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Cisi Eze: Marriage Is an Achievement

Cisi Eze

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An achievement is “a thing done successfully with effort, skill, or courage”.

It can also be defined as “a great heroic deed or feat; something accomplished by valour and boldness”.

From this definition, should we classify marriage as an achievement? We may ask, “What skill, effort, or courage is needed?”

Letting go of certain things – behavioural traits, dreams, beliefs – in order to make a marriage work, is an act of sacrifice and courage.

If we are to be sincere with ourselves, conventional marriage is a sexist institution that enhances the subjugation of the womenfolk. Seriously, women that go into this should be applauded.

It takes courage for you to agree to being bought in the name of “bride price”. Changing your name is an act of boldness. Your name is your identity. (I don’t why this reminds me of a white person changing an African’s name after buying him/her at a slave market.)

Indeed, marriage is an achievement; however, some of us think this “courageous act” is totally an act of dumbness. Why are you reducing yourself to something that can be paid for? Whatever happened to being priceless? Different folks, different strokes.

Knowing we all are different should make us realise the definition of achievement should vary from person to person. Using your achievement as a yardstick to appraise another person goes on to show you are trying so hard to invalidate that person’s achievement. You are closing your eyes to see their own achievements. Standards are like diets. Can you imagine someone compelling you to start eating only proteins because he/she is on a strictly protein diet? It would be annoying, yea? That is how annoying it is when someone, who feels marriage is his/her greatest achievement in life, compels us to see marriage as an achievement. On the flip side, it is infuriating when someone, who doesn’t believe in marriage, goes around shaming people that aspire to matrimony. No ambition is loftier than the other is.

Living is like driving. I am a strong believer of “find your lane, stay on your lane, and prosper on your lane”. We all have different destinies and callings. Humanity is not white and black. Humanity has a handful of hues. We all cannot want the same thing. What works for “A” will likely not work for “G”.  We are so different that no two peoples’ palms have the same markings. In fact, your left and right palm are marked differently if you look closely.

The crux of this article is this: the concept of achievement varies among people. We should allow people choose their paths and define what makes them feel a sense of achievement and accomplishment so far it does not pose danger to us in any way.

P.S.
As political correctness threatens our freedom of expression, we have to be ultra careful, as most people are too sensitive. They are emotionally fragile and any small thing can make them vex and disintegrate into tears.

To be on the safer side when saying “sensitive” stuff, say it like this: “I do not believe in marriage. It does not make sense… to me. I am talking for myself.”

Yes, o! You have to emphasise that you are personalising sturvs* because Ndi Uwa are too sensitive. Talk small and they will start vexing. Haven’t I said emotions are for ugly people? With the way people get easily offended, you’d think they had ants in their paents*.

P.P.S.
Also in the spirit of political correctness, “ugly” in this context does not mean “ugly” in the conventional sense.

P.P.P.S.
From palmistry, I learnt some people are not destined for marriage. (Even Jesus said so in Mathew 19: 11-12.) “Marriage” in this context means a strong, romantic union with someone. Also from palmistry, I realised some people were not programmed to feel romantic attraction for the opposite sex. The desire for conventional marriage is not even there to start with. They could feel sexual attraction, but never emotional and romantic attraction. Those of us that change sexual partners of the opposite sex like a baby changes diapers, but have a deep, emotional friendships with that same-sex friend, how market?

P.P.P.P.S.
For us, women…

Unmarried women should stop making it look as though being married were a plague. Being married is beautiful when it is with someone that makes it beautiful.

Married women should stop shaming unmarried women.  Achievement is relative.

This is going to “hurt” some people’s beliefs; however, I will be honest and write it how it is.

Not all of us are destined to be wives and mothers.

Some of us are destined to be single mothers.

Others are destined to raise kids with other women. (Biko, cam dan, women in Igboland did this before the advent of Christianity.)

A certain percentage of us are destined to excel at our careers without having husbands and kids.

Another percentage of us are destined to have kids, husbands, and a career.

Humanity has a handful of hues. Every one of us has her own path.

Can we all reach a consensus to find our lanes, stay on our lanes, and not shame other women prospering on different lanes?

Trying so hard to invalidate another woman’s hustle depicts insecurity.

