“My father was cutting firewood.  He lifted the ax with force and hit a side of his stomach.  He was in deep pain and was rushed to the clinic.  There was need for him to be operated on because of his appendicitis.  We had no money.  The only option to raise money was to marry me off and use the bride price to treat him.  This was in September 1969 and I was only 11 years old.  I refused and kept crying.  My elder brother consoled me and explained that the family has no other choice.  I can still marry, go to school and save my father’s life.  I accepted my brother’s words and got married to an 18 years old soldier.  Back then, what will an 18 years old boy do with an 11 years old girl?  I had not started menstruating by that age.  

At 13, when I first saw my menstrual flow, I started crying.  I didn’t know what was happening to me.  My husband saw it and started crying too.  He didn’t understand why blood was coming out from my body.  I had to rush home to tell my mother and everyone started laughing at me.  She sat me down and explained everything to me.  I gave birth to my first child at 17 years old and went on to bear 5 more children.  I had a cesarean section many times.  Funny enough, after all, we passed through, my husband still left me to marry another younger lady.  But I’m grateful for my kids.  All of them are doing well so they took care of me and provided all my needs.  I don’t regret ever marrying him because I saved my father’s life and begot beautiful children who have made me a happy grandmother today.”

Adeshile Adekolajo is a graduate of Psychology from the University of Abuja, He works for Ntel Nigeria and he owns - He is a writer, blogger and poet, to read more of his interesting and educative articles, please log on to -