Monday, May 5, 2014

Can a Naija American Girl cope with a Nigerian Husband?


It goes without saying that the innocent school girls who were kidnapped over two weeks ago by Boko Haram in Nigeria are in my thoughts and prayers. It makes me sad and angry when I think of what's probably happening to those poor girls. I have sisters that age, and I'm ready to kill for any of them. I try not to get too deep in thought, but rather lift them in my prayers daily. I encourage everyone out there, more than posting #bringbackourgirls on social media outlets, pray for their safe delivery back to their families and for the Nigerian government to really get serious about the safety and security of its citizens. There needs to be an all out war declared on Boko Haram, end of story.

On to the title, and topic of my blog today: Can a Naija American girl cope with a Nigerian husband? It's a question that I've been asking myself seriously since coming back from Nigeria, and I'm really beginning to think that for me, the answer is no. Or it seriously, seriously depends on the man and his temperament. Being an educated, financially independent woman, I've come to value my independence and upward mobility, and I'm not ready to give that  up 100 percent, nor will I ever be. This is in direct opposition to the state of the average woman in Nigeria. Not to say that there are not plenty of independent and upwardly mobile women in Nigeria, but let's be honest. For many women in Nigeria, life consists of getting married, and then siddon for house dey born pikin, and nothing else... Moving on.

A few years ago, I did a post on the prevalence of nursing as a career choice for Nigerian women here in the United States. I coined a term which I call "Nigerian Nursing Syndrome" or "NNS". There's nothing wrong with being a nurse, that's for sure. But I came across an article about horrible things that are happening to Nigerian nurses all across the county. In an article titled An Epidemic: Nigerian Men Killing Their Nurse Wives In The US by Abiodun Ladepo, the author gives several cases of Nigerian men murdering their wives because she started making more money than him once she became a nurse and he could no longer control her. Some of them felt their wives disrespected them by not allowing him to control all of her money. Granted, the husband is still due a level of respect, no matter how much or how little money he makes; however, murder is in no case acceptable.

I'm wondering, in my analytical mind, what constitutes disrespect in the mind of a born and bred Nigerian man. Is it refusing to allow him to control every penny that comes into the household? Is it the liberty that comes with not having to ask your husband for money anymore? I can understand the frustration that can come when, after bringing your wife to the U.S. and supporting her through school, she then gets a job as a nurse and then totally disregards and disrespects him because now she's got her own money. But see the wahala wey the man don start in the first place. He went to Naija to pick a meek and mild woman that he will send to nursing school and then use as a cash cow when she finishes, but his plans backfired. Who's to blame? Hmmmm....

I am in no way saying that all Nigerian men are like this. In fact,  the men in my family are good, caring, and responsible men who would never even think it in their minds to do such wicked things to anyone, let alone their own wives. And to be honest, brutality against women is something that unfortunately, is all too common around the world, even in the United States.

So, can this Naija American girl cope with a Nigerian husband? The answer is, it remains to be seen. Whoever my and wherever my husband is, whether Nigerian or not, he's definitely going to be the type of man who is comfortable with a smart and successful lady, cause that's just who I am and strive to continue to be. Nigerian guys born in the U.S. like me have no problem with this, which leads me to believe that one of these might be a better fit for me, but hey, who knows? Still love my Naija guys though... no vex ;)


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