Posts Tagged ‘BLACK CHILDREN’

BLACK PEOPLE OOOO!–DON’T BLEACH AND DIE AN EARLY DEATH!–“GET LIGHT OR DIE TRYING” BY SISTER YABA BLAY AT YABABLAY.COM

June 10, 2017

from yabablay.com

Last week’s post “Skin Bleaching, Self-Hatred and Colonial Mentality” generated LOTS of conversation on the web. What is surprising to me is the fact that many people have never heard of skin bleaching. Borrowing from my research on skin bleaching in Ghana, this week’s post “Get Light or Die Trying” is a brief introduction of sorts to the global phenomenon…

 

In November 1997, a 58-year old retired female clerical worker presented to the Dermatology Outpatient Clinic of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana “with complaints of dark patches on light-exposed areas of the face, arms, neck, hands, legs and feet of about 10 years duration” as well as a large fungating ulcer on the right side of her neck. Despite a continuous regime of treatment spanning the course of 14 months, her condition failed to improve. In February 1999, the patient died. The cause of death — sun-related squamous cell carcinoma with pulmonary metastasis precipitated by the habitual application of hydroquinone and later steroid-containing creams. Translated – this Ghanaian woman’s death was caused by a type of skin cancer, which later spread to her lungs, and was attributed to her ritual practice of skin bleaching for more than 20 years of her adult life.

female clerical worker2


In May 2001, Ghanaian boxing fans watched as veteran boxer Percy Oblitei Commey’s skin literally fell apart. The Ghana Review International reported that early in the fourth round, his opponent, Smith Odoom, delivered a series of punches to Commey’s face, opening a deep cut on his right cheek.  As the fight progressed, Commey suffered similar cuts in both nostrils and his right ear, causing him to bleed profusely. By the seventh round, Commey’s cornermen and ringside doctors attempted to give the boxer medical attention but found that they could not suture the wounds – his skin was disastrously thin. Not only did Commey lose his national super-featherweight belt, but his “dark” secret had been exposed: Commey had habitually bleached his skin. Twice a day, he followed a regimen that included steroid soap, a lightening shampoo, and two hydroquinone creams.  The once popular 6’4” boxer was booed by fans and subsequently became the object of media ridicule, reportedly because of his “feminine look.” Commey would enter the ring only once more, three years later.

 

percy3

 

While the death of the retired female clerical worker and the imagery conjured by the mention of Commey’s injuries are indeed disturbing to say the least, theirs are not isolated incidents. According to a 2005 Ghana Health Service report, approximately 30% of Ghanaian women and 5% of Ghanaian men are “currently actively bleaching.”

The incidence of skin bleaching – the intentional alteration of one’s natural skin color to one relatively, if not substantially, lighter in color, through the use of chemical skin lightening agents, either manufactured, homemade, or any combination of the two – has been well documented in Africa. In some parts of the continent, bleaching is nothing less than a way of life. An estimated:

  • Seventy five percent of traders in Lagos, Nigeria (2002)
  • 52% of the population in Dakar, Senegal, 35% in Pretoria, South Africa (2004)
  • 50% of the female population in Bamako, Mali (2000)
  • 8 out of 10 seemingly light-skinned women in Cote d’Ivoire (1998)
  • 60% of Zambian women ages 30 – 39 (2005)
  • 50 -60% of adult Ghanaian women

currently or have at one time or other actively used skin bleaching agents. Nigeria now holds the title of “Number 1 for Skin Bleaching Products” by the World Health Organization.

Though my research focuses on skin bleaching in Africa, the practice is not specific to Africa or people of African descent for that matter. In fact, wherever we find people of color, so too do we find the practice of skin bleaching. And throughout the world, the practice disproportionately affects female populations.

In parts of South Asia, where many parents advise their children to avoid sunlight because flawlessly milky white skin is coveted, cosmetic whiteners are indispensable in everyday skincare.  According to a 2003 report, 38% of women in Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines use whitening products, and 43% of the women surveyed “believed a fair complexion would make them more attractive to men.” Asian women reportedly spend exorbitant amounts of money to buy high-end bleaching products such as those manufactured by L’oreal, the largest cosmetics company in the world, and the leading European manufacturer of skin whitening products.

