV status. Some of them had met their partners after being diagnosed with HIV. Their medication decreased their viral load so that they did not infect their partners during sex (they also used condoms). Many of them had children who were healthy and HIV negative. Some of these children were conceived and born after their mothers’ HIV diagnosis.

Through the blog, I made a friend called Mandy[1]. Mandy is an amazing woman who has an adorable son. Despite living with HIV, Mandy is the most positive person I know! We write to each other often and she inspires me so much. Mandy is due to speak at a conference in Washington in July and I am so proud of her! Mandy made me realize that even if my test came out positive; I would still live and live very well too! I took the test and luckily, it came out negative.

The point of this article is: Please get tested for HIV. Doctors recommend that sexually active persons should test every 6 months to 1 year. A once-in-a-lifetime test is just not good enough! There are free testing centers (VCTs) in most government hospitals in Ghana. The earlier you test the better because you would be given medication to prevent the virus from wrecking your body so that you can live a long, healthy, normal life. The number of pills you have to take has reduced drastically over the years. The drugs sometimes have difficult side-effects but your healthcare providers can assist you to manage that.

Y’all can see from the details of my sex life that I have generously supplied that I am the least qualified person to preach you but please protect yourselves. My single sisters, let’s use condoms consistently. You really can’t tell who is infected. Think you can tell? Click here:  http://www.posornot.com  to play an exciting game. My married friends, statistics claim you are very vulnerable to HIV so please don’t close your mind to this matter.  Sadly, if your husband is cheating on you, then you are also sleeping with all those women he’s cheating on you with.

Can we all pledge not to discriminate against persons living with HIV? After all, HIV is a disease just like malaria or diabetes only that it has no known cure. It is only ignorant people who still believe that HIV is a disease for gay people and whores.

Lots of love my darlings and stay safe!

 

P.S: I apologize to my Reverend, Grandmother and all pure minded souls for repeatedly using ‘fuck’ in this article



[1] Not her real name

70 COMMENTS

  1. I initially laughed out loud at the double entendre employed with the word “fuck” and thought I was in for a comedy. Then I thought I was in for a tragedy, thinking you were infected with HIV! So many highs and lows, and such a great message. What a way to start my day!

  2. I’ve had an HIV test twice. My motivation? That the sooner I know, the better I can do something about it! The first time I agonised all the way to the clinic, recounting all those “moments” that shouldn’t have happened. I however cannot express the relief I felt when it was negative. I got tested again when I got a new boyfriend – and consequently split up: just to make sure I hadn’t been “fucked up”. I think testing occasionally is a habit I’m going to keep plus making sure I avoid all “slippery jacks”. Many of us take risks and think that we can get away with it, even if we don’t, we should understand that times have changed and we can live fulfilling lives with or without disease.

  3. @ Akutor : “The first time I agonized all the way to the clinic” – I know right! Those moments before you take the test and get your results are so nerve wracking but if you’re brave it pays off. Very proud of you for testing regularly! As for mr. ‘slippery jack’, please avoid him cos he’s lurking around… and may be coming to an area near you… soon

  4. You asked a very important question, can we all pledge to not discriminate against people with HIV….this should be answered by all with a resounding YES! Back in the day, I used to be a very active community service volunteer. I remember volunteering at a home for orphaned children with HIV, and it was saddening to meet a young mother who worked in the home. I was very close to her, and she felt comfortable telling me about her HIV status -positive. She had thought many a time of committing suicide because of this. It wasn’t about the disease-it was the STIGMA that drove her to wanting to end her life. She looked forward to my visit, because I would always greet her with a hug…..A hug meant a lot to her! Her own husband, who was the culprit had left and remarried, could not even touch her or even eat the food she prepared! How hypocritical-but you get my point.

    Let’s love one another, for you never know your fate tomorrow. But let’s wrap those Mandigo peepee’s up yo, for the love that is holy and orgasmic.

    NB: In the girl like me chronicles, the story about the Indian woman who was living in Dubai with her husband, but had to leave the country because of her status, left a bad taste in my mouth. That right there is discrimination at its finest, and you wonder why people with HIV don’t disclose their status?!

  5. @ African Mami: Very impressed that you volunteered at an orphanage for children living with hiv. could you kindly send me the name & address of the orphanage? (email, ekubabentil@gmail.com).
    True, the story from the girl like me blog (link below):
    http://girllikeme.org/2010/12/01/sonias-intro/
    about the Indian woman (Sonia) who was forced to leave Dubai because she was hiv positive is really sad. I think countries should follow USA’s example and repeal all laws that prevent persons living with HIV from visiting/ living in those countries. The good news is that after several years of trying to conceive, Sonia is finally pregnant! Silver lining in cloud, huh?

