This is becoming more and more common, modern African girls desire marriage less and less, some women would even say that they would prefer having children and raising them on their own. Why is this so?
I happen to be one of those girls, I have always wanted to be a mother, motherhood has always been in the cards for me, just not marriage, I am still in a relationship with the father of my child, we have been at it for a cool 6 years, he is the first person I have considered marrying, however, this is provided that he has a demanding career that orders him to travel often, I need to know that as much as we are life partners and desire to build a home a together, we are still able to be individuals.
The idea of being merged into one with a person suffocates me, independence and individualism are very important to me, so important that I would never trade them for marriage. My partner and I have been discussing the idea of marriage for a very long time now and the one thing that we agree on is that we do not want a big celebration, if our cultures allowed it, we would just go ahead to our local Home Affairs office and sign papers and get our marriage certificate so that our union is recognized.
I remember telling my mother that I have never had an image of a wedding day in my head, the big celebration and all, I’ve never desired it either. I have instead pictured myself as a flexible, cool, and sexy mother of one who is will remain young forever. Lol, okay I know being young forever is not completely possible.
Perhaps this idea stems from my childhood and family dynamic? See my mother birthed me when she was 18, I was raised on my mother’s side of the family, everyone raised me, my great grandmother, my grandparents, my aunts, and uncle, I was everyone’s child. Like most little girls, I looked up to my mom, maybe I looked up to my mom a little more than most little girls.
She was like a goddess, sometimes I would drift away just staring at her. She was beautiful, extremely beautiful ( she still is), she was stylish, she looked a lot like all the cool young women on TV, your Lebo Mathosa & Thembi Seete of Boom Shaka, Janet Jackson and all the pretty actresses. She always had long braids, she wore sunglasses, washed jeans, cool boots and all. She was lively, a lot of people seemed to like her. She was fun and outgoing, she would go out in the evenings and also kept a cool and young group of friends who were always loud and happy.
I often wondered why my mom looked so young and the other kids’ moms looked much older, no style, constantly at home cooking and cleaning. They always looked exhausted and their idea of fun seemed to be family gatherings or peeling vegetables overnight as they were preparing for events.
Now you can imagine, between birth and say age 9/10, I did not have the full concept of age. I did not realize that my mom was this cool and stylish person because of her youth. I did not realize that other kid’s moms were the way I viewed them because they were much older, I simply concluded that my mom was this awesome person because she was unmarried. To me marriage was the problem, not being older with more responsibilities.
Women who choose otherhood when it comes to lifestyle choices are not easily accommodated, nobody cares to listen to their reasons, they often simply get dismissed as “you think you woke huh” or “you are going to regret it when you are older”.
A woman should train and prepare themselves for marriage from childhood. Learn how to cook and clean properly, train yourself to wake up before the sign rises. Look beautiful when you leave the house, be educated but only pursue that master’s after getting married so that you are not too educated, only pursue your business ideas when you get married. Do good, improve yourself, develop yourself but your achievements must never be beyond an average man. Being married is more important than you reaching your full potential.
We still live in a world where marriage should happen but any means necessary. Get married to the first man who proposes, so what his ducks are not in a row? you will fix this later, you might never get another chance. When you do get married you should fight to stay married too.
If I dare say that I do not mind if I never get married, I am always met with the “deep down everyone wants to be married” speech.
What am I saying really?
Human beings have evolved, I stand to be corrected but I think women have done most of the evolving. We have come a long way, from not being allowed to have opinions to running successful companies and occupying the best offices in big companies.
I do believe that it is natural for a woman to want to nurture, however, women have many options with what they can nurture. Some women prefer to nurture their careers, their hobbies, their lifestyles.
The world has to adjust to the fact that evolution comes with change and sometimes change can simply mean, women, being fulfilled by many things that aren’t marriage.