Friday, October 27, 2006

Rejected from Birth

I have always wanted boys. I want a boy to teach, a boy to mold, a boy to succeed me. So basically things went wrong from DAY ONE!

So you can only imagine how unhappy I was when I walked into the delivery room and found out it was a girl… so after the explicit instructions I gave this woman to give me a son, she still went ahead with this girly nonsense?!?! I won’t give her the chance to make this mistake again. This just has to be the first and last time!

I mean what are girls really good for? My mom is one…. sure, my sisters are girls… ok, my wife is one…. so bloody what? I’ve had enough of girls! What do they know about life? about war? about the law?

Females are only useful to the people who marry them… you train and educate them and they get married off into one stupid family or the other. A daughter is just useless to me… I guess I’d have to beat the sense into this woman for her not to give me another one of these things ever again.

London, England, 1986/87

So the little girly thing is growing up. They want me to name it? For what purpose? Isn’t "girl" enough? Doesn’t that aptly describe what she is? I guess Overwhelmed Naija Babe will do… it’s the first thing that comes to mind and I just can’t be bothered!

Granted, she does look like me a little, but a son would’ve looked 10 times better.

Granted, she has my legs, my smile…even my head, but just imagine that on a boy!

Granted, she started reading London Newspapers before she was 2, but a son would’ve read it at 9 months!

This overwhelmed thingy offends me with its girly parts and shrill voice. I definitely wouldn’t be caught dead wasting time watching over and taking care of it for another man to come and take it away in a few years.

One year and half with the overwhelmed child has just about ended my tolerance for girls… she cries out at night, eats too much, throws up good food and just constantly demands attention… SPOILT BRAT!!!

The mother won’t listen and just ignore her… emotional creatures that females are. A boy would obviously not need that much attention. I’d never been like that and neither had my brothers…

In fact I need to get away from this cos I’m suffocating and slowly dying with all this girly crybaby shit!

My mind is made up.

I’ll be on the next flight to Nigeria…I’d do law school in Nigeria and the wife can find a way to manage with the girl… It wasn’t like I’d asked for a girlchild.

Thank God the wife is preggers again. For the love of all things black, it just had to be a son this time cos anything else would just drive me to an early grave!!! Another creature with tiny feet and pink frilly garments? No thanks… the store could keep it!

It just has to be a son. For that, I’d come from Lagos back to the dingy apartment in Lewisham and visit. I’d love him, teach him, maybe even bring him back to Nigeria to be raised like a real man. The wife could do whatever with the girl.

The wife wrote me four months later to tell me IT WAS ANOTHER GIRL!?!?!?!?


naijadyme said...

damn girl!!! you are an excellent writter, i felt the pain as i was readin this.... it touched me... cant wait for the rest!!

Calabar Gal said...

She started reading newspapers when she was 2? Overwhelmed!! Are u sure u werent reading newspapers in the womb sef?

This post is wonderful prose. Lets hope overwhelmed dad dosent have much to do on the internet and discovers this post or any other post. Would be disastrous!!!

So did he have a boy to teah and mould at last? I'm itching to hear the end of the gist. You know you do the suspense thingy so well!!!

mosaic said...

Wow, is all that I can say.

I know that some men think like this, but to see it written is...........

Anyways, nicely written.

nosa101 said...


Overwhelmed Naija Babe said...

@naijadyme: lol… thanks babe. What gives you the impression there’ll be a ‘rest’? lol

@Calabar Gal: lol.. I could’ve been eh… I should clarify with my mom. It’ll be even better if he discovers it cos things we do affect people in our lives whether we like it or not… I’ve had to go through life proving I could be just as good or better than any boy and I’m sick and tired of it!!! Lol… First Naijadyme, now you… I just might have to continue with this!.. lol

@Mosaic: Thanks babe for your comment and for visiting… luv ur blog!... Nigerian men esp. Igbo men can be so “____” sometimes!