  6. hahaha! charley, i just love this article! such interesting characters. I wonder where john and bro. sammy are now. and as for slippery jack and mr sleazy, hmmm! we men too we can be ‘someway’ sometimes eh? I have been scared as sh** to test for HIV but your article has convinced me to do it. Kudos Ekuba!

  7. @ Kofi: so glad you liked the article. Wow! even gladder you’ve decided to test! hmmm, Some men are ‘someway’ but not all men. i’m sure you are not ‘someway’ 🙂 you know what? i met john in kumasi a year ago and he’s now a really cool dude and a very competent engineer. to the best of my knowledge, he has stopped giving innocent people the middle finger! bro. sammy is somewhere in the US, still as longsuffering as ever! what can i say about slippery jack and sleazy? ladies, RUN!!!

  8. I had no idea that it was common for hiv negative people to date hiv negative people. isnt such a relationship going to be filed with a lot of fear and stress

  9. @Susan – I suspect you mean, you had no idea that it was common for an HIV negative person to date an HIV positive person. Here are my thoughts: a lot of people do not know their HIV status, so you can have an HIV negative person unknowingly dating an HIV positive person. There are also several ‘sero discordant couples’ , i.e. one partner is living positively – at the last International AIDS conference that I attended I attended a session where a sero discordant couple were sharing their experience. Like many other couples they were together because they are in love, and want to be together in spite of the virus.

    @Ekuba – this is a great post, thank you for writing it, and I hope to get many more contributions from you

  10. @ Susan: I must admit that I’m not armed with statistics so I do not know exactly how many hiv negative people are dating hiv positive people currently. Nevertheless, i know that these relationships exist (technical term for such relationships is: serodiscordant relationships). I found an article which discusses serodiscordant relationships and a study conducted on same. hope you find it helpful!
    http://aidsmap.com/Serodiscordant-relationships-for-Africans-in-the-UK-often-marked-by-uncertainty-and-disempowerment/page/2152637/

  11. I am a health personnel and I have to say that I was very saddened during the International HIV day last year when it was revealed that the Global Fund would no longer be able to help subsidize medication for persons living with HIV (ART). How devastating? how will these people be able to afford their drugs? I know our Vice-Prez said government will step in to help but how far can government help? This is an important issue which must be addressed.

  12. @ Akosua B: I side with you that this is a very sad issue. I know that African countries have several challenges to deal with but I think that we have to prioritize well so we address these challenges appropriately. HIV remains one of the most important issues in Africa today and we must treach it as such. I was glad to hear in the news today that Bill Gates has pledged $750 million to the Global Fund to help it combat HIV (among others diseases). It appears that there is still more that we all (myself included) can do to help fight this terrible disease.

  13. @ Nana Darkoah: very well said ; I couldn’t have said it any better (your reply to Susan). concerning contributing again to this blog: I certainly will. How can i not? this posting is the first blog posting i’ve written in my life and now that my blog posting “virginity” has been broken, i am so going to keep on contributing again & again.

  14. I just don’t get it? why would an hiv negative person marry or even date an hiv positive person? is it that the person loves death or hates his life or what? what sort of irresponsibilty is that? eventually, the negative person will get infected and then give birth to children who are also positive. what sort of unnecessary stress is that? why would you enter a relationship where you will always be afraid of getting some disease? is the hiv positive person the only human being in the world? Ekuba you can go ahead and marry an HIV positive person if you like but don’t try to convince us to live a dangerous life

  15. The links you provided are really helpful. There is so much information we don’t have about HIV. Thanks for raising the issue, I wish this information becomes common knowledge soon because it will help to break the stigma associated with the disease.

    To Jayjay I say, why don’t you read some more about what Ekuba is talking about before you jump to admonish her. Our ignorance really kills!

  16. @ jay jay: jay oh jay! sweetheart, i cannot tell you whom to love and i’m very sorry if you felt in anyway that i was “convincing you to live a dangerous life” but i would like to encourage you to read more on this issue and not judge! i’m sure as you read more, you’ll discover that when a person living with hiv takes certain precautions eg: taking anti retrovirals consistently and using condoms, it is highly unlikely that he/ she will infect his/ her partner! you will also discover that hiv positive women are giving birth daily to hiv negative children because of progress in medical science. best wishes!

  17. I hear you Ekuba. great point. but let’s be realistic, we’re in africa. how easy is it for the average woman to ‘demand’ that her partner/ husband goes and gets tested for hiv or even uses condoms if she suspects he’s cheating? i’m married and although i dont suspect my hubby of cheating, i cant start making demands that he should test for hiv every year and if i ever suspect him of cheating, i cant just insist he should use a condom with me unless i want my marriage to fall apart. so you see how it is in reality.

