These are my perspectives:
I managed Majek Fashek for about five years when his album was released under my label. He was married to Rita Fashek for over twenty-five years.
In all those years, she saw him rise to the top of his career (and supported him), she saw him (against her wishes) fall under the bad influence of drugs and alcoholism. She stayed with him all these years.
In all her interviews, she NEVER opened her mouth to say she caught Majek sniffing cocaine or saw him taking drugs. She only pleaded for help but refused to destroy the man she loved and married with her words. It was only Majek himself who came out to say “Help me! I’m on drugs” and people rallied round him.
Now, that is not to say that Majek himself couldn’t have gone public too to say nasty things about his wife, if he had anything to say but as ‘crazy’ as he was perceived, he knew too where to draw the line and kept his home troubles to his heart and family. Is any couple out there getting my drift so far?
Old school love. Old school values. Na where dey pain person dem dey put for near fire, says an old school adage.
Old school love keeps it private. Our shit is between us as a couple and we will sort it out or walk out of it quietly without any noise. That’s why we took the vows.
In Bini Language, there’s a word we use which means ‘spoilt’ or rotten. It’s called ‘sankanwen’ or ‘sakan’ ( I hope I got the spelling right. My Bini people forgive me o.)
A lot of these young people; young couples today? They just ‘sankan’ to the max.
Young men out there in this clime all lazy and sometimes stupid. Opportunists in emotional matters. Young ladies out there as worse as the young fellows most times and adding indigestible values to their daily mantra. They meet and their ‘sankanmwen’ find a nexus of foibles.
Things will fall apart.
Wa sankan gbe! Wa hia gbe ho!
For the avoidance of doubt, I don’t ask any lady in an abusive relationship to stay put. If your husband touches you with a heavy hand, you should leave. If you too slap your husband around too, he too should leave. Spousal abuse and violence is unacceptable.
But when there are children from the union, when pikin don enter, be very circumspect about what you say outside about your failed marriage and why you left him or why she left you.
I read a lot of ‘sankanwen’ on social media especially by ladies who are either divorced or separated. And I just shake my head.
Anyway, back to my crux.
Old school love or marriages were something else. When I was growing up, I saw some of my uncles drive their only wives out of the matrimonial homes. But years later, as time went by, they reunited with those wives and settled with them till they died. I’m not talking about plural marriages here. I mean, an Uncle with a wife and he would drive her away or send her packing or she would wake up and leave. But years later, they would both come back together.
It baffled me. But it taught me something. There are values in a marriage which the couple never forget.
I had to ask one of my uncles some years ago why he called back his wife after years of separation.
‘My son, despite our wrongs to each other, she was the wife of my youth. She was the love I ever knew, who knew me inside out and though we fought and she was a hothead as I was, she bore me beautiful kids. She propped up my life. Why would I grow old and she too grows old without us coming back together to die as one? My son, fights don’t last. Love and understanding do last’
You hear him?
I asked a young man in his early thirties last week why he’s not yet married, since he’s successful so far in his endeavours. He replied ‘ Uncle Charles, I don search. I don tire. Uncle, I envy your generation. Na una find better wives’
I reminded him that turn forty-five in a few months and I’m still within his generational bracket and he said ‘ Uncle, leave matter. This our generation girls don spoil finish. No value system. Nothing’
That left me pondering. So I asked a young lady a few days later why she too hasn’t been hitched by the men in her generational group.
She replied; ‘ Useless boys. Useless. They will lie to you, chop you and run off. They will break your heart. They will be looking for women who fit into their minds of how their mothers are. They want to marry their mothers templates but go about spoiling the ladies who other men would want to marry!’
The reality is this; marriage is a union of interests. If you marry for love, build on the love. If you marry for opportunity, it will chance you somehow. If you marry for kids, place them first.
Don’t marry because those silly Telemundo series and Zee World soaps ( the flights of fancy of well paid scriptwriters) tell you that the marital world is perfect.
No marriage is ever perfect. There are back breaking challenges. Face them or if you decide, flee them. But don’t give us your own Telemundo of what happened if the kids are involved.
Half the people shouting and taking sides in this Tiwa/Billz saga just come on social media to spew ‘make dem hear my voice’ opinions. When they finish, they cuddle next to their spouses and tell themselves ‘ the one wey I get , I go hold am’ and leave many of you who read their diatribes, fully misled. If you follow the mouth of some people on social media without thinking, you go tire.
I will give a couple of examples.
Take the case of…
*To be continued
Charles Novia is an award-winning filmmaker. He is founder of November Productions and November Records. Connect with him on Facebook.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.