A Herstory: You’re A Married Woman Now and You Have to Protect Your Reputation

Its 1988. I’m in law School in Lagos. I live in a sleazy hotel in a shady neighbourhood with a drug pusher. He is family. I know what he does for a living but its shelter. At least here there is bed, sheets, plumbing and hot water in a bucket if you can wait an hour. And he doesn’t pester me family or not. I’ve lived in worse.

He is open about what he does. He runs several mules to Europe every few months then goes picks up his money and comes back. I turn a blind eye. I’ve learnt to. I’ll just be reminded crime and corruption is a free enterprise in Nigeria. Its none of my business.

On Sunday he asks me to take delivery of a heroin consignment for him while he’s out. Shows me how to spot check the quality. I don’t want to get involved. I don’t say anything. He leaves. Comes back. I drive to the beach. I don’t know if he receives his consignment.

I can’t wait to graduate law school, get a job and get my own pad. After 10 years of rural living I like Lagos. I think I’ll stay here awhile. I spend the next week living and sleeping in the car till a young woman I went to Uni with takes me in. I’m safe for awhile.

The drug pushing relative reports me to the family. Staying with him is okay but I’m a married woman so staying with a single woman is all sorts of bad for my reputation. Its a huge scandal. I can’t be bothered to argue. I think my rep as a lawyer will survive living with a single woman better than it will survive arrest or even suspicion from the NDLEA.

I’m quite unconcerned about my rep as a married woman.

Dont let em see you sweat

Dont let em see you sweat


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