  18. hahaha! the beginning of this story is so hilarious! just reading this morning. i’m a ‘silent’ reader of this blog but you’ve forced me to comment today. i agree with nana d, u should wryt more often. nice one

  19. i had an hiv test for the first time last month. i’m starting marriage counselling and my church demands for the results before they will start counselling. the people at the hospital where i tested were very unfriendly when i told them what i was there to do. they treated me like a prostitute. it was only when they realized i was testing just because of the counselling and not because of anything that they became nice and then were asking me about my fiance etc and one woman even began to advise me about marriage. so in my opinion, the stigma is still there.

  20. i hear you ekuba. cool posting but just rememba d@ we’re in africa ok? les b realiztk. i’m a married woman n an african @ d@ married to a very african man. n i can neva demand d@ my hubby tests for hiv or force him 2 use condom cuz i think he’z cheatin. i dont want my marige to fall apart u kno. how many women can do dis? so les b real.

  21. @ Ama,

    Give us a break with your, “we’re in africa ok” rant, let’s be realistic. HIV test is a must! Do you know, African women and young children are the most affected, disproportionately so, in this whole HIV/AIDS debacle. I had to do a double take on your very IGNORANT comment! I would rather your marriage falls apart——>yeah right, than you stay married——–and are diagnosed with HIV! Your health and sanity trumps marriage intactness, as per your very illogical argument! I am not married yet, and HIV testing is a MUST before we walk down that aisle. I am not going to play chessboard with MY life, and so should you not. I don’t know whether, you have anybody who is close to you, who has been infected with the disease. It is NO JOKE!

  22. Lol @ African Mami, I hear your passion but Ama raises a very valid point. We do have to be realistic in our advice to people, and I think the scenario that Ama describes is a very real one that the majority of African women grapple with. It is for this very reason that women centred approaches to HIV prevention must be found. I am aware that there has been some scientific research into gels (cannot remember the proper names now) that women can use to prevent HIV, kinda like a spermicide. Its important that scientists and researchers when exploring ways of preventing HIV also explore gels and tablets that can be controlled by women. We have to remember that the problem here is the social system that puts men in positions of dominance over their wives. Ama’s situation is the reason why married women are most at risk of HIV

  23. @ Nana,

    Oh my how my heart bleeds. Yes, indeed we do live in a paternalistic society, BUT this disease is not a respecter of gender dominance or inequality for that matter. It is high time that women took the bull by its horns and arrested the situation! Married women, and especially the ones in rural Africa who are very much uneducated about their rights as women, suffer in silence, because we choose to be employ DIPLOMACY and tact so that we can soothe the egos of this men! STOP it already! If I’m in rural Africa, and my husband works in the capital city, best believe we ain’t sexing until I know his status. Truth of the matter is that, these men go to work in the cities, and come back home to die! I personally know ENOUGH of men that have done this, infected their wives, have already passed on to heavenly-hopefully hell glory!

    There is no need to sugarcoat this matter! We cover up the truth of this disease in favor of cultural ideals! Fuck that! I’m just tired. If you think your husband is sexing out of town, and not you alone in your marital bed, DEMAND for a clean slate of health bill!

    We need to know our worth as African women. I don’t know whether I need to copy and paste a picture of a person infected with this disease-those sores are painful as all hell! And then here we are talking about being African. I call and cry BS when I see it!

  24. @ Ajua: it’s so sad that sometimes, the very health caregivers who are supposed to encourage us to test for HIV are the ones who discourage us. I will tell you a short story- first time i tested for hiv was at a hospital and i had to announce to the receptionist (in front of several patients) what i wanted to do before she sent me to the lab technician who ‘grilled’ me with several questions about why i wanted to test! no kidding! however, i found that the staff at VCTs are usually non-judgmental and empathetic due to the special training they receive in this regard. Perhaps we should all advocate for more VCTs and also for health personell to be trained on how to relate to people who come for HIV tests.

  25. @ Ama: i hear you my sister! i am not married so, i admit that you are better positioned than i am to discuss the diverse challenges that married women face with regards to hiv. however,ultimately, the responsibility rests on each woman to protect her health as much as she can whether or not she is married. i hope you catch my drift? this blog posting was written not to break up marriages or judge married women or propagate ‘foreign’ ideas. it was written for you and me, for every african woman, to encourage us to do ALL we can to stay hiv negative (if we are negative) or to take good care of ourselves if we’ve tested hiv positive and know that it’s not the end of the world. lots of love!

