After a long struggle of trying to convince the bench of judges that female lawyers just like male lawyers could win cases, I was put to test with the case of 15-year-old girl Nana, the only daughter of Mrs. Oppo who had been accused of disrespecting elders who wanted to marry her off to the man who already had eight wives. Nana had also refused to go through the’ ritual’ which made the people afraid that this was going to displease the gods who would punish them with drought.
That day as I hoped to prove the male lawyers wrong, I could not help pitying the young girl whose fate lay in my hands. The mother now seemed so lost and even buried her head in the ground as though praying to the Deity. Beside them was the 51 year old man who was to marry Nana. He was relaxed as he awaited the time to come so he could take Nana home as his wife.Then as I continue to search the room with my eyes I saw Nana’s father whose countenance shone with so much brightness and it was obvious to him that they had won the case. That now the two goats that remained on top of the three male hens would be finally brought home in exchange of his daughter.
The silence caressed my skin like the windward breeze and my blood begun to freeze. Nanas case reminded me of a story that was as fresh as day in my mind. Turning to the judge I said, “Your Honor, as we sit here to listen to the case of our 15 year-old child who is soon to be married off, I beg to share with you a short story about some lady.
When she was only thirteen years old, she did exemplary well to deserve a chance at Alliance Girls High but she could not reach this dream since her single parent could not afford it. So she stayed home to raise some funds first. Then one early morning a village elder walked to their house and demanded that she goes through the ‘ritual.’Quickly they dragged her to their kitchen and undressed her. They all raped her in turns then cut off her stuff. She cried but her cries fell on deaf ears as it was assumed she was afraid of the ritual. The next day the elder came around again with a man walking stealthily behind him,” Woman, this is your husband!” he shouted. She could not help but plan a successful escape to the missionary camp 50 kilometers away before they come to get her. They took her in and schooled her. That lady is me.”
Eyes watery, the judge said, “Nana I find you not guilty instead, you old man will educate her till she is done with school. Nana’s father, return those hens since Nana is going to school. Case closed!
In deed what men can do women can too.