Chapter III–18:  The Life of Bachelors


        As for us here, when a child grows up and he’s matured, he has become a bachelor.  I have told you that in the Islamic religion, they say that when a boy is matured, if he has a father and the father has got, the father should get a wife for him.  And when a girl grows up and passes menstruation, her father should also get a husband for her.  Have you seen?  A person who grows up and does not have a wife becomes a bachelor, and the talks of a bachelor are not like the talks of a child, and the talks of a bachelor are not like the talks of a someone who has a wife.

        Someone who has got a wife knows what is inside being a bachelor, but a bachelor does not know what is inside having a wife.  A bachelor is like a prince.  Inside our Dagbani, we say that a chief knows what is inside being a prince, but a prince does not know what is inside chieftaincy.  If a chief’s son wants, he can become as fat as anything:  he is not a chief; he is not yet inside the game.  A chief’s son does not know what is inside chieftaincy because he has not yet eaten chieftaincy, but a chief knows what is inside being a chief’s son because the chief was a prince before he became a chief.  That is the meaning of the proverb.  And so inside of everything, there is something that looks like a bachelor.  Anyone, if a person is from a door and he has never done some work that comes from that door, and it has never come to him, then he doesn’t know it.  Inside it, he is a bachelor.  But if he has done that work, then he knows the old thing that is in it.  The one who has a wife knows about the way of living of a bachelor because he also used to be a bachelor.  But can a bachelor know what is inside householdership?  That is why the talks of a bachelor are difficult.

        Those who have wives, there are many types of them, and there are many types of bachelors, too.  If someone has a wife and she leaves him, he has become a bachelor; if we want, we can call him a bachelor, but he is not a bachelor:  he knows what is inside having a wife, and so we say that his wife has gone out.  Maybe he has given birth, and he is holding the children.  But you grow up and you have not taken a wife:  as for that, you are a bachelor; you don’t know what is inside having a wife.  And as you haven’t got a wife, how will you have children?  Will you know how to hold people?  And so the true bachelor is the one who has never taken a wife.

        What will let someone not get a wife?  There can be a bachelor, and it is God Who made him not to get a wife.  What makes it so?  There can be somebody who is sick, and sometimes the sickness will not let him get a wife.  Sickness like what?  There are many types of sickness.  Someone whose penis is dead, and God has made him like that, he will not get a wife.  Somebody can grow up and be caught by leprosy.  If the leprosy should catch him when he is young, and his hands are off, he won’t get a wife.  No one will agree to give his daughter to such a leper, and even he himself will not agree to go and search for a wife.  But if leprosy catches someone and does not cut the hands, that person can sometimes get a wife.  Somebody can be born blind, and there are some blind people who won’t get wives.  If somebody grows up and he has money, or he has people behind him, if the blindness comes to him, sometimes such a bachelor can get a wife.  His money or his people can search for a wife and give him.  But if not that, he will not get a wife.

        If a bachelor gets a wife and leprosy should catch him, even if his wife goes away and leaves him, we won’t call him a bachelor.  We will only say that sickness caught him and his wife ran away.  He is not a bachelor.  If a bachelor takes a wife and in two days his penis dies, then his wife will go away and leave him.  Someone can give his wife a lot of food and everything she wants, but if the penis is not there, she won’t be happy, and she will leave him.  We won’t call such a person a bachelor.  We will say that he had a wife, and it was that sickness caught him and his wife went away.  If someone has a wife, and blindness comes to him and the wife leaves, we don’t call him a bachelor.  We say that he had a wife but she went away.  Sometimes this man and his wife have given birth to children before the sickness caught him.  Can we call him a bachelor again?  And so in Dagbon here, a bachelor is someone who gets up and has never got a wife.  He is the one we call a bachelor.

        And so in the way of our Dagbon living, they don’t consult a bachelor.  They don’t consult him because he has no wife.  In Dagbon here, the one we give respect is the one who has got wives.  As they don’t consult a bachelor, it is not because of anything.  On what are you going to consult him?  If you want to consult him on the part of people, as he has never held a human being to see how it is, can you consult him?  If you want to consult him about people, if he wants to make it short, he will just say he doesn’t know.  Anything on the part of holding people, can he know it?  How can you consult him?  And so inside our Dagbon, we don’t consult a bachelor.  A bachelor does not become an elder in Dagbon here.  Because of what?  He has no wife.  Why should you take seniority and give it to him?  Even if he is your brother and he is older than you, if you give him seniority, your wife will say, “He has no wife.”  As for a bachelor, no one will agree to consult him.  Truly, bachelors are human beings, and they are good human beings, too.  Some bachelors are more than some people who have wives.  Some bachelors have got strength, and they can feed people with wives.  But even with all that, a bachelor has no name, and it’s just because he is a bachelor.  We know that truly, someone who is a bachelor is a child.  Even when we drummers pick up a drum and start beating, we beat, “A bachelor is a child, and a married man is an elder.”  A bachelor is a child because he is not consulted about anything.  Whenever they want to do something, they don’t ask him.  As we don’t consult a child, we don’t consult a bachelor.  And they are like that.

