The Pressure To Get Married: When Can I Bring Out My Agbádá? [guest post]
Lifestyle blogger, Damilola Coker shares her experience as a British Nigerian on the pressure to get married.
“When can I bring out my agbádá”?
“I can’t wait to bring out my best attire to celebrate with you”.
“Hurry now, I want to shake leg for you and spray money”.
These are just the a few more colloquial statements to add to CynTea’s list to suggest or ask “When will you be getting married, [Insert Your Name]?“
Firstly, before I divulge into the post. It is only right that introduce with acknowledgement, introductions and definition of terms:
I would like to thank Dominique for giving me the opportunity to write to her audience as a guest on Melanin, Mind & Soul. Via social media I am referred to as dafricanlady or Anu, however, I am commonly known as Damilola Anu Coker. DAfroambiance is the name of my blog that can be dismantled into three clear phrases or symbols:
“D” – the slang term for the
“afro” – the representations of black people’s
“ambiance” – aura, atmosphere and quality
I initially started off the year concentrating on reviewing black owned business monthly, though I am still planning continuing this task, my blog changed direction slightly after attending the British Black Bloggers event and currently focuses on our British Black Male creators, bloggers, vloggers, poets also known as Black Kings Series.
Writing this post for Melanin, Mind & Soul is quite refreshing as I am writing something associated with me – yikes! Outside my comfort zone things!
So I started off with the word “agbádá”. This is an embroidered, free-flowing gown or robe with no fastener but a hole for the arms and head. Yoruba men commonly wear an agbádá particularly at celebratory events like weddings.
I also mentioned the spraying of money. This is a typical activity that takes place at Nigerian celebratory events like weddings. The celebrant or representatives of the celebrant’s family are on the dance floor. The guests literally manually spray money for their dancing efforts.
I guess the remaining of this post is almost like a response to CynTea’s blog post: because I can relate to it, almost too well. I also think it is important to voice out our experiences so that we don’t feel alone. This especially when we see immediate friends/family and “everybody” on social media “get married”.
In today’s society, it is possible to find yourself in a dark place due to the pressures around us, particularly from parents, aunties, uncles and even from the friends that are married – wagwun man! It is also possible to find ourselves idolising the idea of marriage and forget about the hard work it is to maintain the marriage.
The pressures of marriage can lead us to many unwanted things, including finding ourselves in an ungodly marriage and other associated burdens.
I have a friend who unfollowed a number of wedding associated accounts on Instagram as she was becoming obsessed with marriage. I applaud her for doing this.
For me, despite being the first born of 4 siblings, Nigerian and the mid-twenties label almost nowhere to be seen, I am thankful because I have the Word and I follow the Word hence I can’t say I found myself in a dark place or idolising about it. However, I did feel that I was fast forwarding the time for Mr Imperfect to come and find me by saying hello to dating sites!
Reflecting on this – this was not really me. I have always wanted to find my future husband by accident with a “cute” and “funny” story to tell “our future kids” God willing – and I guess it was only because of this reason alone that I had not dated more than a handful of men from these sites – dating sites were exhausting to be honest but it strangely gave me a mental satisfaction that I am doing my part – which is not the correct mindset. I had no major bad experiences on these dates but the thrill and excitement of it all – just disappeared.
This Is Why I AM Single
Dominique touched on a few reasons as to why she may be single in her “This. Is. Why. I. AM. Single.” post – whilst I can familiarise myself with most if not all of those factors. I personally just think I haven’t met the Mr Imperfect who is going to compliment my purpose. I mean as a Christian woman, I have come to understand that a spouse can either make or destroy ones destiny – it’s that deep! Wives are the neck of the head (husband) 1 Corinthians 11:3. As wives, we can influence our husband but he will primarily be calling the shots. Wives can also be smart and persuasive. As a neck accidentally misled the head resulting into wrong decisions and therefore be facing the unfortunate consequences.
But there is one thing I want you to know. The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man…
– New Living Translation 1 Corinthians 11:3
If I’m to take Christianity out of the picture my mind goes to one the most popular couples: Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston.
In my opinion from the outside, these two looked compatible. Whether they were right for each other is a different story. From documentaries, the beginning of Bobby Brown was the downhill of Whitney’s career. This was also the start of her isolating herself from her loved ones and family. Which as you know ended tragically.
On the other hand there are numerous accounts where husbands have given testimonies about their wives changing their life around.
It’s that deep.
Time frame is probably another reason. Maybe God wants me to develop myself, TRAVEL, ground me in my and Mr Imperfect’s career or pursue our business plans before we finally meet. Who knows…God knows.
So whilst waiting for Mr Imperfect, I am going to continue to learn about myself, travel, network, learn how to cook other cultural dishes and make the most of my single hood.
What are your tips of trying to avoid the pressure of parents and today’s society to marry someone?