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I was heading to work one morning when Mom called me. After pleasantries, she told me to tell my boyfriend to come home for introduction. I was livid and in that moment I immediately called her off. I did not want to speak of it any further.
Well, three days later, that relationship ended and broke me into a million pieces, but that is a story for another day.
I have three sisters, one teenager and two adults. For some reason, mother mine is of the opinion that we all must marry soon. I find this funny, and a part of me really feels sad for her because I am African, but I do not want to get married. At least, it is not a priority for me, I can sincerely do without it.
No, I really am not a hoe. I am full-time monogamist who can love one person for the rest of her life, however, marriage is not one of the things I want to do with the said person. Is that weird? Maybe.
Marriage is a societal and religious construct, and well all the perks of marriage can be gotten out of it.
From sex to companionship, to love, to even children (I do not want these either, but, story for another day). What is with the insane desire to give up your surname? Okay, you would not give up your surname for the feminists in the house (Hello, coven member here), so why exactly do you need all that fanfare? Maybe it is for legal sex because that is the only reason I see for y’all to go through the stress -the right to have sex and not feel bad about it.
I already have sex, and I do not feel bad about it (colour me reprobate), I love like a person in a marriage, even more, and I can co-habit. So what else is there?
If you think marriage is going to stop a cheating partner, ah, I have no words for you. A cheat will cheat and it will pain you more because God does not like divorce. For people like me, I can just walk away from the relationship if things are not working. I do not know if you know, but the Nigerian divorce process is a nightmare. You are expected to stay in that relationship, whether you are dying or not. Your mother, father, pastor and the world will tell you to stay back and work on that marriage.
“I am breaking up with you”, a lot of alcohol and anxiety pills later, and a relationship is over for me. I take breakups really badly, how do you want me to survive a divorce? Ma pa mi nau. Pity this girl. Then again, that is not a reason why I don’t want to get married. I just do not think it is necessary, I think it is mostly a waste of time and resources. I also feel that inasmuch as relationships should be worked on, there should be the freedom of walking out when things no longer work out.
You do not need marriage to legitimize your relationship. I know society says that you do, but society also said that women could not work a few decades ago. Women are currently working and becoming vice presidents in the number one country in the world (go Kamala, go Kamala go!).
Women are also presidents and powerful leaders in other countries. The bible also says you should marry, but then again, there are a lot of things the bible says we should do that we do not do and vice versa.
I know, I know, I am rambling at this point, but you have to understand. I will be 24 this year, and I got tired of everyone asking me when my boyfriend will see my parents when we were still together. I hated that they (my neigbours) called him my husband too. Why did they do that?
When the relationship ended, they assumed immediately that it was my fault (I had a huge part to play in it, but not even a vote of confidence for your neigbour). Then when they were consoling me, because I cried sha, they said that I was still fine, and that I was young and that I would find a man that will love and marry me soon again.
Hay! Jehovah! I almost screamed at them. “I do not want a husband. I want you all out of my house, so that I can cry in peace!” I did not scream sha. I just nodded and said thank you. After they left, I rolled my eyes and continued my salty tears.
The bottom line is, I am an African woman who does not attach importance to marriage, I hope my mother understands if it does not happen for me. I have three sisters and they are very homely and perfect, they will get married and give her grandchildren. I will be that rich aunty who is barely around, who everyone sees once in four Christmases and who opens trust funds in millions for her sisters’ children.
Let me die in peace and alone when I’m old (I get threatened with this a lot when I say I do not want husband and kids), and get burnt like the African who does not want to be buried.
My name is Gail. I’m a dread head feminist who loves cats and hates the idea of societal pressures. I think Donald Trump wasn’t all that terrible too. Amala belongs in the swampy waters of Makoko. You can find Gail on Instagram.
This is the tenth entry in the “I’m an African But…” blog chain started by Valentine Makoni and Bolaji Gelax. Trust me, you also want to read episodes one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and nine.
To be a part, all you have to do is to write about something you are expected to be, do or like as an African but you do not like or are not. Send to email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will share on our platforms and yours, of course.
26 thoughts on “I’m an African but… I Do Not Want To Get Married”
… this reminds me of an scenario I was encountered during my travels.
Social pressures, one of my favourite things to explore. Like all things, there is the good and bad side to it. I once encountered a man whose life was saved with love and restructured with marriage. And of course, I’ve seen the fall of potentially great women from the union begotten from marriage. Making this point pungent is that as some of these ladies choose to walk alone, they found peace and incredible growth everywhere, including their financials (Peng Black Girls win there too).
Before I journey too far into my thoughts, let me share a few here.
Your choice is yours. Live and love but so also is responsibility. That too is yours. There’s a scene in mind from the fast rising series, Bridgenton (I hope I spelt that right) where the mother gives an overbearing older brother a tongue lashing synonymous to my mother’s infamous ones. She said (I’m paraphrasing here), ” who is to scared to take on his responsibility because he has younger brothers he can pass it on too.” Now I’m not saying you have to pick up this “responsibility”. I’m referencing this scene because it just rang so true at that time (for me) and your comment about your sisters brought it back. As you pass this on to them, know that certain things would be passed on to you too. Things that you may not have been consulted on. Still, to each is her own.
