Popular Nigerian musician, Sunny Nneji, has lamented the high spate of domestic violence and child abuse in the country.
Nneji told the Sun in a chat: “I was not molested as a child; that is why I am finding it so difficult to believe this is happening today. What is going on? Are we losing our humanity? I never experienced all those things growing up in my village in Cross River State.
“As a village boy, I started singing and dancing, and those things (abuses) were not common. So, I don’t know what is happening to the society of today. What is going on? It is as if the devil has just descended and he is taking people over and causing them to do terrible things. Parents are molesting children; it is unthinkable and sickening. It is a terrible thing.
“That is why every sane human being needs to stand up against these things. For husbands who beat up their wives, I think it is very childish. They need to grow up. Why would you raise up your hand to beat a woman? It doesn’t make any sense. I heard that some women also beat up their husbands (laughs); women need to grow up too.
“I took part in the recent walk against domestic violence, I hope that it is going to inspire my colleagues in the entertainment industry to stand up and join us in this fight against domestic violence and child abuse. I would also hope that this would prick the consciences of people who engage in such acts and help them to turn around. So, I hope it goes a long way in making an impact.”
The ‘Oruka’ crooner further spoke about marriage, noting that it is not a bed of roses.
He said, “Let me tell you the truth, people have written books and books about marriage, but I tell you that no two marriages are the same. I cannot tell you that I have a formula and you can use that formula and apply to your marriage and it will work. You know why? It is because marriage is between two people from two different backgrounds, who have two different upbringings and they come together.
“Now what make marriages are the two people involved. First, they must decide they want a marriage. It is a choice you make. Once you make up your mind that you want the marriage to be successful then you do everything possible to make it succeed. It does not mean you and your spouse would not have disagreements, you would have disagreements; don’t let us lie to ourselves.
“But you will make sure the disagreement does not degenerate into something destructive and then begin to affect the relationship. It entails the willingness to bend at any point in time, the willingness to shift position. Do not say, ‘This is what I believe, I stand here and if it doesn’t happen this way, then the walls must come down’. No, don’t do that. It is a decision between the two people involved. Once they have decided that they want the marriage to work, it would work.
“There is always a sign that a relationship is going to work out or not, at the dating stage. I am appealing to the young people to be very aware, to open their eyes, and to be very sensitive. If you are dating a guy and he exhibits traits of violence, maybe he hits you, beats you up and then apologises afterwards, that is an indication that you are into a potentially abusive relationship. So, you should do the needful at that point in time.
“It’s very important. Most people go into relationships, saying, ‘oh, he’s going to change. I will change him’, it never happens that way. Once you see a trait, it is going to get amplified as time goes on.
“Now, those who are already in abusive relationship find it a very difficult situation, because you begin to think about the years you have put into the relationship, you begin to think about the children involved, family, and society. How would they see you that you could not stay in your marriage?
“There are so many things you begin to consider, but you as the person in that relationship should come to the understanding that it is probably time for you to do something, something drastic about it because you might end up losing your life. We have heard cases of people losing their lives in abusive relationships. You should get to a point where enough is enough, but elasticity is for whoever is in the relationship to determine. Be sincere with yourself, forget society, forget family, and forget what people would say.
“Look at your life, look at that relationship, look at the children and be sincere with the situation and judge it accordingly,” Nneji added.