Artist Health

Opinion: Why is it That When Nigerians Fight, Their Profanity Centers Around a Woman’s Marital Status?


USA based Nollywood actress and former Nigerian beauty queen poses the above headline question in an article she shared on her social media page (FB). I think it is worth a read by this public figure. Also revisit the debate by young Nigerian media personalities on Ebony Life TV discussing this marriage pressure, below. I say often, when these types of discussions are brought to my attention, that I honestly thank God for a Nigerian/African mother and family that is simply the opposite of the stereotypical “get married” pressure.

It remains quite foreign to me to observe and listen to the intense dialogue and debate surrounding this issue among Nigerians. Getting married simply holds minimal weight, if at all, in my household and among my own. We believe when it happens it happens, and if it doesn’t, keep it moving. There are way more important things in life to use to make a positive impact on people, with all due respect, than anxiety or stress over marriage. Apparently Nigerian men feel this stress as well, not just women.


“I just read a social media fight between two people I know and I chuckle to myself because my friend was blowing some hot words there – she was really vexed. Reading through the literary missiles, a few questions came to mind. Why is it that, generally when Nigerians fight their profanity centers around a woman’s marital status, her age and to top off the insults, her private parts? Are these the yardsticks that we measure our women by? The marital status thing. Does it mean when a woman is not married she has no identity, she is less of a person or what? For a Nigerian woman to get any type of respect there has to be a man in the picture in what ever capacity? So it does not matter if you are wife number 6 at least you are wife? There is a vulgar saying that goes “Toto wey nobody get, na everybody get am”. For real? That pretty much means that a woman unattached is nothing but a mobile body part that anyone can do anything to or with…..chaaii!!

And so begins the race where mothers groom and condition their daughters to believe that their ultimate duty on Gods earth is to “find a man and born for am”. I have often listened to educated folks down so much on women with comments like “They should have no say, after all they are going to get married off”, Women think with their butts not their heads and my respect meter for them swings all the way dooownnn!! When we have more respect for our women we will begin to do better as a society. If you want to know the quality of men in any society look at how the women of that society are being treated. Of course its not all Nigerians but there’s too many with this notion and something must be said.

The age factor. – Another sexist point of view. With notion of the one goal she must accomplish , the female now believes young and juicy is preference especially if you are at the other side of the biological clock and still have not found a man. So some of my soul sisters have designed a calibration where at 30. birthdays are celebrated every 3 years and at 40 every 4 years. Meaning if you are 30 you will turn 31 after 3 years ……so instead of kicking the other side of 40s with me my friends are mostly still 38. Where we could have fabulous and very accomplished women, celebrating milestones, sharing wisdom of lessons learned over the years, we have we see strong women dumbing down, hiding behind numbers, and an arsenal of paraphernalia that will ensure they don’t get old. Look at any photographs of big chicks at any event, we all look bothered. Why? Shoes are biting, wigs are squeezing, body magic trying to snuff out the last breath. Sometimes we are dropping body parts, nails dropping , eye lashes hanging……..Lord have mercy. Check out the Louboutins, Louis Vuittons, Micheal Kors, name them, all in competition with the other as we live out social constructs designed to forever keep us mentally emotionally and even physically impoverished (How? Story for another day). We need to love and accept ourselves.

Finally, the woman’s private parts. The immediate way to gauge a persons mental quality is how he talks about a woman. It has nothing to with swag, bragado or just being a bad boy, a man who refers to a woman as a body part is quite simply an iIDIOT no if , ands, or buts, just keep it moving. I find it very disturbing that of the myriad of problems in Nigeria, there recently was a move to put in the constitution the legality of underage marriage as opposed to making laws against pedophiles.

Its disturbing that what an individual decides to do with their private parts became a matter of national debate and outcry but HIV, malaria, food shortage and Ebola (currently knocking on our doors) are decimating the populace. These attitudes and perceptions of put out or shut up, money for hand back for ground are slowly turning our princess daughters into sex slaves, our turning our sisters and mothers into glorified prostitutes. If you have ever watched a pack of animals – you notice that they eat, fight, mate and sleep. The more highly evolved the animal in question the more organized their activities and interactions with group members. If this is our national psyche, then the women of Nigeria have a long road to walk because we must declare this consciousness unacceptable. This is not who we are and we can do better. We must point our daughters towards higher ideals and goals. We need a mind reorientation and perception which must begin with an honest look at the person in the mirror. Our men must once again learn to respect womanhood. Merit ought to take its place once again. Lets us as a people rise again. Where do we start??”

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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