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.