How I suffered domestic violence in my first marriage — Etinosa Idemudia

By BENJAMIN NJOKU

Nollywood actress cum skit maker, Etinosa Idemudia is not what many people think she is. Before now, she was seen as a controversial, yet intolerable entertainer, but if you are privileged to get close to her, you will be shocked to discover that she’s just a jolly good fellow, who has a soft spot for other people.

My journey into the world of entertainment

You can never grow bigger than your passion. You can never grow bigger than your first love. Even before I discovered that I am an actor, I was already doing comedy skits. For instance, when I was doing my engineering work, with my helmet, I would gather my co-workers and be shooting skits on site with them. At one point, they advised me to go into the movie industry. I was scared then because of my father. But I am happy today that I followed this path in my life. Though I have a tight schedule now, the frequency of my skits are not as much as they used to be in the past. But I still shoot my comedy skits and even now that I have monetized my contents. I can’t stop churning out skits.

My latest offering ‘Dear Sister’

‘Dear Sister’ tells the story of two sisters, Isoken and Ifueko. Isoken’s marriage goes through a tough test as the past comes calling when she invites her sister Ifueko to live with her and her loving husband, James, who was once Ifueko’s suitor. Many women are going through storms in their homes occasioned by their own families and some by their husband’s family members. ‘Dear Sister’ is a re-creation of a true African story. And as seen in one of the central themes of the movie, love will always prevail.

My take on domestic violence

Domestic violence has been prevalent in our society for years. The reason domestic violence is on the increase in the country is because of the fact that our parents thought that if you want to correct a child, you have to beat the child. When parents want to express their anger, they beat their children. When they want to instill discipline, they beat their children. Over the years, you have trained that child to see violence as the only way of instilling discipline and expression of anger. So, it’s not by beating, rather it’s by admonishing a child when he or she does anything wrong.

Experiencing it

Yes, I experienced violence while I was married in 2013 at the age of 22. It really did a lot to my psyche. I don’t think I have recovered from the trauma because once I read anything about domestic violence, I get triggered . Any time I relive memories of that ugly incident, I’m not usually the same. I don’t want my enemy to experience what I went through in the past.

I don’t think I would want my child to experience anything like that in life. It’s not what any woman or man should go through no matter the offence. We should learn to love and understand each other. I don’t think anything should warrant violence. By the grace of God, I don’t want to be in a situation where I will be violent. I have never tried to be violent with anybody. I am an easy going person, forget about all those my Instagram bragging. I am such a person that when wahala bursts, I will take to my heels.

Marriage with my ex-husband

I wasn’t forced into the marriage at all. I chose to marry my ex-husband. I was in love with him. We were very good friends and close to each other. And the reason I got married very early was to avoid keeping multiple partners. I didn’t want to become a spoiled girl. At that time, I was already working as an engineer and was fulfilled. I had a lucrative oil and gas job.

I graduated at a very young age and was highly intelligent. I had money and was very young. The first thing African parents would tell their daughter who has a good job, car and decent apartment is to settle down before she might be too big for men to woo her at a point. So, you have to marry to avoid keeping multiple relationships. Then, I was dating my ex-husband before I graduated from the university and he was talking about settling down to start raising children very early.

…Says: ‘I married early to avoid being a spoiled girl’

But I had this philosophy of life that I would not get married without having my own source of income. Thank God I held on to that conviction and it really saved my life. So, he waited for me until I graduated from the university, did my youth service and secured my first job. I thought he was the best thing that had happened to me. We got married but along the line, insecurity set in. I couldn’t understand and wondered that while we were dating, didn’t he feel insecure? He didn’t know I was such a beautiful girl that men would admire.

Probably, it was because I was caged, while I was an undergraduate at Covenant University which was like a glorified prison yard. While I was undergoing my youths service, he got me engaged and after serving my country, he gave me the second ring. I still want to appreciate him because things that happen in our life eventually bring one to his or her expected future.

He practically opposed my going into acting and even kicked against the comedy skit I was doing online. He said that some of his superiors were laughing and commenting on my Instagram page. He said that he didn’t want me to be shooting comedy skits any more and that I should be doing it only for him in the house.