The calls have been arriving. A Nigerian woman with the Master of Science in Nursing degree calls to complain about her father who is bringing men she doesn't know or care for from Nigeria to marry the daughter. She tells me to say to her father "Stop " which meant "Leave me alone and let me find who I want to marry." Asked to elaborate, the MSN woman said: "I don't like the Nigerian men because they LIE, LIE, LIE! They are liars. They come to America to use you for the Green card, and then they dump you. Liars!"
I called the father to hear his "tory, but he was so disgusted with his daughter's refusal to marry that our conversation didn't go beyond the usual Kedu (How are you) and Odinma (it's well). Then I called Miss Ekele who has been teaching Igbo life and tradition to a group of young Nigerian children.
EKELE: It's to the advantage of parents and Nigeria culture that our girls marry from Nigeria, from among our people. You understand?
ME: I hear you. But why? What if the girl doesn't know or love the Nigerian man?
EKELE: It is to the advantage of both parents and children that we maintain cultural identity and cohesiveness, and marry our own within our own. If children walk away and are lost, what happens to the parents at old age? That's all I can say. (Ekele hangs up and walks away).
I thought to myself: Is it all about parental advantages and nothing to do with the child's? Is that sufficient reason to force a daughter to marry a man she doesn't know or love so the needs of the parents would be met?
A divorced Nigerian professor at one US college wanted to remarry, and this writer suggested a Nigerian female lawyer residing at Onitsha. The professor flew into Nigeria to see the lawyer. Because the lawyer's father refused to give his blessing, Professor flew back to America, and the lawyer continues to live as old maid with her parents.
These are only examples of what we see as the most troublesome aspect of parents poking their noses into what is not their business. Having said that, I was at a wedding in New York, and met this 26-year-old daughter of Anambra family who has completed the PhD degree in microbiology. When her parents objected to her dating Akata/African American boys and suggested marrying a Nigerian Igbo from Nnewi, Dr Adanma (fake name) quickly took her Akata boy into the house they had both bought. She has decided to let the sparks all fly wherever they may.
Oh oh ya! Ojinaka togbo! (drop everything you are doing right now). The die is cast! Let her father come fuck her in the house and bed she has bought with her own money. Nigerian parents are going crazy with omenala (traditional ways of doing things). Where does bullheadedness end and commonsense commences? Listen carefully, Nigerian parents! Your daughters are tired of your shenanigans (secret or dishonest activity or maneuvering).
We understand where you are coming from. You are merely coming; you haven't yet come to all the answers, have you? Let us reason together about the female children you fathers have been pumping into mothers' vaginas. There ought to be a balance, an alignment of wants and needs, a weighing scale of advantages and disadvantages, or give-an-take, if you like. Bear in mind that Nigeria is heavily overpopulated. Nigeria had a population of 189,270,655 persons (about 190 million souls as at the writing of this essay on Sunday December 18, 2016 at about 6:22pm).
The sex ratio is 95,842,424 males to 93,428,240 females or about 1025 males per 1,000 females. In Nigeria, males outnumber females. The figures suggest that there are not enough men to go around, The question is this: Who would marry your daughters when they grow up and want to start their families? Incest or sexual relationship between fathers and daughters are frowned upon in the Nigerian society, unless one is Lot, Abraham's nephew who had sex with two daughters in a cave.
In both Nigeria and America, educated Nigerian girls are having a rough time marrying men of their dream. Busybody parents are interfering with their daughters' choices of who they want to spend their lives in marital arrangements. Single, marriageable Nigerian girls feel parents are encroaching upon and abrogating (repealing by parental edict) their right to pursuit of happiness. Sex is a powerful physiological need and comes right after food.
The situation is growing worse or becoming increasingly critical where something has to be done. What needs to be done is change the attitudes of Nigerian fathers who arrogate to themselves the power to act as gods wielding excessive say-so over daughters' marriages. Nigerian fathers consider their daughters to be their overpriced possessions, and themselves as protectors of daughters from the unscrupulous, wolves-in-sheep-clothes robbers of daughters' vaginas .
