Last Christmas a silly girl called me all sorts of names because I pointed people in Rant HQ to a blog post I made in 2013 which said, “3 out of 10 Nigerian men are not the biological father of their children.” Rather than argue sensibly, she and her boyfriend who attacked me claimed I was only trying to draw traffic to my blog.
The fanatical patriarchy system in our culture has so eluded our minds to the truth that anyone who dares to discuss taboo topics like Paternity Fraud gets put on the firing line. For those of you who don’t know, Paternity fraud, also known as misattributed paternity or paternal discrepancy, is when a man is incorrectly identified to be the biological father of a child. The underlying assumption of paternity fraud is that the mother deliberately misidentified the biological father.
The issue of paternity fraud became most prominent in Nigeria immediately after the Dana air crash of June 3, 2012 when bodies were burnt beyond recognition and forensic/DNA tests were required to identify the bodies of children so they could be sent to their families for proper burial. A good number of the DNA samples did not match with their fathers.
When you come from a society where women are cultured to suffer in silence…a violent husband, an emotionally abusive husband, a bully, a narcissistic husband, a husband whose idea of wifely submission is to stop his wife who has a Masters degree from working or pursuing any career so she won’t become richer than him and thus become ‘uncontrollable’, this is what you get. When you marry a 2-minute man or a man who can’t get it up and are compelled to cover him up by any means necessary, this is what you get. When you come from a society where young women earn no respect if they are over 30 and single, this is what you get. The pressure to get married to a beast so far it will earn a woman the title of “Mrs”…this
is what you get. I will give you 2 live scenarios.
SCENARIO 1: MY DEAD NEIGHBOUR
He was a wife’s worst nightmare. He was married to a quiet unassuming woman with 3 kids. He stayed out late every single day and returned home most of those nights with any woman he pleased and would sleep with them while his wife would be in another room crying. Even his fellow men warned him of his wickedness. His wife had a small provision shop outside our Estate gate. She looked like a zombie each time we went to buy goods from her. She never smiled. Last year, she was nursing their third baby, a suckling infant. Her husband drove out under heavy rain with their two older children. His tyres slid down the canal in front of our Estate and they all drowned. Despite the tragedy, I see the woman these days and she looks like new life was pumped into her. With the veil of depression lifted, it seemed like she has returned from the dead. A depressed and scorned woman is the most dangerous person to call “Wife”. She can do ANYTHING without a sense of remorse.
SCENARIO 2 – THE RUNS GIRL THAT NEVER RETIRES
Slay queens. That’s what they call themselves these days. After getting so used to a life where Boyfriend A takes care of her Peruvian hair and Boyfriend B takes care of all her designer bags and shoes and Boyfriend C? Well he flies her first class for a summer vacation to exotic locations. Settling down at age 33 with her banker husband feels like a life sentence. To keep up appearances with her fake-life clique of friends, she continues to do her runs on the down low. Tell me who becomes the father of her child if the condom leaks?…that is if they used protection?
We are well aware of all the moral ills of our society and the end result. Ever wondered how the mess gets “tidied up”? What happens to the bored, lonely housewife who has an affair? Lonely from side chick fully occupying hubby’s time? She will never tell you she cheated or that the baby isn’t yours. Why would she? If she does, nobody will marry her sisters, daughters or even female counsins again. Her family will be stigmatized as the family of women who can’t close their legs and so the vicious cycle goes on and on…
It is the biggest morality cover up in African history and it has been going on for centuries (don’t even get me started on that) and it makes me sick. It makes me sick because at the end of it all, the innocent children will continue to be the unfortunate casualties…not the heart hearted, selfish adults who created the problem in the first place.