        A bachelor cannot even form a group and do anything without having somebody with a wife inside it.  Whatever happens, the groups we have even in our area, there are people who have wives inside all of them.  If a bachelor forms a group, he will not get somebody who will stand behind him.  People will say, “What is the group?  Do you have a wife and you are forming a group?  What truth are you holding and you are forming a group?  If you had the truth, wouldn’t you have a wife?  If you were a good person, wouldn’t you have a wife?  If you had truth, you would have a wife.”  And so as for a bachelor, his abuse is just near.  This is how it is.

        Truly, we know that there can be a bachelor who can have more use than somebody who has a wife, and we can say, “That fellow has a wife, but this bachelor is a hundred times better.”  We know that some work can stand, and a bachelor will do it more than someone who has a wife.  But all the same, inside our book, we don’t give respect to the bachelor.  A bachelor is a bachelor.  He is not up to a human being.  If a bachelor wants, he can have a lot of money, and he can have strong people helping him, but as he doesn’t have a wife, he has no use.  And so a bachelor does not enter the talk of people who have got wives.  And a bachelor does not enter into any talk by heart.  He only enters to the extent he knows.  Inside the house or outside, if something happens and he wants to talk too much, they will say, “You are a bachelor.  Why are you interrupting into people’s talks?”  And so a bachelor does not show himself much.  If a bachelor shows himself, they will say, “As this man is showing himself that he is somebody, has he got a wife?”  That is why I say that a bachelor’s abuse is very near.

        Our old people sing their songs, and they say that when a bachelor dies in the night, his shit will spread on him.  Why do they say that?  A bachelor can die in his room, and there is no woman by him and no child by him.  Someone can be easing himself, and when he is finished, his stomach will pull him and he will die.  If somebody is going to die and there is no one holding him, he will stretch himself and throw his legs, and the shit will be smeared on his body.  That is why some old people say that when a bachelor dies in the night, he will die in his shit.

        How a bachelor lives, and what a bachelor eats, someone with a wife won’t eat it.  A bachelor does not eat and look behind him, and he does not eat and look in front of him.  It is somebody with a wife who eats and looks in front and back.  As for a bachelor, he is just like a tortoise.  As a tortoise is moving with his shell, anywhere he reaches is where he sleeps.  That is how a bachelor is.  When he goes to another town, that is his town.  He doesn’t mind.  That is where he has gone to stay, and that is his town because he is not looking behind again.  How will he look behind?  There is no woman at the house.  There is no child at the house.  If he is going to look behind, whom is he going to look at?

        How bachelors live, every bachelor who gets up is staying in his father’s house.  If someone is a bachelor and none of his fathers is there, sometimes he will be sitting with his uncles.  A bachelor who is in his father’s house, and he’s there with his father and mother, if his mother is someone who fears God and is a good person, she can wash her son’s washing for him.  It is because she doesn’t want her son to be dirty.  This dirt alone can make somebody not get a wife.  People will say, “He’s a useless bachelor.  Every day you see him, his clothes are red.  He doesn’t have anyone to wash them.”  And so a woman whose stomach pains for her son can wash her son’s things.  Or if it that this bachelor’s brothers are there and they have wives, his brothers’ wives can wash his washing.  If his sisters’ daughters are there, they can also wash his washing.  But there can be a bachelor, and his brothers’ wives or the women in the house don’t wash his things.  What brings it?  He doesn’t show that he has anything good for his brothers’ wives.  The one who does not respect himself in the house, he himself will wash his things and no one will mind him.  And there is somebody too who will give his washing, and they will wash it with annoyance.

        The bachelor who respects himself, he does not take annoyance to put inside his house.  And there is somebody too who will wash his own things, and it is not annoyance, because sometimes such a person, when they wash his things, he is not satisfied.  Some people have wives and don’t even give their things to their wives to wash:  if not that, if he watches his wives and they don’t wash his things well, then he will only be giving them some things to wash; and the things he wears to enter into people, he himself will wash them.  And so there are some bachelors who don’t want dirt to touch them, and such a bachelor will not give his things to a woman to wash.  And he doesn’t want the women to blame him that he has not given them his washing, and he will not let them see the time he washes his things.  When they finish eating, he will go out and roam, and when he comes, the women are sleeping, and he will start washing.  Before it’s daybreak, the things are dry.  Will someone see?  Will someone find his fault and say, “Why have you not given me your things to wash?”  This is how some bachelors wash, and I have been seeing it in my house.  They will roam and come and wash their things, and before daybreak, they have finished.  Even up to now, some of my housebachelors still wash like that.

