What She Said: Why I Said No To His Public Proposal

July 22, 2020

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 is Zikoko’s What She Said.


Every Wednesday, women the world over will share their takes on everything from sex to politics right here.

Whenever a public proposal video where the woman says no surfaces on the internet, it’s usually followed by a litany of assumptions about the cruelty of the woman. No one ever seems to ask why the woman turned down the proposal. Was she unsuspecting? Or not ready to marry? Did she not love him? Or did she not just want to get married? 

This week I ask 4 women who said no to public proposals a simple question – why? 

He blindsided me – Funbi 25

We had been dating for exactly 11 months. I was 21, and he was 30. When we started dating, he said he wanted to marry soon. And I made it crystal clear to him I was nowhere near ready and wouldn’t be for a couple of years. I was only 21, for goodness’ sake. Every couple of months he’d bring it up, and I’d tell him I wasn’t looking to get married until I was at least 26. He’d say he loved me enough to wait and that he understood.

The month before he proposed, he had already told his family without saying a word to me. His younger sister who was my friend told me about because she knew my stance on the marriage issue. When I confronted him about it, he said that his younger sister misinformed me. That he had only told his family that I was the woman he intended to marry in the future. The explanation didn’t sit too well with me, but I accepted it. The next month was my birthday. He threw a big surprise party with most of his family and my friends. The only person who had met him in my family was my sister, and she wasn’t there. After they brought out the cake, a saxophone player came out. I thought it was part of the party only for him to get down on one knee. I bent down to whisper the no in his ear. That he should please stand up so we could go talk about it somewhere private. Baba refused to stand up, he said would not take no for an answer. So I walked out. When I got home, I texted him that we were done. I felt no pity for him because I felt like what he did was very manipulative. 

It wasn’t the right time for us – Seyi, 28 

I loved him deeply, and I wanted to say yes, but it wasn’t the right time for us to get married and I had told him before he proposed. We had been dating for about 6 years, most of which was in our university days. As at the time he proposed, he was in-between jobs, and I was working at a dead place collecting eighty thousand naira per month.

The first time we had the marriage conversation, it came up naturally. We talked about how much we loved each other and wanted to devote ourselves to each other. It was very sweet. A couple of weeks after he started asking me what type of ring I wanted. I told him to calm down, that there was no need for a ring or a proposal yet. Because once we did that, our families would start pressuring us to get married. The month after we had that conversation, he got a high-paying job. He had not even collected his first salary when he planned with some of my friends to get me to a private room in a restaurant for a surprise proposal.

When I got there, there were about ten people, 3 or 4 of his friends and 5 of mine. He already had ‘will you marry me’ balloons and roses set out. Before he could even get on one knee or bring out the ring, I took him aside and told him we had talked about this and agreed to wait. He said we did, but he had gotten a great job now, so what was the problem. I asked him, ‘Me nko? You think when I was saying I want us to be set in life, I was only talking about you?’ He got pretty upset and his friends had to take him home to calm him down. I and my friends sat down to eat the food that we were supposed to use to celebrate. I let him cool off for a couple of days before going to see him. I knew the biggest problem was just that his ego was bruised. We are still dating now and we’ll probably marry next year. 

I was pregnant; I said no – Kate, 30 

This happened when I was 25. I was seeing one of those men so foolish that everyone in my life complained about him. We weren’t even dating seriously; we were pretty much just fooling around regularly. That was how I got pregnant. When I told him he pulled a ‘Are you sure I’m the father?’ Followed by a ‘So what do you want to do about it? Abort it? That was when I truly understood the depth of his foolishness.

A week after he came back to beg that he was sorry, and he wanted to be involved in the baby’s life. I told him no problem. By then I had already told my family that I was pregnant. I had also told them that the father of the child wasn’t interested in raising the child. So they didn’t even bother looking for him. When I told my mum he had come back to declare interest in the child, she didn’t even want to hear it. After declaring that he was ready to take part in the child’s life, he ghosted for another three months.

Only for him to come one day with his mother and an uncle to tell me he thinks we should get married. It was very clear that his mother was the one pulling the strings, and I told them to fuck off. It wasn’t a public proposal the way you see it in the movies, but he really came with family members to my family home. I know he was expecting the presence of family to pressure me. Thankfully, my family was firmly on my side. My baby girl is it 5 now and the idiot that wanted to get married has only seen her twice this year. 

He tried to propose after he cheated – Kemi 28

We had been dating for two years when I found out he was cheating in the worst of ways. He had dumped his side chick for another side chick, so the first side chick decided to come to me as a woman. I confronted him, he begged, he cried and promised it would never happen again, for some reason I stayed but the relationship wasn’t the same and he could tell. I became more withdrawn from him and would get paranoid whenever he went out at night. I finally talked about it with him and told him we needed to find a way to work through our issues or just end things already.

Instead of him to work on putting to bed my trust issues, he decided to propose. He did it at his apartment with a couple of mutual friends present. I walked in to find him already on one knee. It was seeing him at that moment with his stupid friends who knew he was cheating standing around him; I knew that I had to get out of the relationship. I mumbled ‘No, I’m sorry’ and entered his bedroom. He came after me looking genuinely confused. He said cheating on me, and my finding out made him realize how much he couldn’t do without me. I told him it made me realize that I could do better than him. And I picked up my bag and walked out of his house. He kept begging and sending his friends to beg, but I still said no. Once people heard that we were done, so-called friends started telling me about how he was cheating with one person or the other from the very beginning of our relationship. He’s engaged now, and I genuinely pity the girl.

