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Too Old for Marriage

I went back to Zimbabwe in July 2014 and I really enjoyed seeing my family and it just felt great being around everyone again after 6 years. I did sense a difference from when I was 16 and now as a 23 year old woman. Every single person I spoke to would not shut up about MARRIAGE.

It was like "Great you graduated, so when are you getting married?" Marriage was more of an accomplishment than graduating or starting a career. I remember my Auntie saying "Don't be like your cousin and be single in your 30s" as if that is something to be ashamed about.

As a modern African, someone who grew up in Western culture, there is no real rush to get married there is more of a focus on being independent and setting yourself up rather than getting married as soon as one graduates. The pressure for African women and men but more so women to get married is huge and the expectations for us are even bigger.

"Women are expected to do everything their ancestors did (cook and clean and raise children) as well as everything Hollywood women do (look like Beyonce and be hyper-sexualized like Karrine Steffans). The economic balance has also changed meaning that women often times earn more than men."

Elizabeth Maternity Photo by cheriejoyful
July 8 2012
CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Getting married young is socially accepted in African culture so much so that they put so much unwanted pressure on youth to prepare to be wives. We need to learn how to cook, how to clean because if you don't then you are not desirable to the African man. We also have pressure from the Western culture to look and act a certain way, go to the gym, have a great body, be intelligent, be successful, if you don't then you are not desirable to men.

The lives we lead should be our own, it seems as though some African women are stuck making everyone else happy and forgetting to make ourselves happy. The pressure to make our parents, relatives, culture happy should not override our own desires and wants in our lives. This unnecessary pressure is something we need to stand up against as Modern African women.


Do you have any stories of being pressured into marriage? or any comments or questions please feel free to share :)

This is a powerful blog post, check it out

Female Husbands without Male Wives: Women, culture and marriage in Africa



This post first appeared on The Modern African Woman, please read the originial post: here

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Too Old for Marriage

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