  26. @ Nana Darkoa: you are right . the reality is that it is very difficult for most african women to ask their partners to test for hiv or use condoms. Shoot, i’m a typical example! lol! as i wrote in the blog posting, even when i was dating someone whom i knew was married (and thus by extension having sex with at least 1 person without protection) it was still difficult for me to insist on condom use. i am privileged to be educated and yet i made this bad decision; so what about our illiterate sisters or those living below the poverty line? about the gel: discovered yet another link that discusses the hiv gel for women and why the gel’s trial was halted: http://healthland.time.com/2011/11/29/a-trial-of-an-anti-hiv-gel-in-women-is-halted/

  27. @ African Mami: you are so so so right! as African women, we’re socialized to believe that our most important achievement is our marriage and children (and of course, these are all important). so, often, we’re ready to die for our marriages to succeed and we’re ready to be humiliated by ‘pastors’ and spiritualists so we can have children. My heart goes out to every woman who has had to compromise more than she was willing to because she wanted to secure a relationship. I have found myself in that position so many times! I think the solution is as you put it, African Mami: to know our worth as women and do all we can to protect our health. PS: sweetheart, i am still waiting for the name and address of the orphanage. can you send to ekubabentil@gmail.com pleaaaase? thanks!

  28. To All: Ajua said (comment above) that she is starting marriage counselling and her church has demanded for her hiv results before she would be allowed to marry. yesterday, joy fm reported that a church in accra insists that couples who desire to marry MUST test for diseases (including hiv) and show the results to the pastors/ counsellors before they wil lbe allowed to marry. In your opinion is this right or wrong? does it protect hiv negative people (by revealing their partner’s status to them) or unnecessarily victimizes hiv positive people (by having their status revealed to a pastor/ counselor)

  29. @ Ekuba,

    Noted. Just being lazy.

    It is WRONG for a church to demand to know about my health status. That is MY business and MY PARTNER! Since when did the church extend its holy dominion into my life. That is where I draw the line, if I go to hell for that…let it be so!

    Revealing one’s status under duress pressure is VICTIMIZATION! If a pastor is going to demand to know about MY HIV status-then I in turn will demand to see the same! Basically, what I’m driving at, is they need to mind their own business and about their own sexual health instead of minding mine!

    I would hate to be an attendant of that church, because I am very vocal when it comes to my rights! That much I know!

  30. hahaha! oh my goodness! gosh, African Mami, you are so outspoken! really pity any pastor who’ll dare ask you for your HIV status! will send the memo around to all pastors! moving on….

    what about the rest of y’all sweethearts? what do you think? is it good or bad (or somewhere in b’tween) for a church to demand hiv test results before it officiates a wedding ceremony? does the church not have the right to determine which marriages it’ll officiate?and will this not protect hiv negative people?

  31. Ama–THE HELL???!!! I’m going to assume that you were playing devil’s advocate and looking to promote debate and that you do not believe for one second what you wrote in your comment. My brain, small as it is, would implode otherwise. It’s one thing to not know better, but seeing as you posted your comment in English, it’s safe to assume you have some education so ignorance cannot be the issue. If your husband is cheating on you and you know about it: 1. Work it out, have him tested, know his status and make an informed decision, or 2. LEAVE or better yet, send HIM packing to his mistress (or mister, you never know these days!). You can’t POSSIBLY have such little self love that you would rather play Russian roulette with your one life just to keep the “dream” of being a Mrs alive than step up to your PARTNER (note emphasis on the word partner–you should be equals in the relationship) and request an HIV test if you have reason to believe one needs to be conducted. My father always said “You teach people how to treat you” and if you would rather be a doormat and knowingly subject yourself to a life of health and emotional challenges because of your husband’s hypothetical infidelities it makes me shudder to think what other treatment you are willing to accept or are currently experiencing at the hands of your spouse. Also, please don’t play the “poor little African wife/damsel in distress card.” I am an African woman married to a most African of all men and your views DO NOT represent us. We as women folk in general have come way too far!

    Also, I’m a little concerned by some of the responses to Ama’s comment. Why are people backing down to her? I’m all for open mindedness and being nonjudgemental but not when the price to pay is someone’s health or worse yet, the health of any as-yet-unborn children who could sooooo easily be protected? Isn’t it our job as a community to help her see the error of her ways rather than saying, “Oh yes, my sister, you are right oo. We African women have no rights oo, hmm.”

    BTdub, Nana Darkoa and Abena, I’m an avid reader even though I’m a lurker. Love, love, love the blog though it’s been responsible for many a late morning : (

    Sorry, for any typos but I’m so heated I can’t see straight!