Photo Credit: Spotmatik | Dreamstime.com

Cisi Eze is a Lagos-based freelance journalist, writer, comic artist, and graphics designer. She feels strongly about LGBT+ rights, feminism, gender issues, and mental health, and this is expressed through her works on Bella Naija and her blog – Shades of Cisi. Aside these, she has works on Western Post NG, Kalahari Review, Holaafrica, Mounting the Moon, Gender IT, Outcast Magazine, Rustin Times, 14: An Anthology of Queer Art Volume 1 and 2, and Sweet Deluge (Issue 2). Her first book, published by Tamarind Hill Press, UK, is titled “Of Women, Edges, and Parks”. Cisi’s art challenges existing societal norms.

45 Comments

  1. inky

    May 10, 2017 at 2:02 am

    To some our Nigerian women, it appears to be an achievement! But I concur with you:
    1. Anyone can get married, you do not need any special skill or intelligence to get married. we are all wired to fall in love.
    2. You should have more important goals. It is a choice between two people, goals do not depend on anyone.
    3. No one person is going to complete you!
    4, you can be fulfilled and happy without a wedding ring

    I personally know of 2 ladies who are dying in silence, miserable in their marriage, and constantly are complaining, crying, fretting and troubled to the point that they are taking stress medication, because of what they are experiencing in their marriage. An achievement is not supposed to make you miserable!

    • Arya

      May 10, 2017 at 10:08 am

      You are focusing on the negatives, what about the positives. There are people who have long lasting fulfilling marriages you know.

  2. Thandi

    May 10, 2017 at 2:08 am

    Love how the article is totally different from the headline

  3. The real dee

    May 10, 2017 at 2:57 am

    I love this article so much I could plant a kiss on your cheeks darling. This is just the reality of life, do you and let me do me. We all have our individual lanes, stay right in your lane and don’t be condescending to someone else whose lane is not as silky looking as yours.

    I am married and loving it but when I saw the title, I was like I need to find out what achievement marriage is o as I don’t see it as one, and then I read through your article and I was like, ‘blindside’…wasn’t what I was expecting. However, to some, marriage may actually be an achievement, maybe I just don’t see what the achievement is, and I’ll really like to understand their reasons.

    Anyway, in all your PSssss, personally I want to be in that percentage that is destined to have kids, husbands, and a career. For me, that is just perfect. Making money and getting undiluted love, perfecto!

  4. Kelechi

    May 10, 2017 at 4:23 am

    This your write up screams of hypocrisy. Firstly, you started of your right up with nothing but disdain for marriage institution and how conventional marriage are sexist. Then you tried to balance your view later on. Am tired of ladies like you acting all informed and wise, while occasionally throwing buzz words like sexist, slave and patriarchy so on. You even undermine the concept of bride price by merely equating it to ownership ? Are you being serious, am not even going to lecture you on the symbolic act. There s a strong wave of movement trying to oppose every conventional act, to people like you, it makes you feel enlightened I guess. One more thing, learn how to coordinate your write up, it is so disjointed. Bella naija there is too many feminine energy going on in this site, am seek of it “obele nsi na emebi ike”.

    • Kelechi the rigger

      May 10, 2017 at 4:50 am

      This Kelechi don come with his comment. 60 likes before post. May God help you o.

    • Tata

      May 10, 2017 at 6:49 am

      You’ve made very good points Kelechi. The article is here and there in both ideas and structure.

    • Nitomeya

      May 10, 2017 at 10:03 am

      I don’t think this write up screams of hypocrisy, Although Cisi has a reputation of trying to provoke people through her write up which are sometimes unrealistic, this one is not one of them.

      The first part was referring to conventional marriages as opposed to what am ideal marriage should be like.

      If for anything, the message of live and let live is the main theme of this write and it was beautifully summed up in the last P.P.P.P.S. ( Although I don’t understand what them ppppppsss means, I guess I will let live on this one).

      P.P.P.P.S.
      For us, women…

      Unmarried women should stop making it look as though being married were a plague. Being married is beautiful when it is with someone that makes it beautiful.

      Married women should stop shaming unmarried women. Achievement is relative.

      This is going to “hurt” some people’s beliefs; however, I will be honest and write it how it is.

      Not all of us are destined to be wives and mothers.

      Some of us are destined to be single mothers.

      Others are destined to raise kids with other women. (Biko, cam dan, women in Igboland did this before the advent of Christianity.)

      A certain percentage of us are destined to excel at our careers without having husbands and kids.

      Another percentage of us are destined to have kids, husbands, and a career.

      Humanity has a handful of hues. Every one of us has her own path.

      Can we all reach a consensus to find our lanes, stay on our lanes, and not shame other women prospering on different lanes?

