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Frances Okoro: Place A Lid On The Pressure



They say they do not want to pressure you but it’s there…
It’s there in their eyes.
It’s there in their words.
It’s there when you ask for money from them because you don’t have a job yet.
It’s there when they ask “when we go come chop rice na?”
It’s there when your mother repeatedly gushes about the wrapper she dreams of tying on your wedding day.
It’s there when you father says “for you, a partner should even come before you get a job”.
It’s there when your grandfather says you should “bring home an Urhobo man oh, make we do the wedding before December”.
It’s there in their masked good intentions.

They say they are not pressuring you but oh they are, they are all pressuring you.

Dear father, mother, grandfather, extended family, friends, and loved ones…
I realize that you really love me and want the best for me. You want me to be able to give birth to all my kids before I step into the dreaded zone of 30 years and above and that’s all well and good.
I realize that society has almost made “when we dey come chop rice” the standard joke/nudge for one to get married.
I realize that you really want my man to bring the gin to you when you are still alive.
I realize that I even want you to experience these things… I want you to experience the joy of giving your daughter’s hand in marriage to someone else.
I want to see the twinkle in your eyes as you shop for my household items in the market.
I want to see the laughter in your eyes as you play with your grand kids.

But please bear with me. Please accept the fact that I have no control over when these things may happen.
I know my cousin Oghenevwede just got married and I am happy for her but that doesn’t mean that the next question should be “when is my own?”.
I sincerely do not have an answer to that question. I wish I did but you see, there is something called times and seasons for everyone and there is also something called faith in God… Faith in the one who created the times and seasons. He alone knows when that man will come, He alone knows when the man who will present the gin to you will arrive.
I am content to wait for God’s best time and man for me. Will you be content with that for me too?
And while we are waiting, could you please place a lid on the subtle pressure?
It really doesn’t help much that you think aloud about the day when you will paint Ughelli town with news of my wedding.

I know you mean well, but those words do not always give me a positive vibe.

Could you please also pray that God will settle me in a great law firm soon? That God will give me a great job so I don’t have to ask you for allowance anymore? I would really love to work in a law firm that will add positively to my career goals for my upcoming Nigerian Youth Service Corps (NYSC) year.

You see, I have plans, I have plans to fulfill the purpose that God has for my life, plans to leave this earth better than I found it. Plans to impact as much lives as I can with God’s word and light in me.
I have plans to be able to buy you and mummy great things and take care of you with my own hard earned money soon. Plans to get you that jeep that you’ve always wanted. The son-in-law you want maybe able to get you these good things, but I do not want to just rely on him, I want to be able to take care of you by myself if I want to.

So I need your prayers, I really need your prayers.
I need not just a partner but I also need a job, and I also want so badly to live a life shining with the colors of impacting people for good. And no, no one ranks higher than the other in the scale of priority.
I know you worry that my eggs may wither and die soon but I think you should also worry that my purpose on earth may also wither if I do not do what I’m placed on earth to do and oh please, I wasn’t placed on earth to just get married, I have a purpose, a niche I must fill, a life that I must impact positively.
So you see, marriage and purpose, man and job… they are all important.
For today’s modern woman-for me, they are all important.
Thank you for understanding.
I love you all.

With hugs and kisses,
Your daughter.

Me… And every other person who wants to append their signature to this letter.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Elena Elisseeva

Hephzibah Frances is a Lawyer and author currently based in Lagos Nigeria. She is an author of more than 15 books including the best-selling book “Prayers for your future husband”. She is a Voice for the Lord. She proclaims God to the Nations through her songs, books, podcasts, talk-shows, movies and the new media. Carrying God’s word to her generation on the wings of the wind. She is the founder of two women ministries, The Women At The Well and The Deborah Generation She is also the founder of Awakening Youthful Seeds For Christ Initiative a Non-Governmental Organisation focused on raising purposeful youths. She runs a business to help authors and aspiring authors BIRTH THEIR BOOK DREAMS at Beautiful Feet Publishing - Email: [email protected] for help with all things publishing and marketing your books. ***** KEEP IN TOUCH: Email her at [email protected] Follow Her On Social Media: On Facebook: HephzibahFrances On twitter @Hephzibahfran/ On instagram @hephzibahfrances Listen to her Podcasts At: Podcasts By Hephzibah Frances Watch her videos on her YouTube Channel at - Hephzibah Frances Read her blog at Download FREE eBooks written by her from here


  1. Idomagirl

    October 30, 2014 at 1:13 am

    Another marriage article. I like this one sha, the pressure dikwa too much….

  2. Just me

    October 30, 2014 at 1:43 am

    As for the pressure from parents, that’s real. It’s so heartbreaking when that’s all they want to talk about, reminding you of all the cousins, unknown relatives who are married with kids.
    Like she said, I have no control over that. I can certainly not marry myself. But while i wait for him to come, I need to be doing something to enrich myself. I need to be prepared to bring something to the table too. But our parents no understand that one, it’s sad.
    Good read, keep it up.

  3. Miss Mo

    October 30, 2014 at 2:14 am

    I am Cosigning too abeg.

    There is so much more to the life of a girl child than marriage abeg,

    Purpose, fulfilling your dreams, career and more.

    Please Nigerian parents/family need to chill on the pressure to marry and have kids things.

    If God has ordained these things for your life, nothing can take them away.

    It is only a matter of time and you will not carry last.

