In the outskirts of a Northern Village of the country of Alela lived a certain family. This family, living in a typical village household setting, was just like any another family. The family lived in a small compound constituting of one large hut and three small ones.
On 25th May 1985 something happened to this particular family. Something that was considered as a source of joy to any normal family in that particular community. However, the particular occurrence did not bring about joy, instead, it brought about discord, rift and a lot of pain to the family.
I know you are wondering, what was this particular occurrence??? Well, to serve your curiosity, I will let you know- A child had been born in this family. There were two reasons why this child brought about a lot of discord. First and foremost, this pregnancy was unplanned for and secondly, the child was a girl.
Basaja, the father to the newly born child wanted a male child as the first born claiming that it was the tradition. This culminated to a lot of pressure being imposed on Lydia, the mother. It was Basaja’s claim that he could never sire a girl as the first born.
“Lydiah, I have always had a feeling that you have not been faithful and my suspicions that you put this pregnancy on me for me to marry you so you could cover your shame of infidelity coming to light.” This was immediately after Lydiah had given birth.
Basaja was angry. His veins were so clear on his protruded forehead. He was shaking and holding his fist so tight. He proceeded, “Lydiah you either throw this child away and I will forgive your unfaithfulness or you will have to swear at the shrine and if you are found guilty, you know the repercussion – death by stoning.”
Lydiah cried her heart out pleading to Basaja as she swore that she had never been unfaithful. She further claimed that her religious convictions could not allow her to swear at the shrine.
Basaja interrupted her and asserted, “Lydiah, it is either death or this bastard to be done away with!!!” He then stormed out of the hut where Lydiah had put to bed in.
Lydiah got into deep thought as tears flew down her cheeks. She took a look at the young toddler by her side and spoke, “I love you dear and I also want to protect my marriage … I can get another child but I cannot definitely re-do this marriage. I know throwing you away will be inhumane, am at crossroads, what should I do???”
Written By: Anne Mumbi Njoroge