By Alkasim Harisu Alkasim
The challenges of marriage are common knowledge within and outside Nigeria. To sensible people, marriage is a keystone of luxury life. Yet, although marriage sometimes falls short of happiness and peace, personal uprightness and esteem still accompany and embellish those in the industry.
The marriage industry is chaotic. It is now commonplace to see overaged women competing for the love of a single male person alongside younger ladies. This explains how choked the industry is. Marriage, as an institution, demands a lot from us. To excel in this business, one has to school himself in patience, courage and determination. Otherwise, one will do a lousy job, and things will go south.
In today’s materialistic world, what we call true love is lacking. Money buys love. A person can date a highborn woman even if he is lowborn. What allows him to do so is bucks. In cultures such as Indian, there is what they call a “caste system” that stratifies the society whereby one marries from within one’s caste. Interclass marriage is an abomination and, thus, a bad omen. Excessive expenses usher marriage.
In northern Nigeria today, to marry means a lot. One has to break the bank to afford marriage and multitask to afford to run a family. The trousseau he will gather robs him of too much money. If not loaded, one will feel like breathing his last while readying himself for this Sisyphean task.
Many a great family pressure prospective male spouses a lot to the extent they feel compelled to compensate their colossal expenditure by undertreating the girls they wed. The sight of the girls bores them; as a result, they start to mistreat them. This also purges them of the hate they hold for these exploitative families.
Poverty is raging, and the employment industry is becoming more competitive. Degree holders swarm places looking for well-paying jobs. As a result, some graduates are now resorting to low jobs that discredit scholarship and the status they are beginning to build. Some, willy nilly, accept works that break the back and pay low, thanks to the devastating nature of Nigeria’s economy.
Telling a greedy girlfriend that your wages or salary is not handsome implies losing her. It once happened to my friend whose name I won’t mention here, for I feel that should be private. This happened when his family went to the girlfriend’s place. His father honestly told them about the level of income of his son. This bitter truth opened for my friend Pandora’s box. The relationship had since then staggered. In short, the two lovebirds have parted ways.
What hardens the issue of marriage in the North is our belittling the effort of even the hardworking people. We neither accept what our sons-in-law present nor study the situation on the ground. We need to wise up on this. But, unfortunately, some circumstances press people to do only those things that top their priorities.
It is worrisome that many families capitalise on their children’s beauty to milk boys of all their money. Such homes allow their daughters to tryst (zance) with more than a person at a time. In some houses, queues are made every day for a single girl. Boys take turns. Sometimes, some inpatient boyfriends cut in on the conversations of their co-suitors. What a world! The girl is seen as a moneymaking machine. Likely, after cashing in on her suitors, the girl will go out of fashion. Her beauty and charisma will decrease. As she puts on age, her boyfriends vanish, and the likelihood to marry a dream husband reduces. Now it is her younger sisters’ time. When it salaams at their home, the sendee will mention the name of her younger sisters instead. It will take time before she gets dated by somebody. Indeed life is a roller coaster.
The social commerce between a girl and a boy worsens when the girl’s family pressure the boy for money. As he feels absolutely tired of lifting the girl’s responsibilities, he looks for a way to benefit from the dealing. The social intercourse between a girl and a boy does not stop at the former’s house as the duo rendezvous at their chosen spots. Now, the love glue between them starts to grow stronger. He will undeniably feel the urge to do the unlawful with her to the level he begins bedding her.
The groom has to pay dowry that a time costs him much. There is an amount which, if he pays below, he will have his money returned or hotly debated right at the place where the thing of the knot is occurring. In some instances, such disagreement plants in the groom’s family some disregard for the bride’s home. A bride needs to be lodged and fed. And if the groom doesn’t have his own house, he will have to find a place to sleep with his wife. Today’s brides come with vast furniture; the groom has to look for a house that sleeps like five people to contain his wife’s belongings.
Believe it or not, the complexion of our societies has changed; we are not aiming at uprightness. We are after money and money-related things. If you are monied, you are everything. You can marry who you want. One can be immoral and still have a choice wife. That is why the deep-pocketed hire people to fake it as their parents/relatives. A bastard, in the world of today, betters a son borne in wedlock. Therefore, to be virtuous is to be well-endowed.
Allah Ka gyara ma na. Amin.
Alkasim Harisu Alkasim wrote from Kano. He can be reached via email@example.com.