Another is the long standing concept of marriage and how is innately tied into religion (in your case, Christianity). Like I said, social pressures interest me. Now if you distill the perks of marriage right down to its main components, you’d have things like Commitment (a show of it), guilt-free sex (love eet), a companion, support and kids. Interestingly enough, while each of these can be acquired from the outside in different forms; I believe (from the memories of my past lives) that there’s a certain je ne sais quo to the feeling. If you truly trust that you can recreate that which cannot be put into words, then by all means proceed without caution. But…. but if you don’t, then know that you may have to live with a big if for the rest of your mortal days here on Earth.
Lastly, be good. That’s it. That’s the last of my thoughts… Be good.
PS: While I wouldn’t completely say your plan will work, I’m rooting for you.
PPS: Structured and streamlined flow of consciousness in this writing cannot be ignored. Great piece.
… *Chuckles* truly reminds me of a scenario I once encountered.
No, you didn’t. It’s Bridgerton but we get the idea😁
This was a blog post in a blog post comment section, and I love eeeeet!
Reminds me of one of my many encounters, too. 🤭
In public… I love eet
Do u baby girl do you also 24 is so young for family to be talking marriage gosh
Too young actually.
Thanks for reading and commenting, Bex. ♥️✨
Marriage is a loaded proposition for women, you really have to know what you’re doing to protect your interests. But long-term cohabiting r/ships also have challenges should they end. After 5, 10, 15 years it’s not going to be as easy to walk out and walk away because you’ve shared a life with someone without (most likely) any legal covering should things go south. You’ve invested time and money and feelings. Despite what people think, even without the state’s involvement it’s still not “just a breakup” and can be as bitter as divorce.
Marriage was designed to legitimise children for inheritance purposes so if there are to be no children ever that’s one less thing to worry about.
Great read. I love this series.
Daughter of Aphrodite, no truer words have been shared. You get a like from me!
You’re right, babe, I think it’s truly harder to walk away from a longtime commitment. I know of more people who lose it after a longtime courtship as opposed to after divorce.
I wish I could like this comment ten times 🤩.
Thank you muchos, babe. ♥️✨
Oh girl, your opinion has some percentage of validness but am half way convinced.
Partly I want to say your young and maybe it’s not yet the right time to think of marriage. Am also single but never undermined he power of marriage. I imagine returning from work in the evening and my children fighting with the gate to open for me as I hoot.
I sit on the chair in the living room with James and Cherry (My children) excitedly pulling off my shoes and stocks. That is the feeling that is never experienced by single people.
It’s the end of the month, my family and I travel to National park for a tour with run and drama which friends can’t certainly give. The feeling of hauling my kids to and from school everyday week day…. Alot of good that come with marriage though you cannot rule out the negatives but strong men always endure..💪
You painted a beautiful picture, I couldn’t help smiling 😊.
James and Cherry, huh? Lucky children-to-be🥰.
🤣😂😂 just chose the names
Hahahaaa… You’ve got some explaining to do to the Mrs in the nearest future, man😅
I’m entirely amazed.
Thank you for sharing this.👏🤗
Thanks for reading, Hailey. ♥️✨
I will not take the amala slander. No, no, no. Meet me for field make we settle this score. 🙄🙄🙄
You know I searched the internet for the English of amala, couldn’t find anything. Since you’re obviously an “amalist”, how do we describe your treasure meal?
Choosing not to get married is a VALID reason.
To each his own.
Some wanna get married and not have children.
The question is, are you strong and obstinate enough to trash family and societal norms in the bin?
If yes, we should celebrate.
While some of us just wanna relax and be taken care of 😁
On behalf of the married woman, we accept your pleas not to join us and we respect your decision.
The main issue is, make sure you have Mama’s blessing on that so we can officially lock the door and throw the key into the bottomless pit.
Please don’t lock the door yet, I’m joining you married women soon 😁
We can’t lock your door na.
It’s only Gail’s door we want to lock.
As for you, we look forward to your initiation!😂😂😂😂
This used to be me about 15 years ago until mummy dearest bathed me in anointing and all. I am sending her this link now so you can get a bath too😂😂😂
Girl, your points are valid so long as you will be able to cope with every aspect of it; because not being legally bonded to a shagging (for lack of a better word) partner has its downside too.
Also, God intends for you to have someone you could commune with at all times. one reason He made Eve when Adam didn’t have his partner like the animals.
I am available for owanmbe if you ever change your mind 😂
What??? LMAO 😅😂😂
Lol… But Adam and Eve weren’t legally or officially married now, abi? 🤷🏻♀️
I guess she can have a partner without been legally binded. Take Oprah Winfrey and her partner for instance.