The Social media have served many purposes in Nigeria over the last few years, but for many married women, they have become a tool of war against their husbands’ mistresses, popularly called ‘side chicks’ in Nigeria.
Even though the struggle against competition by housewives or husbands has never been less intense, the visibility that social media afford day-to-day life seems to be serving Nigerians with the juicy details of marital problems that otherwise would have remained within the confines of the affected homes.
A battle for the heart of the husband might sound mundane or like a hilarious spectacle of catfights. However, in recent times, many Nigerian women have taken the fight to save their marriage from ‘side chicks’ a notch higher by being more creative and using social media tools to shame their perceived enemies.
Over the last few weeks, a few cases have come into the limelight, showing the length that many women are willing to go to expose their husbands’ mistresses.
One of the most prominent ones is the case of an unidentified woman who became the talk of the town following the way she exposed her husband’s alleged lover.
During the week, residents of Nsukka woke up to find posters exposing an alleged mistress displayed on walls and public buildings across the city.
Apparently, an angry housewife had decided to expose her husband’s lover.
She made posters embossed with the alleged mistress’ photograph, which were captioned: “Home Breaker and Marriage Destroyer” with an additional title that says “Agent of Satan”.
“I have begged you enough to leave my husband for me, but you decided to insult me, let the world help me to beg you. I love my husband,” the anonymous wife wrote under the picture.
She also added the alleged lover’s phone number accompanied by a plea that says “please repent”.
Saturday PUNCH tried to contact the alleged mistress through the phone number but it was unreachable.
As some of the stories here would show, it appears that a wife’s worst nightmare is knowing that there is a woman somewhere competing for her husband’s affection.
Interestingly, sometimes, when there are confrontations between wives and alleged mistresses, whether physically or virtually, such secret lovers are on the defensive.
For instance, a few days ago, such a case became a trending topic on the social media when a housewife shared her encounter with her husband’s alleged lover, whom she had confronted on WhatsApp.
The encounter started with the supposed wife saying, “Why are you disturbing my husband? I have warned you before now. Be very careful, I am after you. I will deal with you if you ever call his line again. Ashewo (prostitute). You think my husband is a Father Christmas. You will not go and look for husband (sic).
“Fool like you can’t have a good husband. You are begging a man to love and have sex with you. You are a fool and a disgrace to women.”
But the alleged lover did not take the matter lying down.
“You are very stupid for saying that. Do you have a husband? Do you know that your husband loves me? It is your mother that is an Ashewo. Useless wife and stupid husband,” the alleged mistress retorted.
Such bitter exchanges between wives and supposed mistresses have become regular occurrences in Nigeria’s blogosphere, providing amusement for many who seek to revel in other’s misfortunes.
A few months ago, a woman with the Facebook identity – Ogochukwu Blessings – became popular for the wrong reasons when a woman, UC Keres (on Facebook), posted her picture and issued a dire warning with subtle ominous threats.
“My people, please beware of this girl. She is going about disturbing people’s husbands on Facebook…Lagoon is calling somebody very soon oooo (sic),” she wrote in the post.
It appeared that Keres shared some mutual friends with the alleged lover as she went ahead to tag others in the post.
But once in a while, a housewife steps beyond the boundaries of virtual attacks and makes the fight physical.
Such was the case of a housewife in Bayelsa State, Glory Ben, two months ago, who paid a visit to her husband’s alleged lover identified as Bridget.
Reports suggest that Glory took the step because she feared her husband, Godspower, and Bridget were about to get married.
At the end of the bitter and brutal encounter, both women lost their ears.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that Glory cut off one of Bridget’s ears during their fight and in retaliation, Bridget’s family members grabbed the housewife, held her down and cut off her ear too.
In another case of a woman declaring war on her husband’s alleged ‘side chic’, a woman believed to be based in the United Kingdom, released a video that quickly went viral in which she narrated how her husband of 15 years had been lavishing money and gifts on a lady based in Nigeria.
In the video, featuring just her voice and the photos of the alleged lover, the scorned woman explained how her husband, who had never bought anything for her, spent thousands of pounds on shopping trips with his alleged lover.
She blamed the lady for putting her husband under a spiritual bondage, forcing him to buy her a house and a car.
