This is Africa and if anything is a constant from north to south, east to west Africa is the pressure on a woman to get married at a certain age.
If you don’t? You’re seen as a “failure” no matter what you achieve outside of marriage. Not just that though, any success she accrue is seen as a direct hand down from a sugar daddy.
The perception that a woman can be smart and successful is lost in our society and everything she owns or achieves is consequently seen as a gift of her having a Virginia or a sexy body.
If eventually she gets married? People starts talking about her having children. Sometimes even the husband pressures her for not getting pregnant (meanwhile sometimes that man may be the infertile partner). It is just believed generally that immediately a woman gets married the next thing is to start bearing children.
My colleague and I were joking around on our way to work. When a matter of another colleague who had just put to bed came up. Next thing he said is we are coming to your house next for a naming. Then I said Amen. Next thing he said was, it’s not a matter of amen, I give you till next year to invite us for your child’s naming ceremony. I was taken aback and spat out. What!
He looked at me, surprised that I was shocked then said well you’ve been married for a few months now don’t you think its time to have children. Is that not the reason for marriage? It took me a few moments to put myself together and reply (now really angry).
Me: Nope, child bearing is not the reason for getting married. Companionship is. What are they teaching you in those churches you people attend?
Colleague: ehehn, is it not compaionship that leads to pregnancy?
Me: Nope, sex leads to pregnancy
Colleague: well, me I know one of the reasons for marriage is to have children.
Now completely irritated I responded.
marriage is for companionship not child bearing. Children however, are blessings of marriage. Besides I don’t need to be married to have children. But mostly marriage gives you a stable relationship, a promise that someone will have your back through good and bad times. But these days even a vow of marriage may not be good enough to have a partner through the thin, ill and even poverty of life.
At the end of the day, you’ve sometimes got to get your own back. So stop watching my womb you womb watcher and mind your goddamn business.
I hissed, facing away from him I was still spewing anger on my face. My body reverberated and the chilly wind hit my face sending chills down my spine.