        As for food, they cut bowls and give food to bachelors in the house.  And there can be somebody and it will come to small talk.  Sometimes his mother is not in the room, and his father’s wives will cut food and put it down for him, and he will say that they didn’t give him meat or they didn’t put the soup well, and it is because he is a bachelor that they are doing that to him.  And he will become annoyed and will refuse the food.  As for that, he has refused himself:  they gave him; he has refused.  And there is somebody too, when they cut his food, if they put in meat or they don’t put in meat, and whether there is soup or no soup:  the way they have done it, he will eat to his extent and get up.  He won’t say anything to them.  Somebody will say, “It doesn’t matter.  Maybe it is because I am a bachelor that they are doing that.  If I get a wife, they won’t do that again.”  And he will be eating, and when he gets a wife, they won’t cut his food like that again.  Truly, there are some women who do that to some bachelors.  But as for “I am a bachelor, and they are doing that to me, and I won’t eat,” it is he who has not given himself respect.  And there will be somebody, the food his housepeople prepare, what he gets, he doesn’t like it, and he knows that it is not the food he will eat.  He will buy his own food and come and cook.  And there will be somebody, he will get money and send his junior brothers to buy the food from outside, and they will bring it and he will eat.  Somebody won’t want to send his junior brothers, and he will go outside to where they sell the food and buy it, and he will sit down there and eat and be satisfied.  And he will go to his house, and he won’t look at the house:  if there is somebody for him in the house or there is nobody for him in the house, oh-oh, he doesn’t care.  And this is how it is on the part of his food in the house.

        A bachelor can be in his father’s house, and if he is someone who respects himself, his brother’s wives will be giving him a lot of respect.  If he comes out with his things in a bag as if he’s going to travel, his brothers’ wives will come quickly and collect the bag and carry it.  If he comes from outside carrying something, they will meet him and collect the thing and carry it inside the house.  As for him, they will respect him like that until he gets a wife.  The respect he gets inside the house can let him get a wife quickly because a woman will see the way they give respect to him even as a bachelor, or a man will see the respect his housepeople give him and will call the bachelor’s father and say, “I want you to take this daughter of mine and give her to your son.”

        If you are a bachelor, and your brother has wives, or your father’s wives are there, when you go out and come back, you can get something to give to them.  If you are somebody who roams, you can buy some small things and come and share them to the wives.  Their hearts will be white on you.  If you are a farmer and you are somebody who can get something from the farm, when you come, you will share it to them.  As you are giving them, it is you yourself that you want.  It doesn’t matter how they didn’t like you, because of the gifts, they will come to like you.  But if a bachelor doesn’t care about all this, nobody cares about him, and nobody has time for him.  If they cut food, whether he eats or he doesn’t eat, they don’t care.  But the one who gives them, his food will not sit outside; whatever happens, they will say, “Oh, this fellow has not come back yet, and so take his food and put it in the room, and he will come and take it, and it will be good.”  This is how it is.

        If not that, it is bachelors who make a town hot.  The time when people with wives are lying down pressing their wives, that is the time the bachelors are outside.  A bachelor can search for a woman till daybreak in his walking.  And bachelors too, their wives are there; the women who deceive them are there.  Those who deceive them, when they meet together, when it’s daybreak, they don’t need one another, and you won’t see them inside the house.  Those who deceive one another, when they meet, it is not there the next day.  Those who get up in the morning, and they go out and meet one another, as for them, they want one another outside.  They and dogs:  they are the same.  Even inside our drumming, too, we say that a bachelor and a dog are the same.  They are the ones we say, “They are bachelors who don’t want themselves.”  Such a bachelor, even if he gets money, it finishes there.  That is how such bachelors are.

        And some bachelors are there and women don’t deceive them.  As for that, when the bachelor goes out a little, he will come back again, and you will see that the woman will follow him.  Or the woman will come and greet him, and she will get up and go out.  Or the woman will come and sleep with the bachelor, and when it’s daybreak, she will go home.  Those who come and sleep with the bachelor, among them, he can get a wife.  And those who come and greet him and go home, among them, he can get a wife.

        And again, there are some bachelors who can bring their outside women and feed their people in the house.  A bachelor can have his girlfriend, and he will give her money for food, and she will cook and bring it.  In Dagbon here, it’s not all people who eat like that.  If you see a girlfriend who cooks food and brings it to her bachelor friend’s house, and you see people eating, then they are people who want cheap things.  If not that, it is women or young boys who eat like that.  But a person who is a householder, and he is up to a human being, such a person will not eat like that.  If your wife cooks, and you leave her food to eat the food of your bachelor’s girlfriend, it won’t be sweet, and it’s not that the food is not sweet.  If the girlfriend cooks and brings the food, as she is outside and cooking the food and bringing it, if you see the meat, you will be afraid.  Even sometimes the man will not be able to get such meat, but the woman will try herself and use her own money to get it.  She tries like that because she is outside, and the food is coming to the house, and everyone will see it and know that it is his girlfriend who has cooked it.  As for that, it stands out by itself, and that is how it is.  If a bachelor has such girlfriends, sometimes he can get a wife among them.