@Nosa: lol… I’m in on the joke

Belle said...

that was sad. pele....
your father sounds like a piece of work... **hope i haven't offended you by saying this. Geez...between the gyno story and this one... :(

TP said...

I like the creative way you wrote this. I was touched. If this story is true, I hope there are no more men like your dad around. And I pray that you will never be rejected again. Keep it up sister!

Beautifully Human said...

anything a man/boy can do a woman/girl can do better. unfortunately society, especially naija, sometimes doesnt recognise this fact. Its quite sad, really.

Overwhelmed Naija Babe said...

@Belle: He is a piece of work… nothing to get offended about… it is the simple truth… thanks for stopping by and following my story

@Tp: Thanks babe… it is true… and as much as we’d like to think there are not much men like this around… truth of the matter is… there are. Amen to never being rejected again. Have a great weekend babe

@Beautifully Human: yes ma’am… it is sad that our society places more stock by the menfolk (whatever happened to equality?!?!)… but bigups to all the women out there who are proving em wrong everyday!!!

azuka said...

Reminds me of when I was 1. I'd started talking when I was 9 months and desperately wanted to read three months later because ti fascinated me.

My mom said I'd pick up a book and 'put my eyes into' it. When people asked me 'What are you doing?' I'd say, 'I'm reading.'

'And what are you reading?'

'I don't know.'

Oops I got carried away. I can sense something about your Dad's aversion to you -- and yes, it sucks when you have someone you just can't ever please. You spend all your life trying desperately to prove yourself to the person and it never succeeds.

My Dad was like that for a while, and it hurt me too. He went through school in flying colors and always put me down no matter what I did -- no matter the score, he never was satisfied. I think he's gotten over that.

Anonymous said...

That was really deep overwhelmed
I am glad that you have been able to overcome these trumas - at least you are on the right path

Stories like this make me very grateful for my father and mother.

You are blessed and divinely favoured...all will be well Miss Overwhelmed...
I used to live in the Tdot ooo
Yonge and Eglington represent lol

Vera Ezimora said...


I wanna say something deep, and meaningful, and thoughtful like "You're strong; everything will be just fine", but I can't. It's too serious.

So I'll just say... damn! No wonder you're so overwhelmed. But I'm sure you still understand, rigiht?

Overwhelmed Naija Babe said...

@Azuka: lol@your story. I know exactly where you’re coming from… I’ve always wanted to do better than everyone… always pushed myself harder and now I’m saying fuck it! I graduated high school in Naija when I was 13… got admission to do medicine in Uniport at that same age. When I got away from my Dad’s influence I realized I didn’t want to be that person anymore… I wanted to live!!! I just want to do me… be happy, be successful but not lose ‘me’ in the process of proving myself. I hate not being good enough esp. bcos of something I can’t change(my sex) so now I’m nipping that shit in the bud… I AM GOOD ENOUGH!!!

@Bella Naija: You should cherish it that you have great parents… my mom is the shit too(took me a while to realize that) and I celebrate that everyday cos without her… I’d be _______. Yonge and Eglinton eh?!?!? Isn’t canada the shit? Thanks for dropping by babe

@Vera: lol… ur just not serious oh… don’t make me feed you snails and overcooked rice with shrimp desert this halloween weekend oh!!!

Soul said...

hmmm, if i didn't know better, I'd say you were my actual birth sister..
Dad wanted a boy. end of.

At some point, someone really needs to teach Nigeiran men about biology. Because as we all know the sex of the child is determined by the man...

i swear you've relived my life, and from the comments it seems, you've lived the life of many other naija girls as well...
So how come no one really talks about this?
Why are we not talking about this and saying it becomes ingrained how it makes us feel. how it turns us off from our 'sperm donors'.