Toketemu Ohwovoriole

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

October 5, 2020

When long healthy and beautiful hair is the norm, women choosing to go bald seems like an anomaly. So, we got 7 Nigerian women to talk about the different parts of the bald life; the reasons they made their choice, people’s reactions, hiccups along the way, and funny moments. Funmi, 22 My mother had Cancer. […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

Rich Nigerian Auntie
June 23, 2021

A rich Nigerian auntie doesn’t refer to those aunties from your father’s side that do nothing but comment on your weight and ask you when you’d be getting married. The rich Nigerian auntie is an aesthetic bigger than one person — and here’s how to be sure you are one… 1. You have the dress […]

June 23, 2021

They say, “money is not everything” but have you seen credit alerts? Particularly these 5 Types listed below? 1. Alert from someone who said “send your account number” ages ago This is how wide you’ll smile. May such people not sleep until they’ve credited you oh. 2. Salary alerts Especially when your salary has finished […]

June 23, 2021

Music they say gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything. Music is healing, it is an explosive expression of humanity, something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music and that is why we are particularly excited about this […]

June 23, 2021

The morning after having sex should be the most romantic, regardless of the relationship you have with the woman you just had sex with. You have to be grateful for her act of service. How you greet her the morning after is the easiest way to show your gratitude. Here’s a list of ways to […]

Recommended Quizzes

February 26, 2020

Are you all set for marriage, or are you still figuring it out? Well, if you’re curious to know the answer, then this is the quiz for you. All you have to do is create your own ideal Nollywood wedding film, and we’ll tell you if you’re ready to say “I do”. Go ahead:

December 11, 2019

In the past month, we’ve made quizzes that guessed the last time you had sex, how many people you’ve slept with, and just how good you are in bed. For our latest attempt, we will use your taste in Nigerian music from the 2010s to ascertain what you’re like in bed. Take to find out:

October 30, 2019

2010 was a game-changing one for Nollywood, with our movies making serious cash and getting international acclaim. So, which of these hits released between 2010 and 2019 — from the pace-setting The Wedding Party to the divisive Trip To Jamaica — best suits your personality? Well, that’s what this quiz is here to answer:

November 28, 2019

There are so many talented and stunning Nollywood actors that make it hard not to fall in love with them. So, while we all know the likelihood of us ending up with any of them is super low, it’s still fun to imagine a world where we actually stood a chance, and that’s why this […]

March 24, 2020

While we know that a lot of the best Nigerian artists deservedly have fans across generations, that won’t stop us from attempting to guess how old you are based on your taste in Nigerian music. So, take this quiz to see if we got it right:

More from Her

Rich Nigerian Auntie
June 23, 2021

A rich Nigerian auntie doesn’t refer to those aunties from your father’s side that do nothing but comment on your weight and ask you when you’d be getting married. The rich Nigerian auntie is an aesthetic bigger than one person — and here’s how to be sure you are one… 1. You have the dress […]

Black woman worried and anxious standing
June 22, 2021

Living with an anxiety disorder can be frustrating especially when in the company of those who do not understand it. In this article, ten Nigerian women living with anxiety talk about how it affects their relationships.  Bimbo, 25 I’m always scared that something bad has happened to my partner, so daily calls are a must […]

June 21, 2021

People are always asking what can actually fit into women’s mini bags. Since you wanted to know so bad, here are six things that can fit in those mini bags. 1) Patience All the patience a Nigerian woman has can fit into one of those tiny bags. The bags get smaller if the women are […]

Black woman lying down on a red chair in tears about leaving her ex
June 18, 2021

Sometimes we get overwhelmed and make decisions we later regret. In this article, seven Nigerian women talk about why they regret leaving their ex.  Tomisin, 25 My ex used to send me not less than 50k every month.  He moved abroad and after two months, he told me he has fallen in love with someone […]

Black women living with acne
June 16, 2021

Dealing with acne is never easy. From random people recommending products to you to the self-esteem dip, everyone has their story. In this article, seven Nigerian women talk about living with acne.  Khloe, 22  I was 14 the first time I noticed acne on my face. It was my first year in university. I didn’t […]

June 16, 2021

The subject of this week’s What She Said is a 25-year-old Nigerian woman who has travelled to over fifteen countries alone. She talks about how this love for travelling started, the way she’s stigmatised at airports and in hotels, and her dream to attend aviation school. What was growing up like? Life was good until […]

menstrual cups
June 15, 2021

As inflation happens and prices of products across the country increase, more Nigerian women are moving away from pads to more sustainable sanitary products. In this article, five Nigerian women talk about their experience using menstrual cups.  Elizabeth, 19 Sanitary pads never did it for me. Getting good sanitary pads was a real struggle for […]

June 11, 2021

How we start our day usually has a paramount effect on how the rest of our day goes. When you love a woman or want to move to a woman you like, it is important you send her beautiful messages to put her in the right mood. Here’s a list of helpful ways on how […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

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