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Ehi Ade Mabo: Before You Yield To Societal Pressure…



I was catching up with an old friend, and after the regular questions like “So Ehi, how is marriage treating you?” and going over the same ol gist on the weather, work, business etc, she finally posed that dreaded question. The one we all know is on the mind of everyone but one you never want to be on the receiving end of and somehow you hope they wont just bring it up and randomly insert it somewhere in the gist…yes that one!

“So when is the baby coming? Are you not pregnant yet?”
The first thought that occurred to me was ahh! she went there! I know she didn’t just ask me if I was pregnant. After what seemed like a round of dumb bells hit my ear drum, I tried to open my mouth to say something that sounded almost smart or intelligent and nothing came out.

a few seconds of stuttering with uhmm’s and ahh’s later, I had to make a quick decision. Did I want to go with the popular line of “well, we are not ready yet” or “you know, God’s time is the best” “we are taking our time”?  A few politically correct options came to mind within 3 seconds. Perhaps I could just tell her to bugger off and just mind her own business. The last option was the option I settled with, but somehow as I opened my mouth to say those words that would give me infinite peace…forever at least from this one friend, my tongue did not seem to agree. Considering that my tongue is often boss over my head sometimes, I stuttered the words “…yeh, we are not thinking about babies now”

You see, each of us have found ways to adapt to societal pressures. The same way we have a heavy heart and everything isn’t quite well but when asked “how are you”? it never occurs to you to say otherwise. So the first words you spew out, are always: “I’m fine”, “ I’m good” and you even go on to reciprocate the good manners and ask the person back in return “…and you?” even with tears in your eyes, it’s just a polite thing to do.

Now, while I think most folks have curtailed the habit of interfering in one’s privacy regarding the issue of pregnancy or least they find a way to do it decently by not speaking to you directly but will still speak around you indirectly. This can be by asking the difficult questions to others, posing pressure on your parents, in-laws, family members who in turn feel obliged and justified to transfer the pressure on to you. However, what may be taking the cake for the most annoying category of pressure in our day today will have to be the pressure to be married!!!

I speak to so many ladies everyday whose sole worry is wanting to be married but incidentally, not because they are in that much of a hurry to race down the aisle, but more because mom, dad, grand ma, numerous company of aunties, uncles even mom’s friends and their dogs have formed an alliance to marry off the young lady. This coalition of supporters club mean well, and do not often realize the subtle pressure they put on one.

So in the face of unnecessary pressure and societal demands, how can we stay grounded? If our lives will be open for public scrutiny and will be used as a canvass for societal standards, then we must guard ourselves against the emotional and torrential burden that society brings upon us.

If it is true that we cannot stop people from offering unsolicited advice on: A) Your hair texture, whether you wear it too spongy and natural (so therefore you must be broke or uncouth)  or you wear it too straight, (therefore you must be trying too hard to be something you are not)

Perhaps it is also true that you may not be able to stop folks from passing judgment on B) why you are still single in your 30’s (There must be something wrong with you)  or C) why you do not have a child after 5 years of marriage.

You cannot deter them from questioning D) why you chose to spend your life studying fashion or in a beauty shop (you must be either wayward or not smart enough) whilst your mates took on ‘more esteemed’ professions.

You may not change the world by wrestling with everyone who questions E) how you choose to spend your money or F) why you are too thick and you need the gym ASAP or G) why you are too skinny, lean and unattractive and H) For a woman, you are definitely too over educated and wealthy, you need to dumb it down or you might as well forget about B above.

Pick an alphabet or a couple, make some brightly colored Lego bridge with it and cross over to the other side of the fence with me Let’s stay on the side of the fence that is neither moved by societal pressure nor will yield to its unreasonable demands of life as it should be

Something that must be noted about pressures from society is that most people live and dwell in fear. Most of us are really just trying hard to fit in, blend in for fear of being noticed and being in the limelight. It stems back to the fear of our light, fear of being ridiculed and standing out, fear of greatness so we strive so earnestly to mix up, get lost and unnoticed in the swarm of fads, trends and habits.

In order to not appear “weird” or “odd”, we prefer to do the ordinary and regular – rush into marriage, settle for a career we are not cut out for just to appear normal and acceptable. We would even go the extent of bleaching our skins and altering our appearance and when its an issue that’s not easily fixed with a weave or an accent, we suffer an emotional lapse and an inferiority complex leading to self esteem issues which then lead to more implicating self-hate and feeling of never good enough.