The housewife said that beyond lavishing gifts on the alleged lover, her husband went as far as setting up a business for the lover’s mother.
Stories like these have also become all too common in the celebrity circle in the country.
Prominent among celebrities whose stories hit the trending list are a radio broadcaster, Toke Makinwa, and her ex-husband, Maje; Caroline Danjuma and her ex-husband, Musa. In both cases, the scorned women took to the social media to call out their ex-husbands’ alleged lovers.
Meanwhile, once in a while, the public gets the inside details of how some housewives go diabolical in the battle against their husband’s lovers.
Recently, a Facebook user, Azubuike Chineye, shared the eerie story of how she saw her neighbour, who had stripped naked, laying curses on her husband and his lover in the dead of night.
Chineye said she chanced on her neighbour at her Abuja residence at about 1.30 am that day, adding that the neighbour was holding a pot into which she was muttering as she put a curse on her husband, his lover and a supposed pastor helping the alleged lover.
She said, “(I was) about to lie down when I heard a voice crying and saying, ‘unless my hands are not clean.’ I bent down and peeped through the window to see where the voice was coming from and I saw a woman who I guessed was my next compound neighbour.
“She was naked and was standing with a pot or calabash or something like that. I wanted to take pictures but for the first time, I was afraid for my life.”
“She said, ‘Shantel Mukoro, you have decided not to allow me to enjoy my marriage, you have made my husband your money machine. You and your pastor (a popular man in Abuja) have used charm to get my husband.
“‘Unless my hands are not clean, let evil come upon me (sic), but if I’m innocent and I’ve suffered for this man, let cancer eat you up (sic).
“‘As for you, my husband, may your manhood never function again. Today, I transfer your glory to me; I will be the breadwinner, while you remain at home since you’ve decided to pay me evil for good.’ She repeated these words without mistakes fourteen times.”
Most of the reactions to the cases identified here were critical of the actions of the housewives, with many of them lambasting them for going after their husbands’ lovers instead of taking the fight to the actual culprits – the husbands.
Saturday PUNCH asked two marriage counsellors about this.
One of them, Mrs. Adedutu Adesanyan, explained that it was never advisable for a housewife to take on her husband’s lover publicly.
She said, “That is not the way to go. I have seen cases of women who have handled this sort of issues in a mature way but did not have to confront such lovers. You have to have a game plan. You would simply embarrass yourself and the man if you fight for him that way.
“It is not a place to be. But despite the fact that many men are polygamous in nature; a woman must first ask herself why her husband is looking for another lover. Many women don’t first look at themselves. If a woman has checked herself and realised that the man will still cheat even if given everything, then you can simply leave him alone and live your life.
“A man who wants to cheat should be man enough to approach his wife and inform her of his intention to have another wife. But I have handled cases in which the men just want to have illicit sex but are not ‘manly’ enough to have a second wife.
“No one can really understand how bad it is until it happens but if it does happen. Let him have another wife; there is no point in fighting a man who is a cheat. The church tells you not to marry two wives but many pastors have ‘lovers’. There is nowhere in the Bible, for instance, where it states that you cannot marry two wives.”
According to another marriage counsellor, Bisi Adewale, bringing a marital problem to the public domain only serves to escalate such the problem beyond salvage.
He explained that cases he had handled showed that such actions only achieved the reverse effect.
Adewale said, “If a wife decides to expose her husband’s secret lover, the husband too is in the court of public opinion. Unfortunately, many of such lovers do not feel ashamed to be affected by such revelations as seen in the case of the woman who challenged her husband’s lover on WhatsApp. We normally encourage people to seek professional help in terms of counselling.
“One of the reasons celebrity marriages don’t work for instance, is that immediately they have issues, they go on the social media. Many of them are becoming wiser now, anyway.
“Things happen in marriages every day. If you can keep such things as a home affair and not wash your dirty linen in the public, there is a possibility of you getting the best result out of problems.
“Most of the time, when a man knows he has been ridiculed publicly, he calls the bluff of the wife and continues his illicit affair. When the woman tries to resolve the matter privately through professional help, we succeed in detaching the man from such a relationship. As soon as you go public, the rate of success diminishes.”