Friday, August 29, 2008

Who Killed Antoinette?

The way she died and the circumstances that led to his death are the focus of this story. who would you blame for her death? She grew up in a close family of seven boys where she was the only girl. They dictated the terms of life for their daughters with exorbitant dowry and bride price. The family exposed the weaknesses of her pretenders to everyone and showed respect to no one, except themselves. You made appointments, but they never kept any. They banned people from visiting their house. Her brothers threatened to gang up against anyone that will try to “follow”  (go out with) their sister and rubbished every effort young men made to win the love of their only sister, as if they will marry her themselves.

She was never taught to follow rules; pampered and molly-cuddled to live her way or no way. To this end, she disobeyed even her own parents but not on her choice of a life partner. She protested everything, except the desire of her brothers to choose a man for her. The parents did not know the difference between idealism and realism. They insisted on their way or no way, so they made unfair and unrealistic demands. They will not even respect other people’s rights. With all of this, they had taught their child to whine and throw tantrums on everything and anything. If things were not done her way, she was world-wearied.

They kept her away from good pretenders and left her with the option of bad choice and unhappiness as the lone option. She eloped with one dropout who was their neighbor and got pregnant. There are serious consequences when parents try to select a partner for their son or daughter, and she insists on not going their way. Usually, time is the best of masters to determine the outcome. Indeed, they have good intentions for her but that does not always translate to happiness, if not all the arranged marriages in the world will never experience trouble. Now girls at 18 are virtually grownups, able to make proper decisions unlike before when they were 25 and still ignorantly innocent.

After her unsuccessful love expedition, Antoinette returned home to be berated by her parents who told her she had disobeyed them and brought the family name to shame. She was expulsed with no other option than prostitution that was the easiest of both beautiful and ugly women who shared the same cup of hopelessness and a bleak future. Beside their house lived a bicycle repairer who gave her money for one way transport to Douala: a city that was already booming with unions of known prostitutes from the village.

The parents have quickly forgotten that the rashness was their cause, and her predicament was determined from the time they drove potential lovers who genuinely loved her out of love and not infatuations. In Douala, she could not make it; she struggled and went to Gabon where prostitution was in heavy demand and where the economy was still buoyant. Years after she came back home, she began to construct a huge duplex that she will not roof because HIV /AIDS overran her life.
When stories busted out that she had died of AIDS, onlookers who have followed her life journey laid the blame on her parents who laid the blame on her stubbornness. Now I ask you, who do you think killed Antoinette?

Until then; the drumbeats of love sound louder in the one who is in love than those who listen from afar.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.

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