      Trying so hard to invalidate another woman’s hustle depicts insecurity.

      Live and let live Simples.

    • Seriously

      May 10, 2017 at 10:07 am

      There’s a strong wave trying to oppose every conventional act” ??? especially all these misinformed and trying too hard feminists. Some misinformed men are just as dysfunctional. I guess, that’s the way to portray one as being civilized, sophisticated and more westernized. It’s all BS.
      I’m all into girl power and women empowerment but this whole thing is getting boring. Sorry, you can’t downplay the institution of marriage
      Marriage is not the problem, it’s the people involve in it. Two people involved can either make the best of it or the worst.

  5. Vera

    May 10, 2017 at 5:36 am

    Go away cici Eze. You are a troll! Your write up is trash! After raining on the marriage parade and calling it all sorts, you then go ahead to criticize single women who do exactly what you just did.I really don’t get your point to be honest. What are you for? You write marriage is a “total act of dumbness” (can’t be bothered if it’s not the exact quote). You now go ahead to tell single women not to deride those that are married as no “ambition is loftier”, meaning that singleness as marriage share the same characteristics of dumbness, patriarchy, bla, bla bla. Anybody that thinks your piece of trash article is anything worthy is not that attentive. I don’t care to discuss the topic of marriage as it doesn’t really have meaning in my vocabulary. However, you are major trash and so are your articles. Its all over the place with no structure or chronology. Oh you forgot that marriage is for the average nigerian, a set of people you love to disparage, yet single people should not criticize them after literally saying the married ones are courageous because they are daft and oppressed by patriarchy etc. Please move and let oxygen in. Damned troll! Atoke post my comment and check your spam folder.

    • californiabawlar

      May 10, 2017 at 6:12 am

      Oshi arata ma rayo on a whensday morin?

    • californiabawlar

      May 10, 2017 at 6:15 am

      Sista Veronica, sorry I didn’t mean to reply you o! Before I will go and catch a stray bullet. My comment is for our TAAN (the above average nigerian aka real nigerian aka alawoku of BN Land).

    • XYZ

      May 10, 2017 at 8:44 am

      Haba Vera,
      Take it easy. Drink some chilled zobo. It is okay. Don’t get all worked up for this. We all agree that we can disagree.

  6. MrsO

    May 10, 2017 at 6:26 am

    This article is a very lengthy piece of GIBBERISH!

    I’m so tired of these self-acclaimed “happily single ladies” constantly throwing daggers of venom at married women and the marriage institution as a whole.

    If marriage is so irrelevant to you why do you constantly talk about it? Why are you so bothered?
    How many articles are written by married women in happy unions shaming and attacking single women for being single? Thats right, NONE.

    Yet almost every other day, some supposedly “happily single” lady wants to talk trash about how marriage is not an achievement etc..

    If you wanna be alone and bitter for the rest of you life, kindly do that in silence and stop disturbing our peace claiming to be so “happy” with your career..

    We all know everyone secretly desires love and companionship in their life. But you are so desperate to proof otherwise.

    But please don’t downplay the great importance of marriage in the lives of many. Let your career become your only companion ok?! we don’t need to be fed your pathetic self-consoling epistles.

    • Idomagirl

      May 13, 2017 at 5:46 pm

      Did you even read what she wrote?
      You’re commenting as if she went after you & your marriage, relax.
      People who are happy in their marriages are not so quick to get rattled when someone says something not so flattering about marriage.
      This post wasn’t even an attack on marriage sef…

  7. Tata

    May 10, 2017 at 6:52 am

    This P.S, PP.S PPP.S this is not cool and could be distracting. I consider it a bad writing habit

  8. Tata

    May 10, 2017 at 6:57 am

    ‘thing’

  9. Lol

    May 10, 2017 at 7:07 am

    BN y’all love to rattle people up

  10. MrsO

    May 10, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Bella Naija writers cannot take criticism. Release my comment!

  11. Moniker

    May 10, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Cisi Eze, go find beta huzzle o. This one no go pay you

  12. Palesa

    May 10, 2017 at 9:54 am

    You are neither hot nor cold madam writer. Are you for or against?? Scattering yourself everywhere.

  13. zee

    May 10, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Bella Bella…. You know that you are breeding a lot of man haters abi? Hence this write up. Remember that we need to take a chill pill and try extra hard not to become that which we condemn. This website is breeding too many feminists that do not know how to draw a line between what the actually feminists movement stands for and down right hate for the male gender.