 

White-Perfect-BLOGGER-CAMPAIGN-VISUAL-copy

 

Similarly, in India, where “60 percent of all beauty products sold are skin lightening agents,” skin tone impacts both marriage marketability and the ability to gain white-collar employment. All-purpose skin bleaching products are marketed frequently and aggressively…

 

 

…but so are products geared for specific areas, like the underarms…

 

 

…and more ‘intimate’ areas…

 

 

What’s interesting about India is that it is one of the few places where men’s bleaching does not hold the same stigma as it does elsewhere in the world. In many other places, men who bleach are regarded effeminate for taking part in something that is regarded a woman’s practice. But in India, skin bleaching is practiced openly by both men and women. To preserve their masculinity, however, Indian men are expected to use their own products, and not those made for women; at least that’s way that Fair and Handsome, is India’s #1 whitening cream designed specifically for men, spins it. In addition to print advertisements, it broadcasts a number of television commercials not only in India, but in the UK as well.

 

 

Interestingly enough, in 2010, when Vaseline launched a skin whitening app for Facebook, specifically for India, it was the image of a man that was used. Using this application, Facebookers can manipulate their photos so that they can appear whiter than they actually are. According to Vaseline, the response has been “pretty phenomenal.”

 

vaseline_skinwhite_e__oPt vaseline-e1279204421864

 

Despite the global presence of regulatory boards comparable to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the skin lightening products marketed, sold, and used across the world are more chemically potent than those marketed, sold, and used here in the United States. In the U.S., hydroquinone, one of the active agents found in skin-bleaching creams, cannot be obtained in percentages above 2% without a prescription; and by prescription, the highest percentage legally available is 4%. The manufactured skin bleaches found in many parts of Africa contain potentially lethal doses of substances like hydroquinone (between 4% and 25%), corticosteroids, mercury iodide, and various additional caustic agents. When exposed to sunlight, a staple in most parts of Africa, these chemicals prove even more hazardous.

Contact with these agents can cause a wide array of opportunistic infections and skin disorders, including allergies, ulcers and ultimately skin cancer or leukemia in some cases…..people who bleach become so thin-skinned they’re unable to receive injections and other routine medical procedures including stitching following surgery or accidents. In extreme cases, mercury and metals are absorbed at such a level that brain and kidney damage occurs, sometimes resulting in death. Withdrawal from the corticosteroids can lead to shock, which can be fatal (emphasis mine, McKinley, 2001, 96).

In the absence of manufactured products, many people use homemade admixtures. Some mix both manufactured and homemade products for a more potent brew. And yet despite the ravaging effects of both homemade and manufactured products, many people continue to bleach, some to the point of death. Governmental and medical authorities’ attempts to abolish skin bleaching by controlling the dosage and availability of manufactured bleaching agents fail to address people’s continued need to use the products. Even if legislative bans on bleaching agents were to be fully enforced, such efforts would only serve to minimize the incidence or more likely force it underground, not eradicate it. For in the minds of many, the privileges assigned to light skin, whether actual or assumed, are worth dying for.

 

Sources:

Addo, H.A. (2000). Squamous Cell Carcinoma Associated with Prolonged Bleaching. Ghana Medical Journal, 34, 144-146.
Chisholm, N.J. (2002, January 22). Fade to White: Skin Bleaching and the Rejection of Blackness.
McKinley, C. (2001, May).Yellow Fever. Honey Magazine, 96-99.

See also:

Skin Bleaching and Global White Supremacy: By Way of Introduction

 

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Comments

14 Comments

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  1. Tina #
    January 11, 2013

    Very enlightening. It’s rather unfortunate how the opinion of others etc push people to such ends.

    • Yaba #
      January 11, 2013

      Indeed! White supremacy is the biggest ‘opinion-pusher’ of them all. Thank you for reading, Tina!

  2. April 25, 2013

    Thanks Dr. Yaba

    • Yaba #
      April 25, 2013

      Thank you for reading, Fatou!

  3. April 26, 2013

    informative! You should see what’s happening in The Gambia…maybe you should look into that too Dr. Yaba. I saw the statistics about Senegal, I wonder what are the numbers for Gambia?

