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Saturday, 25 November 2023 15:20

[OPINION] DNA: Should some secrets be kept forever? - Funke Egbemode

This DNA problem is steadily becoming a problematic epidemic, isn’t it? It is querying the integrity of our men’s manhood and stripping our women of their belts of chastity. Even good wives are being subjected to bombastic side eye when their husbands think they are not looking. Hitherto regarded great wives are now being looked at suspiciously with daddies checking out the noses, nails and hairlines of their sons and skin tones of their daughters to see if they match those of their living and dead ancestors. Home-made DIY (do-it-yourself) DNA all over the place. Husbands who have been itching to pick a fight with their wives are making snide remarks targeted at hitting their wives below the belt. Trust issues are marking territories in even calm homes.

Are women now more wayward than before or is it science that is blowing modern wind to expose the rump of the hen? Are there really more ‘bastards’ than the ‘children of husbands’ in many homes these days? Are women opening their legs for their concubines under their fertile moons and luring their husbands to incubate eggs they did not fertilize? Is there a more deadly way to stab a man in the back than to make him father a child that is not his and make him raise children that are not from his loins?
You think I’m asking too many questions? You’ll be shocked at the number of those questions that are running around in my head. And it’s not just the regular ‘how did things get this bad?’ question. There are many other worrisome, deeply threatening ones.

Question 1: For instance, is it true that more and more men are being helped by their wives to become daddies and is it not a foolish and foolhardy sacrifice for a woman to make?
I know love is sweet, very sweet. That feeling of wanting to do anything for your partner and seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses. Yes, we all have felt cupid’s arrow a few times but reality is reality. Marriage is a marathon and if you are going to make it to the finish line, you must not take on baggage that will slow you down at any point in the race. I know those who have found themselves ‘covering their husband’s shame’ of no-sperm-count, low-sperm-count or outright impotence will accuse me of calling myself a warrior when I have not been faced with a fierce battle. Eni ija o ba nii pe ara re l’okunrin. It is easy to call yourself a strong man until life challenges you to a fight. But I do not think it is wise for a woman to step out of her marriage to make babies for her husband. No, it is not smart. It is short-sighted. It is dangerous on the long run for all concerned. It is even worse if it is without the man’s consent. Don’t we all know how men are when they catch their women with other men? Ah, they expect women to forgive them 70 times 70 times, indeed all the days of their philandering lives but if their wives are caught dropping their pants once and letting another nozzle fill their tanks, liquid fire is brought down with amadioha’s rage in tow. Some men are already cursing just reading this. So you see, if a man can flip, beat his wife black and blue, ask for a divorce, take a second wife even when all the woman has done is step out for an ‘ordinary dry run’, how can you now go to another man four times or four different men for a ‘wet run’ to bring him four children and expect no dire consequences? Even if it is with his consent and you sealed the agreement with a blood oath, you do not know what tomorrow will bring. Dear Desperate Wife, do not ‘help’ your husband make babies. Do not play God. Do not let your heart override your head just because you have convinced yourself only you can bail him out of his infertility predicament. There are other ways and means.

Question 2:What if a woman goes berserk because she’s wrongly accused?
Uncle Tunji (don’t ask for his surname) accused his wife of importing the only son of their marriage from her ex-boyfriend’s loins. According to Uncle Tunji, ‘I regret till today accusing my wife of bringing home a bastard. No, we did not have a DNA test that said the boy was not mine. I had warned her several times to severe all ties with her ex but she continued to see him, saying that they were purely business-related meetings. Somehow, I started seeing a resemblance between him and my son. Jealousy started playing games with my mind but I was too angry to acknowledge that I was just being mean. During one of our quarrels, the accusation just rolled off my tongue and before you could say paternity test, my wife had stripped herself naked, right there in front of me. She swore that God should take away her joy if another man had seen her nakedness since she became my wife and that if I’d accused her wrongly, God should judge me. I was shocked and shaken. That week, I lost my job and my health has steadily worsened since then.
Guys, do not accuse a faithful woman of infidelity or father-switching. You are not allowed to do DNA test with your eyes. It could ruin everything. Do not join the DNA multitude to do evil.

Question 3: What if the ‘home daddy’ refuses to let go of the children to their ‘real daddies’?
I have heard some men say they will never release children they have loved and raised to some strange sperm donors and I can see where they are coming from. I do not envy them. To just wake up one morning and find out your son is no longer your son or that your daughter is now your pastor’s daughter. Who wants to be in their shoes? But then, what does the law say about custody in that situation? What does tradition say about who a father is in the life of a child? The same way Uncle Tunji’s wife went spiritual when she was accused of father-switching, is it not also possible for a deceived and robbed father and husband to go to the extreme in pain and disappointment? What if he has the wherewithal to take the child or children away, far away, to Australia, away from Mr Sperm Donor? This is Nigeria, you know, where porous borders will annul court-ordered custody. What If the children are grown and can decide who they want to be with? Doesn’t that raise another set of posers. Why will they choose who they choose?

Then finally, in this season of Japa and relocation, what if two ‘siblings’ end up dating in Canada, thousands of miles from where their ‘parents’ switched their fathers and a daughter is impregnated by her brother? What then?

Whether it is only one child that was sneaked into the hose or four or all the children in the house have different fathers, this DNA trouble has only further worsened an already beleaguered and threatened marriage institution and I am wondering if the fallout of finding out true paternities is worth the trouble or am I just adopting an escapist attitude? I am wondering if it is better to just let sleeping dogs lie. Sometimes, lies are kinder than the truth and some secrets should be kept forever. Am I right or right?

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