    • Idomagirl

      May 13, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      All the domestic violence and rape around us won’t breed “man haters”, it’s poorly written articles like this that will.
      Sure.

  14. UZOAMAKA

    May 10, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Eze- God bless you for this piece but this line was lit ‘Humanity has a handful of hues.’ Every one of us has her own path. #PREACH ‘Can we all reach a consensus to find our lanes, stay on our lanes, and not shame other women prospering on different lanes?’
    I don park well- so make all woman hold them peace THEM -washere!

  15. Ezinne O.

    May 10, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Did anybody read this article? or did people who have read Cisi’s previous articles just come here to bash her? I liked some of the points she made and I’m going to take it home with me.
    However, I don’t exactly see the need for the angry comments. If you have an opinion, give it, why do we like shouting and bashing. She’s not holding your mouse, or phone, walk away if you don’t like it. Live and let Love #Shalom

    BTW I missed you Cisi, I was starting to wonder why I hadn’t seen your articles in a while. I don’t really agree with everything you write but it’s nice to read articles with varying opinions. Looking forward to more.

  16. *rme

    May 10, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Loool.
    One day Cisi Eze will write that Nigerians are black Africans and BN commenters will still come and say “Cisi, you are a troll!! MOVE OVER!!!” hehehehe.
    The article is clear and straight to the point if you read it with an open mind and not with ‘let’s murder Cisi Eze’.
    It’s simply saying different strokes for different folks. Do you, and let me do me. There’s no need to criticize a person whose destiny or choice is different from yours. We can’t all be the same.
    And going by Cisi’s track record, this is actually a very positive article. Well done Cisi.
    Pls, keep writing, it makes me laugh how people nearly rupture their brain cells over your articles.

    • Nitomeya

      May 10, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      I agree with you that is a Cisi Eze lite write up and much better than the other ones

  17. Mawi

    May 10, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Madam writer, I absolutely agree with you when u say “different strokes for different folks”. I totally agree with respecting other people’s choices as long as they do not affect us. However, the beginning of ur article blatantly trashed the concept of marriage. In your own words, marriage is sexist and reduces women. You likened it to slavery and called it DUMB. This doesn’t sound like respect to Me. It’s okay for you to be personally opposed to the idea of marriage, but to insult the institution is definitely being insultive to those who believe in it. How would u feel if others call singlehood ‘dumb’, stupid etc if that is what u choose? I guess u would call that being close-minded, myopic, abusive etc etc.

    Madam, you clearly did what u preach against. You spit on others’ preferences then go ahead to say we should all accept one another’s choice.
    You don’t have the right to insult the marital institution simply because it doesn’t suit you, neither do I have the right to insult your own choices. Take your own medicine.

    • Engoz

      May 10, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      I’m really not interested in this article. Marriage articles bore the heck out of me. However, I find the comments from Kelechi and yourself more questionable than Cisi’s piece and I’ll tell you why. I find that a lot of people find it hard to question an institution or school of thought they belong to. I see this all the time in most ideological arguments and I just find it funny. People like myself can stare the truth, fallacies, discrepancies in the eye even if we are part of an institution because every ideology has a fundamental flaw. For example, am I Christian, yes? Will I argue against Christianity on a topic about the corruption of the church? Absolutely. I will not argue for or make excuses when the facts are clear on the corruption of the scriptures. Do I believe marriage is a good institution, yes. I will have kids only in marriage. Am I married, yes. Nevertheless, I will not deny that conventional, traditional marriage is set up as an insult to women. Wife in traditional context is a property to her husband. Look up the job description and responsibilities of housemaids/housekeepers: http://coverlettersandresume.com/maid/duties-and-responsibilities-of-a-housemaid/, come back and look me in the face that a wife is not a glorified housemaid, tehehe! Do wives not do all that is listed there? Nobody should take offense. It is what it is. You can believe in the merits of an institution, but you must also acknowledge the demerits of that institution. People like me do not feign oblivion to these faults because we believe in the institution. Marriage can be good and marriage can also be bad.

  18. Cynical

    May 10, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    BN, I think you need new writers. I know the only constant thing in life is change but I’m not sure about this set of writers o. I’m not trying to run anyone down but I really used to look forward to BN in the days of Monday(Atoke), Tuesday( Isio), Thursday( Esco)…… Interesting articles that brought out intelligent discourse . Not this wishywashy articles that leave you confused and empty.

