Right, girl! Happy birthday, blow those candles out! It’s a year after the big 3-0! Congratulations! Look at you – beautiful, intelligent, innovative, independent, everything everyone else wants to be.
Except… take a deep breath…you are single. Now why has that just come out like it’s the greatest crime of the century, dearest gorgeous African woman?
And it begins. Here’s my two pence worth!
I suppose times change. The world never pauses and individuals adapt to the epileptic new ideas accordingly. Africa, where it suited her, adopted some of the colonial masters’ ways, and in recent times has finally gone all ‘western’. Result? Well look at our modern women. If the African women of the 1950’s and 60’s were great multi-taskers, then I take my hat off also to the modern woman today. She is anything she wants to be! That said though, this is what I wonder: has it occurred to anyone else that Africa has, where it suited her, adopted the Western way of doing things and where it has seemed too overwhelming a philosophy to accept, just literally somehow managed to stop the hand of the clock? Examples? Sexual orientation! How many Africans will openly declare their lesbian/homosexual status without mum and dad having instant heart attacks? That was just my example. Here’s my main concern today:
If I ask the birthday girl what the majority of her African friends and family asked her today immediately after saying ‘happy birthday’, what do I think her response will be? Let’s see…. Singletons out there, does this ring a bell? ‘When are you getting married? I know you missed the right side of 30 to have children, but don’t you think you should start now?’ The average (and by average I mean ‘of somewhat stable mental being’) goes about her normal business. She goes for a good education if she can help it, maybe has a good job, has an average social life, but has not met the right guy. Can she help this? Is it her fault? Punishment for something she did in her previous life? I don’t think so. Why will the African society berate a woman for being single in her 30’s? Is every African woman destined to be a wife and mother? How weird would the world be if every woman in her 30’s has achieved this status?
In the desperate quest to fulfil what is termed ‘normal’, the African woman panics, goes out in search of a life partner, sometimes settles for a serial killer or alien (literally), ends up divorced or worse still, to avoid the stigma of divorce, stays in a desperately unhappy union. Is this what Africa wants for her enterprising, well-balanced young women? I think not. Well say yes and I will tell you how this is the quickest way to take her sanity away.
My message today is this. If you are 30 years old and a day, and still single, you are doing nothing wrong. The right man just has not come along. Destiny dictates that some people will get hooked up at 18, others at 51 and whatever your fate is, accept (no accept is the wrong word – embrace it). There is more to life than romantic engagements. Maybe he will come along, maybe he will not, who knows? But will you let Africa (and supposed normality) use that as a yard stick to measure your happiness and fulfilment in life? Go out, have a one-night stand if you must (well what I mean is do not sell yourself short, if he is wrong, swiftly move on), travel, play scrabble, go for karate classes, do whatever rocks your boat and if a relationship comes your way, great! We all love a good sob story and at a wedding, we’ll listen and cheer heartily. If it never happens, oh well, destiny has other great plans for you, and let’s face it, life is what you make it. I am sure that somewhere deep down inside you have the power to be happy. There is more to life than being a wife and mother. That’s not who you are biologically. Biologically, you are a woman, be that first!
Until next time, let’s dig deep!