Why do we insist on keeping up this charade, i know we will et flack for it initially, but seriously... at some point.. Naija women HAVE TO stop for one minute and c all a spade a spade.. we need to address the issues which we see playing over and over again and no excuse of cultural history is good enough for us to constantly keep passing this stuff over to the next generation.

We keep hoping that our generation won't act like that, But hope is no and never has been good enough. and we act surprised when the men in our generation repeat the mistakes and errors of our fathers.

Why are we surprised, we never really talk about it, so they see it as normal. made me feel a lil less lonely on this issue.

Lately I've become extremely proud of people i don't know (many Naija bloggers). Who are able to express themselves, the good, the bad, the ugly, the nasty, whatever... without falling back on some pseudo cultural or dammit religious bullshit.

Be well...

Anonymous said...

you were reading before you were two? you nust be like, a genius babe. woohoo! my cyber sis is a genius!!

on a serious tip though, u dont seem to hold a strong resentment and you are such an amazing person for that.
'rejected from birth'.. that is too deep. babe you werent rejected cuz you're not good enough, but cuz you were too good.
i cant say anything about him cuz i dont know him. but you've turned out to be quite an amazing person so its all good babe.

Anonymous said...

graduated high school at 13?!!! i i just read that. you ARE a genius babe!!! what do you do now? what do you wanna be(apart from writing, which isnt a choice, but who you are)?
we need to gist i'll have so many things to ask!

Angie said...

Girl u r really talented do you know that.
About ur old man...i know a man who married a woman and she gave him 4, then he married another wife and she gave him 5 then he went back to the 1st wife who then gave him another 3 girls...loool. Seriously this story is real i am not making it up. Now the man is quarrelin with God.
God knws why u r the way u r......becos if u were anything else, u will be less than His perfect plan for you.
So u started reading at 2?i m impressed cos now i plan to make my future kids be as bright as u!!!

Angie said...

Ur dad does not know what an awesome blessing u are.....just hope he doesn't realize to late!!!

The Life of a Stranger called me said...

Its so true with all that you train her and tomorrow she ends up and marry into a stuppid family - why are fathers like that especially the igbo ones. But They seem to forget that those girls they reject at birth are the one that are more likely to take care of them.

So your mum lived in lewisham - I really loved staying in south london - infact I loved catford and bromley more.

Nice post as usual.

Naijadude said...

Hmm girl again? Omo na to run far far away before it gets worse that it seems eh!!

But to be more serious, its kinda pathetic to imagine stuff like this happens to people, worse still people close to you!

Now I understand your sensitive part, now I see why thats a no-go area! Trust me I know how it is to operate in your world, it hurts to imagine it, its painful to talk about it, it hurts more when the affliation we have with the person is inevitable.

But I thought he had a son? which you never talk about as well, prolly u will some day

You are healed, my dear. Just keep being strong and lovely as u are.

Overwhelmed Naija Babe said...

@Soul: lol@being your birth sister… that’d be great fun… we’d get to do each others nails and steal each others jewellry and everything!!! Its strange to me that he kept blaming my mom esp as he graduated from the university of London (so he’s obviously ‘book-smart’). No one talks about it cos ppl are afraid to challenge the norm… people are afraid of change… but when it negatively affects peoples perception of themselves and their self-worth… I say screw ‘the norm’. yeah.. big ups to all the bloggers out there… like you soul… I see myself in so many others and I’ve found another home here… a great, supportive, entertaining, funny and sometimes dysfunctional but still loving home.

@JadedKiss: lol@being genius… I wish!!! On the real I’m probably smart but just did exceptionally well cos there were dire consequences if I didn’t… one thing I will say is that I’ve always been into books…reading em and writing em(or whatever my writing could be called). I wanted to be a doctor, then a journalist, then a doctor… I’m on my journey again… we’ll c where the road takes me this time… but for the first time in a long time… I’m listening to the voices in my head not those around me…and it feels pretty damn good! Thanks thanks thanks for ya support cybersis mine!!!

