Our African-Nigerian society has failed most of our women out there. A society that birthed you, cradled you, nursed you, loved you as a girl at your tender age then downgrade, neglect you as a fully grown young woman. It then tames you, breaks you down, renders you powerless, if not reckless. It then assures you it is OK to live that way, to be like that, to be broken, after all you’re only a woman. You really don’t need much to be happy, you just need to be married, bring forth children, train them to become useful citizens and allow your life to function around that little sphere. Much is not expected of you. Although you were made, meant to change the world you live in.
Our parents, the society at large weren’t supportive neither were our men who are actually supposed to be the pillars, the strongholds behind us. Many of us women are seen as a kitchen and a house manager. It really doesn’t matter what position you occupied before the marriage, as soon as you tie the nuptial knot you’re expected to give it up partially or absolutely. You career is over, you should nail your career to the cross and openly confirm it is FINISHED. You should forget your paramount assignment, your position before your wedding. To make things worse, you have to give up on your dreams, give up on yourself to focus on your calling as a wife and as a mother. Pursuing your career as a responsible wife is not negotiable. And we are living in a modern era where some crucial financial duties are expected of you.
This is so frustrating, instead of you enjoying progress in your career in your own realm at home as a family oriented person, you’re retrogressive, moving backwards. A lot of us women probably degenerate as time goes by, what a sad stage. This is exactly the stage at which we lost contact, lost grip to the world out there, lost interest in trying to further because of the negative experiences, treatments we’ve encountered or are to be expected if we are career oriented.
As a young girl many of us were given wings to fly at our parents homes, we were trained on how to use our wings, how to fly with them. As time goes on we have madly fallen in love with our acquired expertise, but only to find out that our spouse isn’t a big fan of our wings and the willingness, the great desire to continue to fly with them, soar to reach heights with them.
Many women out there are talents that would build up our society if given the chance or are awarded the privilege to do so. But what have we done with them all? We broke them, fed them with negativity, wrong information, wrong feelings, wrong attentions, non edifying feedbacks etc. The price these unfortunate, suppressed women are paying are really huge: Along the years we suffered and are left with failures, setbacks, we developed inferiority complex, low esteem in various ways, that feeling of incompetence, lost, insecure, not enough set in, we lose the willingness and needed strength to competition, we lose interest in soaring, the strength to pursue our vision, the willingness to foster our fundamental human rights basics to fulfillment of a purposeful living. Our spirit is killed instead of being nursed. Apparently, this life mapping experience leaves us incomplete, physically, emotionally, mentally starved and dehydrated, unhappy, and unsatisfied as an individual. It’s a huge sacrifice on our behalf. What a mammoth challenge to us women, to be allowed to enjoy a healthy balance in our family and career.
This to me has a huge significance on our future, I’m more than convinced that: As long as we are only confined to our bedroom and kitchen, then the happiness of an average African woman lies in the hand of her almighty husband.
Allow me to digress a bit, I was brought up by a single mom and was indirectly taught to go out there, to go ahead and claim what belongs to me without consulting anyone. My mom usually says: Tosin this is relevant, don’t be dependent on any man, work hard for your money, don’t wait for any man to come and help or save you.
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We had no father or a man in our home. We were permitted to try everything that looked promising, I grew up to be rebellious, to distrust, to ask strange, provoking questions. Maybe I was lucky maybe not. Because in my first marriage I experienced the opposite of freedom I was taught and given during my childhood. My first marriage failed woefully. Not long after our wedding I made my ex husband realized that I won’t allow him map out my life for me, though I might need his moral and other supports. Obviously, he wanted me to start a business, I made it clear I would love to further my studies in other to purse my career. I eventually rejected his options and fostered mine. I saw myself planted into my marriage and not buried in it, so I needed to leave my unsatisfying, unfulfilling, violent marriage.
Let me say this at this point, I don’t wanna be a legalist, but the staggering truth must be revealed. “Woman you need to have your own mission before venturing into marriage”. Don’t allow anyone to plan your life or disrupt your plans. You’re the only authorized, well equipped designer, artist behind your life.
“When women experience trauma or severe life stressors in their matrimony, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel”. My greatest passion is empowering women, bringing words of motivation, uplifting and healing to those women who are caught up in domestic violence. I understand them deeply because I was once a victim. Most especially those who have been through a traumatic stressful experience. I surround myself with young people, I find great joy in working with them, not in any wise professionally but in my leisure time. I dedicate my time to people, to listen to them, give them my most precious resource which is time. I try to help where I could. I derive such pleasure in rendering moral support to young ladies, single moms on how to find healthy perceptions of themselves and how to strengthen their self-esteem, their new relationships so they can know themselves as wonderful, unique, lovely, peaceful, complete, whole etc.
Olanike Adewusi-Anders, aka Olanike Apeke is a working mom to 3 children, age 20, 15 and 6. She is happily married, living a happy life too. She spent years working on herself, her personal happiness, fulfillment and purposeful living. She grew up in Lagos/Nigeria. She currently lives outside Nigeria. She is a born activist, her calling is to advocate for women. One of her life mottos is “I’m planted into my marriage and not buried in it, marriage shouldn’t look like a cage but more like the sky.
Written by Olanike Adewusi-Anders
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