“My cry is a soft wail, both a whipping and healing to my heart… until someone calls my name from afar, a sound that stops the wail so sudden, as if something snap off a rushing stream from the source of it.”The Girl With the Louding Voice
My Dearest Adunni,
Finding the words to capture the enormity of what you’ve shared with me, with all of us, while reading your story, my words don’t seem adequate enough. To learn of how your father didn’t honor your mother or you, in keeping his promise not to marry you off at the age of 14. To experience the repeated mistreatment of women, women being treated as a commodity, demeaning their worth. Their value. Their voice.
A child-wife against your will because your father used you as a pawn. Poverty, heartbreak and loss are not by any means new to you. But your voice. The voice your mother demanded you have so your life could be different.
Khadija, the sister and friend born to you after you became a child-wife. I felt her love and care for you. I relieved, happy, you had someone to look after you. But what happened next took all of us by surprise. When Mr. Kola helps you, I cried again, and wondered how much more a young girl could endure.
Your Voice, your Louding Voice, your beautiful spirit and heart allowed you to recognize what was lacking in those who mistreated and abused you. You didn’t allow hate to grow and turn you into a bitter and jealous person. You didn’t allow them or their actions, to silence you. You knew how NECESSARY your voice was and would be for yourself and others like you. Your story is a testament to resilience and courage.
Your Voice Adunni, reminds each one of us “to have our own louding voice.” We won’t be silenced because we have so much to say.
We say to you, to others, “Welcome to your new free.” Abi Daré sincere thanks for Adunni and her story of hope and courage.