10 November 2012

Nigeria: Life As a Single Girl


Human beings come into this world with little or no options of influencing their destiny. For instance, as you find yourself on this earth you did not have the choice of who your parents would be, or the choice of which race to belong to or more still the sex you would want to be. Consequently, some people come with silver spoons while others come with wooden ones.

The choice of being a female or not is entirely in the hands of God. Left to the individual one may choose to be born several times over as female or male depending on how lovely one has lived in this world. The life of a female, especially in the African setting, could be dotted with a lot of challenges ranging from less opportunity to accessing formal education, discrimination in employment, sexual harassment, to forced marriages.

The lucky females to see the walls of a school or at best university could also fall into this group of ladies especially in issues to do with marriages. Many young ladies have little or no problems settling down with the right man during school days or immediately after. For some it could be much later in life owing to one problem or the other. If a lady is not forcefully married out due to her educational background she subsequently suffers some form of harassment even from among her female friends simply because she has taken a long period to marry.

Isn't it ironic when the same girls you went through numerous heartbreaks with judge you the minute they find a man to settle down with?

I almost peed laughing when a "much older" friend of mine, who went through every form of heartbreak, in the book and was lucky enough to finally find a husband, said to me, "Baby, you're not getting any younger. You should try and settle down with anyone who's serious".......Hold up girl! How many times have you soiled the sleeves of my dress over some guy or the other whom you thought was serious, but turned out to be just like the rest of them?

It's crazy how people are quick to analyze a single girl's life in the most negative way. I've heard every accusatory comment in the book;

"You come off way too expensive and high maintenance, that's why you can't get a man to commit".

"You're being too choosy dear; you're letting the right ones pass you by".

"You're not married because you're looking for a man with deep pockets to settle down with".

For God's sake, have all these people saying these demeaning things ever sat down to think, maybe the only reason why most young ladies aren't married is because it's not the right time? Come on! There's a man for every woman. No matter how choosy, classy or materialistic you are you're only going to end up with a man already pre-destined for you at the "right time".

For God's sake, I'm a woman, a Nigerian woman at that. Society doesn't give me the privilege to propose to and marry a man. All I can do is waiting for him to ask and if he doesn't, the best I can do is walk away and wait for the next till the right one comes along.

Maybe, sometimes, ladies due to youthful exuberance or bad counseling make mistakes in taking decisions but that should not be used as a reason to condemn all ladies who marry late. I also believe that such unfriendly remarks could rush a lady into marriage that may crash soon after it takes off.

Ladies need to be guided and supported when they find themselves in a situation like this. They should also be prayerful for God's guidance to the right person.

Zainab contributed this piece from Mabushi, FCT Abuja.

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