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Home Relationship A Must Read: Being Nigerian & Single

A Must Read: Being Nigerian & Single

by WDN
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Photo Courtesy – African Finesse

Let me tell you what Nigerians think of me, a 21-year-old college graduate, not having a fiance, or even boyfriend…

The struggle. They see me as the struggle.(ALREADY!?)

It’s as if these Nigerians expected me to graduate from college with a ring on my finger. I was supposed to walk across the stage to get my diploma…all the while planning my walk down the aisle to marry my betrothed. They expected it to happen all at once.

Umm…what? These are the same people who all but glued a note to my forehead saying “no boys allowed” all through my 16 years of school. When during my avoidance of all things male was I supposed to meet a guy, date him, fall in love, get proposed to, and plan a wedding? Are YOU confused? So am I.

Nigerians aren’t even really as forward as you would expect with their “you’re not married yet?” commentary. Let me explain. There are always an abundance of weddings to attend. And for each couple getting married, there is more than one “event” that is a part of the marriage festivities.

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Photo Courtesy- African Fashionway

As a single girl, one has to be prepared to hear some, if not all, of the following phrases at such events:

“We will do your own wedding, In Jesus’ name.” -Is the likelihood of me getting married without divine intervention that bad?

“God willing, I will be alive to see your wedding.” -Are you expecting to be old and decrepit by the time it happens?

“When you get married, my gele(large sculpture-like African headtie) will be oscillating.” -So it’ll be that large a miracle if I get married that you will tie your BIGGEST gele for my celebration?

“There are lots of fine(nice) Nigerian boys out there.” Soo…I should just line them up and pick? Or better yet…put an ad in the paper/on craigslist to recruit applicants?

“What are you waiting for?” Of course I’m intentionally waiting until I’m past child-bearing age and my youth is over to get married.

“I have a guy(their sister’s husband’s little brother’s best friend’s cousin) for you.” Umm…no, thank you.

These questions/comments/suggestions don’t make 20-somethings want to attend weddings, engagements, parties, or any other event where old married ladies sit at a table and render judgement on all the “spinsters”. As soon as you walk in, it’s like you can FEEL their watchful eyes, filled with pity at your LACK of marital status…you just want to hide in a corner, at home, under the covers.

I noticed the change in my mother’s attitude toward me dating during my 1st semester of Senior year of COLLEGE. It was probably while I was home on Fall break or Thanksgiving break. She asked me if I was talking to or dating anyone. My first thought: this is a trap. Are you expecting me to say no? Will a ‘no’ affirm that I am the good girl you raised me to be? Should I say ‘yes’? Is that answer going to earn me praise for meeting a “nice/good boy” or insults for not “facing my books”? With my mother…you just never know. I decided to just tell the truth. Nope, no boyfriend, no guy friend I hope likes me back, no annoying guy who is obsessed with me…nothing. I think she was a bit disappointed. *Cue more confusion and a sense of failure*

My parents and I never had “the talk” or anything remotely close to one. I just knew that doing certain things or engaging in certain activities might result in loss of life at the hand of my father or mother. Thankfully, youth groups, older sisters and bible study sessions filled in the gaps.

Besides being unattached, overall I think I’ve done pretty well in life so far. I graduated on time. I got a job before graduation. I have enough to pay my bills. I’m not careless or completely reckless in my post-grad behavior. I don’t have any kids. Apparently, that isn’t quite good enough.

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Photo Courtesy- African Fashionway

Do I think about having a boyfriend? Yes. Would I like the comfort that seems to come with a loving relationship? Of course. Would it be nice to have a person who cares about my comings and goings each day? Absolutely. Am I going to going to actively pursue attractive men in the hopes of gaining the aforementioned? No.

The Bible says in Proverbs 18:22[AMP], “He who FINDS a wife, FINDS a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” So, whoever/wherever he is, he needs to find me. In the meantime, I will do my part in the “hide and seek” game. I will try to make sure I don’t look raggedy outside, be friendly, make sure I represent Christ daily, and prepare myself mentally to be found. I always joke, “I’m just waiting to be found.”

Until that happens…in the eyes of Nigerians, I will continue to be “le struggle”.

Misfit.


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22 comments

Princess Abby November 26, 2013 - 8:05 am

#smile…..luvly writeup!

