Three Awkward African Thinking

Three Awkward African Thinking

All my life in this wonderful continent called – Africa, there are three awkward thinking that I know:

  • A woman can not ask a man out
  • A woman can not marry a man she is older than
  • The stigma on women who have kids out of wedlock.

I was doing shopping in the mall today when I overheard two ladies having a discussion. From what I was able to eavesdrop, she was talking about a guy she admires but she could not make a move to approach the gentleman.

She told her friend, ”The guy is so cute. He gives me chills. I really wish I have the courage to walk up to him and express my feelings.”

But her friend cut in and said, ”Nne, don’t ever try it. This is Africa. A woman should never ask a man out unless she would end up being molested.”

It makes me wonder if it’s a crime for a woman to ask a man out. There is this norm that – it has to be a man asking a woman out. There is this mentality that any woman who asks a man out is cheap or desperate. But honestly, I don’t see anything wrong about it. It doesn’t matter who shoots the shot first, but how the shot was fired is what matters. Maybe I am thinking weird.

Africa is a continent that has so many cultures and traditions. Societal norms and beliefs rule our continent. The sad part of this is – these norms and beliefs are not facts. They are mere opinions of our great grandparents who felt it would help them in having a peaceful coexistence during their time.

Honestly, things have changed. The way they lived back then may not really work with the modern generation. Of course, we can’t neglect the ancient landmarks but at the same time, life is fast evolving. Things are changing every day.

Another thing I found quite interesting is – the age difference. There are many Africans who believe that man must be older than the woman. Yes, due to some physical attributes of the women. But, is it really important?

I have heard some ladies said, ”I can’t date a man younger than me. I can’t even imagine being with someone I am older than.”

There is one thing that I know, age is just a number. Age doesn’t define maturity. When it comes to choosing a partner, age doesn’t really matter. Maybe this has got to do with individual differences. I’ve been with some young men who are more mature and experienced than someone older.

Besides, there is no law that specifies that a woman must be younger. We all grew up with that mentality, maybe because it was written in the Bible that God created Adam before Eve. Who knows?

The last is the stigma on women that have kids out of wedlock. Some guys would easily give up on a lady when they know she has a child or children out of wedlock.

Many would accuse the lady of being wayward. But who are we to judge people?

Anyone can fall victim to mishaps. After all, we all make mistakes. Some people are lucky to come out unscathed while others may not be. Irrespective, everyone deserves a second chance.

In Africa, many single ladies feel like they’ve committed the worst crime when they give birth out of wedlock. Of course, I will never support having child/children out of wedlock, neither will I condemn anyone who falls into that trap.

I prefer to look through the lens of humanity. As humans, we could make some decisions or take some steps that may come back to hurt us, but that is not enough reason to be condemned or crucified.

Enough of castigating people in this category. Let them be. Having a child out of wedlock is enough burden to bear.

Africans need to stop judging them harshly. They deserve to be loved as well. We can’t judge anyone by his/her past. We should rather give them a helping hand to move forward.

After looking at these three things discussed above, I think we still have a long way to go.

We need to do away with some societal norms and ideologies that are discriminatory and isolating.

God bless Africa!

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