    • Yaba #
      April 29, 2013

      It’s everywhere! I haven’t seen the numbers in Gambia and I’m not sure who is doing that research. Will keep my eyes open. Thank you for reading, Aisha!

  4. Richard Henry #
    May 19, 2013

    Thanks for the info and data on skin bleaching in Africa. I have been following your work and needed data and literature on skin bleaching in Africa for my Lit Review. Completing my Masters thesis on skin bleaching in Jamaica. Its a qualitative study entitled “The Browning Phenomenon”

    • Yaba #
      May 20, 2013

      Thanks for reading, Richard! Please let me know if I can share any resources with you. You must of course be familiar with Christopher Charles’ work. I look forward to reading your thesis soon!

  5. marie sanders #
    July 29, 2013

    I found these articles very interesting. I was born very light skin & was teased throughout school. Only other races would play with me. So I tried to suntan myself black. Confusion set in. I messed skin up trying to be “black” and last year I was using bleach crime to over correct the damage I did. I would try to change my color by friends, jobs, advantages. Now all I want to be is me no matter what color. I would very much like to read more on the subject. I feel society makes us choose what color we should be at times. I hate that. But most of my life I have battled this. Thank you for writing on this project. It really made me mad at myself.

  6. September 5, 2013

    Everyone has their own reasons for having white skin, smooth, clean. Certainly have been described in the article above, that it skin disease is not come by itself but because of the wrong skin care.
    There is also damage to the skin caused by cosmetic skin itself. Therefore, if you want to pick look at the measure of beauty products use ingredients that beauty, so that we remain untreated skin.

  7. January 15, 2014

    Harrowing and heartwrenching: I am a dark chocolate brown (similiar to the First Lady Michelle Obama’s shade) and cannot imagine being fueled by such societal pressures and such self-loathing that I would sabotage my own skin tone. I take pride in it and also convey that message to my children, I hope future generations learn from those who suffered and died needlessly and love what they are naturally endowed with: melanin-rich and beautifully brown skin.

  8. Aisha Ellis #
    January 17, 2014

    Colonization has been a devastating cancer all over the world, it’s time to unlearn what we have learned and put truth in it’s place.

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  1. Maafanta.com | Women of Substance » Get Light or Die Trying
  2. Talking Her Out of Skin Bleaching Won’t Work | Afrocentric Confessions

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BLACK STANDARD OF BEAUTY MUST BECOME REAL NOW!-LEXINGTON M. WILLIAMS POSTED THIS ON FACEBOOK!!!

May 8, 2017

S2JOOO fight /CRUSH THIS white standard of beauty for us and all this bleaching/whitening of the race and HAVE A BLACK STANDARD OF BEAUTY BASED ON THE BLACKEST SKINNED BEAUTY AND by Celebrating the Blackest beauty like the white boy celebrates the ugly white/girl/no/lips/no/hips/no/nose/no/ass/no/color as beautiful! Everywhere you go salute these Blackest Beauties and let them know that they are the most beautiful ! Put them back on top of the Beauty Pyramid like God did in the beginning!

https://yeyeolade.wordpress.com/2007/01/06/black-beauty-is-the-mother-of-all-beauty/

BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY SERENA WILLIAMS OOOOO!SERENA OOO!—A STRONG BLACK MAN LOVES YOU OOO!-ANDRE L..HOLMES OOO!-Don’t Marry that white boy OOO!-WE ARE PRAYING FOR YOU AND VENUS!!-GOD WILL GIVE GREAT BLACK MEN WHO APPRECIATE YOUR BLACKEST BEAUTY OOOOO!-From FacebookS2bsbbsbBSBBSW

BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY SERENA WILLIAMS OOOOO!SERENA OOO!—A STRONG BLACK MAN LOVES YOU OOO!-ANDRE L..HOLMES OOO!-Don’t Marry that white boy OOO!-WE ARE PRAYING FOR YOU AND VENUS!!-GOD WILL GIVE GREAT BLACK MEN WHO APPRECIATE YOUR BLACKEST BEAUTY OOOOO!-From Facebook

