Originally on Bellanaija – http://www.bellanaija.com/2014/04/02/frances-okoro-you-are-something/
Omawumiâs song âBe The Best I Can Beâ rings in my head anytime I think of my mother. Like Omawumi, I was also a recipient of the âwash the plates, sweep the houseâ lessons. Of course, my mother is a Nigerian and like all Naija mothers do to their daughters, I was taught from the moment I could appear to understand the words from my motherâs lips how to work in a home, how to clean the bathroom and toilet, how to be neat, how to take care of babies.
I believe todayâs modern women will forever remain grateful for the invaluable lessons our mothers taught us on how to keep a home and I sincerely believe those teachings were wrapped with good intentions but I canât help but feel that there was a grave mistake somewhere, something fundamentally important to our existence was left out of these lessons.
Some of our mothers did us a great injusticeâ¦
I spoke to a friend recently, one blessed with an amazing talent. When she sings you literally feel like the heavens have come down to earth, Godâs spirit descends so strongly, you literally have goose bumps springing out of your skin. I personally feel that God has endowed her with talent that can place her on the league of worshippers like Juanita Bynum but the only snag isâ¦
She doesnât see this. She ONLY sees her future husband and kids; she already has plans for her future home, husband and kids. She says she is ready; she is neat, she can cook, she can keep a home, she is a wife material, complete with as many yards as necessaryâ¦
And that isnât bad in itself, marriage is a beautiful thing but when I asked her what about you? What about your dreams? What about your purpose in life? What plans do you have to use youâre amazing gift to change your world? She went blank, totally mute. She gave me no tangible answer to my questions, just like many others Iâve asked in the past went blank.
I donât blame her; I blame the world we grew up in. We were taught to be good wives and mothers, we were taught how to keep a home, but no one taught us to be something without a man. A great injustice was inadvertently done to us by our mothers and it needs to be turned right.
I had an argument with a friend when I was in final year in the university who believed that a woman was nothing without a man, she believed even when a woman achieved much, she was still empty if she was not married. I loved her as a friend but hated her ideas. I was appalled by the fact that a lawyer in the making could still hold such views in the 21st century.
Of course my friend and many others who had heard what I thought about that ridiculous stand as regards unmarried women tagged me a feminist but this isnât about being a feminist, this is about the fact that women need to know that we are something even without the husband/kids.
We need to know that God has deposited a lot into us, and apart from commanding us to be fruitful, to multiply and fill the earth, He also wants us to manifest our light in this world, with or without a husband. We need to find the reason why we were created. We need to find our purpose on earth.
Our parents taught us to be good wives and mothers but we were created for more than the kids, for more than the husband, we are meant to fill a niche, to leave the world better than we found it. We are the solution to a problem; we are something even without the husband and kids.
Alice Walker in the colour purple said- âThe Olinka girls do not believe girls should be educated. When I asked a mother why she thought this, she said: A girl is nothing to herself; only to her husband can she become something. âWhat can she become?â I asked. âWhyâ, she said, âthe mother of his children.â
âBut I am not the mother of anybodyâs childrenâ I said,Â âI am somethingâ.â
Women arise. It is time to say like Margaret Thatcher-âOneâs life must matter, Dennis, beyond all the cooking and cleaning and the children. Oneâs life must mean more than that I cannot die washing up a tea cup,â
We all know she didnât die washing up teacups alone; she left a mark on not just her husband and kids but in the world. We can do the same.
Find your purpose. Find your niche and fill it. Manifest your light and glow. Be a complete woman. Use your gifts to touch this world in a way they will never forget. The world awaits your manifestation.
You cannot die washing up the teacups. You are something.
TomiwaApril 28, 2014 at 11:43 am
Gbam! The problem is two sided. People mainly choose one out of the two extremes. The best is to find a middle point ni o. May Baba God help us with the wisdom we need and enabling conditions
imperfectlyperfect92May 1, 2014 at 2:05 am
yes Tomiwa, wisdom to not let one suffer at the expense of another,wisdom of the virtous woman in provers 31
CatherineApril 28, 2014 at 12:24 pm
Nice one Frances!
In this morden time, we as women should not depend on men (maybe husbands) to become something. Yes, having ones own family has a sense of fulfilment, but being a liability to your husband is not justified on the grounds that you are a good wife ‘material’… idleness is a sin!
Women develop yourselves. Become something. Earn your respect.
Thanks Frances for the charge.
imperfectlyperfect92May 1, 2014 at 2:03 am
yes Catherine, even when married, we should be something. not at the expense of the other, but balanced..
thanks for reading and commenting
MayowaApril 28, 2014 at 3:22 pm
I was so annoyed when I read what your friend said. Please, being a woman doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be you and have dreams and pursue them. These days, guys are even looking for independent ladies that can contribute in all spheres and real men support their women’s dreams. Please, that mentality is really flawed.
Btw, frances, you are not following me on twitter o lol. @mateyscott
imperfectlyperfect92May 1, 2014 at 1:45 am
Following now Mayowa..
and I was even more annoyed than you.
Everyone including women should know there’s a reason why God created them that’s even higher than marriage, everyone should find a niche and fill it,,the world awaits it actually…
drnsmusingsApril 28, 2014 at 11:17 pm
imperfectlyperfect92May 1, 2014 at 1:43 am
naso…wish I can port your comment on BN here Dr N..
FemmetotaleApril 30, 2014 at 10:54 am
Wow, I really loved this inspiring post. You definitely read my mind on this one. I get mad when I hear women talking about marriage as though it is their only purpose on earth and when I disagree they say, “You’ve come with this your Femmetotale again!” Lol! I’ve always been a firm believer that a woman should be complete on her own first before sensing the need for a man. Like I told my friend a couple of days ago, marriage is not an end but a means to an end. Getting married doesn’t bring a solution or an end to all your problems. It’s just designed to make life sweeter for us because you have someone to share your life with.
Women should not assume that they will find complete happiness once they have husbands and kids and wash tea cups for the rest of their lives. Life is bigger than that now! Like Frances says,We are made to carve a niche and to leave the world better than we found it.
Good job as always, Frances!
imperfectlyperfect92May 1, 2014 at 1:42 am
and your comment makes the good job greater..
Marriage would never be an end to problems, aything not addressed in singlehood will definitely spill over. if one doesn’t have a life before marriage, it will still show through afterwards…
Cassandra IkegbuneMay 16, 2014 at 12:47 am
“You cannot die washing up the teacups. You are something.” i love that last line
imperfectlyperfect92May 16, 2014 at 8:35 pm
Thanks Cassandra.twas one of the lines that hit me in Thatcher’s quote..
ifeomaogueriMay 16, 2014 at 1:19 pm
You just spoke my mind. Even those of us that are enlightened sometimes fall into the trap of thinking like this. We read our bibles and forget women served God before and in their marriages and still fulfilled purpose…. I mean, look at Deborah naa… she did it all! Why do we keep shortchanging ourselves?
imperfectlyperfect92May 16, 2014 at 8:49 pm
Yes Ifeoma, we need to catch more of the Deborah mantle, the world needs us…
And I see your likes but this is your first comment here. I am glad that you’ve come out of ghosting.lol
Thanks for stopping by.