Every girl in the streets today is dying to have herself a fantasy wedding: gorgeous hair, nice dress, shoes, impeccable make up and a prince charming to cap it all up. If you’ve noticed what I notice, seems as if the fantasies mock the reality. If wishes were horses, some wedding planning outfits will damn all competitions and shut down for a while, why? They can’t cope with increasing demands of clients. Did you also know that ladies plan their weddings these days in faith? Whatever works for you though.
Now my question is, why is it that in the midst of all these plans and fantasies, more ladies in the diaspora are not having a physical share of their dreams? Maybe it’s not as bad as we see it, but unfortunately or otherwise, the African culture has defined the woman, and no matter how much we globalize, these definitions are somewhere in your head telling you things you don’t want to hear but will definitely hear from someone else. Movies glorify the ‘hopeless romantic’ characters who eventually have their Cinderella/Rapunzel story. Well WAKE UP! Life is no fairy tale or rather doesn’t happen that way all the time. The real deal is what you get at the end of the day.
Why in the world are African sisters in diaspora, who supposedly should fancy the ‘miss independent concept’ seriously searching for their lost ‘mother ribs’? It’s now very easy to come across ladies who think and are actually working towards nailing that marriage with a white or black man abroad. Reason being that the mentality of the men abroad would not be as crude as those of the “undiluted” African folks. I’m not sure how true this is but either way, ladies in diaspora are still searching and very serious about it. Below are possible reasons why the search is now more intense:
1. The Declining Status Of Marriage In The West
First off, the environment they are in does not prioritize marriage, worse of all, in a generation like ours where people are busy chasing and throwing back at life. Everyone is always on the move, chasing something I suppose. The divorce rate of the western world has trivialized the very essence of marriage and all that it stands for. Some actually divorce, and refuse to remarry or try anything in that neighborhood again; some others are traumatized or too scared to try what seems to be a constantly broken record. To a great extent, marriage has lost its core values in the west, and just because you are an African lady with a different background does not change the reality of the environment.
2. Scarcity Of Men Who Are Willing to Commit
Our generation officially does not want ‘unnecessary baggage’. Each day weird forms of avant-garde relationships come up, aside the gay tendencies, we now have ‘friends with benefits’ and open relationships, and lest I forget, the baby mama syndrome. Who needs a wife when there’s a baby mama on board? The world has gone bunkers. The days of delayed gratification are gone, if it’s not now, then it’s not worth it. I heard a so-called motivational writer who says the lady of the jet-age generation should be able to have flirting skills in order to catch the eye of her beholder. In other words if you can’t flirt and still hoping to be married, you either enroll for flirt 101 classes or simply forget about it.
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On the other hand, still on the issue of globalization, many are adopting the western living single and free lifestyle. A certain African entertainer who is generally known to be somewhat perpetually single, admits to being single but in the same breadth, says he practices safe s**, and you wonder why he is still single? What’s the need?
3. Economic Demands Of The 21st Century Adult
Everybody is trying to find a footing. With the global economic meltdown, many just want to survive rather than compound their already worsened situations. If you haven’t been able to take care of yourself with your normal means, how in the world will you cater for a family which requires serious money. The irony of this situation is that even when ladies find the one their hearts beat for, and they are not stable at the moment, there are greater chances of things not working out. In a culture where marrying a wealthy man is a reward for parents for their priceless care and nurture, you just don’t want to disappoint them. The highest bidder takes it all.
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Unfortunately the world is saturated with unstable and unready young men partly as a direct result of the national/global economy. It’s so funny how the focal point of the global community is money. That’s more important for a man who has mortgage and bills to pay. The story hits rock bottom, when the lady in question is not working. Except you are from the Ibru or any ministerial clan, no one wants a liability. Summarily, marriage these days sadly is based more on convenience.
4. Misconceptions About Successful Women
An African man is an African man whether home or Abroad. A small percentage might not care about the economic status of the lady but a typical African man is clearly intimidated by the wife to be if she is more exposed, enlightened and most of all earns more than he does; he feels his authority and place as the man and head of the family is in potential jeopardy. This explains why the African man is still in the business of coming down home to take a younger and perhaps naive wife. Adding to this fact, the women abroad adapt easily to the western way of life, maybe because the economic system too favors them more than men. Lately the western system have succeeded in equalizing the nursing career between men and women, in fact, most jobs are now women oriented. These facts can pose a seeming threat for the African man in diaspora.