@Angie: lol… the boy story is a long one… I’ll tell it with time… but my dear all I’ll say is that what my dad wants seems to be escaping him. I know… my dad is missing out… but it’s all good cos I don’t need him to validate me anymore… Thank God for second chances!!!

@The Life: My dear I don’t even want to pretend I know the answer to that question… I just pray that all my dreams come true and I become that which I want to become (actually I pray all of us do!!!). yes… we lived in lewisham for a few years( I think till I was 6 or so.. so I don’t really have that many memories of there)… Thanks for dropping by babe!

@Naijadude: yes sir… you hit the nail right on the head… great to know I have people like you around me that are there for me no matter what even when I don’t tell the story from the beginning… you understand the summary! I know you’ve been through a lot too so I dedicate this post to you, me ,and everybody who’s ever been hurt before!!… I love you babe!!!

Anonymous said...


I feel u. U speak my story. From begining to the end in so many ways. Ur blog is helping me as I am going thru a very difficult time right now dealing with my childhood pain as a result rape, sexual abuse and a very absent father AND going thru the breakup of what I would call the first man I have allowed myself to love.

We as Naija people must get to a point where we say NO MORE!!!!!! We need to be the voice for the many young boys n girls who r abused, raped, beaten and sexually molested by the psychos out there, particualrly in naija. We do nuthin' about things n it's another ONB and folks like me who grow up to be confused, mistrusting n 4 the unlucky ones self destructive.

Discombobulated Diva said...

wow... sad story, but nicely written...

don't worry, we're glad to have you around!!!


Nyemoni said...

overwhelmed, I feel you... I know that you have grown up tough and all that and I'm sure that you know that you are one in a million!
Its so sad, but a lot of people give out this crap just cos one is 'female'
Nice piece...

Everchange said...

this is so sad. just know that you are not a disppointment to the rest of humanity. he had his own issues. very pathetic.

Everchange said...

we're 3 girls. and my parents got flak from my dad's family at first. when we were younger, they used to tell us the story abt how he told everyone to leave him alone, like I was supposed to be proud that he didn't reject us. apart from the arrogance though, i am grateful that my father was more open-minded than some. once he got over it, he started training us to be geniuses...which is a whole nother mess to go into. sigh. so many messed up nigerian children out here.

lotus said...

hello naija
i feel very happy that u r a nice woman dealing with human feelings.boys r good but girls r more nice.

Overwhelmed Naija Babe said...

@Anonymous: Thanks mami! Thank you for your story, thank you for reading and thank you for being!!! I hope you find peace… peace to deal with the hurt, the pain, the memories… you’re greater than your past is what I always say. It’s been hard for me to put some of my thoughts into words but it helps a lot… I hope you find/have an outlet too… Do come back and if you do decide to get a blog… let ur girl know!!!

@Discombobulated: Thanks babe… I appreciate

@Nyemoni: That really means a lot… Thanks babe

@Everchange: Yes.. and with time I’m beginning to understand that those issues have absolutely nothing to do with me!! It’s just a damn shame when girls are undervalued and treated like second best cos it doesn’t do much for our self-esteem to think that no matter what we do… ‘we’ll never be good enough’.

@Lotus: Lol… that’s another way to look at it… thanks for dropping by

SapphireAster said...

ONB..again excellent writing! Wow..your dad has and continues to miss out on so much. His loss! Like people have said..I hear about this but it has never I've never heard someone's story like this.
Thanks for sharing.

Overwhelmed Naija Babe said...

@SapphireAster: Thanks babe… Yup he’s definitely missing out!… Thanks for dropping by

TaureanMinx said...

ONG, funny how I always say I want no boys. Reading this, all I say is, may God bless me with children and I'll be happy, boy or girl. Its the sad fact that oys are more important in the society but not all men mind if they have all girls, or at least they don't show it. But many will be persuaded to 'marry' another wife to see if they will have boys with its the woman who determines the sex.

