Living In Africa As A Woman

By Modupe Akinyemi

“See, mummy don’t stress me o! I’ve already had an annoying day, don’t come and add to my problems! I would get married when I get married.” Wunmi said to her mother as she hung up the call and dropped the phone on her table with a long hiss.

” I can’t believe I called her to seek solace from today’s drama and she hijacked the call to her routine when will you marry conversation”. A bewildered Wunmi said to herself.

The night before, she had put all her efforts into what she hoped would be the best of her career so far. Her colleagues had applauded her efforts but… “Miss Wunmi, I’m highly disappointed by the level of incompetence you have just shown” was what she got from Mr Osagie. Being raised to develop and value excellence, she lived the “all or none” life. But six months into the job, her boss was transferred and this new man had been making sexual advances at her and her no was duly responded to with actions such as this.

On her way home, she stopped to say hi to Mama Tope who sells corn at the bus stop. “Sisi mi, were you around last Thursday when robbers came to our street?” Mama Tope asked. Upon answering in the affirmative, Mama Tope went all sympathetic asking how she coped seeing she had no man in her house. Wunmi explained to her that she had God and had taken all necessary security precautions. “Ehm… Sisi mi, you should get married fast fast o, so that you can have a man that will be defending you. And you know in this area, people are talking too, they claim you don’t want to get married because you’d lose the life you’re living now thanks to your sugar daddies.” Wunmi wanted to yell at her but as a child with good home training, she thanked her and headed straight to her apartment.

What a day!

The reminders on her phone rang.  “God!” She was to send money to her younger sister an hour earlier. That and many other things had to be done tonight.

She turned on the TV only to be met with a show where the presenter whom she considered incompetent was giving a downgraded version of the state of women in Africa. In annoyance, she turned it off again. “What is wrong with people?” She exclaimed. At least she can shout in peace; it’s her own house.

Well, enshrined in the mentality of the African is the notion that every single woman who drives a car, lives in her own house and has a steady job in any company definitely slept their way to this point. No doubt life is hard but it’s harder for young women living in African as they have to battle the status quo within, and ideas amongst those that know close to nothing about living in this continent.

The African mentality has a way of defining what a person should be and anyone who seems to go across the line raises eyebrows. For a young woman, you go to school and get married once you are done. Any success you make outside this pattern is often counted as insignificant unless you’re married. Everyone sings the song of how incomplete you are until you become a wife. Not disputing the importance of being married but come on!

Sadly many of those who don’t seem to see you in the marriage filter is often in the shades of Mr Osagie. These ones seek a missus to satisfy their lust.

When you think you have achieved certain heights, the loneliness that accompanies the decision to succeed can be frustrating. Many young women have succumbed to the picture painted and don’t seem to desire anything outside the ordinary. They believe their income must be given them by a man and their bodies are merchandise to be traded. This in fact dampens the spirit of those who want something bigger.

You would think that is all o!

But check out the first impressions the international society have of young women living in Africa! Lengthy articles and websites talk about the struggles of women in African alone. Sad stories are the first impressions given out. Completely sidelining the contributions of the many young women who run their own businesses or work their hides off to contribute to the success of companies and the nations as a whole. Notwithstanding, the challenges they face with assuming leadership positions as compared to their male counterpart.

Wunmi here is a picture of the young woman living in Africa and has decided to succeed. It always looks like every force works against them.

No doubt, for every young person irrespective of the gender, that age is the peak of life’s productivity and all efforts should be channelled to making it the most fruitful. But for the young woman, the expectations of society on her can make her crazy especially when she has decided to be a success.

But here’s my advice dear young woman living in Africa:

Forget the skewed expectations of those around you. You really cannot please everyone. Never settle for less. Develop yourself and build the life they only dream of.

Source: Above Whispers

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