        But truly, there are some bachelors who don’t want wives.  Any bachelor who doesn’t want to suffer will not look for a wife.  There is suffering inside having a wife.  But if somebody doesn’t want suffering, what is he going to do to get anything?  And so there are some bachelors who don’t want to get wives, and there are some who want but don’t get them.  There can be a bachelor whose way of living is more than him.  More than him like what?  He is proud, and he eats money by heart, and he doesn’t respect someone who has a wife.  But he is a bachelor.  If you want to show yourself that you are a person, and you have no wife, then you are deceiving yourself.  And it is someone’s way of living that they watch before they will give him a wife.  If they watch the bachelor, and his way of living is not good, whatever happens, he will not get a wife.  And there are some bachelors who stay in the house and look after their mothers and fathers.  Those who sit like that, sometimes they get good names, and it helps them to get wives, and their getting of wives will not worry them.

        And there are some bachelors whose mothers and fathers are not there, and they don’t want themselves.  They don’t want themselves like what?  They don’t go and attach themselves to somebody.  It is good, if you are a bachelor and your mother and father are not there, you will take yourself and attach yourself to somebody who has got use.  Your getting a wife will not be difficult.  If this person has sense, and he fears God, he will look at you.  You are a bachelor and you don’t have a mother and father, and when you get up, you can go where your heart wants.  But you have not gone like that:  you have taken yourself to attach to somebody.  That alone can let someone get a wife and give to you.

        But a bachelor who doesn’t want himself has no use for anybody.  Even if his father is there, he has no use for the father.  As he has no use, everyone will refuse to give him a wife.  If he goes to search for a wife, people will talk, “Are you going to give your daughter to this bachelor from this house?  He does not want himself.  He does not want his father.  He has no use for his father.  His mother, too, it is like that.  As he is sitting, it is his friends’ clothes he is wearing.  If you take your daughter and give to him, you are going to throw away your daughter.”  Because he is useless, and because of what people say, and because he hasn’t got anything, he will also not get a wife.

        But if a bachelor takes himself to attach to someone who is not a bachelor, for him to get a wife is not difficult.  But a bachelor’s friend is a bachelor.  Do you know a kpanjɔɣu?  It’s like a woven basket where women put their things.  We Dagbamba say that if you want to put a weak kpanjɔɣu on a pot, you put it on a pot that is old.  Have you seen?  Something old sits on something old.  The way a person is:  he and the one he looks like are there.  And so a bachelor’s friend is a bachelor.  If a bachelor attaches himself to somebody who is also a bachelor, and they are friends, what is it?  A bachelor doesn’t know how to live, and he befriends someone who also doesn’t know.  I don’t know and I don’t know:  can they do work?  That is the meaning of the proverb.  And so if a bachelor befriends a bachelor, whatever happens, for him to get a wife will be difficult.  If two bachelors befriend one another, it is their friends who have wives who are going to show them how to live.  As it is, bachelors can sometimes sit down and consult one another, and if they have sense, they will say, “Oi!  This our bachelorhood:  we should sit down and attach ourselves to good people and get wives.  If we don’t enter into good people, and we bachelors alone want to be seeing each other, it won’t work.”  If a bachelor is somebody who is going to search for a wife, he is not going to take his fellow bachelor to go and greet.  He will go and greet with somebody who has a wife.  If the one with a wife is not able to go himself, he will let the bachelor go and use his name to greet.  If a bachelor is searching for a wife, and he takes the name of a bachelor to go and greet, he will not get anything.  They will say, “They are carrying you and you are also carrying somebody.”  It is because a bachelor has no name in the public, and that is why it is difficult for a bachelor to do work, and that is why a bachelor’s talk is difficult.

        There are some bachelors who even have more money than married people, and there are some bachelors who don’t have money.  It’s just like the way married people are.  Those bachelors who don’t have money, it worries them, and they say, “It is because we don’t have money.  That is why we are bachelors.”  But to us, we even say that a bachelor has no money:  he can have money to fill a room, and we say that he hasn’t got money yet.  Why hasn’t he got money?  He has no wife.  But when he has a wife, then we say that his money is money.  Money is nowhere apart from where there are people.  If you have money and you don’t enter into people, then we don’t count you among human beings.  If you have money, you have to get people to add to the money, because if you die, the money will not take you and bury you.  People are more than money.  And so if there is a bachelor who does not have money, and you ask him, sometimes he will say he doesn’t want a wife yet, “Unless I get money before I will search for a wife.”  As for him, he is a fool.  A bachelor can have money, and he will not be able to get a wife.  Why is it so?  If a woman is not your wife, and you say you are going to search for her, it can happen that you will search for her and you won’t get her.  And you have spent your money, too.  A bachelor can get up and search for four women and not get any of them.  God has not brought out his wife yet.  If God does not give a woman to you, and you even take your money and force yourself to get a woman, the woman will go away and leave you.  And so a bachelor who says he is going to look for money before marrying, we look at him as a fool.  If he gets money, if a woman falls and he goes to find her, maybe he won’t get her.  Has his money not fallen, and has he got money again?  He is searching and not getting, and someone will get up and look once and get a wife, and someone will get up and women will be crying for him just because of his good way of living.  If you say you are going to search for money before you search for a woman to marry, you are telling lies.  If a bachelor says that, then he is useless.

