Home Health What She Said — “I Wanted to Get Married at 21 to Escape My Parents” – Zikoko

What She Said — “I Wanted to Get Married at 21 to Escape My Parents” – Zikoko

34 min read
0
0
79

Navigating life as a woman in the world today is interesting. From Nigeria to Timbuktu, it’ll amaze you how similar all our experiences are. Every Wednesday, women the world over will share their experiences on everything from sex to politics right here. 
This week’s subject for #ZikokoWhatSheSaid is a 24-year-old Nigerian woman who shares her unplanned transition to motherhood at 22. She talks about her parents keeping her away from boys, learning intimacy from Youtube and the hot sex that landed her in an unplanned version of the reality she wanted. 
LOL, yes. Getting married at 21 was at the top of my list when I was 10. 
I had to get out. As my parents’ only daughter, I was treated like an egg. My dad never let me hang out with friends after school or play outside like other kids. My mum, on the other hand, was more concerned about keeping me away from boys.  I was tasked to “protect my virtue”.
Their overzealous protection felt like a cage. 
I don’t know for sure. But it wasn’t always like that. When we were financially stable, we were good. My dad worked in the UK, and we spent most holidays taking trips to see him. I didn’t feel trapped. 
Then on one of my father’s visits to Nigeria when I was 9, he couldn’t travel back to the UK — something about missing travel documents, probably an expired visa — and everything went downhill from there. We went fromboat cruises down the River Thames to struggling with school fees and food to eat. Maybe it was the stress of dealing with the transition, but my parents went from 0 to 100 with restrictions at home. If I went anywhere, my dad would yell when I got back. 
Then my mum? Hers was extra. She yelled about the most ridiculous things around the house. The way I dropped a spoon, closed a cupboard — everything irritated her. If she wasn’t yelling, I was receiving bible scriptures on abstinence until marriage. Every morning devotion segued into “Marriage this, marriage that,” “Not until marriage.” I was tired. 
I started to reason the marriage to escape the talk.  21 was the target — I wanted to be the boss of my house.
What didn’t I do? I was living on vibes by then. I’d been in school for three years — three years of finally being away from my parents. I had finally made friends and hung out on my own terms. No more talks about staying away from boys or daily bible quotes from my mother. I was in a serious relationship and very in love. 
A month to my 22nd birthday, I got very pregnant..
LOL. I met my soon-to-be baby daddy — let’s call him Daniel — right after secondary school. While I was waiting to get into uni, an aunt got me a job at the bank as a greeter. My job was to stand at the door and say welcome to the customers. In my first week, people walked in, complimented my skin, teeth… I was 16 years old and just went past puberty changes. My acne had barely cleared.
For the first time, I felt pretty. And then Daniel came along. He said he liked me. He was so relentless; I was so psyched by his interest. Like, is it really me somebody is falling for like this?
Marriage. When I finally gave him my number, he was very direct about it. He’d send texts and calls trying to set a time to hangout. Daniel was looking for something long-term and was ready to wait for me. I didn’t know what to do with that information. He was 24.
At 16 I barely knew anything about boys. Of course, I wasn’t ready for a real relationship. Whenever I tried talking to my mother about boys I liked at school, she shut me down with the bible. Protecting my virtue was more important than lessons on handling boys. As for my dad, if it wasn’t about school, then it wasn’t an important conversation to have. So there wasn’t much to work with on how to deal with boys, talk less of a man way older than I was.  
I said no.
LOL. I’ll get there.
Daniel had given up on trying to date me. On one of my mum’s occasional snooping, she found a text from him on my phone. She called him to stay away from her daughter. He obliged. Even if he didn’t, my mum seized my phone for weeks. When I finally got it back, she spent more time policing me. No calls past 6 p.m., no texts. We had to move on from each other. I got into uni a year later.
In my second year in uni, I dated a guy in my faculty but we didn’t last because sex was off the table for me. 
Why?
I was protecting my virtue. A year after the breakup, Daniel sent a text: “Hey Lamide, I know it’s been a while. How are you?” We went from that to “Let me take you out for dinner, Lamide” in a few weeks. Daniel was the same relentless guy I met at the bank. This time, I was ready for it. We started dating a year later.
With Daniel I considered the thought of being intimate. Why? I honestly don’t know.  All I know is, my mum’s voice didn’t overpower the desire to explore. I was ready to know what sex felt like.
No one. My parents would have wrapped it around sin, and I preferred experiencing things alone, especially on the subject of sex. I’d seen too many scenes where girls talked about their experience with sex, and it came back to bite them. 
If I needed help, I watched videos and learnt along the way. Youtube taught me how to kiss. By the time I got pregnant in school, I didn’t regret keeping the sex part to myself.
At first, not using a condom. LOL.
