In Nigeria, Your Manliness May Be Questioned If You Do the Shopping

The Nigerian social media space can be a very confusing place to live in if you are not certain of your principles and standards.  One minute we are all feminists, fighting for equal everything, the next, we are calling a husband of 20+ years a dunce for buying foodstuffs for his family.

A few weeks ago, the Ekeinde’s celebrated their wedding anniversary and many applauded a marriage that has stood against the tides in these times when most celebrities have been divorced at least once. Monalisa, Kate, Stephanie and Funke are a few that come to mind.

Perhaps Omotola revealed too much when she stated that her husband had been doing the shopping in the house for many years, but I am guessing she had no inkling that our supposedly forward-thinking, tech-savvy generation would react with such a hue and cry. A leopard truly cannot change its stripes. If you like, add a university degree and queens’ English to its vocabulary. The stripes remain glaring. Our society is still very much hung up on traditional roles where men do certain things and women do certain things and these lines do not cross, or else…

Or else what? 

Every couple operates with different dynamics and value systems. The Ekeinde’s have clearly found a system that works excellently well for them and Omotola shared some of it with us. Omotola is a huge deal in Nigeria. If her husband doesn’t want her mobbed every time they need to make a pot of soup, how does that make him any less a man or a husband?

What if he has a better eye for these things? Or he simply enjoys it? These do not diminish his manhood n anyway whatsoever.

My mother-in-law told me that before her husband died she did not know the price of tomatoes and yams because he always purchased them. This was a well traveled NNPC ‘Oga’ who was revered by his wife and children.  His wife, my MIL was a Civil Servant so it had nothing to do with positions. It was simply an act of love and assistance, and it worked for them.

If anything, it is shocking that young men and women on social media would react this negatively to this piece of information. Marriage is about compromise…if you come and be forming I am a man and I cannot bend, you will break!!! Same goes for the women. 

The man’s headship of his home is not simply defined by what he does, it is innate. If a man has to say, ‘I am the head’, he is no head!

Mothers’ of my generation, teach your children well. Boys and girls, none is superior. Teach them that he who must lead must first of all serve. If your manhood was not diminished when you went to the market for your mother or yourself, why would it diminish because you are going to the market for your own family –your seed and the bone of your bone- whom you should love as much as or even more than yourself?

Jennifer Nkem-Eneanya tweets as @JennyNkem

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