Like Shakespeare wrote about greatness in one of his classic plays, Macbeth, “Some were born great, while others had greatness thrust upon them.” Looking at this quotation, it becomes difficult for me to write this tribute to Maitama Sule because I found it hard to choose my words. On the other hand, I got a…
Someone once asked me the best time to move in with your lover and I advised when you’re married. She looked at me and was surprised. I don’t really blame her, because these days we see many unmarried couples cohabiting like they are married. It has become an acceptable norm but as a very old school girl, no matter how everyone views that tendency, I still believe you should move in with your partner only when you have been declared man and wife.
Forget the pancake that I rubbed on my face in that picture, I am a very traditional person and if you like you can call me archaic. Wow, I love the word archaic! I strongly believe that things should be done, as they should.
Moreover, you don’t just kidnap somebody’s daughter and keep her in your house for years just, because you are claiming that you guys are engaged. Please, how can you convince me that you are different from Evans? Who gave her out to you in marriage? Have you gone with your people to ask for her hand in marriage? How many tubers of yam did you buy? If you don’t understand all these questions, what I am asking is, have you paid her bride price?
Honestly, in some places, you really don’t have to pay much as bride price, all you need to do is to go with few people and do what is expected of you and pronto you both will be declared husband and wife. You don’t need any elaborate ceremony.
Lately, somebody told me about a wedding that was consummated with a budget of N50,000. The bride, groom and just four other witnesses were at the registry and they were done. They’re living happily ever after now with very clear conscience.
Even in places where they charge heavy bride price, if you know you can’t afford it, negotiate with your in-laws and I am sure that at some point, you guys will reach a compromise. But during negotiations, please be patient with your in-laws and don’t negotiate like a terrorist, because if your in-laws are as smart as American negotiators you are in trouble already. Remember, Americans don’t negotiate with terrorists! Sorry, I watch too many American movies, but truth be told, you need to be a lot patient and if you are, you will surely get what you want.
I really don’t like in-laws that behave like omo oniles because a spinster is more precious than all the money in the world. After all, you daughter is not a plot of land at Banana Island that both families will be haggling over. Your beautiful daughter is much more than that and since she has found the bone of her bone, biko release her and let her go. If you don’t you are also involved in “wife trafficking” and God is watching you in 5D from heaven.
However, if push comes to shove, go and wed your beloved in a registry, while you save up for the bride price. Yes, you must still pay the bride price. I am of the opinion that bride price is very significant in marriages and so it should be done accordingly but not exploited.
So, stop pilfering! Stop stealing! Go and do what is right on time before you cohabit. The razzmatazz you did at the proposal that made everyone go mushy mushy means nothing if you don’t wed her properly. The expensive diamond ring you have placed on her finger for years means nothing. How long should a diamond ring be on a lady’s finger? I think an engagement is only valid for six months but because of our condition in Nigeria, may be a year. Engagement should only be announced when you are sure you are ready to marry your fiancé in few months. But when months start rolling into years, then there is a problem. Engagement ring shouldn’t be a shackle to tie down your fiancé. Well, I won’t be dwelling so much on that today but I surely will be writing on it very soon.
However, gorgeous sis, wake up from your slumber! If your fiancé got you engaged for more than two years, please start asking him questions and if you are not satisfied with his answers, take a walk.
But don’t throw that ring back at him. Yes! You heard me right, especially if it is an expensive ring that should be used as compensation. That ring should be for all the emotional and physical damages he has caused you. This is not the first time I will be teaching you all the “bad bad things” like moral police officers that have been haunting me since inception of this column have been saying. I really don’t care; I try as much as possible to always tell the truth, I try to be real and as practical as possible too. So, my dear single ladies, don’t let anybody waste your time, because he calls you his fiancé or he has introduced you to his people. Don’t be deceived. If there are no concrete plans to walk you down the aisle, please leave him.
Even when the two of you are acting American love movie in his house, in as much as you don’t bear his last name, it is nothing. If he is giving you soup money and he enjoys your cooking that is not enough. The fact still remains you are not his wife, you are just a glorified chef and cleaner.
I understand his friends are already calling you “our wife” and you are wearing that tag arrogantly everywhere. Even in church, you went ahead to join the good women and you participate in all the special revivals for married women.
Interestingly, even for that special program your pastors’ wives tagged, How To Keep Your Husband From Every Strange Woman, you were the first person that arrived at the meeting and you sat in the front row. Oh! I pity you. You even attend marriage counseling with him and everyone around believes that you guys are properly married. Aunty, your disappointment amounts to learning karate. No matter how many children you have for him, it doesn’t change the fact that you guys are not properly married and when anything happens to him, the law won’t protect you.
However, for those of you who are live-in lovers without children, we know how you have been doing it. I really don’t understand how you believe that a man whom you have had five abortions for will eventually marry you. He hasn’t married you, yet he is insisting on flesh-to-flesh intercourse and the foolish you would let him. Haven’t you thought about the trauma of going through D and C all the time? Don’t you care about your health? What about your womb? You should know by now that you are only good for sex and not for bearing his children. If you die today, he is going to find another woman and marry her. They will both walk on your grave hand-in-hand and looking lovingly into each other’s eyes. So, stop playing the fool, think and act! If he won’t marry you, there is no point living with him.
As you are reading this, you are saying to yourself, after all I haven’t done any abortion for him. Oh! I get it; you have been on pills and have been using all the required contraceptives. Well that’s good! Yes, you are a sharp girl. But how old are you now? You will be thirty what? Wake up to reality! Your biological clock is ticking away. Time is not on your side again. Make hay while the sun is still shining. One of the reasons he has not even married you on time is because he is getting free sex, squeaky clean home, laundry and good food free of charge.
However, bros, if she is a good woman, take her on the journey of forever and stop telling her lies. And if you are not really convinced about her, let her go and stop tying her down. Even if you are ‘tasting’ her, for how many years? Although, me I don’t believe in ‘tasting’ before walking down the aisle, but if you must sample and she agrees to it like a tokunbo merchandize then don’t let the ‘tasting’ take a lifetime. Work hard while you are checking out your merchandize, get the money and marry her. I know a man can father a child at anytime but I don’t think it’s wise to use your pension to send your kids to school. Marrying her on credit doesn’t speak well of you, go and do the proper rites on her before she moves in with you.
No one knows if a relationship will last but be as honest as possible and make conscious efforts to start off as soon as you know she is the one. If you are really honest about growing old together with that special someone, always remember that cohabitation is not an alternative or substitute for marriage.