Warning this article was unedited; There maybe serious grammatical blunders…lol
The standing ovation was overwhelming and enough to push anyone at the receiving end to tears. The crowd were not on their feet for the A-list celebrities who had graced the occasion, neither were they on their feet for the organizers of such a glamorous occasion. But rather, they were on their feet to appraise the passion and eloquence that Ngozi had just displayed in the 10 minutes she had spoken.
Ngozi speech was not born out of some book she had read, or some life transformation of zero to hero, but from the death of her beloved elder sister a few years ago. Ngozi had made it her life’s mission to fight for the rights of underprivileged Nigerian women and she would move any mountain if need be.
Felicia, Ngozi’s sister was married to Nnamdi, a young man from a stat in south-eastern Nigeria. A few years later Nnamdi died of Cancer, leaving Felicia to care for their two daughters. As Nnamdi’s family was a deeply traditional one, they demanded that the tradition of widow inheritance be observed.
Had Felicia had any living family members besides Ngozi, perhaps there would have been people to fight for her. The thought that such an uncouth piece of tradition still remained was bewildering. Following the ultimatum of “marry or go” Felicia decided that the best thing to do was to do what was best for her daughters and marry Nnamdi’s brother, Michael.
Felicia had confounded in her best-friend and sister Ngozi. She had spoken of how Michaels voice alone irritated her, not to talk of the sex. Felicia had described it as legal rape. Felicia honestly saw no way out as her basic salary couldn’t even afford a house in her home town of Enugu not to talk of Lagos. Felicia had struggled all her to send Ngozi to school, not being so fortunate herself, but for some reason things were tougher now with her children. Any attempt to start something that would give her and her children the backbone to leave Micheal ended up in frustration.
One night in Michael’s daily drunken stupor, he got into the normal arguements wih Ngozi, that night was different however, because it ended with a Heineken bottle percing Ngozi’s abdomen. Ngozi didn’t make the trip to the hospital.
It is Felicia’s story that spurred Ngozi to fight for women’s right. It is because of people like Felicia we need to fight for a better Africa.