The Six Suitors (#4)

Welcome!

Hello my wonderful readers! We are back with our newest series. I hope you are all well. Last time we met Thierno, this post will focus on Mohamed’s story. Enjoy!


“For twenty-seven years, I have given myself to you. I have done everything for you Aladji and this is how you repay me?”

Mohamed always heard his mother say this after his father brought home a new wife. His father would always introduce them as his “aunts.” At the age of 13, he finally understood. When he saw his father sneaking out of his mother’s room to go into Tanti Anta’s room, he knew. There was no need to question it. His three aunties had their own room in their mid sized home, but when the siblings started to arrive, they had to move into a bigger home.

His father was a charismatic lawyer, always knew the right things to say. But he struggled with being honest. Mohamed’s mother tolerated it all for twenty-seven years. Every time his father brought home a new wife, he would lie to her and say, there was a sister of his from Senegal that was coming to America. The first “sister” he brought was twenty-one. His father went back to Senegal to marry her, then brought her to America. The entire family kept it hidden from his mom.

Mohamed knew he did not want to get married, especially to Jeneba. However, Jeneba’s father was a rich man with plenty of connections. There was an important man Jeneba’s father was in connection with, and this man is the only person that could advance Mohamed’s career. His father and Jeneba’s father were awfully close, which is how he knew about her looking for a husband.

“Mohamed Diop, please introduce yourself.” Tonto Ali said. Mohamed stood where Thierno once was, and cleared his throat.

He felt Jeneba’s gaze on him. It was now or never. “Greetings everyone, my name is Mohamed Diop. A few things about me– I am twenty-six years old. I am currently an accountant for this major company in our city. I am getting a bit older and I have decided it is time to settle down.”

Now, it was Jeneba’s turn to speak. His hands were a bit clammy. None of the suitors knew the types of questions Jeneba was going to ask. The suitors were told to just be themselves. Whatever that meant.

“Mohamed, what is something that differentiates you from the other suitors who have introduced themselves?” Excellent question. Well, he was definitely wiser, but he did not want to sound too cocky. He needed to win her over, and he had to do it by any means necessary.

He smiled. Women couldn’t resist his smile. His mother always told him how handsome he was. He hoped Jeneba paid close attention to his looks. It would give him plenty of points.

“I would make a lovely husband. I can cook very well, so you wouldn’t have to worry about that. I have a well paying job, so you never have to worry about income. One day I hope Allah grants me children. I love kids. To be your husband, Jeneba, would be an honor.” He smiled again. Award winning smile.

Jeneba’s eyes widened. “Wow, um okay you mentioned that you can cook. What African dishes can you cook?”

Was she for real? Was that really a question? Would Omlette be considered an African dish? No, he could not say that, he was already on a roll.

“I can cook thiep (jollof rice), soup kandja (okra soup), and definitely attieke. All of your favorites, beautiful.” This was too easy, and the words came out smoothly. If there was a lie detector, he would’ve been thrown out and no longer be considered a suitor.

Jeneba scoffed loudly, baffled by Mohamed’s answers. “Okay, last question for you. What would you do if your family does not accept me as your wife?”

But why was he the first suitor to receive the hardest questions? He had to be very creative. “If– emphasis on the word if– my family does not accept you, I would simply leave them. You would be my wife, and I vow to spend the rest of my life with you. I would fight to be with you every step of the way. My family can no longer dictate whom I can be with, let alone marry. My love, I assure you that you have nothing to worry about.”

Mohamed bit his bottom lip, stopping himself from grinning. There it was, the final statement. The statement that will advance his career. Soon, he would become Mr. Mohamed Sy.

Jeneba’s husband.

Tonto Ali approached Mohamed. “Thank you for your answers, Mohamed, you may have a seat.”

Next suitor. Khalil. The polygamist.

Woah! What do you think about Mohamed? Look out for Khalil’s story in the next blog post 🙂

Written by Diaka Thiam

The Six Suitors (#3)

Welcome!

Hello! We are back with our newest series. I hope you are all well! Last time we met Samba, this post will focus on Thierno’s story. Enjoy!


“Never wash the dishes. Let your sisters do it!” When Thierno first heard this from his late mother, he was in the kitchen. At the age of eight, he was refrained from touching anything in the sink. He was refrained from even entering the kitchen. What did his mother call him? The Prince of the house. And his sisters were called peasants.

