How much money would make pain go away?

Achraf Hakimi was just 19 years old and his now-ex-wife Hiba Abouk was 31. Photo/Courtesy

What you need to know:

Forgiveness, grace and mercy ultimately bring better rewards

Recently, the media has been awash with news of a famous footballer who was able to wriggle himself out of alimony in a divorce settlement. The couple first got together in 2018, when Achraf Hakimi was just 19 years old and his now-ex-wife Hiba Abouk was 31. After a whirlwind romance of five years, the marriage hit a snag following allegations of him molesting a woman in the couple’s matrimonial home.  At the dissolution of the marriage, Abouk anticipated to get half of Hakimi’s €70m fortune. 

However, things took a shocking turn when Abouk was informed that her multi-millionaire husband did not own any of his assets and everything belonged to his mother. For days, the Hakimi-Abouk standoff polarised social media; while others vilified him for this betrayal, others hailed him as a clever man and stingy men’s association of Uganda (SMAU) adopted him as their patron saint. The issue ceased to be about the betrayal and quickly became a financial one.

The pro-Abouk camp wanted her to take a sizeable chunk of her philandering ex’s estate as compensation. But how much compensation would be enough to heal her broken heart? How many exotic homes or luxurious cars would heal the trauma that she will probably carry into her next relationship?  Is it possible to put value to emotional pain?  While the money will distract you for a while, it will not take away the trauma resulting from that pain. 

Emotional agony tends to affect and change the whole person, from our values and outlook on life to how we treat others forever. In fact, that kind of distraction is likened to pressing on the gas and brakes of your car at the same time, creating an internal pressure cooker. While it works in the meantime, it can prove to be detrimental to our lives in the long run.

I know relationships have been vulgarised and are only seen as sources of wealth, but in a real relationship, there is so much give and take that can never be quantified. There are many variables such as options not taken, plans differed, little annoyances tolerated, lessons given that would be difficult to value. How much will it take for you to stay in a relationship that steadily drains away the essence of who you are? Would you choose to stay with someone who disrespects you, abuses you or your children because of wealth?

If this was possible, then we would never hear of those Hollywood divorces where people walk away from fortunes. Sometimes, no money can compensate your peace of mind.

Recently, while discussing the issue of privileges due to a member in one of the many women’s clubs to which I belong, it was decided that a member who loses a parent or child or spouse would get a contribution of Shs2m to cover some of the funeral expenses.

This clause was challenged by a member who wanted to know how members who were widowed, had lost both parents or were childless could benefit from that privilege. I wondered why anyone would look at the loss of a child or spouse or parents as an opportunity to make money and everybody went quiet.

I know that the practice of reparation is as old as man. In the Old Testament, Moses decreed that in order to appease or restore what one person caused the other, they would have to pay the equivalent of that thing; this came to be known as an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth. But as time passed and they critically considered the law, it became clear that retribution can never put things back the way they were since the circumstances under which some of these mistakes are committed are beyond human control.

For instance if one accidentally caused the death of the other’s donkey, it would be idiotic to kill another donkey in retribution because the second killing is intentional and it will not bring the former donkey back. That is why the alternative becomes the best way forward. Forgiveness, grace and mercy ultimately bring better rewards. It makes the wrong party climb on a higher ground and inspire a better way of looking at a situation.


Hakimi’s net worth. Paris Saint-Germain defender Achraf Hakimi has a reported net worth of $24 million, 80 per cent of which is controlled by his mother, as was revealed amid the soccer star’s divorce from actress Hiba Abouk. Their short marriage could have ended with him giving up $8.5 million. He managed to hide the fact that nothing is in his name.