Many young, single and successful women in Nigeria have been told directly or indirectly to tone down their achievements in order to get or keep a man.
The Founder of BWL Agency, a strategic brand development and communications company based in Lagos, Ronke Bamisedun does not agree with such notion because she thinks there’s much more to her than marriage.
In a chat with Guardian, Ronke bares her mind on the pressure to get married as a successful young woman.
Our generation has really been dealt an unfair blow by those before us. Look at Nigeria during the time of our great- grand fathers – our manufacturing industry was booming, we were producing, there was access to land, infrastructure.
I come from a family of manufacturers, my late grandfather made something out of nothing. He wasn’t from a prominent family but he was able to make something for himself and give his kids a life that he didn’t have- guess what? Nigeria gave him that opportunity.
Now, look at the state of the country – the rate of unemployment is outstanding and the young people of our generation cannot catch a break. You know like we don’t have enough to deal with, then comes the pressure for females to be married by a certain age (the dreaded 30). This I have to say is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard.
Young ladies are getting married and settling in bad marriages because society has told them that they strive for marriage, that marriage is their highest form of accomplishment. I’ve been told several times to dumb down myself, tone down my achievements, simply to make some man comfortable.
Let me ask one question: did my father work so hard to send his daughters to school only for them to be told that they should tone down their intelligence to please people? Of course not. I am not married so I can’t speak on that topic but I understand that marriage and being with someone is not a way to secure financial freedom.
So, my advice for young female professionals is to live your life. Do not let culture, tradition and people’s opinions stifle the person you can be. See the world, get out of doing the same things. Make mistakes, learn from it. Fall and then pick yourself up.
Importantly, please get out of the mindset that you need a man to be ‘set’ in life, that you need to marry a rich man to give you the things you need. This is something I’ve heard so many times in this environment. No you don’t, all you need is your brain and prayers.
Head over to Guardian for the full interview
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