Come to think of it, it is a terrible mess. A Nigerian girl in new York says she is tired of Nigerian women who allow boyfriends to come at night to fuck and wash their penises in the bathrooms before returning to their wives in the morning under the pretext they are just getting off jobs.
There is a difference between reasonable parental protectiveness and the overt over-the-counter interference of overprotective father. An overprotective parent is a bushman from the wooded forest; he is busybody who is a chatterer, a bigmouth, a blabbermouth, or a person given to incessant gossip. Such parents seek to keep their daughters at home as unmarried spinsters or old maids until death sets us apart. Frustrated daughters describe overprotective parents' activities as being obvious, unconcealed, explicit, evident, clear, plain, or blatant. Aggrieved daughters ask: "Is this real?"
Dr. O. was introduced over the telephone to a Nigerian lady lawyer. Barrister Ijeoma Osisi was her name. Dr. O flew to Lagos and then rode the bus to his village in Anambra on the first leg of the journey to ask for the would-be wife's hand in marriage. After arriving at his village and informing his poor relatives of his plans to marry a lawyer, he chartered a Morris Minor and rode with a few villagers to inform barrister Ifeoma that he had come to introduce himself to the family and to perhaps perform the traditional ceremony.
No sooner had he alighted from the taxi in front of the house than the would-be wife ran out, not to welcome Dr. O. with a smile or throw her hands in a hug. She had come as bearer of bad news. She says. "My father is Chief Okey Osisi, and he is President of Local Traders' Association (LTA). Please do not address Nna Anyi (our father) as Mister but as Chief. He does not welcome persons seeking to marry his daughter to come in taxi, especially in tiny Morris Minor. You must go and come back again in a private car. Remember to bring bottles of my father's favorite hot drinks (schnapps) and other wines. I shall phone you with names of the other drinks."
Dr. O came back the following day with a truckload of presents he had brought from America, including perfumes for Barrister Ijeoma and her mother; shirts, shoes and socks for her father, vitamins, and so forth. Chief Okey Osisi listened carefully and accepted all the presents before dropping the atom bomb on Professor O. "No, you cannot marry my daughter because I don't want my daughter killed if the woman you have just divorced comes back." Dr. Professor felt like obele oke (tiny rat). How do you begin to explain the purpose and effects of divorce to an illiterate trader?
Parents often present unwed daughters and their suitors with painful choices that are increasingly insurmountable. They say to daughters: "You must marry this man and not that one because we say so." New Yorker Charles has two college =educated daughters who want to settle down with husbands and start families. Comfy and Ify are 27 and 28 years respectively, and both are still single and living at home. They are rapidly approaching age 30 years. The truth is that Charles wants to select wealthy Igbo men from Abuja, Lagos, or obodo oyibo (white man's land) to be his inlaws.
At Lagos, Nigeria, Ikechukwu has three daughters whom he wanted to become college educated. While the girls were in secondary schools and preparing for the common entrance examinations for admission to the universities, Ikechukwu approached some Nigerian businessmen and struck up deals. The deal was that the men would befriend his daughters and perform igba nkwu ( traditional wedding with palm wine and kola nuts). The men would be responsible for tbe girls 'education to the highest level the girls could go, and marry them upon graduation.
. The deal worked well. All three daughters had graduated from Nigerian law schools. They are now married to wealthy but uneducated traders at Abuja, Lagos, and the Democratic republic of Congo. That reminds me of Mr. Onyekwere, the ugly, almost toothless Lagos business who has so much money he could wipe his ass with clumps/thickets of American dollars. It is funny that Onyekwere may not read or write. Who cares? His wife , a Nollywood type beauty, is a London trained physician. It is a case of Beauty and the Beast. Did someone mention Ojukwu and Bianca? You did!
As we said earlier, "there ought to be a balancing act, an alignment of wants and needs, a weighing scale of advantages and disadvantages, or give-an-take, if you like". What is the bottom line? Isn't it your daughter? You cannot fuck her; but you can only give her away.