Sunday, January 15, 2017
Letter from the General's Wife in Nigeria
I met the Brigadier-General's wife when I was 25 and she must have loved seeing me dressed in military camouflage, even though I was not a soldier, but my father, Sunday Eke was a soldier.
She was one of the most beautiful women in Nigeria and the most powerful, but very humble. An African American mulatto from a noble and wealthy family living in New York City. She said her family never accepted her decision to marry the young Nigerian military officer in 1975. But she was in love with him. She was only 22 and very romantic.
The late Gen.Sani Abacha, former military Head of State of Nigeria, called her, "Our Madam", because her husband was once their camp commandant in the Nigerian Army. It was during the launching of her first book, "The General's Wife" at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) on Kofo Abayomi Street on Victoria Island in Lagos in 1991. The same venue of the public presentation of my first book, "Children of Heaven" in 1988. Later she hosted the exclusive reception for selected guests of VIPs at the Lagos Motor Boat Club on Awolowo Road in Ikoyi.
We were very close. She once allowed me into her bedroom one day when she was too weak to come downstairs. The general was not in the house.
"What do you think Brigadier will do to you if he finds you in our bedroom?" She asked with a smile.
"He will throw you over the balcony."
We were fond of each other. It was a beautiful and exciting platonic friendship.