By Tijjani Muhammad Musa
“Marriage is not an achievement.” according to some girls, spinsters, feminists and some of their male supporters.
That statement generated a heated debate on social media platforms at one time between its proponents; young, educated females on one hand and traditionalists, culturalists or religious minded individuals who challenged it on the other.
I was initial tempted to wade into the arguments when the hot exchange was trending, but decided against it, not wanting my voice to be lost in the noise that ensued from the avalanche of words and opinions.
Then lately I saw the statement resurrect from its remaining embers and smoldering ashes, and I smiled to myself saying perhaps I should have my say about it at this point in time.
I’ve observed that those boldly saying “Marriage is not an achievement” are young, unmarried ladies at the prime age of getting married, but are not or have not for one reason or another, and so are still single.
Some of their reasons could among several others be; out of choice, missed opportunities, educational pursuits, lack of suitors, career build up, sexual preference, feminism, old age, bad experience, phobia, sheer arrogance, complexes and so on.
Before I delve into the explanation proper, let us briefly go back a little and check out what exactly is the meaning of the word “Achievement”, so that we can define the context within which we are discussing the issue.
From the various definitions of the word Achievement, it basically means:
# Something that has been accomplished, especially through hard work, ability, skills, or heroism.
Subject to this definition, we can say getting a degree, an employment, setting up a company or business, buying a car, a house, passing through multiple surgeries or overcoming cancer, winning a war or an election are all Achievements, right?
Whereas getting married is not, since nothing like sitting for an examination, interview, skills demonstration or talent contest and show of courage or heroic feats are required on the parts of the couple, right?
Well, on the part of one of the two persons getting married i.e. the bride, that could be true. But on the other part of the groom, it is definitely one of the most difficult feats and trials of his entire life.
To the husband it is a case of “Ango ne ko angogu?!” So to him, based on the definition of what an Achievement is, everything is there. Overcoming anxiety, stress, obstacles, tension, pressures, taking risks etc
Now, looking closely at marriage from this context, one can understand why to these young unmarried women, it does not amount to any achievement at all. Their possible reasons?
Well, what personal spendings, deposits, talent, challenge, courage test and so on do they go through to get married? In most cases, for our northern, Muslim, Hausa/Fulani girls, absolutely NONE! NOTHING!
Well, except going through the stress and pressure of the celebrative occasion. Which some still find too much to bear and tolerate.
To be continued…