So today’s post is all about my quarter life crisis experience in a African home. I was asked by fellow blogger Nana Ashanti (check out her blog My Love Letter To Africa) to collaborate with her and three other African bloggers in discussing our experiences. When some young African women reach 25, they start to get a lot of comments from their parent(s) regarding career development, social life and marriage. At 25, they’re at least done with their bachelors so now the pressure is on and the questions are burning. I was hesitant about contributing to this project because:
- I am past the quarter life stage. I am 28 and not 25.
- I have a pretty chill mom who she doesn’t make many comments to me regarding the mentioned areas above
or so I thought.
However, Nana insisted that it would still be great for me to share my perspective and I concur. Below is my experience along with excerpts from the other bloggers. I will link each of their blogs below their excerpts.
The only thing my mom pressures me about is completing my master’s. That is important to her for my own financial independence and stability. My mom didn’t go to college and she was a single parent working 2-3 full-time jobs. She says that if she had went to college, she wouldn’t have had to struggle financially. Her mom didn’t go to college and neither did her sisters so she always wanted me (her only daughter) to break this cycle that she believed plagued the women in her family. I earned my bachelors degree but now my mom wants me to take it a step further and earn my master’s. All my brothers all have their master’s and as a result my mom believes it is the key to financial provision. She’s been lecturing me about it since I was 25
and even before I was 25 up until now.
My mom rarely comments on my social life. The only advice she’s ever given me in regards to this area is not to have too many friends. However, this is not an area she frequently comments on.
Pictured above are some memes I found online regarding the topic of marriage in a African home. I know for many African girls 25 years old and up, marriage pressure is a big deal. However, that’s never been the case for me. My mom has never pressured me about marriage. I know she prays about me finding someone (along with other prayers she does over my life
but hopefully it’s not like the prayer above). However, she’s never asked me about marriage. She’s only asked me once (when I was 23 or 24) if I was dating anyone. At one point, it seemed that my brother was more concerned about me dating and finding someone. He was more concerned than my own mother! I have a family friend who is one year younger than me (27) and she is experiencing the marriage pressure in the worst way. She is a pharmacist and she was just offered a wonderful position at the United Nations headquarters in China. This position provides amazing pay (more than what she currently earns), it providers her with FREE housing and plus the job title alone is such a career advancement. However, her mom doesn’t want her to go away for two years because she needs to get married before she’s 30 and she’s currently 27 (turning 28 later this year). Her mom thinks the clock is ticking and she needs to miss out on this amazing career opportunity so she can wait around to get wifed up. This family friend really wants to go but she will not go without her mom’s approval/blessing. At 27 years old, she still seeks her mom’s permission and approval. I’m telling this story to say that this marriage pressure is real for many African women. Fortunately, my mom would not block my career advancement for my husband that I haven’t met. I feel more marriage pressure when I log onto my social media (i.e Facebook & Instagram) and see my peers and former classmates getting married.
I believe that many milennials from various cultures (not just African) experience this quarter life crisis. However in my personal experiences, I find that many Africans place higher value on a woman or man if he or she is married as opposed to when they’re not. I don’t agree with that. I have also seen many African women get very desperate and marry someone from Africa they’ve never met (mail order groom). A Ghanaian woman once told me she had the perfect guy for me but he was in Ghana
without papers. She tried it offered to “hook” me up but I just don’t believe in arranged marriages. That shall not be my portion.
Snippets From The Ladies
Nana- “Lately my mum has been dropping hints at marriage. I could be shopping or cooking and the question is “So are you shopping by yourself? Or are you cooking for one?” ” When are you going to have a boyfriend?” “Do you plan to live in your big house by yourself?” Aaah, Asant!!!
Apparently, everything I have done in life will not mean much to her till I get married. But do I blame her? No. She is from an era, where society has made it clear that marriage is the only way to be validated. My advice to all readers is this, “DO YOU, BOO”. The best time is your time!
And you’re thinking, wait.. Is this really my mother? The one who threatened to send me back to Africa because she caught me holding hands with a boy when I was 14? Now all of a sudden I should be marrying!
It’s when you touch 28 that it starts to worsen. Random auntie’s start approaching you “come to my church! You will find husband tomorrow”. “Let me give the pastor your number, he’s a true man of God”.
Be sure to check out these bloggers and their posts. Also watch our video responses here.
Share below in the comments and thank you for reading!