Thursday, 21 August 2014

360 Woman: Homemaker, Chika McCollin On Motherhood, Her Hallucinations And Managing Distance In Relationships

When asked what she did for a living, Chika said simply, "I'm a homemaker, wife and mother." And she understands just how important that job is. With her husband miles away and the British embassy denying her visa applications, she had to cope with the distance and its implication - raising her son and managing a family on two separate continents. This story was written with lots of sleepless nights, anxiety and uncertainty; thankfully, love overcame in the end. I loved her story and I'm sure you will too...
N: So how was your Sunday Chika? Ebola free I hope :)
C: Oh well, I nor dey kuku comot, so ebola go need to waka come meet me be dat, lol

N: Lol. Let me know when you are ready, then we can start eh?

C: I'm ready. Where are the exam questions?

N: Okay great, Lol. No pass or fail, just a letter of commendation, so chillax…

C: Okay :)

N: How is the yookay this Lord's day?

C: It’s been a very windy and wet day. Typical English weather.

N: Really? I thought it was just Nigeria. It's been raining for two weeks I tell you.

C: It’s been hot but something about the hurricane effects hit England so there’s been really strong winds and rain in last 3 days…

N: Oh wow. Stay safe out there please.

C: Nah.  We’re just getting wind from it…

N: Okay. *Exhales* 

Anyway, I think you have an interesting story and I hope you'll be kind enough to indulge me today? Let me start with your son. You had him as a single lady right?

C: Yes. Well if you think it

N: Oblimey. Lol. Please clarify for me, there's a follow up question.

C: No I didn’t.

N: Okay, what's the backstory?

C: I met this guy by chance in Lagos. One of them holidays. It was his first time ever to Africa.

N: Okay...

C: Funny thing was I was seeing a guy who was asking me out off and while I was sitting resting my legs, this man started laughing because of the look on my face when I saw some lady in a hideous outfit walk past.

N: Lol

C: So we chatted for a bit and exchanged numbers. He said he was leaving but will call me and be back to visit me because I sounded interesting… I said in my head, "This British guy just carry lies come, I have seen and heard all those lines before :)"

N: Lol

C: He was true to his words, over the following months we had long phone calls till my battery died… NEPA didn't help. To cut a long story short, he came back and this time he said it was for me.

N: Aw...

C: He proposed… shocking! I had to ask if there was something wrong with him or if he was a serial killer.

N: Hahahaha. Oh lord!

C: Things like that don't just happen. I really liked him and had already fallen hard, so I said yes and met the folks. He wanted us to start a family... Hmm, I was like, "kai who sent you to come and destroy my life?" He laughed.

N: LOL. Okay so that's how we ended up with a baby boy. Nice :D

C: Yes.

N: How did you manage the distance though?

C: Hmm the distance. Now that's the hard part. We were not sure where we wanted to settle and call home. I found myself in the boat and I didn’t know where it was going all I knew was he was peddling.

N: That's deep...

C: We were to choose between Nigeria, Barbados or England. I wanted Nigeria but he didn’t think it was safe after one night he witnessed a robbery in a street behind our place in Lagos. So I waited...

N: How long did you have to do that?

C: Too long... lol.

N: Aw... How did you cope? Having to take care of your son by yourself while you waited? Did you have to deal with side talk? I know how these things can get.

C: The side talkssss! Ha... a lot of them.

N: Okay...Tell me that part.

C: Mean stuff. I had a friend then who actually said to me to get a side boyfriend pending.

N: Hmmm.

C: We are no longer friends.

N: Good for you.

C: Some say, "Oh he is married and lying to you; fooling you. Many didn't know I had tried going to England but never got a visa. Now that was the frustrating part, they wanted my son but not me.

N: Imagine...

C: A lot of stupid reasons that didn’t make sense. My husband had to speak to his MP and asked him if the British government had made a law to stop them from marrying from Nigeria.

N: Lol. Funny dude.

C: I told him I'm never going to apply again and if he wants me he had better let go of that fear and move to Nigeria. That would have broken us and I was even up for it but he kept fighting. So one day I got a call from the British embassy asking me to come for an interview, and they told me, “You can go stay with your husband.” I laughed so hard the guy must have thought I was mad.

N: LOL. Kai.

I'm still waiting for you to share your experience as a young mother.

C: A young mother... gosh! My son is a very sensitive child, very emotional. Well now I know, then I didn't. He would cry all day and never let me put him down. I didn’t sleep or have life for 18 months. I learnt so much with him; you can call me a pediatrician. Lol.

N: LOL. It must have been tough...

C: I think dealing with him helped me deal with the distance with my husband. I had my hands full that there was no time no feel lonely. I was a zombie. At a point I was hallucinating.

N: Wow! What about?

C: I was seeing thing that were not there because I wasn’t getting sleep.

N: Hmm. that sounds scary.

C: Don't be scared, yours might be different. I just had a sensitive child.

N: Thanks for the encouragement, Lol. So are you guys are finally together now?

C: Yes! We are together now.

N: A hearty congratulations.

C: Aw. Thank you...You know, I never thought I’ll be married to a foreigner.

N: Why not?

C: Well because we come from 2 totally different worlds.

N: Oh well, you know what they say, “Where there is love, the whole world can sit on a pin.”

C: Yep. Lol. Good thing I didn’t close myself or have a list.

N: That Goddamn list. Thank God you didn’t have one, Lol.

C: Lol.

N: How long have you and your husband been together now?

C: We have been together for 9 years.

N: Wow! That’s some time!

C: Uh-huh.

N: Hmmm. So tell me, now that all your visa troubles are over and you are settled in the UK, what do you do to keep busy?

C: I’m a homemaker, mother and wife.

N: So being a homemaker, do you feel like you’re missing out on something?

C: Yes. Money.. I could have more money.. lol

N: Hahahaha. We all could Chika...

C: Seriously though, when I see my son and how he is, I'm grateful for being a part of shaping him.

N: That's really important. I'm glad you haven't lost sight of that

C: The compliments I get for how well mannered he is. That makes me happy that I’m doing something good.

N: Yes you are.

C: A lot of kids need this... That is why there’s so much hate and anger. A lot of parents run away from their kids. They will put them into everything just to avoid them.

N: Hmmm.

C: Half the children here who get into trouble, join gangs, fight and stab are from parents who are too busy for them. Black boys here are terrible and scare me. I’m afraid. I want him to be able to come to me and talk.

N: Hmmm. Good thing you are bonding now that he's still in his formative years. Well done Chika.
C: Yes.. This is the most important stage.. We know what we were like as teenagers.

N: We? Please oh, I was a good, obedient child *straight face*

C: Hahaha, you were a very good girl indeed and didn’t disobey mom or dad.

N: Not one bit.

C: I believe you... hahahahaha.

N: Lol. Great. To close this Chika, tell me, what practical advice would you give a young lady struggling to keep a family separated by distance?

C: She will need patience; a lot of it. There will definitely be times when you will feel like everything is against you but it will pass. Honesty. Loyalty. Be true to yourself and your partner. The world we live in is full of temptations; they will need to be strong to fight them off.

N: Thanks for opening up to me Chika; it was really nice chatting with you.

N: Same here Naomi.


Tessa Doghor said...

I am happy for you dearie
Great story
Great life.

Tessa Doghor said...

I am happy for you dearie
Great story
Great life.

Tessa Doghor said...

I am happy for you dearie
Great story
Great life.

Olajide Olayemi said...