Keji was a happy, bright, pretty and intelligent young lady in her final year at the university. She was loved by her parents Peju and Raheem and seemed to have everything flowing beautifully for her, that is until she was involved in a motor accident while traveling back to school via public means of transportation.

Peju, a teacher in a government-run secondary school was busy invigilating promotion exams when her mobile phone rang and she was given the news that Keji had been involved in an accident. She was petrified but was more concerned about the effect of the news on Dauda. He absolutely worshipped his “little princess” as he often referred to her. She hurriedly called him to inform him and they agreed to go together to the hospital.

At the hospital, both of them were requested to donate blood as Keji needed to be transfused. The hospital had checked her blood group and found it to be B+, a slightly rare type so they concluded that either of the parents would probably be compatible. To everyone’s consternation, both parents were found to be A+. How could parents with blood group A produce a child with blood group B? As the realisation of the situation dawned on Raheem, he quickly got into his car and left the hospital to have a drink and clear his thoughts before taking a decision on his next steps.

Peju, on her part, knew she could not face Raheem with the truth. How do you disclose to a man who is in his early sixties that his only child is not his biological child, especially one he loves so deeply? She decides to visit Brother Muri, Raheem’s eldest brother, to explain the unfolding scene. When she arrives at Muri’s in tears, she goes on her knees and informs him about what had transpired at the hospital and then she went on to reel out the explanation behind the scene. “Brother Muri, you will recall that for over ten years after marriage, we searched for the fruit of the womb and despite several prodding, Raheem refused to do any medical test. His excuse was that prior to marriage he had impregnated some ladies who had terminated such pregnancies. This put tremendous pressure on me and so I heeded the advice of an elderly friend of the family to have an extra-marital affair with the sole purpose of having a child to secure the marriage.

The opportunity came when Raheem was on Sabbatical leave to Burundi where I joined him. I had a brief relationship there and after I took in, I returned home to have Keji shortly before Raheem’s return. Subsequent attempts to have children with him failed but I remained faithful since we had one to call our own and his world revolved around her. The biological father never knew of the pregnancy as I cut off all links immediately after I got pregnant. You know Raheem is not someone I could have discussed this with and I thought my secret was secure until this… “the tears come cascading down again.

She blows her nose and continues “I really don’t know what to do, I am so confused brother, help me. If Keji gets to know I don’t know what to expect. My life is shattered and Raheem is devastated. Our hitherto happy home cannot be the same. Can he have the heart to forgive me as at the time, we couldn’t afford to attend fertility clinics and Raheem was uncooperative about medical intervention in any case”?

After berating Peju for what had transpired, Muri promises to convince Raheem to first get tested and then subsequently ask for God’s wisdom in dealing with the situation.  The next day, he accompanies Raheem for testing whereat it is confirmed that he is suffering from secondary infertility – chronic azoospermia – which having been left untreated had resulted in the inability to bear children.

If you are Muri, what would you advise given the ages of the persons involved and their close-knit relationship? Should Raheem cut his losses, go for treatment and try to start a new family or should he be encouraged to mend the cracks that have evolved in the marriage? How should he treat Keji? Should Keji be informed about the whole debacle when she recovers?

Havilah looks forward to reading your comments and possible advice on this situation. She is of the view that lots of counseling will be required from their religious leader and forgiveness will play a major part in the healing process.



6 thoughts on “THE SECRET

  1. Well this is a controversial one but if I was Muri I would advice that he should try to mend the cracks. Trying to start a new family is a no-go area because he would always be tormented by the memories of all he has done for his ‘daughter’.
    And if she finds out that the one she sees as a father, she would devastated by not having a father figure and also blame her mother for it.
    But if he tries to mend it, it won’t be easy to forgive Peju as he is human, I won’t expect him to forgive her but he shouldn’t act harshly towards her and they should both plan to tell Keji the truth when it’s right because if she isn’t ready for that information, she would be too anxious to find her biological father which could cause a rift.


  2. I can imagine the position of the ‘father’ Raheem, biologically childless. Thank God for advances in medicine. If he goes for treatment and gets cured of his secondary infertility and even with advance age of his wife, they can both still raise children between them. This is the only thing that can solve all the problems.
    We should not assume that Muri would for ever be sympathetic to his sister in law. A moment of anger can result in referring to the young girl as a bastard foisted on the family by the woman. The same feeling would be borne by Raheem who loved the girl because he felt she was his daughter.
    I pray for success in seeking help in medical route. Furthermore, if after being cured of the secondary infertility and his wife is deemed unable to carry pregnancy, I’d advise he try with another lady. After all, that was what the wife did. It’s a fact of life.


    • As much as this is a heart wrenching situation for Raheem, I would advice that he takes Keji as his adopted child, if he can, given this is a child he has raised from birth, spent his time and resources which includes “love” . Raheem should be given the space to grieve the hurt he is feeling, and come to terms with how he wishes to move forward with his wife. It may be to continue as a family unit, or not, but one thing Peju has to come to terms with is, trust has been lost, and Raheem may or may never trust her again, regardless of what she does, and she has to be okay with that. Raheem, I want you to know that you are capable of loving someone who is not your direct blood, and that is why you loved your daughter Keji, even though she isn’t your biological daughter. You have so much love in you that you have shared with another being, and I pray that God helps you during your grieving times.
      To Peju, I also cannot imagine what you are going through, it must have been a very tough decision for you to take. Not just because of the different test you may have taken to be sure you could have children, encouraging your husband to do the same so issues could be addressed timely, but the fact that our society shames and blames women for not having children, regardless of where the problem is coming from. I hope you can also extend some grace and compassion to yourself. You did what you thought was the best option at the time, and I know this will not change the love you have for your daughter. Sending you peace and love.
      For Keji, I would advice both parents tell her the truth, but preferably keeping our the part that the father did not know (if he agrees to it, to protect Keji from more pain!) Because I believe that information is most important only to Raheem, and not Keji. I pray God guides them in whatever decisions they decide on.


    • This is a serious matter. It takes the grace of God o.

      Where does Raheem want to start from?
      Would Raheem still trust Peju even if he forgives her?
      Would he treat Keji differently?

      Keji should be told but later when she is fine. She also shouldn’t misbehave to her parents. Her mother took that step and birthed her. She won’t have been alive if not for that. Her father is her father in all sense of it except being her biological sperm donor. There are sperm donors and there are fathers. She needs to know that and appreciate it

      I heard of a situation where a woman had an affair with a man on their street and got pregnant. Her husband found out and didn’t tell anyone about it.
      The man that impregnated her knew but because the family didn’t mention it, he also kept quiet.
      The husband treated the son well and the son made it in life. He was even the person who got all his other siblings to go abroad

      Years later, the man who impregnated the woman came to cause trouble saying he is the real father and that the son should know him as his father.

      The son said he is aware of the whole situation even though it was kept from him. His verdict was that he has only known one father since his birth and that would remain his reality.

      The matter ended

      Liked by 1 person

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