Teopista Nyapendi

My husband and I have three children and because I was the good wife doing as I was told; and never dwelling on the beatings he had administered when he was upset the previous day, he called me his ‘good obedient and respectful wife’. So when I mentioned to him that with the savings I had and with his support, we could start up a village grocery kiosk to gain a little more income and provide for our family. He was a little hesitant but later he allowed. We established a kiosk that I managed. The very next day he warned me saying now that I was managing the kiosk, he still had his eye on me and that I should be very careful of the village women who would spoil me. I reassured him that no one will spoil me. When he said his eye was on me, I did not fully comprehend what he meant until he started asking about everybody who came to the kiosk; what they bought, what they said to me and about him. I was a bit uncomfortable with this kind of probing but I gave him the answers he demanded, everytime he asked. Sometimes when I could not remember the people, he got very upset. Then one evening he questioned why more men came to the kiosk than the women. The probing kept going on and they soon turned into accusations. If I did not remember customers, names, clothes they had worn, why they had taken long at the Kiosk, he concluded that all the men and boys whose names I did not remember were my lovers. These accusations escalated to threats to kill me and closing the kiosk. One night when he returned home drunk, he beat me up and threw me out of the house calling me a slut flirting with village men, casting my smile to whoever looked my way. I went to my brothers’ home but still my husband followed me. He took me back home and the beating continued. I contemplated a number of things including suicide but a friend advised me against it.