        And again, a man who has taken a wife and the wife leaves him, if he comes to sit and say, “I am going to search for money before I take a wife again,” as for him, we don’t see his fault.  He knows the talk inside holding women.  The time the woman left him, he was dizzy.  He will sit down well and get something in his hand to get another woman to hold her well.  He knows the sweetness of a woman, and he knows the work inside having a woman.  But a real bachelor doesn’t know it:  a bachelor just knows that he can take his mouth and talk lies to a woman.  There can be a bachelor who has not got a pesewa, and he will befriend a woman.  He will say he has loaded a truck with things to go and sell.  If a man says that to a woman, she cannot know.  She is like a blind person.  Maybe the woman will go to the man.  When it is two days, she won’t see anything of the truck, and there is no money.  Whatever happens, she will leave the man.  He took his mouth and whipped the woman to get her, and it was lies.  He didn’t have a truck.  And the woman also left.  Is it not lies?  A bachelor can take lies and talk to a woman and even marry her, but when it’s two days, she will go away.  If a bachelor talks lies, and the woman comes and there is no truth, whatever happens, the woman will go back.  But if he talks lies, and the woman comes and there is truth, she will stay.  And so in Dagbon here, Dagbamba say that you take lies to talk and get a woman, and you take truth to hold her.  As for that, any person who has ever taken a wife knows this, but a bachelor does not know it.  That is why people say a bachelor does not hold truth, and that is why we don’t consult a bachelor.

        As for me, the proverb that you take lies to find a woman and then bring her to the house and hold her with the truth:  I know it is inside our Dagbani, but I refuse it.  For example, if you go to find a woman, and you tell the woman that you have a lorry, and everyday she is seeing you walking and she is not seeing any lorry outside your house.  And daybreak again, she sees you walking, and no lorry is taking you, and she doesn’t see that you have a driver who goes on trek and comes back to give you the money from the road.  She will tell you, “Didn’t you tell me you have a lorry?   But since I came to your house, I have never seen a lorry parked outside your house.  Every morning I have been seeing you walking and going.  You were telling lies.”  Maybe you can be trying to do good things for the woman, but at that point, she knows that you have told her lies.  What will happen?  The woman will go away and leave you.  She won’t want to stay with someone who is going to lie to her.  And so the talk is an old talk they are talking, but it has no use.

        And so it is good, if you are going to find a woman, you should tell her the truth.  When you talk to her, tell her, “I am looking to find you.  I want to make you amaliya.”  And if she agrees, you tell her again, “I am not a rich man.  Maybe when you see me walking, you think I am a rich man, but I am not.”  If she agrees and comes to you, you will be doing good things to her.  She will sit down and think, “This man said he didn’t have money, but look at what he is going for me.”  She will be praying to God for you because of the way you are holding her.  Maybe she was divorced before you took her:  she will know that the one who was holding her before was not holding her like you.  And so talks look alike, but they are different.  And so, to me, I tell women the truth, and I have never talked truth to a woman and she refused.  Even I can say that for me and my brothers, to tell a lie is forbidden to us.  Even if we are going to open our mouth to tell a lie, the lie looks heavy in our mouth.  We just can’t do it.  And so I don’t stand on that proverb.

        Sometimes you will give birth to a child and see that he is doing bad, and sometimes when he grows up, his face will be strong.  When we say his face is strong, it means he is a bad boy.  When you have a bad boy and he grows up, if you want him to be cool, you give him a woman.  The woman will change him.  When his face is strong, you get a woman for him; the woman will worry him, and he will cool.  How will she cool him?  How he used to roam, he cannot do that again.  He was enjoying himself, going outside, taking a few cedis and spending it alone.  But when you give him a woman, he will be spending and thinking of the house.  Has he not changed?  This woman will become pregnant.  Whatever happens, he knows that if she brings forth, he will have expenses.  And so a bachelor who has no wife:  when he gets, he spends; he doesn’t even think of his father; he doesn’t even know that there are other people in his house.  We Dagbamba say that a man does not remain in his fellow man’s house.  When he grows up and takes a wife, he will start bringing forth children.  As he is bringing forth, the house will soon become full.  At that time, he will also go out to build his house someplace.  And so for us, when you have a child with a strong face, you get a wife for him, and he will cool down.