The next time you think about yielding to societal pressure, think about this:

  1. We are all society. Societal pressure can only thrive and take negative effect on you for as long as you permit. Remember that in walking your own path, however odd you appear, you unconsciously give others permission to do the same and soon enough we will have a beautiful messy mélange of choices, and ideas.
  2. Build up your value so you are not feeling worthless about not being on track with society’s calendar. Whilst waiting for things to take its due course, do not be swayed by the happenings around you, rather look for somebody to enhance and uplift. Stand your ground when the unsolicited advice start reeling in.
  3. Realize that your beauty lies in your difference-whilst you are trying so hard to be accepted and be a part of the comrade, understand that your unique selling point is your “weirdness”.
  4. Love yourself wholeheartedly-It is not selfish to be in complete love with your strengths and your scars. Beneath the scars and the wounds lie precious stories and experiences that make you unique and make your addition to the world even that much special.
  5. Your imperfections are a perfect fit to the puzzle. What a boring world it will be if we all looked and behaved the same. Embrace your differences and dust off the pressure.

Lastly, if you do not remember anything else, remember that the societal pressures you feel is really  a reflection of people’s fears; and what a mess you would be in if you allowed everyone project their own fears on you.

Go ahead,break out of the mold.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Karen Struthers

For the last few years she has inspired and empowered men and women all ages and walks of life to rise above their challenges and be the best they can be. Whether you struggle with finding your sweet spot in your purpose, relationships, finances, brand and self esteem, or you just know life should be more exciting that it is now, you are not alone. Ehi Ade Mabo has continued to encourage and coach people of all ages to finding the zeal, power and Passion to rise above their current struggles, and live the life of their dreams. Ehi Ade Mabo Is a life Coach, blogger, writer, speaker and upcoming author. She is married to business consultant Ade Mabo. She is working on her debut book Rise Above the Challenge.


  1. slice

    October 14, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    I like all these questions. I don’t expect pple not to wonder why I’m not married if I’ve reached the so called age.. not asking seems a little strange but don’t ask all the time and accept the answer u’re giving. O at least offer a solution.

    • Open Sesame

      October 14, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      @ slice There is no so called age for marriage. That’s exactly what this write up is talking about – allowing yourself to be boxed into other people’s ideas of what the timetable of your life should be.

    • Uche, face your work!

      October 14, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      @Open Sesame, what do you mean there is no so called age for marriage?
      Slice is being sincere and you here talking thrash trying to cover up.

      Haven’t you read in the bible sef that there is time for everything in life? Time to be born and time to die, time to plant and time to sow? Havent you read of working during during the day time cos the night cometh when no one will be able to work?

      What you just said now is just like saying there is no time for sowing. Don’t sow early in the morning then so you can reap in the afternoon/evening. You can go ahead and sow in the afternoon/evening so that someone else can come and reap what you have sown when you are asleep/gone.

      And please, all those on the team of blaming other ladies who wanna marry, WHY CANT YOU JUST LEAVE THEM ALONE? If to marry na their own sole purpose in life, leave them abeg and let them do. That may be their own calling. Why don’t you face you work (uche onise etisalat call centre) and let them be. Uche onise, face your work!

      Dunno y we like to shove our own ideologies and values down other people’s throat. Leave them abeg!


    • slice

      October 15, 2014 at 4:20 am

      let’s be real now there is a time at which that question becomes quite appropriate. I bet no one asked when you were 16 but if someone in good conscience thinks you are supposedly in the right season, they may ask about it. i think that’s perfectly ok. if you don’t have a child after 5 years of marriage, i think it’s perfectly ok for those close to you to ask about it. so many people have received life changing advice that way. Me, i don’t mind. ask away. you’re thinking it, you might as well ask. just don’t be rude about it

  2. slice

    October 14, 2014 at 2:01 pm


  3. Berry Dakara

    October 14, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    I wrote about being asked this question too…

  4. Mercy

    October 14, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Oh Ehi…..God bless u for this writeup,to make it better,u r ma namesake(my idoma name).Thanks!!!


    October 14, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    i totally agree…..buh seriously i cant wait to see what my daughter would look like ohhh and am not even engaged …..must i marry b4 i have a baby if i can take care of her my self?

  6. Titi_Healthnut

    October 14, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    And when you have the first child, they will ask you when is the second child coming? People will always ask questions – most times, just for conversation sakes. Answer if you want to and keep it moving.

  7. Uche, face your work!

    October 14, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    (side comment in response to open sesame)

    @Open sesame, what do you mean by “there is no age for marriage”
    Slice is being real here you talking thrash.

    There is time for everything, take it or leave it. Even the bible says there is time for everything under the sun- time to be born and time to die, time to sow and time to reap/harvest… Ever come across work during the day when there is light cos the night cometh when no one will be able to work?

    What you just said is likened to saying there is no time for sowing. If you like, dont plant/sow your seeds early in the morning so you can harvest/reap in the afternoon. Go sow it during the afternoon/evening so that someone else can come reap/harvest it when you asleep/gone.