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squito November 26, 2013 - 8:13 am

I love this

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crystalgirl November 26, 2013 - 8:59 am

I guess we r both experiencing same tin, but like u ve said “I am waiting to be found”. Nice piece, I love it.

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missy mama November 26, 2013 - 9:05 am

Hahahahhahahahhaaa… “Le struggle” huh

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titi November 26, 2013 - 9:42 am

funny but its d truth

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Oluwatobi Olofintuyi November 26, 2013 - 11:37 am

Thank you for featuring my piece! I’m honored!

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Nana November 26, 2013 - 3:03 pm

Love this, very apt! 🙂
But on another note, what resonated most with me from what she wrote was that “thing” about most Nigerian parents. They warn us (females) about the “dangers” of boys most of our lives then out of the blue start complaining when no man is in sight.

Personally, i went through this. I followed “instructions” to stay away from guys and being the only female in a family of 3 brothers and having 95% male cousins and other relatives, ended up being the proverbial tomboy. Needless to say, i didn’t encourage advances from guys for a LONGGGG time and when i was in my mid 20s, didn’t fail to remind my mum about her “advice” to stay away from boys. Lol!

We’ll all get there eventually. It’s a personal journey and it would help if we are not all compared and pressured.

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maryjane November 26, 2013 - 7:49 pm

Lovely write up

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ij November 26, 2013 - 7:58 pm

Lol…..this is so true #team le struggle

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chinelly November 26, 2013 - 8:19 pm

Wish my case is as simple as urs. I avoid going home after work cos my mum is gonna always b der 2 tell me dat am nt gud enuf 2 get married. D lastest was last week wen my dad told me if I dnt get married b4 30,I’d hv 2 go live sumwhere else. Am only ’26’! Sumtyms I feel suicidal.

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Ruth November 27, 2013 - 7:24 am

Well written article x

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Gift Peters November 27, 2013 - 12:46 pm

honestly this is inspirational and i must confess am inspired.keep the good work going as practice what i learn

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Miss Yowome November 27, 2013 - 4:05 pm

Lovely lovely article. I like the fact that you are sticking to your principles no matter what and you firmly believe that he will find you. Gods abundant blessings be with you my dear.

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jumoke November 28, 2013 - 3:26 am

nice write up but its d plain true,dats how the singles in nigeria is been seen

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Uju December 6, 2013 - 2:53 am

Loved every second of this post!
I think that’s going to be my new line now “i’m just waiting to be found” 🙂

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dynamics December 8, 2013 - 10:07 pm

Yes d man will definitely have to look for me cos we ladies are meant to be hidden in order to make the relationship worth it and not to make us appear cheap to guys.nice write up really love dat ‘LE STRUGGLE’

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Choco chomie December 17, 2013 - 8:05 am

Parents don’t know the enormous pressure they subject others to by these seemingly simple qestions…its just so annoying. However, there’s no confussion in it, think its a way of telling you its now ok to have a boyfriend, knowing that at 21 and a collage graduate, you can handle a relationship. The early warnings are just ways to keep us from child parenting. All the best. On a lighter note! You are 21??? Think about people 27-33 and imagine the kind of preasure they are into.

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troublemaker December 17, 2013 - 3:24 pm

this made me smile….. story of my life

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unknown April 5, 2014 - 9:00 pm

Nice one

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Abi Jibrin July 16, 2015 - 12:39 pm

hmmm I am seeing myself here although I am 21 but just graduated from d university my course was a professional course mind u I.e I spent 5yrs in d uni but all I keep hearing is ur body is not on ur side o do and gather us. #naijawahala

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CHICHI July 17, 2015 - 11:46 am

I love ds

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teetee December 5, 2015 - 9:40 pm

In Dis 9ja bin single is a disease very bin 1 for DAT mata? I hardly attend family functions, I try ma best to abscent when visiting relatives or lock ma sef in ma room when dey cm ova, am not in contact wif most of ma classmates from sch coz all I keep hearing is when r u getting married? U keep luking for Mr perfect abi? No romeo n Juliet love anywia in d world u just ve to manage o, etc. Den here comes #matchmaking once u not interested u r seen as unserious or irresponsible …dey don’t brother to ask wat went wrong, y don’t u like him? Once dey like d guy u most like him o

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