Some months ago, I heard a story in my neighborhood of a 17 year old teenager who got pregnant. Today, I’m sharing her story. As usual, let’s all read picking out vital lessons along the way, so that at the end, we can all share what we’ve learnt with one another. Now, over to the story:
“I used to be a student of a public secondary school in Ogun State. My parents were poor, so I had to look for other means to sustain myself and family. I decided to learn hairdressing and my father soon got enough money together to put me under a boss. I call her ‘Oga’ and I go over to her place every other day I wasn’t in school.
At school, I was often a subject of ridicule amongst my classmates and even juniors. They all used to laugh at how extremely skinny I was. Being very tall also did not help the matter. I always stayed at the back of the assembly line and was easily noticed anytime I go anywhere. Even at Oga’s place, everyone called me ‘opelenge’. If ever anyone wanted to describe me to anyone else, they’d say ‘omo tinrin yen’. Translated to English, that would mean ‘that thin girl’. Those kinds of statements, coupled with the unfavorable treatment I received from Oga always made me feel bad. My boss was never impressed with my work and customers too would always demand that their hair be made by somebody else. Nobody understood that I was just learning. The more I tried, the more I felt hated.
Then one day, a boy came to see me at Oga’s shop. I recognized him from the house down our street but we’ve never talked except greeting ourselves whenever he came to greet his friends in the barber’s shop next to ours. His name was Shola but all his friends called him ‘Sho’ and he should be about 23 years in age. That day, Shola gave me a new pair of sandals. He said he noticed the one I wore to the shop looked bad.
That was the first time anyone had ever given me a gift. I felt very special. From that day, whenever Shola came to see his friends, he would come over to my shop and we would talk. One day, Oga looked at me and said ‘you better be careful with that boy. I don’t know what he is finding with you o’. Maybe she was just trying to warn me, but I interpreted that statement to mean ‘what on earth would a boy like Shola be looking for in a girl like me?’
Shola was the fine boy with a dyed hair cut that most girls can die for, and me, I was just the skinny hairdresser girl, but the thought that he might be interested in dating me was there and it made me happy. I was 17 and some of my friends already had boyfriends.
For two months, Shola kept coming to see me. One time, he even asked for my breasts’ size and bought me a bra. I didn’t see anything wrong with that. Later that day, he asked me out and I said yes. After we started dating, I began visiting him at his house. Sometimes, I would lie to Oga that I wanted to go and buy food and then I would go to his house.
From there, we started kissing but when he tried to sleep with me the first time, I refused. He then told me that I should stop refusing him, otherwise he would break up with me. I didn’t want that to happen. I didn’t think any guy could ever find me attractive, so the next time he tried, I let him.
That was how it happened. After that day, we would sometimes meet in an uncompleted building close to my shop. Nobody suspected anything until Oga told me one day that I looked bigger. Whenever I ate, I also vomited. My mum was the first person to confirm I was pregnant. Angry, she took me to Oga’s shop to confront her. After series of questioning and threats, I eventually confessed but when Shola was called, he denied the pregnancy.
Some weeks later, Shola ran away from the street. Till today, I have still not seen him. My dad said abortion was not an option for him, so I kept the pregnancy but I had to leave school.
Few months ago, I returned to Oga’s shop after many months of staying away, because I was afraid everyone would laugh at me. Now, I’m used to it. I also plan writing WAEC later this year.
I have really learnt my lesson, but I take my baby girl as a consolation whenever I start feeling bad.”
So everyone, there you have today’s story. Things like these make me feel really bad and hearing this particular story some months ago was one of the reasons why I had to plan an hangout for some of the teens in my neighborhood. Me I picked a lot of lessons from this story o. Some of them include:
- Low Self Esteem made that young girl do what she did. If only she saw herself for what she is truly worth, she wouldn’t have felt intimidated when people said cruel things about her looks.
- As young ladies, we have to be careful how often we collect gifts from people or where they are coming from. Once we find there is a wrong motive behind them, please stop collecting them and offer to return if you still have the ones you’ve collected.
- As a teenager, understand that your education is one of the most important things in your life right now. Dating can wait till later. Don’t let the pressure of ‘all my friends are doing it’ push you into entering a relationship or having sex, only to suffer consequences or get responsibilities you are not ready for.
There are the things I learnt. What about you? Did you learn anything? or do you have useful suggestions on how to help teenagers avoid unwanted pregnancies and stuffs? Please share with us.
Till later. If you missed the first episode of Story Times, where I shared the story of a guy who raped his own sister, you can catch up here. Make sure you don’t miss the next one, next week Wednesday by 4.