    If it hasnt come, fine God will do it, but to say there is no specified time for anything in life- marriage inclusive -is ridiculous

    As for those on Team blaming girls who wanna marry, saying that is their only purpose in life, WHY KENT YOU JUS LEAVE THEM ALONE? I DON GERRIT!
    Uche onise (eitsalat call centre) face your work! That may be their own calling, why cant you just face your work? why shoving your own values down other people’s throat? Dont try to persuade them against their wish, if they wanna marry, they will, dont nail them.

    As no one is blaming you for not wanting to marry, so also you should spare those who want to!

    leave them abeg!
    Uche, face your work

    • Open Sesame

      October 14, 2014 at 6:01 pm

      @ Uche, face your work:
      Lol…your comment is so unintelligent it makes me laugh.
      I wanna get married so this isn’t about bashing those who have a desire to be married. And quoting the bible like that out of context just shows how ‘clever’ you are. So tell me, what’s the so called age for marriage? And who came up with this age.

      Marriage isn’t so much about age as it is about maturity (spiritual, emotional, financial and in many other areas). Some get there at 20, some at 30 (etc) and some never do.

      So if you want to remain the society’s mold, knock yourself out my dear. x

    • Uche, face your work!

      October 15, 2014 at 8:58 am

      Open sesame, time will tell!

      If my comment is unintelligent, then yours must be from a weakling/kid who has not understood life. What do you understand by the following?
      “According to the time of life”
      “There is a time for everything”
      “My time has not yet come”
      “The hour has come that the son of man must be betrayed”
      “work during the day when there is light cos the night cometh when no one will be able to work”

      There are two different things here, which i explained above. If the lady is well matured and doesn’t have a partner, it is not her fault (so to say) and God will do it, but to say that there is no time, makes you the dumbest person have ever met in my entire life. When you say there is an age, we mean age group (if you can’t comprehend that) What a waste of money and resources you are!

      Why is it in physical life that they say there is an age you must attain before you can vote and be voted for? why is it that there is an age you must attain before entering university, contesting for a particular post…..

      If people care about you from when you were a kid, when you were entering primary, secondary school and university, when you dint have a job; when you were sick….now that they realize you are in the age grade of getting married they shouldnt care about you, they are now rude and jobless? -very dumb approach to life i must say!

      Uche onise, face your work!

    • MC

      October 15, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      The problem is that those people ask these questions as if you are going to marry yourself!!

      Not to forget, that its none of their business anyway. What on earth are they going to gain from your answer?
      Or are they going to go home and cry at night because you are not married, when you are at home perfectly happy with your life.
      They will know when I’m getting married when they get a damn invite in the post (and thats if I even want them there).
      Everybody has their life to live. Concentrate on yours and let me concentrate on mine…simple!

  8. Tia

    October 14, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    My cousin asked me Tia, what are u waiting for? Why are u not married? Don’t u want to get married??? The question came at a very wrong time cus I was having a terrible mood swing. I just asked her, Why aren’t u dead? She was shocked and said that’s cruel and I told her that’s how I feel anytime she ask me about marriage. Priority differ in life. The last time I checked being married is not a gate pass to heaven.

  9. Daisy

    October 14, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    This article speaks the truth. I wish we would all try not to live an ordinary life of doing what’s expected of us, at certain ages, in particular ways. It’s good to be married and have children for instance, but it doesn’t make you exceptional! So by all means be skinny, be fair-skinned if you choose but ask yourself “are these the only reasons I’m here?”

  10. Ehi Ade Mabo

    October 14, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    @Mercy, thanks ..cheers to all the Ehi’s out there 🙂
    @Largerthanlife, that depends on your value system, moral compass or/and priorities
    @Titi, the questions never end and its not always easy to ‘ keep it moving’ especially on very sensitive issues but what will help is when we stay grounded and understand that most times people dont mean harm but certainly DO NOT let them project their own fears on you.

  11. Truth Teller

    October 14, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    I was reading an old article written by a relationship consultant and saw where she mentioned that if a woman is not married by 30 it’s her fault and it’s because she has a spiritual or attitudinal problem, wow! Wow! Unbelievable!!! @ Uche face your work, what is the set time for marriage?I’m sure most women that want to get married don’t intend to get to 30 before that, but that happens, it’s called life and no woman should be made to feel like she’s the cause of global warming for not getting married before 30. It’s no wonder why so many people are in the wrong marriages due to societal pressure. There’s indeed a time for everything but some people don’t meet their life partners early enough in life, just as some others do so very early.

    • papermoon

      October 15, 2014 at 10:01 am

      thank you my dear……………………

  12. Tru

    October 14, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Personally I am of the firm belief that questions like “Why aren’t you married” and “Why aren’t you yet pregnant” points to the heartlessness and joblessness and nosiness that is so characteristic of Nigerians. Will a Yes/No answer in any way add to or reduce our life-span? I just hope this silliness dies out in future.

