Feminism Nigeria Princesses & Fairytales Simply Unbelievable

And The Princess STILL Refuses To Marry! (Oh The Nerve!)

I have waited a long time to write this post. At first when I stumbled across a newspaper article -which I must state was in the gossip section, about a princess who was ‘too proud to marry’ I was shocked. I literally could not believe it. I had to check my calendars, iPod and everything just to verify what century is this. It seems as though Nigeria is in another time…I accept that but things need to change! And one of the foremost things I want to see crushed and destroyed is the way Nigerian society generally views women.

Now I have entered into several arguments and I firmly believe that our culture today must certainly does not appreciate, respect or value women. Yeah maybe this used to happen sometime in the past but I believe the goddess culture and awe of femininity died out millenia ago. Most Nigerians accept that their cultures are patriarchal but most will argue how so not sexist they are even though they are blatantly disgusting, in your face but then again I understand that I am a feminist which is a bad thing you know and is really supposed to be an insult as African women have no business being feminists. I should have elucidated the source of my displeasure before I began my rant.

Is Princess Hauwa Ado Ibrahim Ready Now?
Hauwa Ado Ibrahim is a beauty most men would cast recurring and conspicuous gazes at. That the fair-complexions princess of Ebiraland possess disarming cuteness is an incontrovertible fact; that the Abuja-based lady is ripe for marital settlement is not a subject to be viewed from a polemical point of view, but what has formed an object of agitation in the minds of her admirers is the reason for her single status. in a society where marriage is considered as a crowning gift upon a woman’s achievement, it is still a surprise why Hauwa, coupled with her royal lineage, has refused to dump spinsterhood and settle down with one of the many men she has been associated with. The gorgeous daughter of the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland; Alhaji* Ado Ibrahim has had her fair share of relationships in the past, She was close to a handful of men of all hues in Abuja before she decided to jettison the world of men with fake promises of marriage, that never was. An insider hinted that but for Hauwa’s tall dream of wanting to end up marrying a nouveau riche, she would have been walked down the aisle years ago. She is believed to have resisted all the temptations to marry a man without a big family name and full pockets. She was once linked with the Dein of Agbor who denied the alleged link with disdainful vehemence and everything the royal father could muster. Knowing that time is always fast spent for women than men in this part of the world, this lady about town has now swallowed her pride and appears ready to settle for the willing and is available rather than running after fleeing the desirable. (Thisday Glitterati, Sunday, January 31, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 5397, p. 30)

…so many things to address! There are just so many problematic aspects to address. The article above is I believe, a perfect example of how the Nigerian society views marriage and ‘spinsterhood’. The reason it disturbs me so much is most likely because 1) the article is written as though everything it states is a fact which is a wild leap considering it is gossip and 2) everything written in the article is indeed the truth in the Nigerian sense of the word. It is sad because I feel we should actually be challenging archaic notions that view a woman’s life achievements are useless unless she is married with children.

Then again in Nigeria pressure is placed on both men and women to marry as quickly as possible however what irks me are the sexist undertones. I could write a thesis on this topic but right now I am just seriously burned out. I am honestly tired of talking about sexism and marriage in Nigeria because the conversation always starts up with women telling me things like ‘most Nigerian men cheat and have second wives’, ‘Alhaji*’s do it differently while Christian men do it classily’ or sometimes even stating statistics such as ‘95% of Nigerian men are not good/useless’ and ends up stuff like like ‘there’s nothing I can do about this, I still have to get married’ or ‘that is the way men are and we just have to be patient’ and ‘you eccentricyoruba MUST get married, we will find a Yoruba husband for you by next year’.

There are just too many wrong things going on that I do not even know where to start…whatever, make of the article what you will I am burned out.

*Alhaji is technically someone who has perfomed pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca though pretty much every man who looks and/or dresses like a Muslim will be called Alhaji. Women who have performed pilgrimage are called Hajia and like Alhaji all you need to do is wear a hijab to become a Hajia.