  4. Lacey

    October 30, 2014 at 3:12 am

    Most of the married society babes are either lesbians or doing runs in the matrimonial home. Well said Frances ! It’s not by force to get married, all those stupid urhobho men that our parents wants us to marry,are the worse set of men on earth, they do not bring anything to the table and their local family members will hold on to them when they have small money and want to choose who they want their brother or son to marry,even the average Nigerian Man wants a woman who a drives a nice car and has a good job, they have nothing to bring to the table, in other climes men actually respect you, do things for you,especially when they know you are a decent lady, they are ready to go all the way,older or younger. I feel more appreciated abroad as a woman,men will hold the door for you,carry your heavy suitcases,ask you out properly for a date and make their intentions clear, Nigerian men want to first sleep with you and get you pregnant, that is why HIV is rampant in that country, as the level of immorality is very high and them profess Christianity pass! That society stinks,no to those stupid Agbaya Nigerian Men. I trust Nigerian women ,they walk out of the marriage these days,no time for nonsense.

  5. Isioma

    October 30, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Nice write up. Enjoyed the part of painting ughelli town with the news of your wedding”‘. lol

  6. Dr. N

    October 30, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Dear Single lady, coming from someone who has been there, simply tell them to send you credible candidates. At least suggest someone. Don’t keep asking me when you will come to eat rice when you have 2 sons that you encourage to keep baby mamas and date scores of girls without commitment. These same evil tongued people are training sons who have no intention of getting married. They continue to “chop awoof”. Kai!

  7. Elyn90s

    October 30, 2014 at 8:55 am

    I’m also co-signing, I really wish my mum could read this, even @ 22 she has started bothering my life abt marriage, I’m in-love with education o, I wil b rounding up wit my NCE soon after dat 2 my degree(3yrs) after dat I wil work nd try to establish, hmmmmmm I can consider marriage after all dat bt 4 nw, na story my mumc dey yarn o, bt criously I’ve nt really seen anyting interesting in marriage except 4 d children dat brings joy to dat marriage, my parent re divorced, even d peeps dat leave around me dnt really av a gud marriage,most of dem complain abt boredom, so wats d big deal wit dis marriage thing self?

  8. Abi

    October 30, 2014 at 9:04 am

    My mother, father,siblings and all of my relatives need to read this!

  9. feggy

    October 30, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Well said frances!!

  10. princess

    October 30, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Pressure kwa ? emmmmmmmmmm i tot dis babe was like 19.

  11. elyn90s

    October 30, 2014 at 9:47 am

    I really wish my mum could read this, even @ 22, she has started bothering me about marriage, I’m really in-love with education so I had to start with NCE,I’ll b tru in 2yrs time afta dat I’ll go 4 my degree(3yrs), den my masters,work nd invest,I can consider marriage after all that, I’m nt really finding dis marriage issue appealing, my parent are divorced, even marriages dat isn’t broken yet, dey complain of boredom nd one sick complain to another, so what’s d good thing in marriage? Cos pple wil say we aint fulfilled yet without being married

  12. uche Anichebe

    October 30, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Well written as usual.. Very thought provoking peice you have here dear. keep it up

  13. iyke

    October 30, 2014 at 11:41 am

    It’s hard to believe that in 2014 a ring on the finger is still seen as the ultimate stamp of success for women.

  14. dp

    October 30, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Well said i don’t know why this country is like this, after the marriage the next thing is when is the baby coming, it can be so so crazy and upsetting

    • Idomagirl

      October 30, 2014 at 6:12 pm

      And after the baby is born they start telling you to ‘quickly add another one’…it never ends…

  15. Ena

    October 30, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    @Iyke, unfortunately it’s still seen that way and will be for a long time to come. The irony of all of this is that some married women are secretly wishing they were single cos they’ve discovered that marriage isn’t all that it seems but they’re stuck in it because of what society might say. i’m not even talking abusive relationships now, i’m talking getting married and realising that you’ve lost yourself and you’re living for other people- husband, kid, in-laws! etc. it can be pretty frustrating most times!

  16. D

    October 30, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    Ok someone really needs to write an article on a good marriage or not being pressured to marry, something not negative about marriage abeg!!!( See elyno90s comment on marriage,) There are great marriages, mine included, I was just telling my sister who is younger, how God blessed me with gem for a husband. Someone who is willing to put his life on hold so I can achieve my own dreams ,career wise we have moved 3 times for my job and just got another opportunity for growth at work, that will require us moving again and he has told me to take it although it means him quitting his own job and looking for a new one. My husband does 1/2 the grocery shopping every month because I get migraines from shopping, I cook and he cleans, I hate putting dishes away from the dish washer, he does it for me, I don’t remember when last I cleaned our bathrooms, he cleans them and vacuum’s. I spoil him too not just in my “wifely” duties but my cooking has gone to another level since getting married that my husband has a hard time eating just anywhere but he takes me out to eat at least once a month to give me a break and if he is not too busy with work we go somewhere even if it is just to the movies. I have the better paying job but he insists that paying most of the bills is his responsibility although I still insist on paying bills based on what we bring home. , I surprise him with things that he wants and needs no matter how expensive, if I have to save for it I will because he deserves it. I treat his family just like I do mine and he knows it infact I no dey carry my craze reach their side and he listens to me not any family member. What I say goes and his mother learnt that pretty fast (BTW so did mine). I am not here to toot my horn but I feel we need a positive take on marriage. He prays for me and with me, he is my #1 cheer leader and I sure hope he knows I am his too. Marriage is a beautiful thing when done right!!!

    • Laury

      November 3, 2014 at 10:24 am

      Nne biko where did you find him, make i go check dere maybe i go find one for the same place.

  17. Truthdiva

    November 5, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    I Cosign!

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