March 31, 2017

http://bleacherreport.com/…/1333270-serena-williams-rumored…

YOU DUMB UGLY BLACK SELf HATING NIGGERS!!!!! YOU BETTER NOT LET SERENA GET AWAY! look YALL THEY HAVE PUSHED SERENA TO THE OTHER SIDE!! Sad she has to go to a european guy because THE NIGGER Wants to chase MEN Or the so called white gurls,the so called latinas everything except his own pride of woman.Serena is too strong physically & Mentally for the NIGGER! THE NIGGER SAYS SERENA LOOKS UGLY BECAUSE OF HER AFRICAN GENETICS! I SWEAR ON MY LIFE IF SERENA MARRYS ANY DUDE WHO IS NOT SOME KINDA OF BROTHER I WILL HATE MY OWN AFRICAN BLACK BROTHERS FOR THE REST OF MY DAYS! THIS IS JUST ABSURD!!!! On just 1 hand how many times have u seen a black man show Serena Williams This Kinda of affection? THIS IS A DISGRACE!!!! Makes My african bros look PATHETIC!!! ALWAYS PUSHING THE BLACK WOMAN AWAY BECAUSE SHE IS TO BLACK LOOKING! Always chasing the mixed breeds or others.I tell ya,i look forward to the day i move out of the usa because everyday the media news makes me wanna vomit when i see what little i can stomach of it.Damm shame because i better hurry and become a pro boxer so I can marry her! what a damm sad shame! other races can have any other black woman but not SERENA!!! A STRONG MIGHTY POWER NZINGA SPIRITED BLACK WOMAN NEEDS HER A BLACK MAN!!! BUT THE BLACK MAN HAS BECOME THE NIGGER!!!!

Serena Williams and her coach Patrick Mouratouglou may just have better chemistry than most professional tandems. Rumors abound the two are actually an item. The Detroit Free Press reports on rumblings from French website PKTennis …

bleacherreport.com

BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY SERENA OOOO!-SERENA OOO!-SERENA WILLIAMS OOOOO!-BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY OOOOO!-FORGIVE BLACK MEN FOR DISRESPECTING YOUR TRUE BLACK BEAUTY!!-GOD WILL SEND YOU A TRUE BLACK MAN WHO WILL APPRECIATE YOU AS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY IN THE WORLD!-LEAVE those white boys alone-they can never make you happy!!!-YOU DESERVE ONLY THE BEST!!-THE BLACK MAN IS THE BEST MAN ON THE PLANET!!!-AFRICAN MEN ARE THERE ALSO FOR YOU OOOO!

March 31, 2017

SERENA OOO!-SERENA WILLIAMS OOOOO!-BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY OOOOO!-FORGIVE BLACK MEN FOR DISRESPECTING YOUR TRUE BLACK BEAUTY!!-GOD WILL SEND YOU A TRUE BLACK MAN WHO WILL APPRECIATE YOU AS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY IN THE WORLD!-LEAVE those white boys alone-they can never make you happy!!!-YOU DESERVE ONLY THE BEST!!-THE BLACK MAN IS THE BEST MAN ON THE PLANET!!!-AFRICAN MEN ARE THERE ALSO FOR YOU OOOO!

SERENA WILLIAMS OOOOO!-BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY OOOOO!-FORGIVE BLACK MEN FOR DISRESPECTING YOUR TRUE BLACK BEAUTY!!-GOD WILL SEND YOU A TRUE BLACK MAN WHO WILL APPRECIATE YOU AS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY IN THE WORLD!-LEAVE those white boys alone-they can never make you happy!!!-YOU DESERVE ONLY THE BEST!!-THE BLACK MAN IS THE BEST MAN ON THE PLANET!!!-AFRICAN MEN ARE THERE ALSO FOR YOU OOOO!

by

WE MUST HAVE A BLACK STANDARD OF BEAUTY BASED ON THE BLACK SKINNED BLACKEST WOMAN

Monday, March 13, 2017

SERENA WILLIAMS’ white boy PROBLEM OOOO!-BLACK MEN -YOU MUST STOP REJECTING OUR BEAUTIFUL BLACKEST SKINNED BEAUTIES AND CELEBRATE THEIR OUTSTANDING BEAUTY INSTEAD!!!

