The night before
Old man sleep refused to visit me last night.Although I felt a lethargy like no other i couldn’t get myself to sleep as the day has finally come. That which my whole family and neighbors had been anticipating for years. Ladies from church had all bruised their knees in prayer on my behalf. Pleading with an unknown greater force to grant me the most coveted price of all. A husband.
The dreaded question!
By the way my name is Ntombi,doctor Maya to most I am a medical doctor. I have a house to my name, a car and a bank balance that is flourishing most of the time. The day I graduated was one of celebration.My whole neighbourhood went crazy. Father even slaughtered a cow for me and planned a party. After the whole speech giving part my aunt Clotilda followed me to room and asked the foreboding question first. “Congratulations Ntombi my dear you have made us all very proud.So when are you getting married?”
To say the question surprised me would be a lie. All I could think of was why she couldn’t be satisfied with the achievement I had made so far. After that night i got that question from all kinds of people. Even my own mother started dropping hints about how she now wanted grandchildren.
In time my boyfriend Sipho proposed. I was thrilled to be honest. My mother’s excitement however seemed to be even more than mine. I could tell from the radiance on her face that my marriage announcement pleased her immensely. It was as though a secret shame had been removed from her. The unspoken of shame of having an “old” unmarried daughter. I was astounded by the haste with which my family wanted the marriage proceedings to go.
And so here I am today sitting at the edge of my bed waiting anxiously for Sipho’s family to come with the bride price. I cannot lie and say I’m not happy because i do love Sipho after all. However I cannot get over the thought that everyone thought i was half a person before Sipho decided to marry me. It is as though Sipho is the validation I needed to finally get acceptance into society. My father looks at me these days with a new kind of respect in his eyes. As though I have finally done the one thing that could please him more than anything. Am I to believe that my commodification is what makes me whole?
Personally I find the whole notion ridiculous.Academically I exceeded my parents’ expectations.Professionally I have one of the best jobs in the country.Prestigious men and women have even sought my advice on several topics concerning health.Recently I joined a charity club offering help to orphans and vulnerable children.Not to toot my own horn but I believe I am making a difference in the community.As I am.As Ntombi and not Mrs so and so.
It is part of my culture that once a woman reaches a certain age one must get married.But times are changing now.With more ladies involved in running businesses and even furthering studies.Some even opt to not get married.Ladies out there should own their success!Be proud of what you have achieved so. Life is not a rehearsal where you get a second chance try. So my advice for those who are still not married is to live a full life.Don’t waste your youth waiting for someone to come and swoop you off your feet.Or give in to society and get hitched to the wrong person.Live now! Chase your dreams.And remember,you are enough.Never let anyone bully you into thinking you are nothing without a man.