A FEW days ago I was sitting in the office and something crossed my mind, which was in the form of the sound of a grown up man with a healthy beard screaming his mother’s name in pain.
The screams I heard came from my neighbour’s house, and we were surprised because most of the time we used to hear the sound of a woman screaming after the sound of blows and slaps.
We were used to the sounds because it appeared to us that the main prefect of that house, who is the owner, husband and father of the people inside, was used to disciplining his wife once in a while.
Therefore, it came as a surprise when instead of the usual scream of the woman, this time we heard the scream of a male species screaming the name of his mother in a voice that was filled with pain.
For those of you who take time to read the junk I always write every week, then you will know that yours truly sometimes suffers the same fate when the mother of my clan decides to level my bald head with a greasy frying pan.
When I heard the noise the other day, I decided that it is possible that we are victims of domestic violence without knowing that we belong to that category, so I decided to google the words ‘Domestic violence’ to see what it really means.
The computer told me that domestic violence is violence committed by someone in the victim’s domestic circle. This includes partners and ex-partners, immediate family members, other relatives and family friends. The term ‘domestic violence’ is used when there is a close relationship between the offender and the victim.
I tried to console myself that I do not belong to that category, but the words ‘domestic violence is used when there is a close relationship between the offender and the victim’ convinced me that me and my neighbour were victims of domestic violence.
But what made me to be suddenly interested in finding out what domestic violence means is because of the sound that came from my neighbour’s house.
You see, although mama Boyi always hammers my head with the greasy frying pan when she is irritated with me, I always receive the punishment like a man, silently.
That is why when my neighbour screamed as if someone was plucking his nails with a blunt pliers, I told myself that the fellow is a true victim of domestic violence.
You see, this fellow who happens to be my neighbour and who happened to scream his mother’s name that day is called Hamidu, or baba Mwajuma, and we always thought that he was the one who applied domestic violence rule on his wife most of the time, until that day when he was the one who screamed.
We were always surprised that every time we hear his wife scream after the sound of blows and slaps, the next day the fellow will appear with either a swollen eye or serious bruises on his body.
There was a time we heard the screams of his wife and a great commotion, and I was about to dash to their house because I was sure the fellow was going to murder his wife in cold blood, but mama Boyi stopped me.
And the next day when we were seated at Zakayo’s Pub, the fellow appeared with a swollen eye and his left hand in a sling.
I told myself that if the fellow who was thrashing his wife looked that way, then I was sure that the wife was in a critical condition.
Of course I asked him what had happened, and he told us that when he was disciplining his wife, he tripped on a cable and broke his arm and hit his eye on the edge of the table.
I did not think about it until recently when I heard the fellow scream, that is when we understood the true meaning of the old saying, that the four walls of every home hide a myriad of secrets.
What we learned is that every time we heard the woman scream, it was the fellow who was being hammered by his wife.
We became aware that the woman has been wasting her time being a housewife, because she was in a position of making a fortune in Hollywood because she was a world class actress.
“Baba Boyi, wonders will never cease! Kumbe every time that woman was hitting the husband, she was the one who screams, so neighbours believe that she is the one being beaten, kumbe it is the other way round,” said Oscar the Hawker, our local BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera combined.
He told us that the poor chap has been a victim of domestic violence from his wife, but all the neighbours believed that he was the one who was always beating his wife.
Oscar said that the day when Hamidu screamed his mother’s name, it was after his wife hit him on the head with their old 21 inch Hitachi TV.
For those of you who remember these TV sets, then you know that a 21-inch TV could weigh more than 10 kilogrammes. Of course he did not kick the bucket and join his ancestors, but as I am writing this, he is recovering in hospital with two swollen eyes, three broken ribs and two missing teeth.
What surprised us more is because every time we were having a drink, this fellow would tell us how he always roars in his house like Bob Junior the lion.
“Baba Boyi, women are weak creatures, we are supposed to dominate them, that is why my wife will never talk back to me, because she knows the consequences of her actions,” I remember he told me one day when I appeared with a bandage on my bald head after mama Boyi’s frying pan landed on it.
What worries me most is that I hope my wife does not adopt this character of screaming in pain every time she lands her greasy frying pan on my head.