        And so truly, a bachelor’s talk is very difficult.  All the talks inside marrying wives and holding your wives and children inside a house are wonderful to a bachelor.  There are some bachelors who are inside their reading.  This is why I am telling you that you cannot talk and finish the talks of bachelors; you can only talk the part you know.  My eyes have seen some people, and they are following the white man.  They are educated, and they say that they don’t want wives.  And you will ask one, “Why do you say you don’t want a wife?”  And he will say, “It’s not that I don’t want a wife.  I don’t have time for women.  As I don’t want a wife, I want the learning first.  If I take a wife now, my learning will go back.”  If a woman is sitting in your house, it’s a big load, and it’s big thoughts.  You will have her and want to get another to add to her, and it won’t stand.  And so if you are a bachelor, and you are one of those we call the white man’s people in Dagbon here, then it is, “Anywhere the learning is, if I have money I can go and learn it.  And if I finish reading and I come back, women will be cheap to me.”  And they say they don’t want women because of this.

        And I have seen it also inside our Arabic schools.  A child will grow up and read Arabic, and he will say he doesn’t want a wife yet.  You will ask him, “Because of what?”  And he will say he is going to Medina to read or he is going to Jidda to read.  And he will say, “I cannot hold a wife and go.  And so if I am a bachelor and I go, I will read to the extent my heart wants.  If it is the thoughts of my father and my mother, they are with me.  And I will only be thinking about my mother and father, and that will not let me forget about my learning.  And they will also be thinking about me, that God should help me and I will be able to read, and when I finish reading, I should come back to them.  And if I go and finish reading and come, to get a wife will not be difficult.”  If you are anywhere in Dagbon, you will be seeing this on the part of the bachelors.  If not your own son, then your senior brother’s son or junior brother’s son, you will see it.  I have been seeing it, and it’s still happening.

        Such bachelors who want knowledge, we don’t call them useless bachelors.  They are the people who will one day look after us.  Somebody can go to another country and he will learn some sense and come home, and maybe what he has gone to learn in that country, you didn’t have it in your country.  And what he has brought, it will bring forth children; and if it brings forth children, it shows that it is waiting for us.  This bringing forth of children, what is it?  Someone goes to learn something and bring it to his country, and his country people, they have their schools but they didn’t know of it.  When he brings it home, someone will take his son and give him.  Somebody will take his sister and give him.  Somebody will take his nephew and give him.  And he will be showing them and teaching them.  And you an old person, if you are not lazy, you will go and attach yourself to this man, and you will learn his reading, too.  And so is it not waiting for all of us?  As for such bachelors, we call them, “Sense gets.”  This is how it is.  This is what I have also grown up to see.  Traveling showed me sense, and what I learned, I also used it to get.  And so truly, there are some bachelors:  someone who grows up and goes to see the world, and his eyes are open before he comes back to search for a wife, he will get a wife quickly.  There are many types of sense.  A bachelor can get up and roam, and when he is going, he does not think about anything.  And a bachelor can get up and roam, and he will go to learn some good work.  It is because he is a bachelor that he was able to learn the work, because there is no one doing that work in his town.  When he comes back to his town, he will get a wife.

        And so bachelor, bachelor, bachelor:  the ways that bachelors live are many.  It’s just like the way people with wives live.  How people with wives are different from one another, the bachelors too are different from one another.  And these are the talks about bachelors.  And as we have talked about bachelors, we will take the women who don’t have husbands and join the talk.  It is not good when you talk of bachelors and you leave the talk of the women who don’t have husbands.  And so I will take the talk straightforward, and the talk of the women who have no husband is not long.

        When a woman has no husband, it’s a big thing in Dagbon, and the women who have no husband are many, but they are different types.  The woman who has already married and has gone out from the husband’s house is quite different from the woman who has not yet married to get a husband.  The one who has never married is standing as a woman bachelor.  The woman who has married and left the man, she is standing as someone who has married and gone out.  If God likes her, it won’t keep long and she will marry another man again.  And the women who don’t have husbands are different from the women whose husbands have died and left them.  As for a widow, her talk is different because she has become a fearful thing, and it does not join to the talk of the women bachelors.  And so this is the talk about the women bachelors.

        As for a young girl who is sitting in her father’s house, I told you that she has no fault.  Sometimes no one has come to search for her.  Maybe she is waiting for her father to choose a husband for her.  Maybe her father and mother have told her to look and choose the man she wants, and she is sitting coolly.  Maybe somebody is chasing her to marry her.  This man and the girl will talk, and they will talk and the girl will agree before the man will take the money he will use to chase the girl and give to her father.  This is how a young girl also is in Dagbon.  If a girl is given to a husband and she is still sitting in her father’s house, if she wants some money, she can send to the husband for the money.  If not that, as the husband is coming to greet the father and give the father some money, her father will be giving some of the money to the girl.  It is just as if you catch a fish in the river and you want to cook the fish, you have to fetch the same river water to cook the fish.  If you didn’t catch the fish in the water, you don’t have to cook the fish with water.  And so the one they have given to a husband, she has to send to the husband for everything she wants.  It’s just that she herself is afraid of shame.

        And sometimes it happens that a girl will be sitting in her father’s house, and she will grow to be mature, and she will spoil herself.  What brings it?  She wants to get a pesewa and spend, and if she doesn’t allow someone to sex her, she won’t get any money.  And so a girl who is sitting in her father’s house, and she keeps long and they have not yet given her to a husband, and there is no one giving her money, she can be roaming in the town for people to sex her.  Such girls are those who meet with the useless bachelors.  It’s not their fault.  It’s just that their fathers have not given them to a husband.  That is how it is.  And such a girl, if God likes her, she will get a husband.  If not that, then she will just be for herself.

