When I decided to write a novel, I wanted to base it on actual events that had evoked strong personal feelings. In my time, I have known and heard about numerous women treated harshly in their marriages by their husbands’ families. Usually these women were hounded out of their marriages either because of childlessness, giving birth to only female children or even having only one child.
Sometimes, a woman is given the option to remain and accommodate a second wife. Due to the unfair property sharing and upkeep regulations or lack thereof in the Nigerian divorce system, some women are forced to accept a second wife in order to retain financial security. Others may tolerate the situation due to cultural pressures from the man´s family, especially if they (the first wives) are infertile. There are instances when no one even bothers to divorce the poor woman or inform her of any plans for a second wife; she is simply presented with a fait accompli and must either love it or leave it. In all cases, intertribal marriages seem to suffer the most disadvantages. Whatever the reasons, I have always felt very saddened by this unjust practice because the women leave such marriages without any recompense.
Whenever a first wife decides to stay, she is usually greatly embittered. The presence of another woman causes a lot of chaos and strife in the matrimonial home due to jealousy and a struggle for supremacy. These problems often lead to quarrels, physical fights, and sometimes even the employment of black magic. The man also quickly discovers that having a second wife deprives him the opportunity of being close to either woman for fear of escalating the strife. As a result, nobody emerges a winner because polygamous families are usually unhappy.
These days, however, young Nigerian men and women no longer lend themselves so easily to family influence and manipulations. One is happy to note that this ugly trend is on its way out. Moreover, the modern day Nigerian woman is increasingly aware and mostly unwilling to tolerate any form of polygamy.
Dark Patches is a social drama about the adverse and sometimes lethal effects of outside interference on a hitherto happy marriage. Right from the start, the story line was conceived complete with the beginning, the middle, and the ending. All the changes I made while writing were only with respect to details. A few of the events in this novel closely resemble some actual happenings. This is because the issues addressed were rampant for a long time, and they occurred with variations and consequences determined by the woman´s life circumstances. Although the events in this book are completely fictitious, they are designed to encourage people to be strong and follow their own ideals in their marital affairs.
About Dark Patches
Meet Ndidi, the high school teacher and adoring wife. Blissfully married for seven years, a single question brings her world crashing down.
Grant, Ndidi’s loving husband, is his mother’s only child. Unable to stand up to his relatives, he devises a plan to keep his family together.
Omorose, Grant’s mother, is determined to leave no stones unturned in her quest for more grandchildren, even if it means spiritual intervention.
Josephine is no ordinary second wife. Selfish, manipulative and troublesome, she does not intend to share Grant with Ndidi, so she starts an evil campaign with horrifying consequences.
As each of them make sacrifices for the sake of a common goal, ruthless bids for power unleash sinister forces of catastrophic proportions….
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