It seems no matter how much a Nigerian lady has achieved, the millions she has in the bank or the impact she has made, as long as she’s not married, she’s incomplete. Sometimes I ask myself if a Nigerian woman has no identity outside marriage. The desire to fill this void has led to the
crave desire to be identified as a Mrs. Below are a few reasons Nigerian girls rush into marriage.
1. Family push: It is believed in the African context that a girl must be under a guardian, either her father or her husband. This belief system encourages
forces encourages a single lady to live with her parents till she gets married (the idea of a single lady staying alone is frowned upon in Africa). To this effect, as soon as a father is done taking care of his daughter up to University level, he eagerly waits for another man (future son-in-law) to take over from where he stopped. In Africa, the question “when are you getting a job?” is popularly asked the boys after they finish school while the “when are you getting married?” question is for the ladies. Such pressure from parents and family have made Nigerian girls treat marriage like some politicians would politics: a do or die affair.
2. Weddings: To most guys, weddings are expensive and mostly unnecessary but to a lady: her wedding is the most important event in her life. You need to see a Nigerian lady preparing for her wedding like she was preparing to go and meet her maker in Heaven. The wedding gown has to be top notch, the cake has to be to her taste, the decoration has to be exquisite, the food has to be delectable, the MC has to be funny, the hall has to be up to standard. Everything about a wedding ceremony better be to the Bride’s taste or there is gonna be problem. The sooner she experiences the joy of the most special day in a her life (asides childbirth which comes with its dose of pain) which of course is the wedding, the better.
3. Friends getting married: When a lady of marriageable age gets an invite to a wedding of a friend of hers, forget the smile you see on her face, she’s jealous on the inside that she’s not the one. Girls hate been invited to weddings of their friends when they can’t even hold down a stable relationship. To make matters worst, her younger sister just got engaged, that’s what I call PRESSURE. No lady wants to be the last among her click of friends to tie the knot, so when the closest guy to the altar proposes marriage, she knows he’s not the one but she thinks to herself. “Well, what’s the worst that can happen”.
4. Financial security: Oil price is falling, the Government is struggling to sell crude oil at the same level and price they used to. The Naira is falling against the Dollar, the economy is dwindling, graduates are flooding the already saturated job market making jobs harder to come by. Lady accessories like makeup, shoes and hair extensions are even getting more expensive. To top it all off, fathers are beginning to give their daughters the I-have-finished-with-your-education-you-are-now-on-your-own look when they ask for upkeep money. The Government is not helping, the economy isn’t looking up, even the parents are proving stubborn. What’s the next step to financial freedom to many ladies: marriage.
5. The Mrs Clang: A lady while contributing to a radio show recounted her experience with the receptionist of a firm she visited. In her own words (paraphrased of course), “I went to an office complex to see a friend, the female receptionist was so rude to me that I wondered if she thought I was her oga’s mistress. Then unconsciously while answering a call that came through with my left hand because I was carrying my handbag with my right hand, she must have sighted my wedding band. After I dropped the call, her countenance suddenly changed, she apologized for being rude and said she didn’t know I was a married woman….”. Africa especially Nigerians have a great respect for married women if not for anything but for the fear of the unknown (what if her husband is an army general or a police superintendent..lol). It’s no secret that the wedding band on a woman’s finger carries “power”, no wonder the rush for one.
6. Biological clock is ticking: One of the reasons for the mad rush to get hitched is the “biological clock” excuse. Men according to women are gifted with the ability to reproduce at any age while ladies have as many reproductive years as the evil menopause allows them. According to the biological clock, at 25 she’s ready for marriage. At 30, she’s ripe for marriage. At 35, she’s too ripe for marriage. At 40, she’s is getting too old. At 45, menopause is closer than marriage. For a man on the other hand, as long as he gets married before 50, he’s fine. The biological clock has indirectly caused ladies to speed up their marriage plans.
7. Lack of career direction: I remember listening to a program on radio on my way to work one day and this young undergraduate was asked where she saw her self in 5 years. Her answer was “in 5 years, I see myself as a supportive wife to my husband and a wonderful mother to my kids”. How clueless and directionless can someone get? Instead of aspiring to be someone with impact, someone with a dream, someone with career direction. Her dream and purpose on Earth is to be a wife and a mother? That’s all? That’s the problem with most Nigerian women, as soon as they finish school and before getting a job, finding a partner and settling down is first on their list of aspirations. Very sad.
8. Pregnancy: I attended the wedding of a work colleague to his beautiful bride. I was too engrossed with festivities and didn’t notice the protruding stomach of his wife. After a friend (a girl of course..lol) pointed it out, I thought to myself “No wonder, this marriage felt kinda rushed”. Nevertheless, nothing was going to stop me from enjoying the wedding. The saddest way for a woman to get married is out of “pity” because of pregnancy or childbirth. But that hasn’t stopped many young ladies from getting pregnant for a man before he even proposes. The idea that pregnancy will finally make a man commit to marriage is not always true. Ask 2 face’s baby mamas.
9. Ignorance about marriage: Every lady out there wants to get married but only a few are aware of the rudiments of marriage. Only if a lady knew what it takes to get married, the sacrifices she will have to make, the freedom she will lose, the restless hours of cooking, cleaning and taking care of a man, the sleepless nights where sleep instead of sex is on her mind, if only a lady knew all these, most would chill and enjoy their single life before getting married.
10. Fear of heartbreak: The heartbreaking story of a young undergraduate taking her life after her lover jilted her and married another lady comes to mind while explaining this point. When a lady dates a man for over 5 years, commits her body and even her soul to him. It is only natural for her to expect to get married to him. The fear of something going wrong would hunt her until she gets that engagement ring.
Further Reading: 10 Reasons Nigerian Men Are Afraid Of Marriage