What It Means To Be A Single Woman In Nigeria


January 7, 2019
As a Nigerian, two of the greatest crimes you can commit is to be poor or to be a single woman. We like to make jokes about it, but the wahala that comes with being a single woman in Nigeria is frustrating. Here is what it means.

If you get hoodwinked, bamboozled and outright deceived by a married man, it’s your fault. After all, what were you doing when your mates were marrying?

It doesn’t matter that he took off his ring and changed his wife’s name on his phone to ‘Small Chops’, your singleness is the real crime here.

You will be denied entry into some bars and hotels just because you don’t have a big strong man by your side.

Apparently, you can’t just wake up and decide to go have a drink by yourself or with your other single friends. Na single you single o. No be say you kill person.

People will check your hands for a wedding band before deciding on how they want to treat you.

Because how on earth can you be a responsible and respectable woman if you aren’t married at a certain age?

If you have a nice car and apartment, you MUST be an asewo doing runs.

Forget the fact that your father sent you to school, you worked hard got a degree and have a nice job. It’s only man that can buy nice car for you.

You won’t be allowed to rent houses in most parts of Nigeria because the landlord thinks all single women are ashewos.

After all, a responsible woman should only go from her parents’ house to her husband’s house.

If you have consensual sex with another adult man, you are the olosho with no morals, not him.

And if you carry belle in the process, God help you.

Everyone in your life is going to carry finding a ‘cure’ to your singleness on their heads.

Before you know it, one of your coworkers is inviting you for singles’ retreat in her church.

If you are not just single but unmarried in your 30s, everyone assumes there’s something fundamentally wrong with you.

People will start suggesting everything from you going to Shiloh to becoming someone’s second wife.

No other life achievement is as important as going from Miss to Mrs.

You are the youngest director in your company? Congrats but where is your husband.

Eventually, you’ll be very tempted to buy a fake wedding ring just so people don’t stress you when you go out.

You put on a wedding ring and you go from being called  ‘eyss’ to ‘madam’.

If you are very successful people will ask you to hide it until you find husband.

How do you expect to find husband when you have two cars? You better sell one. Or better still sell both and start entering bus.

You can’t even want to further your education in peace because apparently that’ll scare men away.

PhD ke? When you are still single?! Marriage is the most important thing you can ever aspire to.

People will tell a whole spice like you to ‘just manage’ any nonsense man that shows interest in you.

Whether he’s abusive or already has ten wives doesn’t matter. Don’t you know that you are almost 30? Quit being picky and manage anyone you see.

If you happen to have a younger sister or cousin who gets married before you, people will treat her wedding day like your funeral.

You can’t even zanku or eat small chops in peace without someone coming to tell you ‘take heart God will do your own soon’.

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Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.