5. Fallacies Of The Privileges Of Living Abroad
When I was in secondary school, any old girl who came visiting did so with success stories of touring the world. One even came in with a Chinese husband-to-be, wow… This must be the perk of having an alma mater like mine. As if this was not enough when mothers want to bless you, they always pray that you marry an “abroad husband”, so that your mother can come to visit your child overseas. Back then travelling out of the African shores was a BIG DEAL, almost like a title to boost your profile and that of your family. Now things have changed, people flock in and out of any country of their choice. More importantly, the oversea dreams does not equal the reality there- it’s neither rosy nor a walk in the park.
Some African men have spotted the erroneous mind-set and likely mischief in some African ladies both home and in diaspora, and this makes them look the other way. Living outside the shores of your country does not automatically make you a hot cake. It’s so sweet to the ears when ladies tell you stories of how they met their partners in the airport, studying in the U.S, or the U.K. So what do you expect? A girl has got to do what a girl has got to do to tell her own “we met in Cambridge” kind of story, even if it means being desperate about it. But I hear desperation is now the latest turn-off trend in town.
7. Pressure Begets Confusion
As a single working African Lady in diaspora, you have a lot of pressure and insecurities to deal with. First you’ve got to make ends meet, probably extend assistance to the family back home. You have to deal with endless stuttering answers when they ask you “how far?”, “wedding bells soon?”. In fact you are officially tired of assisting in wedding plans of others and being a bride’s maid. As much as you wish for that marital fulfillment and security, you’ve also heard of people’s experiences of being ‘money bags’ for their spouses and you seriously do not want that kind of story for yourself. And then in the quietness of your home, loneliness keeps you company. All these amounts to enormous pressure that only succeeds in making you utterly confused, enough to launch you into desperation, and that often makes you a victim of what you were running away from in the first place. Desperation only makes you an attraction for desperate and dubious people.
8. Tribalism and Religion
Without sounding tribalistic, most Africans still want to be married to Africans, whether abroad or not- retaining the African culture. This is a factor that presents some ladies as being picky or choosy about settling down. The woman undoubtedly has a lot of adjustments and changes to embrace- new family, new culture, new church/religion as the case may be. So the modern-day woman just like some parents insist on what they can cope with. This is same reason why people choose to come home to tie the nuts; or do so before leaving the country. The story is same for the staunch faithful Christian/Muslim ladies in diaspora. As much as people are particular about what tribe or race to marry from, so also, certain people do not consider anything that will interfere or tamper with their faith. In religion, some things are more important than the others, therefore “not worth compromising”.
8. When They Are Actually Fussy
It will be a lie not to admit that some women actually are picky and hard to please. I’m talking about ladies who already have a picture of who they want to spend the rest of their lives with. If you do not meet a reasonable percentage in their check list then you are off the waiting list. The more this goes on, the more time goes by and the more the sudden realization and desperation takes full course.
9. Earlier Desire To Really Be Single
Apart from the religious groups who have sworn to celibacy as a price of faith, some people at an early stage of life really did not consider marriage. This is as a result of traumatic experiences, or coming from dysfunctional families with shaky backgrounds. That’s why family is the most important unit of the society. Whatever goes on within the family informs the mind and registers in the heart of the children. Coming to a different conclusion might take time; a bit of counselling, and a personal conviction that the previous conclusions was not so true after all. To some others, it was a case of priority. When they are finally ready to try that stage of life, they either come across the wrong kinds of people (who believe they are doing them a favor because of their age) or not see any at all.. Some still don’t want to but will have to in order to please their family and society.
10. If You Are A Trend Chaser Then …
Many ladies today see marriage like they see fashion, if it’s not in vogue, then it’s not important, but if it is, “I gotta have it”. In our time, people buy hook, line and sinker everything the media flaunts. When it was the “you don’t need a man in the 20th century” trend, some women bought it, but that sadly became the cheapest lie in the book. While I don’t subscribe to being neither a puppet nor liability for any man, we are important to each other. The feminist theories came up as if we were fighting one another for God-knows-what. A man and a woman pioneered humanity, so there shouldn’t be any confusion about gender relevance and roles. It appears lately like marriage is the trendiest thing in the media, from the pre-wedding shots which must be dramatic and professionally done, to the wedding proper, to the after wedding parties, and of course after wedding moments. Pictures of these on social media have a way of making ladies twice as uneasy about their own situations. Some ladies just want to have a taste of what celebrities and every other person for that matter seems to be having; fantasizing about that wedding picture that will hit a 2000 likes on Facebook. Well the idea of having everything that the trend presents is the easiest way to be confused about who you really are and what you really need.