I was born in the USA, raised in Nigeria until my early teens. While I share a lot of cultural similarities with my fellow Nigerian boys and girls, where we depart, drastically, is when it comes to the issue of marriage and apparent pressure to be married at a certain age.
I have always felt like I crashed the wrong party when Nigerian women, especially, begin talking marriage and the tremendous pressure they have experienced and continue to experience to be married. I can’t get get my mind around that or relate. Usually, I stay silent because I just can’t relate.
Indeed, I have always had a very rebellious spirit that refuses to go with the status quo when it makes no sense to do so, even when I lived in Nigeria, and one that continues to stay very much alive. So, I can’t imagine anyone forcing, pressuring and me bowing to the pressure of marriage and marrying because all my “mates have married” or daddy or mommy, cousins or aunties, neighbors etc. says I ought to. Na who send them? Dem no fit.
Indeed, I feel very fortunate when I watched the video below to have been free from the nonsense permeated by Nigerian society for women to marry at a certain age.
In fact, the emphasis growing up in my household when the topic of marriage came up, like once every blue moon, was and always remains that you do not marry unless you ARE absolutely sure this is the one for you. Wait, wait, wait and wait some more. If I was confused about what waiting means, clarity was provided periodically in my home. Wait means, it doesn’t matter if your “biological clock” ticks and stops ticking, you could be 30, 40, 50, you wait for the right one for you. It doesn’t matter if he is Nigerian or not. In fact, he can be yellow, green, black, red, or white. He just has to be the right one for you? Absolutely no rush, whatsoever.
Rush to where? To make the biggest mistake of your life? No thank you very much, I’ll take a raincheck on that one.
Focus on gaining your own financial freedom, learning about and being a better version of yourself, contributing and giving back to your community and if dude shows up whose cadence matches to yours and yours his, then y’all can make it happen at that point. Indeed, because you have focused on what matters most, when he does, you will also have your game tight and he of course will have his tight as well. This was something I saw growing up and modeled in front of me. So, I understand there was no hypocrisy about the principles.
So, back to my introduction. You can imagine how super uncomfortable it is for me when I hear women get quite sad and depressed because they are not married at a certain age. I can’t relate and really don’t know what to say, except that even those I know who are married still say, “take your time” like the panelists below also share.
Indeed, I found the video below very interesting because I feel like it is the first time I am really aware i.e. it is sinking in about the immense pressure that Nigerian women and I presume African women go through when it comes to marriage. I completely resonated with Adora Oleh in the girl talk panel below. She ask the question what “modern woman in her right man thinks (they should bow to marriage pressure).” Also, all she has to say, I kept saying “beni i.e. I hear you or it is so.”
Anyway, the video below is a must watch. It is candid, it showcases women keeping it as real as real gets and they cover it all including the following:
1. The pressure for Nigerian women to be married at a certain age. These women are grouped into categories including half price (mid-20s), “final clearance” (late 20s) and “expired” (over 30).Unbelievable, but for the seriousness and cadence of the discussion.
2. They discuss the financial stability the guy should bring to the table. If he is 27 and older, what has he really got to show for himself?
3.There are some great points they raise here about the distinction with dating a man in the US and UK towards marriage and being okay if he is not financially as sound as he should be so long as he has potential; versus dating the same man in Nigeria. Different ball game. The homie has to have enough money to pay rent for a year, do the wedding, pay for school for the children, basically, he has to have his financial act together.
4. They also cover cheating, (snitching on your friend’s guy who is cheating), snooping on (your man), returning the engagement ring he gave you after the breakup and so much more.
This is a total must watch for all women, Nigerian or not, and for the fellas, you could learn a thing or two. It is worth the time spent.
So, check on it.
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