The Spangle in our Jalabiya by Nonye Ezeaka

The Spangle in our Jalabiya by Nonye Ezeaka

They say we are the weaker sex
Of no value to our fathers
Inferior to the opposite sex
Not worthy of recognition
They say we were created to support
To serve and be submissive
To pander to every whim
Of the superior male race
They tell us not to go to school
Of what use is an education
Better stay home and get married
To a stupid old fool
Have a little ambition
With even less education, they say
Lest you be an object of ridicule
And chase your suitors away
Your passions and hobbies don’t matter
They must always come after your husband’s or father’s
For his will alone
Must be your sole desire
Keep your legs closed till marriage
It will bring you favor
In the eyes of your husband
And bring praise to your lineage
This is just for us girls
If you are a boy
It does not matter
If you sow your wild oats
They expect us to be shy
Not to hold our heads high
To live the life of a recluse
Without so much as a sigh
They want us to be content
With being ignored and defied
They want us to be happy
While our lives remain dormant
We are continuously victimized
Taken for granted and underrated
Our voices cry out in the wilderness
But they cover their ears
Pretending they cannot hear us
These are the threads they weave
To form our jalabiya
But we must never back down
We must never retreat
We must continue to fight
For what we know is right
And find the spangle
That lies in our jalabiya

by Nonye Ezeaka


Photo Credit: Simisola Babalola (@simzsco)

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