  13. amara

    October 14, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Amara, when are we coming for y

  14. amara

    October 14, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    We are just rude people. I can imagine how annoying such a question would sound especially to someone who is already worried about not being pregnant yet.
    Amara when are we coming for your own?
    Me: I’m focusing on my career now (and in my mind – don’t ask me stupid questions, I don’t even have a boyfriend)..

  15. mochi

    October 14, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    My son is 2 and a half and just today, i was asked about 4 times ‘so what are you waiting for, when are you dropping the next’ and im always too amazed at the sheer disrespect for personal space that icant even vex!

  16. Bee

    October 14, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    You captured all the questions and their mindset so well. I never get why most people wont just respect themselves and mind their own business. But as you said, most of us want to fit in and when we dont stand strong we end up yielding to and even asking this stupid questions..It will do a lot of good if we could sit down and think of why we really act like this.

  17. papermoon

    October 15, 2014 at 9:59 am

    There is a time for everrything, but they do not happen to all at the same time. some one’s time for marriage is another’s time for emotional development.. someones time for child birth is another’s time for growing in faith etc…. things must happen, but they happen at different times for different people. expecting Atoke to have her baby by now because she got married three years ago even before shola got married will only causes inconvinience and embarrassment. Sometimes we ask in good faith but it often does not help. if a couple cant have children, your asking will not produce one. if they are determined to have children, they will go to ends of the world to try even if you dont ask. .

  18. Open sesame

    October 15, 2014 at 10:31 am

    @ Uche face your work.

    Every time you write you reveal your level of intelligence.

    Of course there are seasons for everything and everyone’s season is different. But as I said before there is no age of marriage.

    The fact that I’m 26. finished with Uni and working does not mean I’m at the age of marriage…because that is exactly what people mean when they say age of marriage.

    So please save your insults for yourself as they apply to you and only you. If/when you have kids, bring them up to think at a certain age they must be married and watch as they feel like failures when that age comes and they’re still single.

    Myopic mentalities like yours is part of what pushes girls (guys) to marry men (women) they should never be with in the first place – desperation, pressure and this so called age of marriage.

    • Uche, face your work!

      October 15, 2014 at 10:57 am

      You are strictly OYO!
      Have a nice day!

    • Open Sesame

      October 15, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      hehehe…you know it’s all love right? Let’s kiss and make up, shall we? 🙂

    • Uche, face your work!

      October 16, 2014 at 11:58 am

      Open Sesame, lets leave it till weekend
      Friday is here already, we ll make up in a grand style
      All night long!
      But remember to brush o, i don’t do early morning kiss o

  19. Nne

    October 15, 2014 at 11:59 am

    I wish ladies will realize that everybody’s destiny differ. I have refused to let anybody put me under unnecessary pressure. Am taking my time and I believe when is my time it will happen. Peace..

  20. valprewwy

    October 15, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    it’s all about your value system…was inspired,kudos dear.


    October 15, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    “….Realize that your beauty lies in your difference….” Nicely said! If most of us knew this, we won’t subject ourselves to the herd mentality syndrome plaguing our society today!

  22. Anonymous

    October 24, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Yesssssss ma!!!!!! I see Ex Presco chick representing the school from afar! Don’t try PNHS students:) bravo Ehi.. So true it’s annoying when folks don’t mind their business @ weddings, ” U are next oo” I need to buy Ashebi #eyesrolling# .. As Med school kicked my butt!! So pls can I breath & have fun with my boo for a min???( this is where I get smart with U). Or like they always ask my elder sister ” Oya ooo it’s time for diaper change (babies)”.. She’s the one married and not U. She’s thinking about it; you don’t have to tell her!!!! (She dropped one) and they are asking when is next coming smh.. Moments like this. I wish I could slap the piece of shit out of someone & not go to jail. If folks can do it all before 30, they will.. Trust me & nobody want to be in their late 30’s without being married.. So don’t remind them by asking stupid questions. Give them a break for a minute without them thinking about it.

  23. bunmite

    October 25, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    @ open sesame
    @ uche, face your work.
    To me u both have a point with your different views in dis issue. B4 we get marry we must all think about d emotional, spiritual & financial aspect of it. We shouldn’t just jump into marriage bcos someone propose to us or cos our frds are getting married. Which is one of d reason divorce rate is getting higher.
    But @ d same time we shd also consider d time especially if we want to have kids cos of menopause.
    But there is nothing we can do if we haven’t find d right partner. Although d bible says to everything there is a season & time to every purpose under d heaven. So,we have to commit everything into d hands of d Lord using His word.
    As for d busy bodies, although they all meant well we just have to ignore dem.

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