The average African man sees marriage as the only achievement of the African lady because she is a woman she is incomplete until she is settled and if she is not married, her achievements are useless and I am marveled at the level of this myopic view and I begin to get scared of what the African girl is made to go through. She is taught not to be herself, to pretend and market herself unless she doesn’t want to get married and no mother wants to have daughters that will remain in her house no matter how successful the lady is.
Growing up and seeing the agony of spinsterhood was hell, you can’t correct a young child in peace without being reminded of how you should go and have your own baby; of how difficult and painful it is go the labour room and come back alive, hale and hearty. Of how so many people have lost their lives in the process of bringing to life a new being, of how they went to the land of the spirits and came back and I begin to wonder if all these were actually necessary.
The unmarried girl or spinsters is made to believe that she has a spiritual husband or veil covering their faces that prevents their physical husband from seeing them, they are told of the rituals the must submit themselves to in other to be cleansed and saved from the hands of their powerful and jealous spirit husband so that they can get married and I am mad and I do realize that one can be married and be unhappy all her life while one can be single and still be happy.
I am not against marriage neither I am a feminist but I think that lots of persons are pressured in to the marital institutions that they do not take time to study their spouses, ask questions, check compatibility and at the end of the day it is all a game of regrets that they wish they can turn the hands of the clock so that they can remake their decisions and go out of the marriage, but you know of our African society and the way a divorced lady is seen and viewed as.
The problems becomes intense if the spinsters younger siblings gets married before her and then voom her tales of sorrows and litanies of sorrow is opened and you did see her become the object of scorn, ridicule and discussion among her peers, families and contemporaries, that she becomes virtually unhappy. A friend of mine once had this problem that she was still unmarried while her younger siblings male and female were married with kids. She became a living impersonation of anger and bitterness that the world lost flavor and sweetness to her, she wasn’t happy and became antagonistic, when she got married I wasn’t aware cause the trad was on low key but I noticed this aura of Joy around her that I was surprised and started digging into it and discovered that she was married. Her white wedding was loud and I was invited and of course I attended.
And you start feeling for the young unmarried girls as they go through agonies everyday of their lives.
Every mother wants to go for omugwo and come back and share things for her fellow women and it is the dream of every family that their daughters attracts rich suitors more like our darling nollywood where the rich prince will always fall in love with the homely and quiet village girl who is from a poor home and who fate has smiled upon and the gods has destined that she will bring good tidings to her family.
But the problem with most primitive African parents is that they believe that a woman’s education ends in the kitchen and that training is a waste of useful resources but the more qualified a woman becomes in a particular field makes her marketable and presentable hence she can attract her dream man. So when she is not properly invested upon, she attracts men of her level and caliber, that is why most young girl selling kai kai or hot which are alcoholic beverage in motor parks will end up attracting the drivers, conductors or even agboro in the park, unless she gives herself class, prestige and add some spinach to her carriage and composure then she makes herself unfit and unavailable for them.
Lots of time I have always advised young girls to get a life before marriage so that they can learn the habit of independence, so that they can become assets and not liability to their future husbands, so that they can comfortably take care of their homes when the chips are down for their husbands. When they become independent, they can’t be tossed around by men because they already have things that preoccupies their time and put food on their tables and pay their bills, so that they wouldn’t be too independent on their spouses.
A survey in our Nigerian university will reveal the high level of myopic reasoning even amongst the supposed educated class of the society, throw a question of after school what next at our young girls and you will be surprised at their response, majority will tell you that after marriage and you have no choice than to marvel at the priority placed on the marital institution. That is why an unmarried young lady will do anything within her reach to get married even if it means going diabolic so that she can get married. A friend of my dad once told him of how he had to visit the river to invoke the aid of the water spirit otherwise called mammy water so that they unmarried daughter can get married, that they young girls face was washed with water from the stream and you begin to wonder.
Young girls throw themselves at any man that promises them marriage, they even begin to perform marital duties and responsibility, the next minute they are pregnant and then they see themselves as having achieved their desires and what next marriage sets in and you begin to wonder where their rationality and sense of reasoning and judgment went to. But looking critically, you will realize that the society pushed them into it.
BY AKUBUO CHIGAEMEZU