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Singlehood Is Not A Stigma

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Rita Dominic (and Fidelis Anosike) got married last on the 19th, April 2022, and what a beautiful bride Rita made. In all of the pictures and videos that I saw, she looked radiant. Her smile was easy and showed  a woman who was absolutely at peace with herself.

Apparently, in Nollywood, she’s well liked and that was why we saw so, so many of her colleagues turn up to celebrate with her and her husband. Across social media, fans shared their happiness and congratulated her. However, as with everything these days when the internet has made us all motivational speakers, there were several people writing posts on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram about the virtues of patience, referencing Rita’s age and saying how God has done it for Rita, and you just be patient and “He will do it for you too.” I couldn’t log on without one of those posts making its way across my TL.

Rita dominic traditional wedding picture
Let me ask oo, biko:  before Mr. Anosike , hadn’t God been doing it for Rita? Per Wikipedia, “Rita Dominic is a multiple award-winning Nollywood actress, producer, model, television personality, investor, a philanthropist and co-founder of the Audrey Silva Company. She [is regarded]  as one of the best actress (sic) in Nollywood, is one of the highest paid actress (sic)  in Nigeria. Rita Dominic is currently a GLO Ambassador and the CEO of Rita Dominic Productions.” So yes, pretty accomplished woman and yet these posts make it seem as if she was sitting at home, staring into space, waiting for a man to marry her and whisk her off into…into where sef?

And if Ms. Dominic marrying is the best thing that could happen to her, what of Mr. Anosike? The fact that he got a successful, beautiful wife isn’t reason enough to write motivational posts about the virtues of patience? And of never giving up? After all, he’s older than his wife, and has, allegedly been married at least once before. Abi all of those people writing about Rita do not think that God has done “it” for her husband too? They do not think that he’s blessed  to have scored someone as outstanding as Rita? And at his age? What is with us that we think that whatever it is a woman achieves, she needs a marriage to crown it all? Do all of Rita Dominic’s achievements pale in comparison to the fact of her marriage?

As if all the ‘motivational writing’ is not bad enough, a friend sent me the link to an article that shows the screenshot of some strange person on Instagram (I think) advising Rita to be submissive to her husband so that her marriage would last. Okay o! No one is advising her husband? Because I’m not getting it. If anything happens to this marriage, is it only Rita’s marriage it happened to? Is she the sole party to this marriage? Or the only one responsible for making sure it endures?

I am married, I have been married for many years, I love being married so I’m not knocking marriage. I love weddings, and I am happy that Rita and Fidelis found each other and decided to commit in such a beautiful, glamorous, public manner. But this idea- which is what is really behind all the posts and the advice Rita is getting-  that no matter what a woman achieves, as long as she isn’t married, it means nothing is both annoying and damaging. It is the reason why our women stay on in toxic marriages. It is the fear of singlehood that is propelling some of our women into marriages that they are better off not entering into. That narrative of marriage above all else has to be countered, and countered consistently.  To be single – as a woman- is not a stigma.

Furthermore- and here I would like to address young, impressionable women reading these “motivational” posts popping up everywhere-  Rita’s achievement isn’t marriage at 46 or whatever age. That isn’t what you should find inspiring. Be inspired by her diligence, her work ethic that has seen her rise in the entertainment industry. Be inspired by her successes. Be inspired by the sort of human she is that has enabled her to make and keep friends willing to travel from across the country to Mbaise (and Owerri) at a time in our country when people are scared by the nation’s security challenges, to celebrate with her. Be that person that when you call, people are willing to answer. And if in being that person, you get married to a man who loves and supports you, at whatever age that may be, then enjoy that bonus too. But do not let anyone brainwash you into believing that marriage is the single, most important goal you should set for yourself, and the only one worth celebrating.  

I wish Rita and Fidelis a happy home. I wish them years and years of laughter. I wish them a love that lasts.

Chika Unigwe

 

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