“There Is A Strong View In Nigeria, As In Many Other Cultures, That A Marriage Is Not Complete Without Children. I Don’t Agree” – Ayobami Adebayo



Writer and Author, Ayobami Adebayo is boldly challenging the status quo, and speaking up on an issue many women believe in but are afraid to publicly talk about – that women who are unable to have children or do not want to have children are not less of a human being.

Her new novel, “Stay With Me,” talks about the impact of infertility on a married couple and also Sickle Cell Disease in Nigeria.In a chat with the Guardian UK, Ayòbámi speaks on child-free marriage, how sickle cell disease affects life in Nigeria and other things.

SEE ALSO: Is It Unnatural To Accept Childlessness?

On the theme of her new book, she said
There is a strong view in Nigeria, as in many other cultures, that a marriage is not complete without children. I don’t agree; I’m wary of the idea that people have to have some particular functionality in order to be full members of society. I think it’s a very dangerous idea. Humans are humans and they are worthy of respect. In the book, I wanted to ask whether it is possible in this cultural context for a couple to be happy with one another, without having children.

The mother-in-law character is convinced that her son can’t be happy unless he has a child. I am interested in the idea that people should be able to define their own happiness. It’s not just about fertility; we are often told that we need this or that to be happy. We need to be thin, rich or whatever. But maybe we should decide for ourselves what happiness looks like.

Ayobami Adebayo  holds BA and MA degrees in Literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife. She also has an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia where she was awarded an international bursary for Creative Writing. Ayobami has been the recipient of a number of fellowships and residencies.

Head over to The Guardian to read the rest of the interview

Stay With Me is published by Canongate and can be ordered at



  1. Uwaoma Sonma

    Uwaoma Sonma

    February 28, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    Then may u nrve

    May u never have them

    • Folashade M Alabi

      Folashade M Alabi

      March 1, 2017 at 7:08 am

      How stupid can you be !??.

    • Uwaoma Sonma

      Uwaoma Sonma

      March 1, 2017 at 9:40 am

      U are the stupid one here.

    • Udoh Naomi

      Udoh Naomi

      March 1, 2017 at 11:49 am

      Lolz…fola..y begin d insult

    • Folashade M Alabi

      Folashade M Alabi

      March 1, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      Sweetheart, only stupid blocked heads would wish barrenness on another human being just because they made their opinion known! What is the meaning of ‘May you never have them’ ??

    • Uwaoma Sonma

      Uwaoma Sonma

      March 1, 2017 at 5:14 pm

      Only morons and bitches from the gutters will enter marriage and not wish to have child. Daughters of jezeebel are spreading there tentecles

    • Ifeoluwa Watson

      Ifeoluwa Watson

      March 1, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      As you are not the giver of children, it’s not in your place to say whether she will have or not. You’ve just successfully displayed your utmost level of ignorance as nowhere in the article did the writer say she doesn’t desire children and even if she did, it would be her choice.

      Do you know the pains women who have problems with conceiving or whose husbands are even the reason behind their barrenness face in our society? How it has led to depression and sometimes their death in finding a child? I know couples who have been married for years without children and yet they show amazing love and understanding for one another. Some have gone on to adopt and others have decided they are enough for one another without considering remarrying. For you and many other narrow minded people, marriage has no meaning aside baby making but for others it does.
      Get some education Uwaoma and I don’t mean the robotic one learnt within the walls of a classroom.

    • Uwaoma Sonma

      Uwaoma Sonma

      March 1, 2017 at 8:42 pm

      Just shut upj

    • Uchechukwu Cee

      Uchechukwu Cee

      March 1, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      Even d bible said – there shall be no barren woman , you ll give birth like d women of d Hebrews …. if u cannot bear kids with mutual consent of your spouse , you adopt …. kids are blessing … and the purpose of creating man and woman is dat the come together and become 1 ( one meaning upspring ) , to be fruitful and multiply …
      Funny enough d poster is prolly married with kids , or wishing … don’t spread that oyibo nonsense life here Abeg …
      If u can’t give birth , adopt and love them …. ur marriage is not complete o if u never born pikin train am make he become good to mankind and God the creator …
      And who says they are not full members of d society ????
      If u are yet to have ur child , trust in God to give u , if it takes time , adopt by faith and treat d kid right … no1 has the authority to belittle u , but yourself …. u choose ur happiness … and kids are blessings = happiness …..
      if u cant bear kids adopt !!! Nobody ll take dem away from you …. I no know wetin d author d try talk sef ….
      Purpose of man to marry na pikin ooo , and to grow old with his wife in d most loving and healthy way ever to the glory of God ; unless na rutualist wey don dedicate him balls to gods … bye jare

    • Folashade M Alabi

      Folashade M Alabi

      March 1, 2017 at 9:52 pm

      Ifeoluwa Watson, you are my sister from another mother. You are a smart and intelligent woman, God bless you. I love you and I love the way you think 😘.
      To the others, If you still don’t know that marriage is not about rolling children out of the oven every year, you should just go back to nursery school and leave social media for the grown ups. A marriage can be beautiful and sweet and successful without children. Those who don’t have children do not have to commit suicide because of people like you who will readily flaunt your kids in front of them reminding them they are not complete without children…newsflash for you, they are complete. It’s OK to be different. We don’t all want the same things.

  2. Alvaro Murari

    Alvaro Murari

    February 28, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Condivido ok!

  3. Pingback: Ayobami Adebayo Has Been Shortlisted For The 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize For Her Book ‘Stay With Me’ – Woman.NG

  4. Pingback: Ayobami Adebayo’s “Stay With Me” makes Longlist of Wellcome Book Prize – Woman.NG

  5. Pingback: Let’s Talk About It: Why Do Some Nigerian Men Get Angry When A Woman Says She Cooks But She Does Not Enjoy It? – Woman.NG

  6. Pingback: Another 15-Year Old Girl Married Off To A 66-Year-Old Man In Anambra Has Been Rescued – Woman.NG

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For Adverts & Enquiries:


Copyright © 2015 Woman.NG. Designed by Soft Runner

To Top