GIST OF THE DAY:Wife turns husband to house help

In this shocking but all-too-familiar tale of
domestic violence, Onyemma, a 29-year-old
businessman, told this reporter how his uncle
became a dummy house help in his own house
at the hands of a nagging  and brutal housewife.
He says his uncle, Mr Gideon, has been stripped
of his self-confidence as a man and his marriage
has become a living nightmare.
Mr Gideon’s story
A few years after their marriage, Gideon was like
a little god to his wife but things took a
different turn when he lost his job with a paint
company. His wife suddenly became the bread
winner, calling the shots in the house.
In his words, “The once happy home changed to
something else when my uncle lost his driving
job in the 90’s. The wife became a terror in the
house. She would send him on errands, demand
that he perform menial chores like fetching
water, sweeping the house, etc. My uncle was
doing it because he thought he was helping his
wife, but little did he know that was the
beginning of his trauma. Anytime he fails to
carry out these home chores, he now gets the
beating of his life. He has been stripped of his
self confidence and dignity as a man.
“This humiliation was so much to the extent that
the elders of my kindred summoned her to know
why she was treating their brother in that
manner.  But the intervention of the kindred did
not yield any result as the wife had turned her
husband into her property, manipulating him at
“As family members, we rarely visit my uncle in
his house because we have found out that their
relationship is dotted with incessant assaults
and the silly attitude of a domineering wife. All
manner of interventions for a loving relationship
have proved abortive. So, if you ask him, he
would not hesitate to tell you that men are
mostly the victims of domestic violence. That is
if his wife does not hear him say so, because he
will get another beating of his life.”
Mrs. Janet, a 40 year-old trader who is also a
mother of two, is always ready to tell the story of
her husband who threw caution to the wind and
slept with their only daughter, putting her in
the family way against tradition.
But she would always have herself to blame as
she narrated that her prolonged absence from
home created the gap that not only ruined her
marriage but destroyed what was left of her
daughter’s life.
“I was not always around. At a time when my
daughter needed motherly care and advice, I was
not around. At the time she had her first
menstrual period, my husband was at home with
her and gave her the necessary care. But it
turned out to be a sordid experience as the man
took advantage of his growing daughter.
He began to sleep with her afterwards, telling
her if he didn’t do that, the menstrual blood
would continue. That continued without my
knowledge until I discovered the girl was ill. I
got the shock of my life when I was told my
daughter was pregnant. More devastating was
the fact that her father had been sleeping with
her,” she lamented.
According to her, the husband initially denied
responsibility. But after the intervention of
their village head, he confessed to the crime.
“He was interrogated by the police, but he
denied. Our king intervened and also
interrogated him and he later confessed to the
crime,” she stated.
On the punishment meted out to him, Janet said
as is customary in the African culture, he was
banished by the king from the community. “He
has been banished from the village, leaving me
to take care of the 13 children,” she said.
Lamenting how she has been taking care of the
children, she said the punishment should also
have included taking care of the 13 children she
has from the marriage. “It has been very
excruciating, a more severe punishment should
have been given to him to take care of the
children rather than leaving me all alone to care
for the 13 children. Although the man was not
really doing anything serious before the
incident, he supported from the little pension
he collected from his former employer,” she

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