        A woman who is matured and she is not married, as for her, we call her that she is a woman who is for herself.  As for a young girl, she cannot do what such a woman can do.  There can be a woman who has just come out to taste all the men around.  She doesn’t want a man, and a man doesn’t want her.  As for her, no man should pass her by.  In one day she will have sex with many men, and any man who takes her, he only wants to climb her and leave her.  She doesn’t even want to sit at one place and eat food.  Anywhere she gets to, and anywhere she’s walking, she eats.  That is a woman who is for herself.  Such a woman, we don’t count her into women.  But to her, she says she is a woman.  Such women, we say that they are holding themselves.  Nobody can give them to a men, and so problem with men is sitting on them.  But some of them, their talks are better.  Those who don’t mind to suffer a little are better.  Maybe someone has traveled a lot, and her eye has opened.  If she is trading or she is working, her matter is somehow better.  If she does not fear suffering from a man, she will be sitting down and praying for a husband.  A man can search for such a woman.  But the one who doesn’t want to suffer, for her to take firewood to go and cook, and smoke will enter her eyes, she doesn’t want it.  And those who put cream on their faces to become like white people, if the smoke is coming on her, she will be dirty, and she doesn’t want that.  Such women, we fear them.  If you say you will take her and bring her to your house, what will she come to do?  And so their talk is not inside this talk.

        And so the talk of a girl who has never married is difficult because her talk is different from the woman who is for herself, and it is different from the talk of a woman who has ever married and left her husband.  A girl who has never married, her way of living is like a bachelor because she doesn’t know what is inside staying with a man.  If you take a woman who is a woman bachelor, and you don’t have a wife, and you have never married before, have you ever married to see how it is?  She too has never married to see how it is?  If you don’t try, you will drive her away; and if she doesn’t try, she will leave your house.  If a woman bachelor should come and meet a man who has taken a wife before and the wife has gone out, as for him, he can hold this woman bachelor well.  If the woman who went away had sense, and this man has sense, he will get sense to hold the woman who has just come.  By that time, he has experience.  But the one who doesn’t know and has never taken a wife, he will be looking at himself, and the woman will be looking at herself.  If sense and sense are going to meet at the market, you will all go home useless.  The man doesn’t know what is in the woman, and the woman doesn’t know what is in the man.  What is going to come?  It’s going to spoil, and they will leave one another.

        It is only a few men who have never married who can hold a woman until they become used to one another.  If the man is going to show himself, and the woman is also going to show herself, no one can hold the other.  Many men leave their wives like this, and many women also leave their husbands like this.  It is not that the woman has done any bad work.  She is doing the work that she is doing, and the man doesn’t know that a woman does that.  And what the man is doing, the woman doesn’t know that a man does that.  Many people have done that and their wives have left them.  It is only a few people who know that when you have your wife or your husband, you bluff one another and you laugh at one another.  The one who is going to keep a woman bachelor is the one who has patience, and he becomes a deaf person and a blind person.  When the woman is going to insult him or is going to become annoyed, if he is going to see all of it and hear all of it, he cannot hold a woman.

        The name of the young girl who is a woman bachelor is:  she doesn’t know what is forbidden.  When she does any work, she says it’s all right.  The young girl will have her husband, and when the husband tells her to fetch water for him to drink, she will tell him to get up and go and fetch the water himself and drink.  They have told you to come and fetch water for the man, and when the man wants water, you point at the water and tell him to go and drink.  What I’m saying, many women do it, and it is not good for a woman to show herself like that.  If the young woman takes this to show the husband, if the man has no patience, it is going to bring trouble.  The man is going to say, “I cannot be like this and a woman will disturb me.”  You will see that the man will drive the woman away.

        And so a woman bachelor who has not married before, if she quarrels with her husband like that, maybe she will run to her family house.  But if she goes and brings her complaint, her fellow women are also in a man’s house.  The only one who will accept her complaint and support her is the one who is not married.  But those who are also in marriage homes, if she comes to complain to them like that, they will reply to her that it is the same thing they are all  adjusting themselves to, and the only advise they will give her is to exercise patience and stay with her husband.  All of them are facing those problems.  If your wife goes to make a complaint to someone who has a husband, or if she goes to complain to her mother, her mother will also reply to her that it is the same way she stayed with her father and gave birth to her:  “Your father has done worse things to me than that.  And so if you will forget about it and stay with your man, you will stay.” At that time she will be standing still, and when she goes back, she will be quiet.  She won’t complain again.

