Zimbabwe: Never enjoyed early days of my married life

Date: October 10, 2019
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My name is Dollie*. I did not do well in school and my focus was only on playing and relaxing at home. I found a person who wanted to marry me and I got excited of getting married although my parents had other plans and high hopes for me. They wanted me to rewrite ordinary level examinations but I opted for marriage. 

The man I got married to pretended to be a very caring, but he failed to earn my parents’ trust. This man was rich but I did not enjoy his riches. He never gave me money to buy food or clothes. My elder sister and my brothers were the ones who were taking care of me. They even went to the extent of buying preparation during the time when I was pregnant.  

I was living like a prisoner. I was not allowed to talk to men. When going to the clinic or shops I was supposed to avoid talking to any men. He used to beat me whenever I ask for money. For me to survive I was asking for food from my parents but he discovered it I would be punished as if I had committed a serious crime. He finally developed a habit of beating me whenever he felt like. 

When our first born child was doing form two, he got married to his best friend’s daughter who was in the same class with my daughter at school. He bragged about it as if he had made a great achievement in life. 

My husband never took care of our children. He banned me from going to work or engage in any income generating projects. I once tried cross border trading but he declared that he would never permit me to do so. He would always come home and tell me lies on how he spent his money and promise to give me the money when he received his salary the following months. He never kept his word and he would repeat the same lie over and over again. 

Some years later my niece introduced me to a night school to supplement the subjects I had failed at ordinary level. I started studying in private because I was afraid that if he discovered it he would stop me. He only knew about it when I was about to sit for my final examinations.  I apologised for going to school secretly without his knowledge. I thought that my husband is going to stop me from going to school. He acted in a manner that I never expected as he asked me what was required at school. I told him that there is nothing required and he permitted me to continue with my schooling. 

The new wife separated with my husband and she went to stay in South Africa. I am now pursuing my professional career. I had learnt that the world is so unkind and I urge fellow women to stay focused and push on.