  32. @ Ephy: totally understand why you are so heated (and maybe it’s cos i’m sleepy but i cant see no typos! lol)! it’s quite frustrating when you see people taking positions that make them vulnerable to hiv and you know that you owe them a duty (as a sister) to yank them out of that position fast! i guess the difficulty is figuring out how to balance that duty with empathy so that the ‘errant sister’ isnt driven away. as i stated, i’m not married so it’s refreshing to get the views of ‘an African woman married to a most African man’ on this matter. More power to you! PS: now that you’re not lurking anymore, i’d love to hear what you think about churches insisting couples test for hiv and submit the results to a counsellor before marriage.

  33. To All Ladies: Ephy’s comment has prompted me to ask,1. how easy/ difficult do you find it insisting that your partner/ husband tests for hiv? 2.have you or anyone you know ever caught your/ her partner cheating before and did you/ she insist he uses a condom till he’s cleared? 3. are you or anyone you know in a polygamous relationship and are you/ she freaked out about being infected with hiv by one of the other wives and are there any precautions taken to prevent this from happening?

  34. sorry to every1 d@ my comments posted twice. my compu messed up.
    African Mami, u r not married so what do u know abt married life n its challenges? come back and preach to us all when u marry and hv practical experience

  35. Ephy, u r bothered papa! is it cuz of the small thin i said that u hv written a 2 page speech? hahaha. i’m not playin devils advocate o, i’v bn happily married for 7yrs with 2 boys & a girl bcos i’ve kept an open mind. i dont botha myself wit wheda my hubby’s cheatin or nt cuz i trust him nt 2 bring any strange disease home. as 4 u, i’m sure ur hubby’s cheatin on u n keepin it a secret cuz of ur mari gyata (lioness) attitude. grow up and stop bein too known.

  36. @ Ama,

    You are right my sista, I don’t know zero about marriage and its challenges. But what I do know is, I am not preaching,it is what it is! Nyhoo, since we wont see eye to eye on this subject matter, I respect your opinion on it.

    Peace and Blessings

  37. Hi everyone most especially Ekuba. This is Mandy. i finally managed to get to the blog after being busy but better late than never. like Ekuba said am HIV positive and have an adorable 5 year old son. The challenges we as african women face is immense. Am only glad that we now realise that we have the power in our lives to make a difference in our lives and for me i always tell my friends that HIV will not stop me from living my life. I always remind myself that the only chalenge is having to take my meds for the rest of my life. i have lived through a discordant reltionship that went bad, a still birth but am stronger than ever and believe my greatest and best life is still ahead. Am also inspired by you dear Ekuba because despite having met all those losers you didnt give up and met a real man. My HIV will also not stop me from expecting the best.
    best wishes.
    Mandy

  38. Ekuba,
    I just realized to my horror that I forgot to mention how much I enjoyed your post. It’s funny, it’s provocative, it delivers an important message, and it’s chock full of information. Please know it pains me to type these words because as an editor, I’m contractually obligated to be disdainful and hypercritical of any piece of writing that isn’t my own : )

    I don’t know how I feel about churches requiring HIV test results. I’m torn. It mos def is an invasion of privacy, but then isn’t the pastor obligated to keep the information to him/herself? And what if the person truly is unaware that s/he is HIV+? Then wouldn’t this be the best (i use the word loosely, there can be no best way to find out) way to find out and have a compassionate wo/man of God counsel you thru it and work out the implications? It would also help protect the HIV- partner, ‘cos let’s face it, you never think someone you know, much less someone you are in love with who looks completely healthy could possibly have the disease so it might not occur to the couple to get tested. That said, it’s the very rare couple who, in 2012, haven’t been getting it on before they wed, and let’s be real, if they’ve decided to get married, protection is out the window so technically, by the time they are required to submit any paperwork to the church, any infection would have most likely already taken place. I dunno but here’s the thing: Churches are a dime a dozen and it’s a free country. If a couple doesn’t like the HIV testing requirement at one, nothing is stopping them from getting married at another.

    Ok, I’m going to go now. My longwindedness is why I was a lurker in the first place!

  39. @Ephy: and that is why i believe you are a great editor, you tell it as it is! of course, every good editor knows you have to be hypercritical (keeps those darned vain writers on their toes lol!)
    hmmm, very very interesting and thorough analysis you’ve posted here and as i always say, the longer and more winded the better! (by the way, i made up the ‘i always say’ bit i never say jack). Toodles!

  40. @ Mandy: hahaha, you have a great sense of humor! cant believe that after i called you “Mandy” in this article you also signed in here as “Mandy”! 🙂 I am so flattered that you took the time to read this article and even comment! Gosh, i’ve been scared since last week when i told you about this article. i didnt know if you’d be upset that i put your story out here. you’re the main reason why i wrote this article. i wanted to show everyone how beautiful and strong you are and encourage any person who might be coming to terms with a positive HIV diagonsis. i am so proud of you for how you have thrived despite all the challenges in your life. Hugs (and expect my email soon) signed”Ekuba” (hahaha, of course you know that aint my real name by any chance!)