  1. My first thought was: How is it their fucking business????

    OMG! Talk about being an oversabi busibodi. What is their business with who she marries or if she marries at all?

    I hate that in Nigeria people just ignore ALL YOUR ACHIEVMENTS and focus on whether or not you’re married.

    I read an article about Chimamanda on NEXT and one commenter was like ‘please all this is good but is she married? I haven’t heard about this important aspect of her life’

    I wanted to fucking throttle that person.

    OMG How disgusting.

    1. you’re right, it is none of their business but you know how nosy Nigerian gossip can be. there is just too much important placed on marriage in this country and i feel it is overrated.

      it is just too sad how achievements are ignored because of a woman’s marital status. apart from marriage, there is also the question of children. god forbid a Nigerian woman choose to remain childless and/or unmarried!

      it IS disgusting!

  2. The thing that annoyed me was the ‘fair complexions’ part lol. Honestly my female Nigerian friends without any exception have all echoed this ‘you must be married by 25’ thing in one way or another. The all do think that marriage is the ultimate status symbol for themselves and their families. Bear in mind most of my Nigerian friends have lived in UK all their lives……so in my view, this idea may be more intrisically taught by parents and passed on to the next generation.

    So nothing in this article surprises me. I love your response especially that part about 95% of Nigerian men cheat. Is it true then lol?

    1. the mention of her skin tone is indeed annoying and i’ve discovered that Nigerians tend to mention skin tone all the time. people use it to describe others and it seems pretty indispensable. you make a good point about these ideas been taught by parents. it is made to seem part and parcle of our culture. i wonder if Kenyans regard marriage the same way we do?

      lol i won’t quote statistics but in my experience A LOT of Nigerian men have second wives that they keep in secret. it gets really ugly when their dirty little secrets get revealed. i’ve got so many stories to tell about women who discovered that their husbands (who they have been married to for 20 years) have kept women in some other state and had children with them. i know there are some men who would never cheat but there seems to be something in our culture that recognises and accepts that men must have multiple women because they are men (imagine that). women are supposed to bear with this and ignore it.

      1. The Kenyan view on marriage varies. Most times there is a theme that marriage happens after education (meaning after University). There really isn’t a specific age when people get married. As a small reflection I am one of two people who are married from my finishing high school class (I’m 27). It is common to marry between 25 and 30.

        Marriage is seen as very important in Kenya but I wouldn’t say it is seen as the essence of life itself like in Nigeria.

        There is a section of Kenyans who do accept polygamy but often this is known and out in the open, not really a ‘secret’ wife. I would say the vast majority prefer to have one wife.

        I do find it quite sad that Nigerian women seem to have taken on the view that it is fine for a husband to have affairs. Quite sad.

        1. thanks for the info. you’re one of the two people who is married from your high school class? that’s actually amazing to me…but now i think about it may not be so different for my finishing secondary school class…i’ll have to wait to see if we all marry young as most of us are younger than 24. however i’ve reconnected with some of my friends in secondary school and they are all about getting married asap. *sigh* this is one of the reasons i’d rather talk about anything other than marriage.

          the common age for (a woman’s) marriage people state here is 24. what’s funny is that my mum got married ‘late’ (she was 28) and so did most of her friends but her friends advise me that i shouldn’t follow their example because they believe they made a mistake and wish they had married earlier.

          another thing i’ve heard a lot is people advising me to get married early and have kids after which i can ‘enjoy my life’. needless to say, i find this ridiculous. what’s my youth for if not to enjoy myself? an aunt who told me this has 4 children and one of the only reasons she gets to travel to all over the world with peace of mind is because she leaves her kids at my mum’s place when she travels! this means my cousins and i have to baby-sit her kids till she comes back. having gone through that i don’t think i could ever do the same to someone else…

          with regard to Nigerian women accepting their husband’s affairs; this is the cultural/traditional view. there are some women who will not accept this however if they spoke to their friends or family, they will most likely be advised to stay with their cheating husbands. it is sad!

Comments are closed.