Today August 16th is a special day for me. It has been that way for over 30 years now. Yes, you guessed right, It’s my birthday. I am so blessed to be a part of this awesome world. The world is awesome, you might disagree due to maybe present challenges, but think about all the challenges you have scaled through previous times of your life. Plenty right? I bet so. Life is beautiful, It just depends on what angle your telescope is facing. Either to the pain or the beauty and joy it brings. That was my inspiration for ‘Silence is not Golden’ and now I am giving it to you as a gift. I do hope amongst all, that it gives you not just hope but healing.
SILENCE IS NOT GOLDEN
Silence is not a woman’s best garment as some 16th-century proverb would have us believe. In many situations, speech is golden rather than silver. Emotion suppression has sunk many into various heartrending situations of depression. People have suffered high blood pressure, poor memory, breakdown in immune system, insomnia, and other forms of poor psychological or physiological conditions due to the habit of bottling up emotions. Why keep silent to prove that you are strong when in truth you are being weakened by it? Why carry that issue that burns within the recesses of your soul to your grave and deny the living lessons and wisdom from your story?
Call this book the voice of the voiceless and you cannot be truer. It echoes the often-overlooked cry of many women and captures the enduring frustrations of some families out there in the real world. From my many years of painful experiences, I have squeezed out sweet juices of gainful lessons to inform, inspire, and encourage families – particularly women who identify with my story. This trip down memory lane will undoubtedly be worth taking.
Many have applauded me for going through the bad and ugly without openly complaining. I have been tagged a strong and remarkable woman for being able to endure silently. I am not alone in this-there are many other women in our world today, who are deemed admirable, exemplary, and strong for remaining silent in the midst of pain. Those who rise to speak out are more often than not considered unwomanly and branded as proud and mutinous. Unfortunately, in many religious and traditional circles, the culture of keeping women mute is largely encouraged. Many members of this gender, therefore, go into their graves having bottled up a lot of issues that burned in their hearts.
Enyonam was not only my next-door neighbor but a close friend in Ho – the capital city of the Volta Region in Ghana where I grew up. She was beautiful, respectful, and intelligent. Many men admired and sought to marry her; and each time she received a proposal from a prospect, she would inform me and ask for my opinion. Enyo as I affectionately called her, was an ambitious woman who dreamed of a model marriage and family life that would inspire other women in our society. She was diligent in her preparations towards becoming an ideal wife to her future husband. Sometimes, in the evenings as we sauntered along the streets of our vicinity, she would fantasize about her marriage in the future and would not cease to tell me about how she yearned to have twins. Her love for children was so strong that she would usually buy candies and distribute to the little ones who lived in our neighborhood.
Then came my friend Enyo’s big day – a splendid wedding preceded by an extravagantly enviable traditional marriage. My good friend had finally acquiesced the marriage proposal of one of the wealthiest men in Ho. Jonathan was a noble and well-educated gentleman who was greatly respected by many people in our society. Their wedding was the talk of the city. I must confess I had not seen any such occasion as magnificent as this one. Indeed, to call it an unprecedented occasion would be an understatement. And guess what; yours truly was her Maid of Honor. You cannot imagine my joy as I watched my friend’s dream unfold right before my eyes. I will share the rest of Enyo’s story with you in the first chapter of this book.
This book – Silence Is Not Golden does not necessarily seek to repudiate the popular proverbial saying, Silence is golden. Before we go into the main substance of my title, let me touch briefly on the history of the aforementioned proverbial saying. One poet named Thomas Carlyle is credited for translating the proverb from German to English. However, the source of the saying itself seems to have been buried by the mists of time as has happened to many other proverbs. The proverb seeks to convey the importance of silence in circumstances where silence is preferred. Unfortunately, many people have fallaciously generalized this proverb to imply that in all circumstances, silence is golden. Yet indeed silence cannot be golden in every circumstance.
The issue of delayed conception is commonplace in our world today and many women are trapped in this quagmire. I have been in this difficult situation for many years, and have learnt a lot through these years. Author Ralph Antwi has often said, Life is a school and everyday a classroom – and he could not be truer. The lessons acquired from my many years of childlessness has enriched me with commensurate experience to write this book. My main objective for doing this work is to launch a crusade for the woman who is yet to hear the first cry of her baby. The woman whose soul has been subjected to family and societal torture due to her inability to have a child within an expected period and the woman whose pillow is soaked in tears at night for the pain of losing her seed. I am excited about this work and I am hopeful that many women and well-meaning men in society will be equally excited and help precipitate the success of this crusade. Silence Is Not Golden, a prequel to another book is more than a book. It answers the cry of many women out there in the real world who suffer and die slowly in silence.
Apart from the writer, all others mentioned in this book have been given pseudonyms – for ethical reasons. I am confident that this retrospective journey you are about to undertake will be fruitful; and therefore, encourage you to go through the pages of this work reflectively.