His sisters did everything in the house. From cooking, cleaning, cutting the grass, and taking out the trash. As the prince of the house, he was not allowed to do his sisters duties. Thierno never questioned his mother. When his mother passed away, his sisters moved out of the house. How could he be the prince of the house when he no longer had his sisters? Mariama, the oldest, got married to an American man. Bineta got an apartment with Hasinatou. Aminata, the one born before Thierno moved to her new school. All of them leaving Thierno, the baby and only boy in the house to take care of himself.

Thierno took his spot in the middle. He needed a wife, and Jeneba was perfect for him. When his uncle told him about Jeneba needing a husband, he jumped at the opportunity.

“Salaam. My name is Thierno Diallo and I am twenty-one years old. I work as a mechanic at Salif’s Mechanic Shop. I do plan on going to college to finish my education. I am young, but I know I would be a great husband for Jeneba. She needs a man like me to take of her and make her feel like a special woman. I can-“

“That’s enough.” Jeneba interrupted. Did Thierno say something wrong?

Jeneba glanced at Tonto Ali. He nodded his head, signaling something to her. She pressed her lips together tightly then opened her mouth. What was wrong? Thierno was ready to answer her questions.

“Thierno Diallo, how do you plan on supporting our household?” Jeneba asked.

Thierno smirked. An easy question. “Of course like Samba said, pay all the bills. “

“That’s all?” He was trying to understand Jeneba’s reactions. There was no smile.

“Yes, sweetheart. If I am working every day to make sure our bills are paid, you need to be taking care of me. As my wife, you would be cooking, cleaning, taking care of our many kids.” What more did Jeneba want? As an African woman, was she not raised to take care of the household? Was she not a peasant like his sisters?

“Next question, would you marry a second wife? If so, why?”

Thierno never met his father, who apparently was back in Guinea with his second wife. After he was born, his father was deported back home. Fortunately, his mother had her green card. The thought of a second wife has crossed Thierno’s mind a few times. He knew he was not financially ready for another woman. Jeneba alone was expensive.

“I would marry a second wife because I have that right as a Muslim man. But, as my wife, you do not have to worry about that until later.”

Jeneba laughed. Thierno smiled wondering what was funny. Tonto Ali gave her a stern look.

“Okay, last question- what makes you different from the other suitors sitting behind you?”

How could he answer this question? He didn’t know the other suitors well enough. He has to say something that stands out. Something the other suitors would never tell anyone unless asked.

“I am a virgin.”

The crowd laughed.

“Thank you for your answers, Thierno Diallo. You may sit down.” Tonto Ali took his place in the middle, ready to introduce the next suitor.

Mohamed. The lying man.

Look out for Mohamed’s story in the next blog post! Do we like Thierno? Thank you for reading! 🙂

Written by Diaka Thiam

The Six Suitors (#2)

Welcome!

Hello! We are back with our newest series. I hope you are well! Last time, Jeneba faced all of the suitors. This blog post will focus on Samba’s story. Enjoy!


Samba stood in the middle, holding his clammy hands together. He tried to stop thinking about the conversation he had with his mother this morning. It was quite discouraging. His mother wanted him to marry Jeneba. They were both from the same tribe so it would make everything easier. As his mother said, “Your children will better understand your language. You would have a wife who cooks the same meals I cook for you! You need a wife like me. Imagine that, my dear.”

“Good evening my people, elders. My name is Samba Toure. I am twenty-five years old. I am currently an engineering student at Harvard University. I will be graduating in less than a year. Jeneba and I have grown up together. She has been a friend, and I would now love for her to be my wife. Inshallah.” Samba let out a small sigh of relief. He was happy he remembered that well.

An elder cleared his throat. Was it time for the questions? Ah, Samba did not prepare for this part. Like any test he has ever taken at Harvard, he was never prepared. He always winged it.

“Samba Toure, thank you for your introductions. Jeneba will ask you three questions. You must answer them truthfully or else, you will be disqualified from being a potential suitor.” Samba nodded his head.

He watched Jeneba’s eyes move to his. They held their stare for a few seconds before Jeneba blinked. The first time he really looked at Jeneba’s dark brown eyes was in high school when he asked her to prom. Jeneba had his heart, but he did not know how to tell or show her. He walked up to Jeneba’s locker, where she stood talking to a friend. His friends were behind him, giggling. To them, Samba could never get a girl like Jeneba. Samba thought he could prove them wrong, but that was not the case. Jeneba said no.

