AFRICANS, STOP STIGMATIZING UNMARRIED LADIES

Precious Nkeih
Posted February 10, 2016 from Cameroon

Some years ago, a friend of mine brought another friend to stay in my room at the school hostel without prior notice. While telling me about her friend, she insisted on the fact that "she is married" as though it made her some sort of champion that we all needed to make way for. In African societies, a woman who reaches a certain age without some form of attachment to a man is considered unfortunate.

If Africans were to rewrite the first verses of 1st Corinthians 13 in the Bible, for women, it will probably read something like this:

1. If I can speak 10 different languages and I am gifted with eloquence, yet I have no husband, I am nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

2. If I speak and inspire people all over and change lives and acquire a huge mansion yet I have no husband, I am nothing.

3. If I do charitable works and work so hard to make it in life but I have no husband, I've gotten no where. So no matter how much I achieve, I am bankrupt and pitiable without a husband...

Instead of carrying on with the beautiful things life has to offer, some women languish in self-pity because they are 'husbandless'. It's like having a husband is everything. It is what defines them. It is what they live for. It is what they try to get against all odds.

This is a cancer that has eaten deep into our society and we need to cure it. This cure starts with YOU. You that insults the single lady and labels her with names. You that accuses her of being insufficient because she has no man. You that keeps comparing her with others, saying, "all your mates are married." You that pushes her till she wants to wear the Mrs. shoe even when she hasn't found her size. You need to stop.

You that flaunt your husbands and brag about them not because you are appreciative but because you are using that as a bridge to insult the single lady. You that suddenly stops calling that friend because you are married and she isn't. You need to to stop.

You the single lady needs to stop too. Yes, you need to take a deep breath, look deep within and value yourself. Regain that self-esteem, which you lost because you didn't get a husband when you thought you should have gotten one. Stop hanging on men and swallowing their bullshit just because you want them to wife you. You deserve better. You need to stop.

Unfortunately, many ladies (married and single) continue to live under the shadows of men.

Woman, you are special. You have a life to live and even when you share that life with someone, always remember who you are. Marriage is not everything. It is not a must-do. Paul in the Bible wasn't married yet his writings have blessed us in many ways. You don't need a man to validate you.

I'm all for marriage. However, I am against society shunning the unmarried as though they are diseased or something. Let's focus finding and accomplishing our purpose in life, married or not.

Comments 4

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Marie-Claire Kuja
Feb 11, 2016
Feb 11, 2016

Humm stigmatization in Africa.If you are unmarried they stigmatize you.If you married and get divorced they stigmatize you.If you have a child out of wet luck they stigmatize you.If you do not have a child they stigmatize you.If you are raped they stigmatize you.

Women go through so much.This is a problem.Thank Precious for writing about this.

But what is the way forward for us? As leaders we should put our heads together and find a solution.It really hurts because it doesn't mean if a woman is not married,she is less of a person.I know how this feels because i have been in situations where i have been stigmatized.

Kuja.

Precious Nkeih
Feb 15, 2016
Feb 15, 2016

Kuja,

It is a really sad situation. We need to be the change that we wish to see. Thanks for reading.

Precious

Sally maforchi Mboumien
Feb 12, 2016
Feb 12, 2016

Precious dear This topic really gives sleepless nights to many of our sisters.

I agree with you that in most our African communities marriage is a woman's first "achievement" for the society to value her. This had always made me wonder how relevant is this. The unfortunate thing is women buy this mentality so much so that many are in their graves.

The desire to be a Mrs has taken away so many women's dignity and identity. They get married and endure which makes me wonder why? Ironically in their quest to conform with society they have become slaves in the name of marriage. Singles have not meet the right man for them and they should know most of the married women secretly admire single hood.

African women marriage is not achievement so stop slavery!!!

Singles beware too of your actions because it can lead to stigmatization.

Precious Nkeih
Feb 15, 2016
Feb 15, 2016

Masalien,

It is sad to think that even when some of our women go through the nastiest things in the hands of men, they endure because they do not want to be stigmatized. Thanks for adding your voice to this.