Serena’s problem goes back to how Black men treat the Blackest Beauties by rejecting them,calling them names, “dogs”,making fun of people who date them,etc. the pain of rejection by Black men makes these Sisters think they should TURN TO white boys who are also very easy to control! Serena we are PRAYING for you and Venus cause a white boy cannot make you happy! You belong to a strong Black man,even Blacker in color than you are, to make beautiful Black children! Forget abt revenge AGAINST  Black men who have treated you so bad! God will give you that wonderful Black man who knows you are the most Beautiful woman on earth,making beautiful Black children who will outshine all!
Black Men It is up to you to correct other Black men who are calling The Blackest skin Sisters “dogs”,”ugly”,and prove by your actions that Our Queen Mothers of Black Beauty are the most beautiful!
http://yeyeolade.blogspot.com.ng/2017/02/blackest-skin-beauty-why-i-blame-black.html

OUR CRY NOW SHOULD BE “BLACKEN THE RACE”! INSTEAD OF THE SLAVERY BELIEF OF LIGHTEN THE RACE TO BRING BACK THAT BEAUTIFUL BLACKEST SKIN COLOR LINE WE HAD IN THE BEGINNING!
MARRY BLACKER IS MY CRY OOOO! I TAUGHT MY CHILDREN TO LOVE ORIGINAL BLACK SKIN AND THEY MARRIED BLACKER AND BROUGHT THE BLACKER SKIN BACK INTO MY LINE! OLUWA SEUN!(WE THANK GOD!)

BRAZIL OOOOOO!!!!BLACK IN BRAZIL OOOO!!!-TEACHER CHANGES TO BLACK HAIRSTYLE TO SUPPORT BULLIED STUDENT ATTACKED BECAUSE OF HER WOOLLY HAIR!!!-FROM GOOD BLACK NEWS.COM

March 31, 2017

article via bbc.com A Brazilian teacher has come up with a unique way to help a schoolgirl who was being bullied because of her hair. Ana Barbara Ferreira, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, said her student was “sad” after being ridiculed by a boy, who had said her hair was “ugly”. “At that moment, the only […]

via Teacher Ana Barbara Ferreira Changes Hairstyle to Support Bullied Student — GOOD BLACK NEWS

SERENA WILLIAMS OOOOO!-BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY OOOOO!-FORGIVE BLACK MEN FOR DISRESPECTING YOUR TRUE BLACK BEAUTY!!-GOD WILL SEND YOU A TRUE BLACK MAN WHO WILL APPRECIATE YOU AS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY IN THE WORLD!-LEAVE those white boys alone-they can never make you happy!!!-YOU DESERVE ONLY THE BEST!!-THE BLACK MAN IS THE BEST MAN ON THE PLANET!!!-AFRICAN MEN ARE THERE ALSO FOR YOU OOOO!

March 13, 2017
WE MUST HAVE A BLACK STANDARD OF BEAUTY BASED ON THE BLACK SKINNED BLACKEST WOMAN

Monday, March 13, 2017

SERENA WILLIAMS’ white boy PROBLEM OOOO!-BLACK MEN -YOU MUST STOP REJECTING OUR BEAUTIFUL BLACKEST SKINNED BEAUTIES AND CELEBRATE THEIR OUTSTANDING BEAUTY INSTEAD!!!

Serena’s problem goes back to how Black men treat the Blackest Beauties by rejecting them,calling them names, “dogs”,making fun of people who date them,etc. the pain of rejection by Black men makes these Sisters think they should TURN TO white boys who are also very easy to control! Serena we are PRAYING for you and Venus cause a white boy cannot make you happy! You belong to a strong Black man,even Blacker in color than you are, to make beautiful Black children! Forget abt revenge AGAINST  Black men who have treated you so bad! God will give you that wonderful Black man who knows you are the most Beautiful woman on earth,making beautiful Black children who will outshine all!

Black Men It is up to you to correct other Black men who are calling The Blackest skin Sisters “dogs”,”ugly”,and prove by your actions that Our Queen Mothers of Black Beauty are the most beautiful!
http://yeyeolade.blogspot.com.ng/2017/02/blackest-skin-beauty-why-i-blame-black.html

OUR CRY NOW SHOULD BE “BLACKEN THE RACE”! INSTEAD OF THE SLAVERY BELIEF OF LIGHTEN THE RACE TO BRING BACK THAT BEAUTIFUL BLACKEST SKIN COLOR LINE WE HAD IN THE BEGINNING!