  41. To all my lovely readers: i realized the questions i posted were too many so i’m gonna break them down. First thing i wanna ask is are you in a polygamous relationship? (or do you know anyone who is) are you freaked out about picking up hiv from one of the other wives and is there any precautions you take to prevent this from happening? my friend is a 3rd wife but the coward in me has never allowed me to ask her this question hence my shameless curiosity (honestly, i fear she’ll slap me if i ask her!)

    PS: i owe everyone who answers this question lunch (@ Nana Darkoa, please forgive me for brazenly soliciting for comments on your blog 🙂 )

  42. No, I am not in a polygamous relationship, neither do I subscribe to that lifestyle. I will NOT entertain nor share my man with anyone else. My homegirl was born in a polygamous family and the horrors of it scared me! Her father had four wives, many kids and when he died it was a struggle to raise school fees, but the gracious Lord has seen her through up to college!!! I am not freaked out from picking hiv from the other wives, because as I said, I do not subscribe to that lifestyle. I’m too damn crazy to be a second or third wife! Too crazy! I would die from squabbling and fighting the others-Lawwwwd hammmmercy!

    • @African Mami – You crack me up so much. You’re such a riot.But I have plenty of cyber love for you girl. I have a more positive experience of polygamy @Ekuba, when I get the chance one of these days I will blog about it

      @Ama – Sister, please don’t be angry. It may not seem so to you, but I think the sisters on this forum are actually trying to express concern for you. The message may have got lost in translation but the way I see it, their intentions are positive.

      @Ekuba – Thanks for starting and maintaining this very dynamic dialogue

  43. Lol. that guy that usually removed the condom during sex..FREAK! i havent ever tested for hiv tho. i’m not sexually active, so i’m not even in a hurry to test.
    still i plan to get it done this year tho. hopefully.

    Good post.

  44. @ Nana,

    Pray do tell about your positive polygamous situation. I can’t imagine. There’s this powerful politician from my country(please don’t ask my country of origin, I’m just rep the whole of Africa, apart from the Congo) who is Methuselah’s age. He is very sick and just last year married a young woman-prolly our age who had his kid. Now, the kids from his 2 deceased wives are now up in arms-they are trying to grab a hold of the property before he kicks the bucket. I’ve not had positive role models that would encourage me to be a second wife. I would for the MONEY. Why else?! So if you don’t mind share your story-even in third person speak-fourth would be better.

  45. Ugh!!! I’m so pissed!
    I wrote a brilliant 3 paragraph response and now it’s been deleted!

    Anyway, short version: If you’re married, you submit your bodies “one to the other,” not “one OVER the other”. There is this misguided interpretation that a man is never to be questioned under any circumstances. WRONG. If your husband can demand one thing of you, you have every right to demand that same thing of him…including an HIV/AIDS test.

    When did African women give up their power, I wonder? This BS has got to stop.

  46. @ Abena,

    Thank you!!!! That was beautifully said.

    When did African women give up their power
    My dear, we’ve always been misguided by cultural ideals about the power we hold. What’s more, we live in a partnerlistic society in which some men just see as being semen receptacles. Nothing more, nothing less. Before some crazy comes and makes me go crazier than I am, let me reiterate, SOME African men, NOT all African men. I have 100 examples to give should somebody try to tell me any different and LINKS!

    We are yet to have honest conversations among ourselves about power/empowerment existence or lack thereof. I think African women are the most marginalized nearly extinct groups of women when it comes to opinion, power and voicing concern!

    God helps us all!

  47. Ekuba dear,
    Thanks dear for being my friend. I happened to find myself in a polygamous relationship by mistake but am glad am no longer in it. He lied about the mother of his child and i happened to find out later when he had swept me off my feet. in his words he wanted to first make me fall in love with him before he could tell me. can you imagine how selfish these men are. he tried to really do it but each time i thought about the other woman i got pissed. anyway its not easy because i believe these men can never love you in the same way so one of you may get more”love” than the other. still its challenging both emotionally because you two women can never be friends so you already have an enemy in the other woman. Testing for HIV in such a chosen life is very difficult because unless you chose to test evry other couple of months it makes no sense because his faithfulness is very questionable. a few women i have known have gone in it because of the money but for me my happiness comes first. cheers!

