She stays with him, through years of pain, through nights of anguish. She can't leave him. It would be a shame, her shame not his. The society would judge her for leaving; they’ll point at her and call her names. How will she be addressed if she left? Miss Nnenna Ezeh? Mrs Nnenna Stan? What about her children? Everybody says 'stay for your children's sake', she doesn't even know what that means anymore when staying is hurting them, shaping them to think that abuse is the norm. Her mother looks at her swollen lips and half-shut eyes and sends her back to him. 'you can't leave him' she'd say, 'what will people say?' You have to sacrifice, that's the price you pay to keep your home.

Her friends say a home is a home when the man and the woman live in the same house with their children running up and down the stairs. It doesn't matter if it takes everything to get through the day, nobody cares, nobody will ask you that one, they'd say.

So she stays. Her eyes have fallen deep in their sockets and she has grown a hundred years but she stays. Nobody asks why she's growing thin. It's the way with people, they avoid your eyes and tell you how great you look. They ask how you're doing but they don't really want to know. Not even when he'll march her swollen belly with the sole of his boots and send her to the hospital gasping for her life. No, not even then. They'd simply hold her hand and accuse the devil. Her mother would throw herself on the floor and tell the doctor she had fallen down the stairs and the society would shake heads and call her brave.

        written by Jane Kalu 

Kanayo Aniegboka

Kani is a Nigerian born and based minister, public speaker, entrepreneur and life coach. His keen and unique perspective to life issues makes him a refreshing voice to listen to. He currently serves as the Executive Coordinator of House on the Rock - Word House and sits on the board of a number of companies.


  1. My heart brakes to think that this is actually the experience of someone out there, someone you may have passed on the queue in the mall, or shared a bus ride with today.

  2. It's had to pack up your things and leave especially when you have children. We live in a very unforgiving society, the shame will stay with you.

  3. Children need to see their mothers happy and confident. Children can't be happy seeing their mothers abused, oppressed and depressed. It tends to have a negative impact on them.