MARRY BLACKER IS MY CRY OOOO! I TAUGHT MY CHILDREN TO LOVE ORIGINAL BLACK SKIN AND THEY MARRIED BLACKER AND BROUGHT THE BLACKER SKIN BACK INTO MY LINE! OLUWA SEUN!(WE THANK GOD!)

BLACKEST SKINNED BEAUTY-THIS AFRICAN SISTER CALLS OUT BLACK MEN TO STOP ABUSING THE BLACKEST BEAUTIES!-FROM WORDPRESS.COM

February 24, 2017

When I was young, growing up in Africa in a country where lighter skinned women are the epitome of beauty, I once asked a woman whom I looked up to why women with light skin were considered more beautiful than women with dark skin. Her answer was straightforward, “Because men like women with lighter skin, […]

via Why I Blame The Black Man For Black People’s Self-Hate —

BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY POSTED BY ZEBELEAN HILL ON FACEBOOK!!!!

February 24, 2017
ZEBELEAN HILL POSTED THIS ON FACEBOOK!!!!
Image may contain: one or more people, text and closeup

BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY BY 4 THE LOVE OF BLACK WOMEN ON FACEBOOK!!!

February 24, 2017

BLACK POLYGAMY OOO!- DISABLED BEGGER HAS 4 WIVES! FROM SUN NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA

February 13, 2017

from the sun newspaper,nigeria

Super street beggar

Has 4 wives, 11 children

By Vincent Kalu

Begging for a living is hardly an enviable means of livelihood, but for Adamu Hassan Yauri, it is his source of blessing.  After his life seemingly ground to a halt and he found himself stranded at life’s dead-end, beggary offered him an alternative route to an honourable life. Through boom and bust these past 19 years, he has flourished, married four wives, fathered 11 children and sustained his large family on beggary proceeds.

The decision to earn a living as beggar was forced upon him by circumstances beyond his control, following an automobile accident in 1998 that led to the amputation of his right leg.

The native of Yauri Local Government Area, Kebbi State spoke with Saturday Sun at his residence in Igando, Lagos. He debunked any misconceptions about him being a polio victim.  According to him, he grew up as a normal human being without any defect and was on his way to making a success out of his life, attending school and at the same time trading in onions from his home town in the north to the southeast town of Onitsha, Anambra State. But in 1998, his life took a sudden turn.  It started first with his business partner who fractured his legs in an automobile accident.

“I went to visit him at the hospital.  On my way home, I was involved in a motorcycle accident,” he recalled. “Me and my parents spent all our savings on hospital bills, yet doctors couldn’t save my leg.  Eventually, they amputated my right leg.”

At the time, Yauri was a Senior Secondary One student.   The amputation of his limb was a double blow: “I had to drop out of school; otherwise I never planned to stop my education at that level.  The accident also crashed the onion business I was doing to sponsor my education.”

The hard knock of  life soon set in.  To spare him the misery of a wretched life, one of his brothers sold him the idea of moving south to Lagos where begging was a lucrative way of life.

“I followed my brother to Lagos in 1999, and as he told me, I found that begging was lucrative.  People took pity on me because of my condition, and in no time, I was making money, enough to start planning to get married.”

Marriage to four wives

He started this family by marrying one wife.  After some time, he married a second, then a third, and finally a fourth wife.  One of his spouses died, and he has lost two children too.  Aside from these tragedies, Yauri is a happy man, a proud father of nine children, six of them including a set of twins by his first wife.

“I’m the one taking care of them,” he said with pride, “and God is the one taking care of all of us. We may not have money to eat the best of food, but we always make do with the little we have and we are always happy.”

How come a disabled beggar was able to marry four women? Yauri avowed it was easy for the women to fall in love and subsequently marry him.  “It was from this occupation that I married these women,” he boasted.  Of his three wives, the first is from Kwara State, the second from Kano, while the third is a Nigerien.  He is emphatic he and each of the women started as lovers.  He explained his love life with the story of his first wife, Shafatu, from Ilorin, Kwara State, whom he first knew as a secondary school student assisting her beverage seller -mother at Ikotun market.

