This post is actually overdue. I was supposed to have written it earlier this year but somehow I kept postponing it until I saw a friend’s Facebook status about how her parents and relatives keep disturbing her concerning marriage.
They’ve been pestering her for some time to bring a suitor to them. Every time she visits, their conversations always tilt towards marriage and a suitable life partner.
They won’t talk about any other thing except her love life and when they would meet Mr. Right. She got so tired of it that she went on to Facebook to air out her frustrations. When I read her FB status, it reminded me of my own predicament and that of other singles that are fortunate to have Africans as their parents.
Today, I want to share my own marriage story and also give you reasons why African parents adore marriage and why they want you to get married. Here is my own story…
On New Year’s Eve, I went to church with my family; it was a crossover service we usually attend to usher ourselves into the New Year filled with God’s presence and His blessings. The service was so empowering that we were all filled with joy.
We were very happy to be alive to see both the end of the old year and the beginning of the New Year. After the service when we got home, my dad who was still in high spirits, looked at my sister and me, then he said ‘‘I decree that before the end of this New Year, you shall be married to wonderful husbands.’’
We both said aloud ‘‘Amen’’ and exchanged knowing looks. It wasn’t surprising to us because this wasn’t the first time my dad prayed for us concerning marriage and it probably wouldn’t be the last except if we found life partners within 6 months and got married before the end of the year.
It has become a sort of ritual for him to pray for us concerning marriage at the beginning of the year. He seems to be quite obsessed with the idea of marriage and he doesn’t know if we even want to get married or not.
My uncle is no different from my father and other African parents. He is someone I purposely avoid to call because he nearly gets me deaf with his incessant chants of marriage. When I called him to wish him a wonderful year ahead, the first thing he said was ‘‘when are you going to introduce a man to us’’?
I simply replied with a vibrant ‘very soon’. If I begin to recount all the instances where a friend or relative asked about my forthcoming marriage, I would fill up this post with boring words. But don’t worry; I won’t bore you with such tales. The truth, is almost all African parents adore marriage.
In fact, they are obsessed with the idea of marriage. They all dream of that special day when they would walk you down the aisle and be called to the high table as ‘‘parents of the bride or groom’’. But that’s not the only reason why they want you to get married.
7 REASONS WHY YOUR AFRICAN PARENTS WANT YOU MARRIED
#1 They Don’t Want You to be Alone
Most African parents care about their children a lot. They constantly worry about you and how you are coping with singlehood and life in general. Once you become of age, they start singing the marriage song into your ears.
They don’t mean to be a nuisance to you; they only want you to have someone by your side. Someone you can lean on when they are no longer around. They don’t want you to go through the journey of life alone.
They know that life is sometimes hard and you need someone to help you carry some burdens even though you don’t admit it. Companionship is really why they want you married.
#2 They Want Grand Children
Some African parents get married and bear children at a young age. By the time they get to 50, their children are all grown up and some leave home to pursue their dreams.
The parents are then left alone in their home and it begins to get really quiet and lonely. They miss having a full house, they miss hearing the cry of babies and sounds of children playing around the house.
Then, they begin to yearn for kids but since they are done with child bearing, their hands are tied. So, the baton is automatically handed over to you.
You are the only one who can fulfill their hunger for children so they pester you to get married on time and start bearing cute babies that will disturb them the way you did when you were a child.
#3 They Believe Marriage Encourages Responsibility
Most African parents feel their children are not responsible enough. They see you going out every day to a shopping mall or bar and conclude that you are still just a child.
You are not responsible for anyone so you go out anytime you want and return anytime you like. You don’t have anyone to feed, bathe or help with homework; you are a free bird.
So, the marriage talks begin because they believe when you get married, you will become much more responsible than you currently are.
You will begin to think of other people instead of just yourself; you will have a spouse to give account to of your whereabouts, you will think more of the family and how the kids are faring when you are not around. The long nights outside will begin to gradually fade away. At that time, you would have become a very responsible person.
#4 They Think Marriage Curbs Fornication & Promiscuity
When you are single and in a relationship, your parents may know about it. They may pretend not to know but they know you have a lover. Since it’s not our culture to introduce boyfriends or girlfriends to parents; you keep your relationship low-key hoping they never find out till the engagement is announced.
Your parents, on the other hand, may not want to come out straight and say things they are not sure of instead they begin to lecture you occasionally on relationships, keeping yourself pure and abstinence before marriage.
They would be so happy to see you safely married because then, they won’t have to worry about fornication, promiscuity, unwanted pregnancies and abortions. When you get married, you can have all the sex you want with your spouse.
#5 They Believe Marriage Helps Lessen Some Financial Burdens
Your parents have experienced marriage and they know what it feels like. They also know when you are single, you have to face most of your challenges alone especially the financial ones.
But, when you are a couple, the financial burdens lessen because you support each other in every way you can. The bills become shared, debts are paid, and you work with a budget, save money and plan for retirement together. In a great way, marriage helps lessen some financial burdens.
#6 They See Marriage as the Ultimate Goal
To your African parents, marriage is like the ultimate bus stop for you. You really don’t have a say because they did it and you should too. It is an event that they all look forward to with joy and enthusiasm. They constantly pray that you will find the right man/woman who you will start a family with and grow old with.
They consciously expect it to happen someday and that is why they keep reminding you just in case you are not harboring the same thoughts with them. If you seem nonchalant about marriage, your parents will try hard to make you see its relevance.
No wonder some African parents go to extent of matchmaking or picking out partners for their children. For them, it must happen whether you like it or not. In fact, it would be over their dead body that it won’t happen. It is a do or die affair!
#7 Your Marriage Will Make Them Happy, Proud and Fulfilled
Seeing you married will make your parents happy, proud and fulfilled especially when they approve of your spouse. On your wedding day, they will be filled with joy because their precious child is finally tying the knot which signifies growth and responsibility.
They will be proud that their daughter/son is getting married without any scandal that will bring shame to the family. They will feel content that they have been able to nurture you from when you were a child until you became an adult.
Your parents will feel fulfilled because their dreams of becoming grandparents will come to pass. In fact, one cannot measure the amount of joy, pride, and fulfillment that parents feel when their children get married. It’s a dream come true for them!
All African parents have specific reasons why they want their children to get married. I’ve tried to gather some information from my parents, relatives, and friends.
So, if you’ve been wondering why your African parents won’t allow you have a good night’s sleep because they never cease to mention the words ‘life partner’ and ‘marriage’ to you, now you know why.
Don’t be mad at your parents. They only want the best for you. It is every African parent’s desire that their children graduate from school, find a good job, get married to the right person and bear children.
Only then will they feel fulfilled as parents. That’s why during the wedding they run around to make sure everything goes perfectly well.
Do you know any other reason why African parents are obsessed with marriage?