We dated for a year before having sex and had only been at it for six months. There were a few times we did it without protection, but omo, there was something about that one night. Tensions were high. When I found out I was pregnant, I wasn’t shocked. Things went down that night. LOL.
Finding out I was going to become a mother was… complicated. What did I know about being a mum at 22? I barely spoke to mine. The only thing I learnt from her was the bible. As for my dad, If it wasn’t about school or a job, we weren’t talking. Daniel on the other hand? His parents didn’t care about that. A baby wasn’t going to disrupt his life. Emotionally, I was devastated. 
Daniel proposed after a few months. Still, it didn’t take away the fact that I was unmarried and pregnant. Well, engaged and pregnant — the one thing Nigerian christian parents love. I knew the chances of a dream wedding with our baby on the way were slim. I was unhappy, but I needed to accept that.
After a few days of sulking and crying, I decided to call my mum. She was in the US at the time, so at least the shouting was from a different continent. The “why would you do this to us” talk happened. 
Next was my father. He was in Nigeria, so that was scary. When I told him, he went ballistic. The man brought the drama to the table. 
I can laugh about it now, but all hell broke loose. What did my father not tell me that day? He yelled every kind of insult in Yoruba. 
How did you all cope?
I hated my dad for how difficult he made getting through the pregnancy. He imposed his decisions on me. Chose the hospital I’d give birth in, forced Daniel to save up so I could have the baby abroad — the list of demands was endless. He treated me like a child. 
Asking me to move back home after the baby was where I drew the line. I wasn’t the little girl he could yell at to get inside anymore. When the baby came, I moved in with Daniel, and my father learnt to live with it.
What was the hardest part about getting pregnant?
The hardest part was losing friends. In the first trimester, I tried to hide my pregnancy. It worked. At least until Daniel invited some of my friends out to celebrate our engagement. A friend — let’s name her Sarah — sent pictures of me to some of the girls in our hostel. A mutual friend eventually ratted her out. The message was about my big boobs and how pregnant I looked — it was horrible.  Apparently, when you don’t talk about sex, getting pregnant is hypocrisy. 
Luckily, I didn’t have to deal with the judgment for too long. ASUU strike happened, and I went home. When it was time to resume, I was already in the last trimester and things had calmed down. 
The most awkward moment was bumping into an ex-boyfriend — that one guy I dated before Daniel — at the faculty. I got an “Oh, so you ended up pregnant” stare. By that time I’d seen worse, so I found it funny. My only goal was to graduate, and I did that. 
When I held my son for the first time, the weird pregnancy cravings for salad covered in baked beans and eggs, dealing with my final year project and wobbling around the faculty, the estranged relationship with my parents all felt worth it.
There are moments of sadness when I see people my age partying and having fun while I’m saving up for school fees, but I can’t imagine life without my son. Life happens in phases. It’ll come for them too. 
My dad is now a happy grandpa. As for my mum, becoming a mum has brought us closer. Maybe a part of her understood that there was no going back on the pregnancy. Either way, I needed my mum. Who would have taught me pregnancy hacks like drinking pap for more breastmilk? LOL.   
Choosing to keep the baby was not an easy decision. But it was the best decision for me. Everyone around you eventually gets with the programme. If they don’t, they’re people you don’t need. 
After the baby, we had a small court wedding. As a Yoruba babe, I can’t accept that. I want my huge Owambe bash with amala everywhere. I want to walk in with my son and celebrate the ups and downs of the last four years.  
Bring a friend.
The subject of this week’s What She Said is Olajumoke Adebayo, a 26-year-old midwife. She talks about her passion for midwifery, helping pregnant women access better health care and why midwifery is so critical to childbirth.  What did you want to be growing up? I wanted to become a civil engineer. I had a friend […]Since the dawn of time, women have worn makeup to accent their features. What nobody tells you is how hard making up is. One wrong move and you’ve ruined everything. That said, here are 5 things novice struggle with when wearing makeup. Drawing your freaking eyebrows Women understand that a face without eyebrows is basically […]The average woman working in Nigeria has a story or two to share about being assaulted in her workspace. The most common type of which is sexual assault. Today, we have a woman who speaks out on the physical and verbal assault she had to endure in her former workplace. How did you get the […]Weight gain, lack of available testing, and dismissal of concerns. These are a few things that come with living with PCOS in Nigeria.
They girls that get it know that AOT has the sickest anime opening theme song.
Last week, we found out that Best in Generosity, President Buhari, donated $1 million of taxpayers’ money to a trust fund for Afghanistan. We traced this donation back to a decision made 53 years ago.
We hate to break it to you, but if you can relate to at least 10 things on this quiz, call your partner and break up with them.
It’s one thing to say you support women, it’s another thing to actually support women. It’s that time of the year when marketing teams roll out campaigns with performative graphic design captions for a day and go back to business as usual before evening. 
