By Tunde Lemuel, Lois Okereke &Astro Jewoola
It is said in the holy book that a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. So, many men have walked down the aisle in fulfilment of this Biblical injunction.
In the past, our parents, most especially the fathers, got married at very early years of their lives. Many of them had already given birth to their children before reaching the age of 30 years.
For those that were educated, once they graduated from the universities, their next move was to secure a job and then settle down to a marital life, while those that went into vocation consider marriage as the next on their agenda once they were able to acquire a room apartment and furnish it with few electronic gadgets.
The trend has, as a matter of fact, changed. The situation now is one where we find men in their late 30s still single, even those with plum jobs, while there are cases of single men in their early 40s.
This is quite unAfrican!
Mr. Jimoh Ademola is 34 and does not expect a man to get married when he is not financially stable. “If you want to remain the head of your family, you have to live up to the responsibilities that come with that position. I will get married when I know that I am ready enough to shoulder the responsibilities of being a husband and father. And that will take a little while,” he enthused.
In his own submission, Mr. Kola Akinde, 32, is of the opinion that Nigerian girls are not ready for marriage and too materialistic. According to him, “most of them are not wife materials, they date solely for material gains from that relationship. With the way a lot of them dress and act, I am sure that any responsible mother will frown at that when you take such home as your wife to-be. That does not mean that there are not good girls out there, but believe me, they are hard to come by.”
Mr. Jimmy Okoha, 28, believes that it is not easy to run a family these days. “Things are really expensive now. So, I am still trying to work harder and save more money before I can take that bold step,” he opined.
Forty-year old Oladipo Olajuyigbe, who sees nothing good in the Nigerian women, bears his mind: “I donâ€™t like Nigerian women because they are too demanding and never satisfied with what they are given. I have a plan to get a woman from abroad. When that happens, I will settle down with her.”
While some men are putting the blame at the doorsteps of the women folk, the women too are not keeping quiet.
Miss Bukky Aro, 30, inferred in her statement that most men now are cowards. “They are scared of commitment. Most of them want ladies they will only use and dump. In fact, some of them would rather have kids out of wedlock than get married. That is why we have lots of single mothers around,” she stated.
Temilorun Ajiboye is 27 and shares Bukkyâ€™s opinion. According to her, “men are really scared of commitments and the responsibility of running a home. That is why you could see a couple that has dated for seven years and still does not have plans of bonding the union legally. Well, most ladies are not even waiting for them, they just go ahead to have kids and move on with their lives without husbands.”
Miss Chris Anyanwu, 32, believes that men are in the habit of expecting too much from their women. Said she: “Some of these men expect so much from us, things that if they were in our shoes, they will never have been able to achieve. I donâ€™t know what they expect from us.”
Speaking with P.M.News in his office, Dr. Soji Oni, a lecturer in Sociology of Education, Department of Educational Foundations, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, gave an insight into the matter at hand.
“When it comes to the issue of marriage, one should be very careful as it needs serious planning. If one fails to plan, then one is planning to fail. The economic situation in the country does not even allow one to live a decent life. As a university lecturer of close to 10 years, I just got married recently. How much is the take home salary of an average worker in Nigeria after all the deductions?” He queried.
Continuing, he said, “I studied briefly in South Africa and was very impressed about their social welfare. We donâ€™t have any in Nigeria. As an average African and working class, you think of yourself because self preservation, they say, is the manâ€™s first law. But when even the little you receive is not enough for you, how can you think of marriage?
“Take a cursory look at the cost of renting an apartment, especially in Lagos, it is killing so also is transportation, among other things. How, for Godâ€™s sake, will young men think of marriage under all these harsh conditions?”