Nigerian men have a knack for marrying late and on average a Nigerian man gets married at the age of 34. Its also rumored that they are afraid of marriage with the following 10 points among the reasons why Nigerian men marry late.
1. Bride price: It’s no secret that marrying a girl in Nigeria is trickier than it used to be. In the olden days, you can’t over tax your in-laws for your daughter’s hand because you both are village champions and know the depth of each other’s pockets. You over price your daughter for my son, I’ll do the same for my daughter when your son/uncle/nephew comes for her hand in marriage. Nowadays, in-laws have no pity on prospective suitors with their overzealous bride prices. The bride price itself isn’t the issue but the goods you will purchase for the elders/village chiefs/gods are. There is a popular rumor that girls from South Eastern Nigeria marry late because of the excessively high bride prices placed on their heads. Its only a rumor so relax.
2. Cost of feeding an extra mouth: When a man sits down to take stock of his monetary value just before getting married, the realization that he is no longer feeding one mouth but two (and that’s before the kids come along) paints a grim picture in his mind. Whereas ladies getting married don’t have to worry themselves about taking care of the family or keeping up with that 9 to 5 job, the man on the other hand has to take the above and much more into consideration before taking the plunge.
3. Wedding costs: Have you ever wondered why the grooms aren’t always smiling at Nigerian weddings? You guessed it; their money is involved. Nigerian weddings have gone from crates of mineral, plates of rice and a few guests to cartoons of expensive drinks, assorted varieties of food and a hall filled with hungry guests. If it costs almost N100,000 to make up a bride on her wedding day. I repeat “make up”, I didn’t say fly her to Paris. Making up a bride gulps such annoying figures, then imagine what buying/renting a wedding gown, decorating the hall, food, drinks etc would cost. No wonder Nigerian men think twice before getting married and I don’t blame them.
4. Lack of freedom: Getting married for a man involves giving up that much desired freedom. Men grew up with thoughts of emancipation from their parents. The type of life where no one dictated where you went or what you did with your time. You could visit a friend and sleep over, drink at a bar till morning, go clubbing, travel whenever. Getting married for a man involves loosing the freedom he so fought hard for. He can’t do as he pleases anymore but has to consult with madam. That thought scares a man to pieces.
5. Commitment to one woman: Men are polygamous in nature and most don’t even try hiding it. Men claim to be following in the footsteps of their forefather “Solomon” in the Bible. As bachelors, women abound and as the saying goes, “there are many fishes in the sea”. Marriage is a covenant between a man, his partner and God and frivolities like multiple partners is very illegal. This means a man that decides to get married and remain faithful is faced with the realization that the woman he has chosen to settle down with is the ONLY woman he is permitted to “settle down” with (literally). That’s a hard one to take for men. Mostly Nigerian men.
6. Children and extra expenses: Raising a baby is EXPENSIVE and would damper the hopes of any prospective father. The costs of formula, baby food, nursery furniture, clothes, car seat, stroller, childcare, medical expenses would make any man shudder. Then throwing in the mind provoking “diapers” into the mix would make a man think twice about getting married let alone having a baby.
According to a report on Encomium, the cost of raising a child in Nigeria from pregnancy to Nursery two level is between N160,000 for an average parent to N890,000 for middle class parents. Have you ever wondered why our parents had up to 9 siblings while living in the village and parents of nowadays have between 2 to 3 kids. Wonder no more.
7. High standards (no wife materials): When an eligible bachelor is asked why he isn’t married, the most popular excuse remains “I haven’t found the right one” or “there are no wife materials out there”. The problem with this excuse is that not only is it false but it is exactly what it is; an excuse. It seems to me that Nigerian men date women with good standards but as soon as marriage is concerned, those standards are no longer enough. There are millions of good girls in Nigeria but most men aren’t serious with them. Men are looking for ready made wives, the ones with chef like skills in the kitchen, a good job, a sister in church and a freak in the bed all wrapped in one. The problem is that most women don’t come packaged, a man finds a woman and molds her into his desired wife. Nigerian men are either too lazy or too impatient to mold a wife material and go around claiming there are no wife materials. Get a girlfriend material, turn her into a wife material and marry her. Simple.
8. Low standards (of the women): The biggest problem women have with Nigerian men is becoming wives before getting married. Our ladies have this knack for giving their men everything they should be giving him in marriage. She sleeps with him, she takes care of his house, she washes for him, she cooks for him, she virtually does everything she should be doing for him in marriage. Which man in his right senses would rush marriage when he’s getting all he needs even without proposing. Think about it ladies.
9. Career obstacle: Most Nigerian men have this mindset that they need to be established before getting married. You hear excuses like “I need to set myself up, make enough money, climb up the career ladder before getting married”. Men with such ignorant thoughts haven’t read the passage in Proverbs 18:22 which says “A man who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” The key word is “obtains favor from the Lord”. Marrying right instead of being a burden should be a ladder to greatness. Now you have a business adviser, a confidant, an accountant, a lawyer, a banker all for free.
10. Working class woman: Nigerian men have gotten wiser and don’t aspire marrying a liability of a wife. No man wants to plan and fund a wedding himself, he desires the input of his working class fiancee. Taking care of himself is bad enough but taking care of himself and a woman is another dimension all together. Every smart Nigerian man wants to get married to a working class woman to help cushion the financial strains marriage would cause. Their quest for a desirable, working class woman keeps them in the bachelor class for longer than expected.
Further Reading: 10 Reasons Nigerian Women Rush Into Marriage
Photo credit: http://www.vanguardngr.com
Vote of thanks: Onyinye Agusi for assisting with the draft of this article. Your input is very much appreciated ma.