Read here:
Nigerian musicians: “Folake, pakurumo”, “Folake, for the night o”, and “Folake, give me love.”
Are you people not tired? Leave this babe alone. #Justice4Folake
Arts students, rise! Come and show these science students that they don’t know book.
Last month, we thoughtfully made a quiz telling you guys exactly when you’ll marry, but some of you claimed that your spouse was nowhere to be found. Well, now we’ve created one that’ll tell you exactly who you’ll be dragging down that aisle. Take and start planning that wedding: 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are […]Do you have even a single romantic bone in your body? Well, if you’re not sure about just how sweet and thoughtful you can be to someone you love, that’s what this quiz is here to answer. 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are Ready To Marry  Are you ready to marry? Take these quizzes.
These days, everyone is always talking about how much sex they’re getting, or how little sex they’re getting, or how disgusting sex is etc. There’s just so much talk about sex, it’s almost impossible to know who’s lying and who’s telling the truth. In anticipation of our new series about the sex lives of young […]Most of us can probably sketch a pretty accurate outline of the Nigerian map, but how many of us can honestly claim to know where all the states are located? Well, this quiz is here to test just how well you know your own country. Try and get at least 18 states:
Your taste in music can say a lot about you, and this time, it’s going to reveal what you are like in a relationship. So, pick a few of your favourite Nigerian love songs, and we’ll let you know if you’re typically a distant, passionate or unbothered partner. Here you go:
Do you have a face that could make angels jealous, or should you really be walking around with a nylon bag over your head so you don’t scare children? Well, this quiz is here to answer that by telling you exactly how good-looking you are. Take and find out: 11 Quizzes For People Who Aren’t […]It’s one thing to say you support women, it’s another thing to actually support women. It’s that time of the year when marketing teams roll out campaigns with performative graphic design captions for a day and go back to business as usual before evening. 
Read here:
From Fumilayo Ransome-Kuti to Yaa Asantwewaa, here are a few of the African women that made history. If you don’t know any of them, go and fight your government teacher.
If there’s one thing TikTok creators know how to do best, it’s schooling our asses. Today, we learn how to twerk with a small butt, that 2023 is the year of reincarnation and things we shouldn’t do at MM2. 
Read here:
In this letter #toHER Sere writes to her best friend, Tega. She’s scared to admit it, but they’ve been best friends since 2014. Now, it’s been four months of living together as friends and hopefully, they don’t kill each other.
As you get older, what are some of the things you’d like to change about the relationship with your mother? Here’s what seven African women had to say.
Gorgeous girls please themselves. In this article, Amina Soul, Founder of Aaes Passion, a lingerie & self-pleasure shop talks about seven sex toys that are bound to take you to orgasm heaven. If you’re yet to try a sex toy, this article is for you:
For this year’s Women’s Month, we’re bringing back The Elevator, a short and crisp series that profiles women turning the needle, breaking biases, and showing the world what the top looks like when women are running things, along with a bunch of other things you can read about here:
Today’s subject for #ZikokoWhatSheSaid is a 24-year-old Nigerian woman who shares her unplanned transition to motherhood at 22. She talks about her parents keeping her away from boys, learning intimacy from Youtube and the hot sex that landed her in an unplanned version of the reality she wanted. 
Not only are you growing older, but you’re turning into a Nigerian aunty.
Nigerian mums might shout your ears off, but when you really think about it, they are carrying the world on their back. Here’s a list of the things Nigerian mums do that the entire country needs to thank them for.
Read here:
Here’s a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:
Oya, before you carry last, subscribe to our Zikoko Daily newsletter, enter your email address, and click “Subscribe”.
Subscribe to newsletters from any of our popular flagships.
We hate to break it to you, but if you can relate to at least 10 things on this quiz, call your partner and break up with them.
Arts students, rise! Come and show these science students that they don’t know book.
We made a list of books written by Nigerian authors and changed one word in the titles to throw you off. Can you figure out what the word is?
If you score at least a 12/20 on this quiz, you are a huge part of Nigeria’s many problems and we need to do something about you ASAP.
Get to know more about the clique behind your favourite 🤩 content.

source

Charis Administrator
Sorry! The Author has not filled his profile.
×
Charis Administrator
Sorry! The Author has not filled his profile.
Load More Related Articles
Load More By Charis
Load More In Health

Leave a Reply

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

Check Also

Recruitment: Nigerian Army fixes June 28 to July 11 for screening

Nigerian Army fixes June 28 to July 11 for screening The Nigerian Army has announced the d…