  48. wow! so much to say to all your amazing comments where do i start? well…
    @ African Mami: you know what? i always used to think that polygamy was hard on the wives and children alone while the man had a ball (and it probably is for a lot of situations) but the storiesof your homegirl and the politician has made me realize that polygamy is hard on the man too! wonder if this is a classic case of a lose-lose situation? thanks for the feedback

  49. @ Ms?infamous: thanks for the support! oh, he was way more than a FREAK lols! wierd thing is that i’m not like mad at him now (although i was very angry when i found out) and from time to time we talk cos i cant spend my lifetime bitter. so proud of you for planning to take the test this year. best wishes

  50. @ Abena: lol! i always feel like committing a crime when i type an intelligent, interesting (possibly world-changing? haha) blog posting and it gets deleted. anyways… gosh, i really love the ‘submitting your bodies one to the other and not one over the other bit”. true. i’m so stealing that saying and telling it to someone and then i’ll act like i’m some sage that spews wise sayings regularly 🙂 but seriously, you are right and i really hope this encourages all of us African wome to love ourselves and not sacrifice our values, principles and dignity for a relationship. cheers

  51. @ Mandy: Mandy! how do you do it that everytime you tell me something that amazes me and makes me think “gosh, this woman is wayyy braver than i thought she was?” it was so courageous for you to opt out of the relationship when you realized it was unhealthy! thanks for the helpful feedback. lots and lots of love my friend.

  52. Its so interesting this discussion.. I think unfortunately women (not just african women) sometimes take themselves for granted in the most sad ways.. Allowing men to sleep with us (sometimes unprotected) without having a frank discussion about our sexual histories and what we would do if we got pregnant, or a disease and all the other sex related risks..
    I really cannot imagine being in a polygamous relationship.. i fear my worst self shall surely come out!

  53. Mami Africa, I believe and know quite a number of people who have positive experiences from polygamous marriage.In the same breath quite a number of examples come to mind who have negative experiences with monogamous marriages. Does that provide a legitimate reason to opt for a single life. Maybe.Polygamy has a bad name now because the mind set and circumstances has changed.Years ago it was the thing to opt for,For me it is a case of give a dog a bad name and hang it. When you have over the years subtly indoctrinated both men and women that a system is evil, that it is good to possess something or someone all for your self.What else do you expect.Years ago as children we used to eat in one large bowl, sit in trotros where we shared the seat and the number of people seated could be 5 or 6 depending on the sizes of the occupants. Today when you even ask 2 children to share a plate of fried rice in a restaurant, people look at you as if you have committed a sin.Children will not share their seats with other children much more adults. Children have a clear monopoly of their fathers and mothers .Daddy is no more Daddy to all the other children in the area or extended family , Daddy is now ‘ My Daddy’ The emphasis on self, self, self is what has given polygamy a bad name with it being dragged on the ground.I was born and raised in a monogamous marriage setting but have also grown up to see and admire lots on colleagues and friends who grew up in polygamous marriage settings which were not dysfunctional on account of their polygamous background. In the present economic circumstances polygamous marriage are a drain to run. The legal system for inheritance, and possession of landed property, which we inherited for from the Western world is skewed in favour of monogamy because it made the issue of who had legal rights to property less cumbersome to determine. Check the forms that we fill for visas or other legal things in this country and you will realise that you are always not catered for if you come form a polygamous marriage setting. These are some of the features and factors of our present day existence that have given polygamous marriages such a bad name.There a lot more positives than you think.One of Britain’s greatest playwrights,George Bernard Shaw who endured a monogamous marriage for close to 50yrs but did a social study on societies that were polygamous found quite a number of advantages that made these societies robust , united and focussed rather than the each one for himself, God for us all circumstance we often find with monogamous marriages.For instance most children in monogamous situations are left stranded when there is a break up of the marriage.In a polygamous marriage there is really nothing like step children, your father’s other wife is also your mother.You have siblings and not step sisters/brothers or half sisters/brothers.These are all nomenclature of the system that has sought to claim and give polygamy a negative image.Consider what some organised, proper studies have said about why polygamy either came into being or was pushed to the fringes mainly by men with less self worth “In a polygamous society, there is an increase in the number of low-status men who will be unable to find a partner. Evolutionary theory would predict that those men are going to take whatever actions necessary to gain access to mates.Contrary to popular belief, it is really men who benefit most from monogamous society. This is because polygamous society allows some women to share a resourceful man of high status. George Bernard Shaw (who was one of the founders of the London School of Economics and Political Science ) put it best, when he observed, “The maternal instinct leads a woman to prefer a tenth share in a first rate man to the exclusive possession of a third rate one.”
    Or, as the comedian Bill Maher asked his panel on his TV show Politically Incorrect on January 7, 1998, “Would you rather be the second or third wife of Mel Gibson or the only wife of Willard Scott?”, to which one of the panelists, the conservative commentator and activist Susan Carpenter McMillan, responded, “If it comes to Mel Gibson, I wouldn’t care if I was one, two, or three.” Of course, this was back when Mel Gibson was highly desirable. Substitute Matt Damon for Mel Gibson. The cast of characters changes in a decade, but the principle remains the same.In contrast, most men benefit from monogamous society. Given a 50-50 sex ratio, monogamous society virtually guarantees a wife for every man, even if the man is a third-rate one.This is what subtle indoctrination can do.

