The Somali Mans Curse

My father; my hero, my best friend. When Hooyo tugged at my hair, it was you who would step in. "I can’t stand hearing my daughter cry, please cool your hands". I look up and smile, saved once again. As my mother loosens her grip I lose eye contact. Moments later, forgetting as I continue to fiddle away with a toy. I wish 8 year old me understood the significance - and damn me for not holding onto that gaze. How I wish I still saw my Abo in that faultless way.

Just as easily as the days transform into night, a blessing can become a plight. A Quranic verse which was sent to mankind as a mercy can be abused and used to destroy the fabric of our homes and consequently society. I have no statistics to authenticate my claims, but rather the frustrations and woes of those who consider this their bane. The bane that left; a son without his hero, a daughter without her protector and a wife without her pillar.

Arguably the curse I speak of has been lifted from the Somali community, with some saying our men are embracing the beauty of monogamy. I pray this is true, because though I cannot prove the correlation between your absence and your daughter unveiling and your son going off the rails; if the butterfly effect is anything to go by, your presence could have changed their universe - our universe.

In the days of our prophet, when men were truly men and the role of father and husband were taken up with the utmost pride and care, polygamy was perceived to be an act of nobility, but now it's considered a right practiced as a selfish luxury.  But take heed, you bear both a right and a duty, so know this responsibility is not to be taken on lightly.

Your responsibility to the second does not diminish that towards the first, so only take on this post if you believe this can be upheld. You might be able to escape the rage of your first wife with a flight to number two, but you can't flee from the anger of your creator for what was done and for that which you failed to do.

Men of today, remember that marriage is more than that one day. Fatherhood extends further than that first birthday and parental responsibility is not just on the mother.  Only once this is recognised and you feel you are able to do this to the best of your abilities, then and only then take on a second wife and watch your lineage bloom.

By Girl in the Black Hijab

Edited by Ramla Ossoble


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