Angie said...

I m just wondering...aint guys the one who determine the sex of the baby???Isn't it wat they give the woman that she brings out??lol

Mari said...

wow. this is amazing. I cant even begin to understand what you went thru as a child but thank God for your mum.

Stay blessed!!!

olawunmi said...

damn. this woman can write. my list of favouritest bloggers just jumped by one. i love your style...

this story was touching too, i have 6 sisters and 1 brother, and i would not trade any of those girls for one baby with testicles. i love my babies just the way they are.

olawunmi said...

i honestly don't know how people can be so ignorant in this day and age, and how does somone reject their own child on the basis that she had nothing to do with. i remember reading the gynecologist post and not being able to comment because i was so touched.

just read this again, and i'm sad to be a man.

that said, you seem to have turned out pretty good though, despite the efforts of your protector. just take care of you, thats what counts, and don't forget to shine like the star that you were so obviously meant to be

Poetic Justice said...

Okay just reading this made me remember that my father has four girls and he never once doubted my mom. In fact he support her when Nigerians almost threw her out of her husbands house.

Nosey backward people that htey are. And what now? he has doctors, Lawyers, writers, and bankers for daughters and his friends son's? Nothing. Boys don't mean success. HOld your head up high girl!

ChiefO said...

overwhelmed i see blogging to u helps let out steam at the right time. some of "US" have held the steam in, too long and it has melted our insides and turned it into anger. its worse still now cos whenever "WE" try to let anything out, the anger it comes with aint always pleasant.

yeah i know i'm male but,"leaving ur son's future hanging while u are out with a mistress" is somn that disturbs the mind and then turning back around while all MEN are grown and saying,"I WONT LEAVE YOU FOR ANYTHING IN THE WORLD" "I WONT ALLOW ANYBODY TAKE MY PLACE" all in the name of mending fences sounds kinda like shepocriticism innit.

its good to know that u are handling this right. ur post have actually got me thinking maibe i might tell it all on my blog one of these days. i just have to learn to tell all without the anger thats present in me.

Biodun said...

I love this post, this is something we deal with in our culture, sad but true

Uzo said...

I love this post. Very well written and excellent communication....Hmm....So many issues here

ChiefO said...

theres somn called passing the blame. most men that throw tantrums cos of the girl child are in denial of the fact that they were the suppliers of determining factor in the equation.

Overwhelmed Naija Babe said...

@TaureanMinx:"may God bless me with children and I'll be happy, boy or girl" sums it up perfectly!!!

@Angie: Anybody who's ever read a medical journal,website, textbook or even taken biology or integrated science knows that the male determines the sex of the child.. but its unfortunate that some people choose to remain ignorant... educated but ignorant!

@Mari: Yup... thank God for my mom and every other person who let me know i was iite regardless of whether i had a pussy or a penis!

Overwhelmed Naija Babe said...

@olawunmi: lol... thanks babe.. luv ur writing too... i agree... children should be accepted regardless of their sex but unfortunately in our naija society... some males think different.. and its a damn shame cos they miss out on sooo much!!!

@Poetic Justice: Bigups to your dad for being the man that he is cos now he's obviously reaping the benefits... like you said.. 'where are those his friends sons now?!?!'

@ChiefO:yup blogging really helps me to express whats inside... cos i dont want the anger to simmer and become something else.. i sense theres stuff in you that you have to express... babe.. do it on ur blog or in ur life.. we're here 4 u babe!!!

@Biodun: Thanks babe... It should stop reaLly cos it affects lots of girls self esteem and opinion of self!

@Uzo: Thanks babe... Yup.. ur right.. many many issues here... lol.. hopefully i fix a few of em!


ChiefO said...

overwhelmed do i? digging into my being... i have loads. would i blog about them soon? maibe. tried to forget a lot of it. but whenever i'm down, thots from way back creep back into my system.