  54. @ Syncyato,

    You could even substitute Matt Damon-whom I do not find attractive at all, for Idris Elba-who I think is a god among walking men! I do not, let me rephrase that, never will advocate for a polygamous situation, especially in a setting such as ours, the motherland!

    Polygamy is a set up that benefits, only the man, and burdens the woman! It is only just yesterday, that women started having a voice. There is absolutely no way, I would be wife no 2, or 3. It’s either I am number one, or completely forget about it.

    I am not sharing my husband with another woman! Hell naw, and neither will my kid share her father!!!!!! That is absolutely bonkers. If it is unAfrican to not share, and it is deemed as being unkind, count me as that woman. Polygamy should be completely abolished and made illegal!

    Polygamy is designed to systematically oppress the woman! I’m AGAINST that practice!

  55. @ Nana: Wow you sound like a strong, confident woman! (after your comments i assumed u’r a woman pardon me if u’r not!:) I’ve never had the courage to discuss possible pregnancy with a sex partner. Have you? how did you go about it and what response did you get?

  56. @ African Mami: very interesting comment! and equally amazing posting u’ve written on polygamy. in my vain and delusional moments, i tell myself that maybe my posting provided the teeniest inspiration for yours? (say yes, please say yes! :D)

  57. @syncyato: i really don’t know where i stand on this polygamy issue (u might want to check out African Mami blogging on it on this website). women have different views on polygamy. lots of women hate it cos it would mean they’d have to share their sweethearts/ hubbies someday with some other woman. & also, they believe it is unfairl since typically, women are not allowed to marry many men. however, lots of women love it because they believe it increases their options of eligible men (married men are not off limits) especially @ times in their lives when they would really love to settle but can’t seem to find good unattached men.

  58. OMG! this has got to be the most interesting and intelligent post and post-discussion i’ve read in a while. I need to change my friends!!
    I love me some Ekuba and African Mami. Nana you’re wonderful as the moderator. And as for some comments -side eye- it is because of you and others who think like you that this discussion is going on.
    My opinions based on personal experiences:
    Polygamy has little or no benefit to the woman. period.
    Married woman are at the highest risk of getting AIDS because of some of this ‘marriage defines me’ attitude some women have. Thankfully i have real life examples or women who separated from their husband when it was found he was dipping it in various nubile untested undergraduate pots. She said she wanted to live long enough to carry her grandkids.
    We need more women like that.

  59. thanks a dozen Ginger. Gosh, I love you too :)! what a courageous woman she is!!! i wish more women (including myself) would stand up to the men in our lives like that and say ‘enough is enough’ when we have to. it would be a better world all around

  60. Sorry its taken so long to reply. Yes i’m a woman.
    I learnt the hard way to love myself and put my interests first.
    I once had a discussion with the guy i was with before my current boyfriend – we’d had unprotected sex and he’d come ‘partially’ inside him(according to him anyway). so i asked him what he’ll do if i got pregnant and his reply was ‘se wo be wo’ (translated you’ll give birth), which was in my opinion a very stupid answer and that redefined the relationship for me. Needless to say that was the end.
    But the moral here is make sure you both have the same concepts about what you want out of the relationship and more importantly as a woman what you want out of life before opening those pretty legs..
    Maybe we should have a discussion on that..

  61. Thanks for coming back to reply Nana. hmm, it’s funny how we all seem to have similar stories on this blog just shows that women’s experiences r not that different! i also dated a guy who seemed decent in every way. after we had sex one day, it seemed that the condom had slipped. so i asked him what wd happen if i got pregs. i expected him to say we’ll figure somethin out or i’ll never let you take care of a daughter alone but NO. what he said was ‘well if you get pregs then ill make u do a dna test’. he said it jokingly but he still said it. after that, i knew that i was all alone in the relationship so i went to the hospital and got an iud inserted (so that i’d never hv to rely on any man for pregnancy prevention). but i still didnt hv the guts to break up with him until he broke up with me later (and my heart got so broken).

    to cut a long story short, you’re right. I have decided as a woman to clearly spell out what i want from a relationship right at the outset and not to hv sex with any man unless i’m convinced that he agrees with what i want and is ready to give it to me and i also agree with what he wants and will give it to him. sometimes, as women, we’re afraid to make such demands and question the relationship too much cos society tells us that men are scarce, and so we have to do everythin to keep em including ignoring our own needs. yeah, maybe we should discuss all this. x x

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