All families gather during the festive season and it happens so often that there are family members that you just want to avoid, not that you don’t love them but the questions they ask you and some of the  things they impose on you are just too much to deal with. There has been so many things that relatives will ask me which I find annoying to answer to but by some miracle I am able to respond without an explosion taking place. The most recent of these questions has been about getting ‘Umkhwenyana’, I try so hard to avoid the question but it pops up every time and each time I have to brush it off politely without angrily telling the elders to actually learn to mind their own business. When I entered adolescents I was largely depended on my father, infact  ever since I was 12 years I had to ask my father if I needed anything because no one else was around to attend to me, he instilled some great values in me and most importantly to not rush to do things that were older than me. I remember when I turned 21 and  had a traditional 21st birthday party (Umemulo) the elderly women in my family keep on saying I was now ready and ripe to get a husband but he was very quick to remind everyone that I was still a child and needed to grow further into womanhood, any of that ‘umkwenyana’ nonsense and he would beat the living life out of me. I now see that had my father not spoken some sense into everyone on that day I would have gone on a quest to find a husband thinking that was the next step in my life, that would have been such a foolish thing to do and looking at how my life has developed now I would probably be living in regret.

Ladies I see it happen so many times young girls diving in head first into heavy commitment and then hitting a brick wall along the way, next thing they are headed for a divorce and you feel like you have failed at keep the marriage together. The sight of a 28 year old woman divorced with children is sad because I feel like that’s the age that a woman should start to settle down and own the roles of being a wife and mother, I also pick up that woman want to start discovering themselves and enjoying life, loving themselves and focusing on things that are good for them only after their divorce like their husband was holding them hostage. Why does someone need to drag you all the way down to hell before you can realise all the things that are good for you? Ladies why can’t you take time to do all the things we have ever wanted to do before pinning ourselves into marriage at a young age?.

I listen to the elderly women in my family trying to talk me into now looking at the possibilities of finding a husband and all I do is brush it off because I think that it is bad advice to tell a woman to find a marriage partner only because she has reached a certain age not because she feels like she is ready to take on the responsibilities that come with being a married woman. I understand that some young women don’t see pass this and they think that they ready for something just because an older person is telling them that they are, we also fall into the trap of thinking they know better and follow their unsound advice which only makes us unhappy in the future. Ladies you need to learn to listen to your heart and gut feeling more than anything, you have the write to break the rules, questions the things that you are made to believe about marriage and resist things that are being imposed on you. What infuriates me even more is that the elders will tell how important it is to get married and forget to mention just how difficult marriage is, I have never been married but from what I see it does not seem like a walk in the park. When things start getting heated in the marriage no one tells you how to fix it, instead they tell you to endure it because that is what a wife is  supposed to do, elders prepare you for the seemingly rosy part of being married and don’t fill you in on what to do when it becomes a living hell. At the end of the day people your age (including your husband) are out enjoying their lives and milking opportunities to further their dreams and careers while you sit at home playing the good wife, I have nothing against being married at a young age but what is it worth if you lose yourself in the midst of it all?  Ladies I don’t think getting married at a young age is a great idea especially in this day and age where cheating is only a whatsapp message away, a husband doesn’t even need to get up from the couch to cheat on his wife. It was easy for women back in the day to catch their husbands if they were cheating because there weren’t as many ways to cheat but now a husband only needs to go online and he is having a full blown conversation with his mistress whom he has saved under “Plumber” on his contacts list. Social networking sites are cheating made easy and this not to put you off marriage ladies but we outer think carefully before we commit ourselves to situations we won’t have enough strength to keep up with. It is upsetting to come across a young divorcee who walked out of marriage with a child and HIV virus because they got into something they were too young for with a guy that wasn’t really ready to fully commit to her, I am not saying that these are not possible to get in a relationship but it hurts even more to know that you tried to do the right thing which is getting married but still ended up with nothing but sadness.

I also notice that family tends to match make, I get introduced to a lot of guys who are apparently eligible bachelors with great jobs and great educational back grounds and it is expected that I fall inlove because he is the perfect uMkhwenyana. The elderly women in my family are always coming through with guys that are perfect “marriage material” and when I turn them down I get called ungrateful, they even threatened me with that ‘you might be turning down your soulmate’ line thinking I will succumb to the idea of marrying someone I barely know or just genuinely don’t like. I hear it so often that I am getting old and I should grab the opportunity of getting married whilst I am still young and hot because if I wait till I am older men won’t want me anymore, ladies know and understand the world is very big and for as long as you are taking care of your health, your skin and your happiness you will stay attractive until you are 50years old and you will still be attracting the men you want (even younger ones), there is no such thing as ‘get married while you are young before your beauty fades” wait till you feel like you are ready to be married and be damn sure you want to live the life of a married woman.

Ladies there is just too much distraction in the world to be getting yourself tangled in marital affairs at a young age, focus on building yourself to be a strong woman who knows how to hold it down during tough times before you dive into grown up situations, most importantly (And I know that you don’t want to hear this) take care of your spiritual life, we all forget to pray or are just plain lazy to do it but whenever you remember get on top of it and fix your affairs with the man above. Ofcourse some of you ladies have no desire to get married and that is completely acceptable, it’s your choice but for those of you that do want to get married  get closer to God before you get into a life long commitment, if you don’t believe in God get closer to which ever higher power makes sense to you and ask for guidance in all the decisions you make.