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LONELY SOJOURNER BY OPEYEMI OLASUMBO

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A lot of us have been born, some dead while some are still in oblivion, more is to come. Some came through the accepted passage, while some like us…well, are referred illegitimate, due to a flaw in our carrier. A lot of these carriers have either been raped, weighed down with an unwanted pregnancy, had a failed marriage, some are proudly baby mamas while some are identified as mistresses or royal concubines.

The Statistic shows that about 40% to 50 % of Nigerians got married, which leaves 5.2 % birth per woman. This means the maximum child expected in every marriage is 5 while some could be more than that. If we do the follow- up of these so- called weddings, we will discover that the number of divorces is way too alarming. These are marriages that millions of naira were spent on, their relationships were full of love and certainty. what took them to the alter in the first place, if not acceptance? Now when these unions were dissolved, it left thousands, if not millions of us with a distorted identity. We dangled in the middle of the conflict, we couldn’t pick a side, many ended up on the streets, some are tagged reclusive, A SEED OF A MISTAKE.
Our lives feel like a joke, a pawn on a chess board. when each party remarried, since society is against being alone or in your father’s house after a failed marriage, many of us were sent to the house of the extended family. we can’t stay long in a place, it just doesn’t feel like ours. Thus I begin to wonder, what’s the fault in our creation? why must we be the old toy that gets tossed away when a new one is found?
Before the emergence of the 1999 constitution, the right of an illegitimate child in Nigeria is withheld and they couldn’t claim the right to their fathers’ properties like the legitimate ones. In a country like Japan, illegitimate children were once subjected to social prejudice and legal discrimination. Although most of these issues have been dissolved, still an increasing number of people now refer to the illegitimate as ‘’non marital children’’ but what difference does it make?
Thanks to The Nigerian constitution, which now gives the right for illegitimate children to claim the right to inheritance. Some other foreign countries have joined the movement, they now shun discrimination. But what about their emotional state of mind? What about all the bottled- up feelings and the burning rage? some illegitimate find it hard to love because they had been alone for too long and opening up to others becomes a herculean task. The fear of creating another unhappy them is what eats them up. in the end, the few of us that redefine ourselves are pacified, we must forgive our carrier because life happens. Yet more keeps coming.

Abass Latifat Olamide is an undergraduate student of English Language at the Lagos State University. She is an extrovert by nature and admires hard work and consistency. Follow her on Twitter @Lartholomo,Instagram@Lartholomo,FB page@AbassLatifatOlamide.

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