Hajia Sadiq: 300-word fiction in celebration of the Girl Child DayINCRESE
By Amatesiro Dore
Ruwa knew twenty-two-year-old Shamsee was going to be her husband as soon as she saw the red bricks of the main house, the spacious guard-house, adjoining toilet with running water, a small lot fit for a kitchen farm, and an unused neighbouring land without a fence, suitable for planting and grazing animals. She sold nono as a side business and became an established, accomplished mother in nine months, and respectable name-changing first wife of the Mai Guard before she reached the old age of eleven when she qualified to obtain a voters card and cast elections for twenty-five thousand naira per ballot paper and two cows for every thumbprint. She did not like the alternative: lifetime modelling contract with Poverty Incorporated of Northern Nigeria, trading with female destinies division, Minna Branch. Or become like her mother, Hajia Sadiq, who made side money from modelling for stock photography and benefitting from outreach programmes by INCRESE, the women and sexual reproductive rights organisation, since her birthday in 2000, especially when her VVF condition was successfully managed after the childbirth of Ruwa in 2009.
Hajia Sadiq was the child who gave birth to a child, Ruwa, who became a mother during her childhood. Her fellow seventeen-year-old grandmothers were simple and sexualised trado-political matriarchs of education-resistant-communities committed to ethnoreligious blindness and hegemony.
While Ruwa believed it was the will of God for her to become a respectable Hajia who travels for hajj by seventeen. And she informed Shamsee, her impoverished and starving social security guard and husband, of what she thinks he could do to acquire wealth during the next elections.