Since I could remember (starting at the age of seven) I have always been ‘told’ about ‘the husband’. “You had better learn to sweep well or is that how you will sweep in your husband’s house?”, my grandmother would say impatiently in yoruba. My naïve mind would then wonder who this deity called ‘the husband’ was and why I had to learn to sweep for him and practically spoon feed him (The Gospel according to my grandmother).
As I gradually bloomed into a young woman,it dawned on me that ‘the husband’ was a nameless, faceless man who could be anybody (even that my akward neighbour who I beat at every game).
Now as a young woman in her early twenties,I finally understand the societal pressures placed on young women to get ‘the husband’ and settle down. In my mind,the order of a young African woman’s life is written from heaven. A manual is given to her by an angel as she prepares to journey to earth. It reads something like this ;
2.Go to school
Many African women due to these pressures by family and friends, fall into the wrong hands. In their desperation to get married,they unknowingly choose the wrong man. With all the excitement to find ‘the husband’ ,you would think that after they get married,there would fireworks and a parade. With some luck, the government might even declare a public holiday. What do these women get instead? They lose their sense of self, their sense of purpose and some even fall victim to domestic violence.
My question is, whatever happened to purpose, talent and fulfilling destiny?
Whatever happened to the African woman’s voice?
The almighty question now is this; can the African woman have it all? Great marriage, motherhood and a stellar career? Or will ‘the husband’ stand in her way?
As for me, when ‘the husband’ is finally enthroned, I hope His Royal Highness will be kind enough to let his humble subject have it all.