Friday, 7 March 2014


 In a program I watched on TV a few weeks ago, the topic of discussion was
 'Whether or not married women should disclose the details of their finances to their husbands'.

It was quite funny that a very significant number of women ( the discussants & callers), for various reasons admitted to keeping money secrets from their husbands.

 Some of their reasons ranged from:

                                        past infidelity
                                        financial recklessness
                                        in-law issues etc.

Sure some women called in to say that it isn't wise to keep money secrets or any secret for that matter, from ones spouse, but they were in the minority so they didn't 'win' that day.

I was going to call in with a recount of a true life story but I feared the 1 minute alloted to each caller wouldn't be enough for me and whats the point in a half told story? So here I come with the story, hopefully it'll help someone out there.

Story story.........

This is about a man and a woman who had been married for 12years with 3 sons with age ranging from 3 to 10years. Their lifestyle was pretty much average for a pair university graduates with no silver spoon wedged in their mouths. The man is a  self employed accountant with a small office in a run down part of town. The wife had to give up her job as a banker after she suffered serious complications during her last pregnancy, she sometimes engaged in trading, but this she does on part time basis. Things were sometimes difficult for them, they had to scrimp and save to pay school fees and house rent, but they were honorable people, well loved and respected.
Things hadn't always been so bad for them,the man business once did well and they used to live better in a different part of town, but a bad business decision cost them nearly everything they had and since then they had not been able to pick up again.

One day, the wife took ill. One of those illnesses that you'd think paracetamol and a day in bed should cure. She took some rest that day as she self medicated at home, by evening her temperature had hit the roof and a few hours later she collapsed and was rushed to a nearby clinic where the doctor's prognosis was quite grave and her husband was advised to effect her transfer to an hospital on the other side of town.

Before the man could mobilize the funds needed to effect his wife's transfer to the hospital, she gave up the ghost.

Naturally, her husband was devastated. He was inconsolable as he mourned the death of his beloved friend, lover and amiable companion of close to twenty years.

Because of her aged parents, who survived her, her burial date was promptly fixed so that they can have some closure.
Many people came to commiserate with her husband, they all expressed their shock at her sudden departure. One of the women that came asked to see the grieving husband privately, he obliged her and ushered her into another part of their apartment where they could talk in private. The woman explained to the husband how a group of them, including his late wife, had been saving money together - 'esusu' and she came with a cheque for her own share of the savings.  The man was amazed as the amount on the cheque was quite significant, but he reasoned that women had funny ways and this must be one of his late wife's funny ways. He thanked the woman and took the cheque from her.

The evening before the burial day, a former work colleague of the woman came calling, she also asked to see the man privately, this time, the man didn't accede to the request but he urge the woman to say what she had to say as the people with him were his older brother and brother in-law. Like the first caller, this woman also explained how the deceased had fixed a large sum of money in the bank where she had worked and kept the documents of that transaction with her. When the amount of money she fixed was announced, the man flipped! He became very upset that his wife didn't trust him at all. He remembered the days of their struggles and thought how wicked his wife must have been to allow the family to go through such hardship while she stashed money in the hands of her friends. He decided that he and his children would not attend the funeral the next day as he no longer wished to have anything to do with a woman whom he loved but who obviously didn't have any regard for him..

No one in that family slept that night. Meetings upon meetings were held, all the 'olori ebis' family elders, were roused from their abodes to help appeal to the very upset man. Eventually, just before dawn, he agreed to attending the funeral for appearances sake.

Any picture taken on that day would show a bitter and angry man. He moved mechanically through that day's proceedings. Not a tear did he shed at her graveside. Everyone kept a reasonable distance from him for fear that he might lash out at them.

A few days after her burial, he called on her siblings to come pack all her stuff out  the apartment else, he would burn everything as he wanted no reminder to the sham he had lived in over a decade.

Her sisters and some cousins arrived a few days later to do the packing. As they tearfully went through her personal effects they discovered share certificates and other investment papers stashed in various corners of her wardrobes and suitcases. These they promptly gathered and presented to 'uncle' - maybe to dissociate themselves from their late sister's acts.

These the man took with the cheques already in his possession, stuffed them all in a polythene bag and gave to his late wife's sisters to take to their family to be used as they wished.

He later told some of his friends that the reason why he did that and not keep the money as an inheritance for their children was because he didn't want anyone saying that he had a hand in her death because of her wealth.

As the story went,  even her family members were not pleased at her actions and a decision was taken to donate the money to various charity homes.

What is the point of money that can't be used to improve the lot of ones loved ones?


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