The Travails of A First Wife by Razinat Talatu centres on Zarah; the wife of Ibrahim Abdu Shehu whom she had married for more than 30 years. She made him a man. The plights she endures in her marriage; since her childhood Ibrahim had made her to terminate one pregnancy after another and after 8 years into marriage with her she could not bring forth a child to succeed him and he condemned her to a fate of barrenness by marrying not one but 2 wives at a go.
During their illicit affair before they got married; Zarah gives birth to a son named Babagana but he could not openly claim the boy as their own son and reason for the long union as his biological child because their religion (Islam) is against marrying her and still keep the boy as his legitimate son but he opts for her and makes the child to stay with her mother. Zarah is divorced by her husband because she refused to sell her house in Damaturu which she had built even before marrying Ibrahim.
Ibrahim Abdu Shehu is a heartless and ungrateful man, he treats Zarah with disdain, and he does not respect her feelings for him when he married the 2 women at a go.
Razinat Talatu Mohammed PhD, born in Maiduguri, Northern Nigeria teaches African Literature with specialization in Women Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Maiduguri. She made her debut in 2005 when her collection of short stories, A Love Like a Woman’s and other Stories won the maiden ANA/ Lantern Book Prize.
Her first novel, Habiba, was short listed for the ANA Prize for Prose 2014 while her other works have appeared in national and international anthologies including Camouflage: The Best of Contemporary Writings from Nigeria, The Gong Books, Fireflies: An Anthology of New Nigerian Poetry, Pyramids: An Anthology of Poems from Northern Nigeria and For Women Collective: A Tribute to Nina Simone (USA). She has, to her credit, a reference text titled Feminism and the Works of Nawal El-Saadawi and Buchi Emecheta, published by Lambert Academic Publication, Germany. She was a Resident Writer in El-Gouna, Egypt in June /July, 2011 and is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Maiduguri.