        If it is a woman who has married before, or if the woman is a young girl and the man knows how to keep her, the man will say, “This is what I did before and the other one went away.  And so I will not do that again.”  He was having a wife, and she went away and left him.  Maybe what the wife he had was doing to him is what this new wife is also going to do to him.  He will take his experience to hold the new wife well.  And the young girl he married and she left his house, she will also go and sit in her house.  She has become a woman who has no husband, and some women like that, sense will come into their hearts.  She will say, “If I get a husband again, I will know how to hold him.”  If this woman goes to marry a man, even if they are putting her on fire, she will not mind.  She has already entered the house of a man to see, and she knows that if she is bluffing or she is not hearing the man, it is not good.  Only patience can let her stay in the house.  You will see that she will be patient and sit in the house of the man.

        If you bring such a woman to your house, and she comes to meet her fellow wife, how the new wife will respect you, if you don’t take time, you will drive away the woman who was already in your house.  What makes it so?  The woman who was in your house was not doing some talk to you, and the one who comes will do it.  Some talk like what?  The woman who has married and gone out, when she marries another man and comes to meet a woman in the man’s house, when it comes to the day of her cooking, she wants to cook so that the man will know that she is someone who cooks, and even the children outside will know that she is someone who cooks.  Maybe the man will be someone who likes tea, and this woman will take her own money and prepare tea for the man.  Maybe she will take her own money and go and buy meat for the man and fry it.  As the man has not given her the money for any of this, and she is doing it, she is giving respect to the man.  She doesn’t know that the one who was already in the house was not doing that.  If you are the man and you don’t think, you will drive away the one who was in your house and keep only the one who has just come.  If you do that, the day you come to take another woman again, you will also drive away the one who is with you.  Maybe the new woman will come and be doing the same thing for you, and the one who has been there by herself will become annoyed; at that time, you will also drive her out.

        And the woman who has never married, if you go to find her, and she comes to meet your wife, if you don’t do well, she will drive away your wife and she herself will also leave.  It’s not because of anything.  You were living with your wife and enjoying your wife, and as this girl has come, you will not be enjoying your wife like that again.  If you tell your wife to do some work for you, she won’t want to do it.  It’s not that she doesn’t like you.  The woman bachelor, the one who was never married, has come to spoil your wife.  She doesn’t know what is inside having a husband, and she doesn’t know what is inside being a woman.  Your senior wife will take the way of living of the new wife, and you’ll see that the house will become bad.

        And so a woman who has never taken a husband, you have to know how to hold her.  The one who has never married, if you want to take and give her what you give to the woman who has been married, you cannot hold her.  And if you want to give her what a young girl wants, you cannot hold her.  A young girl is like a drum:  you should press her a little; don’t press her a lot.  If you don’t press her, you will lose her; if you press her too hard, you will lose her.  That is how a young girl is.  All women are like that, but it is a young girl who is more like that.  If you don’t take some small punishment to put on her, and it is that you are going to follow what she wants, she cannot turn to what your heart wants.  You will press her a little, and you will loosen and free her a little.  At that time, what you want her to do for you, she can do it.

        And the woman who has married and left her husband, you will also know how to take her.  Truly, there are many reasons why men refuse women and women refuse men.  I can say that the women who have married and left, we don’t find their fault.  Sometimes the fault came from the man.  And so the woman who has married and left the man, her way of living is quite different from the woman bachelor.  Such a woman does not take all her things to add together.  The reason why we say that is because she doesn’t take one man’s way of life to be the same as all men.  The man she was staying with, and she left him, the new man she is going to find will have a different life.  If a woman has left another man before coming to meet you, she has no way to tell you, “When I was in the other man’s house, this is what I was doing.”  A woman who has married and left the husband, as for her, if she’s going to do some talk, you will shout:  she will stop.  She has already done that, and the other man drove her away, and she has come to meet you, and she doesn’t want her name to spoil.  If she is going to do that again, and she is going to leave the man or the man is going to drive her out, she herself will be afraid.  There are some women who fear that, and such a woman fears it because if she is going to quarrel with her fellow women, they are going to abuse her as “a woman dog.”  They are abusing her like that because she cannot sit in the house of a man, that she wants to go around to all men.  And so such a woman who has married and left the house of her husband, she doesn’t want her name to spoil.  If you take her, when she spreads herself and is going, you will pull her, and she will keep quiet.

        And we have all this here, and that is the talk of the bachelors and the women who don’t have husbands.  Someone who hasn’t married does not know what is inside a woman.  And on the part of a woman, a woman who has never been to a marriage house is the same.  If you take her and you don’t have patience,  and if she also has no patience, she will go.  And she will learn her sense, and you the bachelor will also get sense.  As for that, it is just like that.  And the woman who has just divorced, as for her, she watches.  If she doesn’t take her time, she will be walking about by heart.  And so if you marry a divorced woman, as for her, she always takes her time.  It is the same way if your wife also divorces you and goes to another man, it is the same thing that other man will see from her.  And so it teaches a woman sense and teaches a man sense.  And so what is next is to talk about how we Dagbamba stay in our houses with our wives and children, and I think that to talk all the talks inside it will reach some days.