“All my women loved me dearly and accepted my proposal. Our initial problem was their families’ objections, but my ladies said it must be me or never. Don’t you see the work of God? I paid the bride price and performed the necessary marriage rites for all of them; I didn’t get any of them free, neither did I elope with any of them,” he said.

His women not only accepted him for what he is, they took him for better or for worse, including his means of livelihood.  And after marriage, they joined him in his daily routine of begging to make ends meet. Indeed, begging has become the family’s profession so much so some of the younger children, who are not yet in school, loiter around their mothers where they beg.

Satisfying his women

Don’t ask Yauri how he satisfies three women sexually.  He would respond with a chuckle, followed by a jovial question: “Is the number of children, both living and dead, not evidence of my virility?”

For him, his disability neither extends to his libido nor affects his ability to impregnate his wives.  He will tell you his wives have no cause to complain––though he is quick to add: “I cannot kill myself, I am not a machine.”

He basked in his good fortune of being so blessed with offspring despite his disability and poverty.  Instead of complaining, he counts his blessings.  “There abound many able bodied men who are still unmarried till date, and there are several rich men that have spent so much money seeking medical help to have children and yet do not have any.  I am not gloating over their misfortune, but rather citing this as an example of God’s love for me, a poor, ordinary, disabled beggar.”

God’s love for him extends to his wives’ ease during childbirth. “I believe these blessings are God’s way to compensate me for my disability,” he reflected. “If my wives were to deliver through Caesarean Section, where would I get the money from?”

To increase his number of children or to not increase––the question, Yauri said, is for God. “If God gives me more children, I will take them, especially, as one wife has two children, while the other is left with one after the death of her second child, and these two women may want to have more children like the first wife who has six,” he clarified.

Pains of polygamy

To ask him how he is enjoying  polygamy, is to prompt a lamentation. His woes are best summarised in his statement that “it is hellish keeping three women under one roof.”

To avoid trouble, he tried to be equitable to all three women in the all-important, but sensitive aspect of conjugal responsibility.

To this end, he came up with a ‘sleeping formula’: “To each woman, I give two days in a week to sleep with her.  Two days for each woman, and one day of rest for me.”

He found out it was not enough to stave off trouble permanently.

“I did everything possible for all of them to live together in harmony, but trouble and quarrels always erupted,” he lamented but curiously, blaming the trouble on the Lagos environment.

His theory: “It was hellish keeping three wives together, especially in Lagos, where everybody is crazy.  Bring a naïve person to this city, by the time she arrives, Lagos would open her eyes.  If we were living in the village where our relatives are around us, they (his wives) can’t be a problem to me, even if they were four, because they would be punished for disobeying me. But this is Lagos, where everybody’s brain is something else. In the village, your brain is normal. But immediately you arrive in Lagos, it is either other people scatter your brain or you scatter it by yourself.”

He had resigned to a life of permanent querulous matrimony with the women. “Usually, two ganged-up against one; if I did anything, one would accuse me of favouring the other, and they would start quarreling with me. It was a difficult situation.”

His wives’ endless bickering ultimately drove him to keep them in separate apartments and locations, an arrangement they initially rejected until he was able to convince them of a constant conjugal visit.  “I live with one here in Igando, I rented a house for one at Okoko, and the other at Isheri,” he said, declaring “It is now that I have peace.  Before, it was so much trouble.”

Finding a way out of begging

While trying his best to meet his responsibility as the breadwinner, Yauri admitted that his large family now constitutes a problem.  As his children grow older, proceeds from begging shrink, and become insufficient to sustain the family.  The hard reality had forced him to seek other options to begging for a living.

His first alternative was to join the battalion of tricycle operators who make healthy wages conveying commuters over short distance.  Unfortunately, his tricycle was stolen by thieves. Occasionally, his friends who have other things to do borrow him their tricycles.  When such opportunity is not forthcoming, he goes a begging to make his usual paltry proceeds.

After trying his hands on the tricycle business, Yauri became somewhat ashamed of begging. Now in his 40s, he is eager to learn a vocation that would help sustain his family.

He would welcome any help, from government or individuals, towards training his children––though he insisted an explicit agreement would be made in this regards so he would not be disadvantaged by such benevolence.

Within the limit of his ability, he is ready to go any mile for the sake of a better future for his children.


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