From that day on, that hurtful rejection, Samba never pursued a girl. He let them come to him, and he toyed with their feelings. He would bring Anna to his dorm one day, then Kandy the next day. He would tell Gina he loved her, and tell Femi the same thing that same day. He had his own roster. Now that he was almost done school, his mother needed him to be serious. Who would be the perfect person? Of course, Jeneba.

“Samba, are you a virgin?” He almost wanted to laugh after Jeneba asked the question.

He contained his smile. Be truthful or lie. Where’s the fun in being truthful? “Yes, I am a virgin.” Technically, he is. The last time he had sex was one month ago. That’s a long time, in Samba’s book.

The elders side-eyed him. Oh did they know? There was no way they could prove it. Unless they asked his brother who always tells the truth.

“Samba, if we got married, how would you contribute in the house?”

Samba raised an eyebrow. Interesting set of questions. “As the head of the household, I would pay all of the bills and food that is needed. I would help with household chores as much as possible.”

“Samba, final question, if I do not want children. would you still marry me?”

What? Of course not. “Yes, I would my love.”

Tonto Ali stood up. “Thank you for your answers, Samba Toure. You may sit down.”

Samba knew he was no longer a suitor. The elders knew he bullshitted his answers. Those answers were not his best. He went to his seat with his head hung low.

“I now would like for Thierno Diallo to introduce himself.”

Thierno. The sexist man.

Look out for Thierno’s story in the next blog post! Do we like Samba or nah? Thank you for reading 🙂

Written by Diaka Thiam

The Six Suitors (#1)

Welcome!

Hello! New blog post, who this? I hope you are well! I wanted to change it up a bit, there’s this story I have been wanting to write for a while. I decided to make it a series on this blog. Enjoy our first post of Jeneba’s journey to choosing a husband.


Jeneba glanced at her first aunt, Tanti Ne. Her mouth was moving, forming words that Jeneba could not hear. Maybe she was praying for her. Jeneba hoped she was praying for her. Today was the day.

“Jeneba!” Tanti Ne yelled from across the room. Jeneba blinked quickly, still keeping her gaze on Tanti Ne. They were standing in Jeneba’s small room. The room she would be leaving behind soon. The room she shared with her younger sister, who was now excited to no longer share the room.

“Yes, Tanti Ne, I am listening.” She said, letting her lips curl up into a tight smile. Tanti Ne’s painted red lips curled up into a genuine smile, revealing the big gap between her two front teeth. Her dark skin covered with tinted maquillage and head wrap sitting high on her head as if a crown, she was ready.

“Everyone is waiting for you downstairs, please do not disappoint us. Your parents have chosen good men for you. I really like the tall one- what’s his name?”

Jeneba scrunched her face up. “Hamza.” She replied. Tanti Ne did not know that Jeneba knew each of these men. She was not letting her parents fool her. After her parents told her about these men, she took her time in getting to know each of them before the big day.

Tanti Ne took a few steps towards her. “May Allah choose the right husband for you.”

Why would she even say that? Jeneba thought. She bit her bottom lip to keep from making a comment. She nodded her head in agreement.

“Ameen.”


Downstairs, Jeneba sat next to her parents facing the six men. On the other side of the room, her aunts, uncles, and relatives of the men gathered. Six men. They all gazed at Jeneba. She knew she was looking good. Her royal blue dress suited her dark complexion. Each of the men wore a royal blue African attire to match Jeneba.

Jeneba felt her mother move. She stood up from her seat and faced the crowd. “I would like to thank everyone for being here today. You all know we have been searching for a husband for our first daughter. Now, we have six men who want to marry her. They will each introduce themselves to her and she will choose.”

Simple right? Too simple, especially for Jeneba. What if I never met these men? They would’ve set me up for a failed marriage.. Jeneba thought.

Her father stood up, clearing his throat. “Each men will get a chance to introduce themselves to our daughter. She will ask you three questions and you must answer it, truthfully.”

Tonto Ali moved away from the crowds and stood in the middle. This was a show. It was as if they had a rehearsal. Jeneba wanted to laugh because this felt like the Bachelorette, but the African version. However, the plot twist was that she knew who she was going to pick.

“I would like to introduce each suitor. Samba, Thierno, Hamza, Khalil, Mohammed, and Boubacar. The first to stand in the middle is Samba.”

Samba. The unaffectionate man.


Look out for Samba’s story in the next blog post! Who will Jeneba choose? Thank you for reading 🙂

Written by Diaka Thiam