Dear Igbo Girls

By Ikenga Chronicles May 11, 2020

Dear Igbo Girls

— By Nkechi Bianze

It is NOT the responsibility of your husband to take care of your parents and siblings/train your siblings in school. Your parents had you and your siblings and it is their responsibility to raise and train you and your siblings.

Stop burdening men/husbands/boyfriends with your family poverty.

I don’t understand this tradition that a man who marries a woman becomes responsible for the upkeep of the woman’s family. Like seriously, why do many Igbo men accept such burden just to marry a woman?

Getting Married In Nigeria – Part 1

I have a friend here in Canada who has a good job and he earns very well. But he doesn’t have a mortgage yet and he drives an old 2009 model. He lives like someone who earns less than 25% of what he actually earns. I was wondering why. We got discussing and he told me that his salary flies out faster than he gets them in his account.

His responsibilities?

  1. He is training his wife’s younger brother in medical school in Ukraine.
  2. He is also training the wife’s sister in Nursing school in Nigeria.
  3. He sends salary to his mother in-law monthly.
  4. He assists his father in-law financially with renovating his house.
  5. They’ve got two children and you know children cost money.
  6. He assists his own family in his own way. But none of his own family members are dependent on him. He just sends them gifts.

I don’t understand why many Igbo men wholeheartedly accept such huge burden from inlaws. Why?

Let me tell you something. I will NOT support my brother to go into a very poor family where he would be responsible for their family upkeep. I don’t want them to use load to kill him.

My Codeine Story!

I now understand why some rich insist on marrying the rich. Many people don’t want unnecessary burden that they didn’t bargain for.

My sisters are married and I don’t drain their husbands. I’ve NEVER been dependent on my brothers in-law. My parents trained the children they had and they didn’t leave any burden for anyone or in-law.

In some Igbo families, their daughters/sisters are forced into loveless marriages with rich men just so that they can leech on the man and burden him with responsibilities by the virtue of his marriage to their daughter/sister.

Maybe because of my background (which some people might see as privileged) but I don’t understand these things.

Call me whatever you like but you see the way I am, huh? I’m currently the poorest in my family. My sisters and younger brother earn and make more money than I do and are fully independent. My mum earns her own money. Any man who would marry me does NOT have to bother about how he will spend on in-laws. No one in my family needs any inlaw to rescue them from poverty or train them in school. My parents already carried out their responsibilities.

The Sin-Bearing Servant Of God

Also, I want to go to a similar family like mine. I don’t think I’d like to marry an Igbo man from a poor family who is a first born child with many younger siblings who are yet to be financially independent.
It simply means that we will spend the first 10-20 years of our marriage training his siblings. I CANNOT. I won’t pretend I can. I cannot. That alone can make me reject a proposal.

Funny enough, the boyfriend spelled it out to me that he’s happy that I come from my type of family because he doesn’t want burden. He is also the last child and no one depends on him.

I don’t know why I’m ranting about this but I guess I don’t understand how people cope. I’m too selfish to make money and dish out over 50% of my salary training people that I neither gave birth to nor adopted. I’m still trying to get my head around how I’d use my money to buy pampers for my own baby instead of nice handbags for myself. Let alone using it to train in-laws.

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As a society, we need to learn to reduce the rate at which we heap people with burdens.

Parents should have only as many children as they can raise. They shouldn’t have children hoping that their elder children or their inlaws would help them raise their children.