Social and political commentator, Alexander Thandi Ubani has thrown more light on the controversial tradition in Delta that forbids women from cheating or face severe consequences.
Regina Daniels and husband, Ned Nwoko performing traditional rites in Delta state After obtaining more information from credible sources, I have decided to add additional information to my first article – The Truth About Delta Tradition That Forbids Married Women From Cheating On Their Husbands Or Die (Please Read Here).
In my quest to help many people who are unaware or may have been misinformed about the tradition In Delta state that forbids a woman from cheating on her husband practiced mainly by the Aniomas, Isokos and Urhobos of Delta state, I have decided to write a part two that will provide more clarification to the previous submissions I made about the tradition.
As I had stated in my previous article, the practice is still very much obtainable in these areas.
A woman married to a man from any of these places is forbidden to have sexual intercourse with a man who is not her husband.
Failure to adhere to this tradition results in severe consequences for the woman and her family as she will bring a curse upon her household.
This curse is only valid if the woman is traditionally married to a man from Anioma, Isoko or Urhobo of Delta state and her bride price duly paid.
The Itsekiris as I have been informed are exempted. If her bride price has not been paid, the curse has no effect on her.
If her husband is a non-indigene of Delta and doesn’t belong to any of the communities mentioned above, the curse/tradition cannot affect her even if she cheats on her husband.
Edited: Here are some traditional facts you must know: 1). In some parts of Delta, the curse is commonly referred to as Ishi/Ishia Ishi – confession of infidelity. 2). For the curse to befall a woman who cheated, the husband must be Isoko, Urhobo or from any of the communities in Anioma – Ukwuani, Enu-Ani (Ibusa, Ogwashi-Uku, Asaba, parts of Igbodo, Ilah, Isseles, Idumujes, Onichas etc); Ika (Agbor, Umunede, Owas etc) and Aboh. 3). This custom applies only if the woman is traditionally married and her bride price paid. So, if her bride price has not been paid, nothing will happen to her if she cheats. 4). The curse only affects the husband if he is aware of the wife’s infidelity, covers up for her and continues to eat her food. If the husband is not aware of his wife’s infidelity, the curse will not affect him. 5). If the woman is married to an Isoko or Urhobo man and cheats, her children will fall sick and die. She also dies if she still refuses to confess. 6). If she’s married to a man from Anioma and cheats, her children will fall sick and die. The woman is also at the risk of losing her life. If she’s pregnant, the curse will force her to undergo cesarean operation and may die during childbirth. 7). If she survives childbirth, the child will not accept breast feeding from her but will accept from any other woman. It is at this point that the elders will start to interrogate the woman to know if she cheated on the husband. 8). If she is not breast feeding, the last child will suddenly develop illness and stop accepting food prepared by her until the child finally dies. 9). The sudden refusal of food by her child is usually a signal to the family that the woman might have cheated on the husband, and it’s at this point that the family will start investigation to ascertain the truth. If she refuses to confess, she too will fall sick and die. 10). In some cases, if the woman runs away after cheating, and moves on with another man other than her husband, the curse will force her to remain barren until she dies mysteriously, unless she returns her bride price. 11). The only one totally free from the curse is the man or men the wife cheats with. 12). If the husband is aware of the wife’s infidelity and tries to cover it up, he will be struck with swollen belly and legs. 13). The curse does not affect a woman from any part of Delta state married to a non-indigene of Delta state. It affects only women married to an indigene of any of the above mentioned communities. 14). The curse is also applicable to a woman from Delta married to a man from Delta belonging to any of the communities. 15). If she confesses, in some instances, she’s expected to task the men she has been sleeping with – if they are reachable – to contribute for the ritualto avert the curse on her family. If they are not reachable, she carries the burden all alone. 16). For the curse to be averted, the woman must confess and perform rituals to free her husband and children. 17). As part of the cleansing ritual, the woman will be flogged with a particular leaf and caused to strip naked before the family elders. 18). This is the reason most women from Delta prefer to marry non-Deltans. 19). The easiest way to be free from the curse for any woman is to return her bride-price. 20) In Urhobo culture, a married man can only be accused of committing adultery if he sleeps with a married woman – even at that, nothing happens to him if he is not caught. When he is caught, he is forced to pay a fine. 21). The man is allowed to sleep with any single woman he likes. 22). A man who is notorious for sleeping with people’s wives instead of receiving the same punishment as that given to the woman is rather cursed and banished from the village. My submission: This tradition is ridiculous. It tends to curb infidelity using a discriminatory method. It specifically targets the women while giving a free pass for the men. It is as though the gods see men as a special kind of breed while the women are antagonized and chained to submission. This is unjust. Irrespective of how we try to justify this tradition, it is totally against the principle of equity and justice. It is an unfair, unjust and a hostile tradition meant to keep women at bay while granting freedom to the men. Without mincing words, fidelity in marriage should be a virtue expected from the man and woman. Demanding fidelity from a married woman while the man is allowed to dip his phallus in any available opening is not only wicked, but also an atrocity that must be stopped. This tradition must be abolished. Alexander Thandi Ubani is an Editor at Tori.ngSend your feedback to:email@example.comReferences:Special thanks to Eloho Mudiaga Orhiunu, Ezeh Chinenye Matthew-Emmanuel and others for the invaluable information they provided me. Further notes from: Adultery in Urhobo and The Principle of Utility by Irorobeje Monday