This post is dedicated the the beautiful cultural piece of the amazing Yoruba people named the gele.
The gele is rooted in Nigerian and Yoruba culture. Gele is a Yoruba word that means head tie and is known as “ichafu” in Igbo.
I originally thought the gele was a Yoruba phenomenon, but a little research actually showed the act of tying a headscarf in this way is a West African phenomenon although most prevalent and flamboyant in the Yoruba Land.
Geles can be achieved from a range of fabrics such as Aso Oke, Sego/Zego fabrics, Damask, Jubilee, Swiss, embroidered, Singele (net gele), French lace
An interesting piece I read about the gele is that in times past, your age determined the direction in which you tied your gele. A forward facing gele was meant for young people who had their futures in front of them. A sideward facing gele was meant for a woman in her prime of life. A backward facing gele was for the lady who had lived her life.
I’ve included above a link to a song that has become synonymous with the Yoruba gele. This post wouldn’t be complete without it!
Hope you enjoyed this piece
Until next time
This is a personal vent. I’m sure people may agree or disagree but I am entitled to my personal opinion which I have decided to share.
Nigeria has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in Africa. More than two thirds of Nigerian women are believed to experience physical, sexual and psychological abuse at the hands of their husbands. (Lifted from this website: http://www.havenrefuge.org.uk/index.php/about-the-haven/international-projects/nigeria)
I keep hearing stories of woman who died at the hands of an abusive husband. I’m only aware of this in Nigerian culture but I am sure this will happen in other cultures too.
In the Nigerian culture, it seems rampant that females who are suffering from domestic abuse are always encouraged (especially by pastors or those in spiritual authority) to stay with their abusive husbands because God will change him and God doesn’t like divorce. I totally believe God can change anybody and I am not an advocate for divorce on any account. The bible doesn’t document any support of divorce apart from if either of the partners commit adultery. What I don’t agree with is encouraging a woman who being abused by her husband to stay with him and endure beating after beating and continue praying and never consider leaving. People that offer that kind of advice to people have no heart whatsoever. If it was your daughter or a member of your own family on the receiving end of blows from her husband, I don’t believe you would encourage her to stay there and continue to receive abuse. You would likely go there and pick her up yourself.
The people who are being abused can very well end up DYING and leaving their children with no mother. If not to that extreme, the children may see their mother being hurt by their father and this can start a vicious cycle in children who are moulded by what they see. I’m not married so I may not understand how it is but what I do know is that either as a married person or a single person, every one has the right to live without fear of being harmed or hurt by someone that is meant to love them. If anything or anyone is challenging that right, I believe you need to leave, for the sake of your life and your safety.
Is a person that can lay their hand on you worth dying for? Definitely not. Jesus did however already die for that person so get yourself safe and pray that God will change them. You can’t change them and staying to receive beatings will definitely not change them. God is the only one that can change someone anyway.
That’s my two pence. I find it so sad to hear a woman stayed with an abusive husband to “make it work”. From the first time he hit you, making it work shouldn’t be what you were thinking. Saving your life should be what you are thinking. A quick Google search will show how serious this has become.
Until Next Time
Memoirs of a Yoruba Girl