“Iyawo wa help wash the dishes” “Iyawo wa take of our son” “Iyawo wa do this” “Iyawo wa do that” some of the ordeals women go through, now this post is not implying that we shouldn’t work for our in-laws, it’s our duty, we must. But then again, “Iyawo wa” which means “Our wife”, is a name that has broken hearts, broken homes and also bounded hearts. Times have passed when “Iyawo wa” meant the woman who will stand by the family through thick and thin, the woman the family loves and cherish and not wanting any harm towards her. Nowadays, the name poses as a form of deception that men use to deceive women into thinking they are going to eventually marry them. Some women all in the name of “Iyawo wa” would go through thick and thin trying to prove themselves as the best woman for the guy and his family, she would even call his sisters or brothers who she is way older than “Aunty” or “Uncle” buying all sorts of gifts for them while the guys uses this as a fun thing knowing fully well that this lady is not the one that he wants to marry yet they take her home and introduce her to their friends and even their family making her feel all mushy! As if that’s not enough, they might even conspire with their friends to con her and leave with an emotional heartbreak.
A Yoruba adage says “Iyawo eni, Omo eni” (i.e. One’s wife is one’s child) but these days, we have only the mother in-law who backs their son up in whatever he does and also some sisters and brothers that would also start singing the lyrics of iyawo wa to the lady in order to get some goodies from her especially when she now has money. Some families would see bruises on their son’s wife’s body, and they would keep saying to the woman “Iyawo wa” Fa ra ti (that is to endure), some would even end up gossiping about her behind her back, stating their different tales of how the bruises got there. They might even make up stories to defend their brother. Some men would go out and cheat with different women and when the wife finds out and report to the family, they would say that he is a man especially fellow men like him.
Even the bible says men should love their wives even as Christ loved the church, it didn’t say you should beat up our wives and make them suffer like Christ on the cross.
Although, there are also some women who are greedy, they see a guy who has money, treats them fine but beats the hell out of them. When friends and family tries to advice them, all in the name of Iyawo wa, they would not listen and that is when they would be spitting lyrics like “he would change”, “he wasn’t like this before”, after marriage, they would now be regretting. Some women are even the evil “Iyawo wa”, the ones that lead men to be deceptive and cunny. They pretend to be the best they can in front of their mother-in-law and try to form porche with their to be in-laws and suddenly when they see that the guy is serious, they jump out of the relationship afraid of responsibility.
So, talking about the positive side of iyawo wa, as @ehbaylay, @the_empowered_and_graced_woman in the Iyawo wa challenge said, there are men who stand up for their wives, who knows the real and true meaning of Iyawo wa, some calling it Iyawo mi (my wife). These men still exist and I pray every woman finds one of such loving, caring and Godly men! (Can I hear a sounding Amen!) and we also have the good inlaws that takes care of their wife and treats her like family.
We have the Iyawo wa who are currently our mothers who withstood all the hurts, the abuse, the cheating, the insults, the pain and struggles just for their children not to grow up in a broken home and also advising and reminding their children not to fall into such marriages. Some of these women died in the process, some lived their lives as a living hell, some are enjoying the fruit of their labour now. One thing is confirmed they lived such life so we wouldn’t make such mistakes. So as women, let’s advise our younger ones, teach them not to fall into the traps of the Yoruba demon but rather the angelic ones.
Lets build ourselves to be the Heroic Iyawo wa, the ones who uses our experience to teach and save the coming generation from suffering from the ordeals of the known nickname “Iyawo wa” and also become the mother inlaws that fights against the ordeals of its tradition.