“Where’s your husband, Diakha?”
I know, another blog post about marriage. I’m sorry but when you’re a 22 year old African woman, you are constantly asked about marriage. I recently had a conversation with an aunt of mine and this conversation left me confused. This is how the conversation went down—
Aunt: do you have a husband yet?
Me: no not yet but auntie I’m gradu-
Aunt: no do you have a husband? Are you talking to anyone? Do you want to get married?
Me: yes aunty, of course, but I’m gradua-
Aunt: You should be married by now. Start talking to someone.
Me: But I am graduating.
Aunt: Oh really! Congratulations, when are you graduating?
That is it. At this point, I am beyond frustrated. I just wanted to tell her I was graduating. That’s something right? That’s an accomplishment right? Yet, marriage is the biggest accomplishment for an African girl like me. Not to my parents, but to others. I thought about what my aunt said. Did I want marriage? Yes, of course. Did I want marriage now? No, not really.
Although I have seen many of my mates get married, I am happy for them. However, the one thing that gets me are those aunties who like to compare. They tell everyone how you’re not married yet. This always makes me feel ashamed. It makes me feel like I have not accomplished the biggest thing for an African woman. But, in this new world, things are changing for African women like me. The woman has to define what her accomplishments are. Why do we let ‘society’ (meaning us) dictate what our accomplishments should be?
As an African woman, I have my own aspirations and desires. I have my own goals. My aunt had asked me if I wanted to get married. Of course I do. I would love to settle down with the love of my life (note to my future husband reading this, prepare yourself). I want to start my own family. However, I do not think I am ready. When God says that I am ready, things will fall into place for me.
I am not going to lie to you and say I do not care about being asked where my husband is. I do care. When you’re asked multiple times, there’s this pressure. The pressure eventually builds up and causes you to be anxious. Makes you constantly think about your future and how much of a failure you are. But please, to my African women who feel this way, do not let this stop you from doing the things you love and being patient. Do not let this pressure you to rush into marriage. If you really are not ready, that is okay. And if you are ready, that is okay too. Do not let people tell you that you are getting too old for marriage and no one will marry you. It’s bullshit.
So at 22, while I wait for my husband, I will focus on myself.
And to my husband, wherever you are, please come claim me because I am tired of being asked where you are.
Thank you for reading! 🙂
Writer: Diaka Thiam