Jardin Privé (Private Garden)

by SOC Okenwa

One of our church pastors here during the sermon of last Sunday caused an ‘uproar’ when he preached against infidelity among men and women describing his wife and her ‘inner property’ as his “private garden” which no one has any right to intrude into! “Oui c’est mon jardin privé! C’est appartiens a moi seule! Ca vous faire ris mais c’est comme ca moi je vois ca!” (Yes it is my private garden. It belongs to me alone. It makes you people laugh but that is how I see it).

My late father, a wise man whom many villagers visited for some wise counsels or solutions to knotty problems, once told me that the ultimate ‘gain’ in marriage and true love, from the African traditional point of view, is bearing children. When one marries or hooks up to a ‘babe’ the major reason out of this blissful marital ride is to have children one can call his.

‘Jardin privé’ has caused many problems in many matrimonial homes! A young man from Nigeria here who was going out with a dashing beautiful married woman nearly lost his life late last year when the ‘owner’ of the ‘garden’ caught them. The pretty damsel was sitting comfortably in the front seat of the randy young rich man’s car when her husband overtook their vehicle cruising to a hotel downtown for another round of carnal experience.

As the ‘illegal lovers’ were caught the husband of the woman, a retired high-ranking para-military officer, threatened with a pistol to blow life out of the young compatriot informing him with hand in the trigger that his illicit relationship with his wife had been reported to him but he was not sure until now that he had got evidence. As the loverboy pleaded for understanding and mercy he vowed to end the liaison henceforth but the enraged man would not have any of those crap. He asked him to surrender his glittering Mercedes car ordering him to hand him over the car’s particulars which the Nigerian obliged.

When the matter was settled amicably days later the young Nigerian decided to sell off the car as he was afraid the ex-Gendarmerie top shot had not fully forgiven him. In order not to be traced and dealt with he sold off the car and bought another one.

‘Magic System’, a pop musical group here had late last year released an album whose title is “Tape Doh” which simply means “Back Slapper”. The leading vocalist Asalfo sang about a childhood friend of his who derived some joy in chasing after other people’s wives and girlfriends. Warning him to desist from the anti-social bahaviour the singer made it clear that: “si tu as tape dans mon doh moi aussi je veut tapez dans ton vente” (if you slap my back me also I will slap your stomach).

When I was still doing my higher education in Benin City I remember sending a quiz to a sunday light-hearted radio programme anchored then by one Jimmy Ayeni in the then BBS. I had asked: (If you suddenly return home after a hard days job and catch your wife or girlfriend ‘red-handed’ with another man in your bedroom what would be your first reaction?) When the quiz was thrown open to the public for their reactions and comments people were reacting emotionally with some saying that the man was as good as dead and others giving a scenario of going for a matchette and cutting off the ‘offending third leg’. But I sent in my reaction which fetched me the first prize. I had reasoned that my first reaction was to hold the young man hostage calling in the police for intrusion charges and handing him over while I deal with my wife.

Here late last year a TV1 family programme had broadcast a real-life story of a young man who wanted to get married and saw a girl he thought right for him as a wife. As they courted the young girl made it clear to her would-be husband that in their church it was forbidden to know your partner carnally before paying the bride price. The young man agreed and went for the settlement of the traditional bride price and followed that later with a court marriage.

As they settled down in their matrimonial home days gave way to weeks without the man making any effort to discover the girl sexually. This puzzled the girl who went to her mom to complain that her husband had not done anything to make her feel like a woman. The mother then advised her to try to ask questions directly and initiate sexual moves to see if the young man would not ‘melt’ in her arms.

That night as they laid down to sleep the girl began the ‘moves’ toward sexual discovery but the man was indifferent. Stunned she then put questions across but the man insisted he was not in the mood lying that his own pastor had asked him to observe a month of purity after marriage before diving into the child-bearing adventure. But the wife was unconvinced and perturbed. She decided to probe the non-challant attitude of her husband to sex.

Soon she discovered that the man was impotent, his libido was ‘dead’! As ‘dead’ as ‘dodo’!! Alarmed she ran back to her mother complaining of the frightening situation. The mother was perplexed prefering to doubt it until she confronted the man and confirmed her daughter’s fears. Now the TV hostess and her invitees were asking the viewers what they would do were they in the girl’s shoes. Or alternatively what should be the young girl’s definite reaction to the hopeless situation.

Surprisingly while the minority advocated for outright divorce a majority that phoned in hinged solution on spirituality and prayers. I was one of those who phoned in and condemned the man at the center of the storm for attempting to take his luck too far and hiding his sexual incapacitation. I likened his case to a failed attempt at ‘escroquerie d’amour’ (love fraud!).

If you, dear reader, were to be found in such situation what would you do? Call it quits? Pray for divine solution? Or go for some traditional herbal solutions? Answers are welcome!

You may also like


michael March 18, 2008 - 10:56 am

i believe the man knew what he did was right.he was supposed to have told the girl outrightly from the start about his condition and if the girl really loves him,she could stay and profer a solution.the man is a bit unkind.

Nonso March 11, 2008 - 6:24 am

The marriage was built on deceit. I believe it shd be annulled.

dynmma February 10, 2008 - 2:09 am

I hate divorce and am no advocate for it but this man was fraaudulent in his dealings with her so she can terminate the marriage on that basis.The guy knew his ‘rake’ was non-functional and he didn’t see it fit to tell his wife while they courted.That is pure malice.He should have been forthright with the problem and let the woman know what he’s about.I also believe in the power of prayer and hope this man apologizes for his deceit and ask God for healing.

What would I do?I don’t know.Slap him for starters?

smokeysmokey48238@yahoo.com February 5, 2008 - 12:33 pm

I know this is a serious issue but I could not help chuckling at the whole ‘private garden’ bit. I can’t believe I am saying this but I agree with the pastor. When in a committed relationship the females ‘private garden’ belongs to the male – and so does his ‘gardening rake’ (for lack of a better phrase) belongs to her. As for the girl with the impotent husband, I am torn as I feel for her yet, if the tables were turned and she couldn’t have children, would he abandon her? What are her reasons for getting into the marriage?


Leave a Comment