    • Ify

      May 10, 2017 at 2:17 pm

      I echo that. Definitely miss the days of quality articles.

    • Engoz

      May 10, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      How would you define quality articles? Is it something that challenges your conventional thought process or something that mainly agrees with your views and does not unsettle you?

  19. Girl bye!

    May 10, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    LOL! Bellanaija are you in need of staff writers? Because i can apply. Do you vet your writers at all? This girl has consistently written trash here and you continue to publish her work. Why? This word vomit is nothing but non sequitur after non sequitur. It simply does not follow. Cisi Eze, give it a rest. Go back to the drawing board, take a writing class, learn yourself. You’re all over the place, and your writing lacks conviction. Develop yourself as a writer and until then spare us these headache inducing write ups. Thanks.

    • Engoz

      May 10, 2017 at 3:55 pm

      Cisi, do not take this advice.
      Hehehe, I do not look for conviction from articles, because “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle. Maintain the unapologetic tone in your writing. Me likey.

  20. Jaykay Zieuwa

    May 10, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Marriage is an achievement!!! I’m not married but from all my observations I know it is. It is not easy first of all to find a life partner. Weddings in Nigeria these days even d cheapest don’t cost any less than #500,000. They cost way more, I’m trying to be modest here. Then coming to starting a family or living wit ur partner. As a single person u wld continue to see urself as perfect in ur own lil world but when u live wit ppl u get to see ur defects and work on them. Living with someone constantly for a long period requires a lot of mutual work, self denials and responsibilities esp when children step in. So entering into a marriage and sustaining it is a huge achievement and a social milestone wit a social status and special privilegesdesignated to it worldwide. I do not in anyway however mean to spite ppl who r unmarried but to inform ppl who still believe in d sacred institution of marriage​ that it is a form of achievement that can be aspired to. Also I think in d area of skills needed, I thing it incorporates all domestic skills and people skills

  21. imustdropacomment

    May 10, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    there are a lot of people that view having a degree from any university as an achievement- you went to school read your books didn’t bribe a lecturer for grades- read in the dark, had no money on some days and yet you have a sense of fulfillment when you get your degree….THAT SCREAMS ACHIEVEMENT

    When you get married, i am sure you are not expecting things to fall into place just because you want it to….wont you do your wifely duties, wont you work hard at building a home for your family…i tell my friends and newly wedded ladies that you spend less than 30 yrs in your parents home but in your husbands house you spend close to 70 yrs (God willing) —if your marriage and home is successful – WHY SHOULD IT NOT BE AN ACHIEVEMENT.

    • Engoz

      May 10, 2017 at 5:00 pm

      I can agree on one thing you said. Marriage on the basis of the success of the marriage can be seen as an achievement. I mean statistics point to 50% of it ending up in divorce. And this is taking it into account that for such marriage to be an achievement, it is devoid from very threatening concerns like infidelity, emotional and physical abuse. However, marriage on the premise that you recently got proposed to, became a ‘Mrs’ or a husband, is not an achievement. It does not take rocket science to get married. Staying married is what separates the wheat from the chaff and defines this achievement.

    • Engoz

      May 10, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      Just to be clear -Staying married without the threats of domestic violence, infidelity. Before people who have spent 30years being emotionally and physically battered and bruised in the marriage think they’ve achieved anything worthwhile, lmao!

  22. Ijs

    May 10, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    I agréé. A HAPPY mariage is an achievement. It requires compromise, tolérance, respect, thé discipline not to cheat, staying sexually attractive when you can easily let yourself go etc. All thèse are life skills that doesnt abide with every Tom, Dick and Harry.

  23. Akpeno

    May 10, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    Marriage is NOT an achievement. Anyone can get married.

    However being in a lasting HEALTHY marriage is an achievement.
    It is not easy to be married, happy and healthy with the same person till death do you part.
    The emotional maturity required from both parties is not beans! I’ve seen many long marriages but they are unhappy and therefore unhealthy.

    It takes a patient, God fearing, loving consistent couple to keep a long happy healthy marriage and that is an achievement.

    • Haba

      May 10, 2017 at 7:28 pm

      Getting a job is not an achievement, however being in a lasting well paying job is an achievement, even getting admission is an achievement. My friend getting married is an achievement and not just everybody can get married. Tell that to the couple who had to go to marriage class, introduction of family, proposal to the lady and spending serious money in this era to get married that it is not an achievement. I go bite person oh. ???. Haba. After achieving the goal of getting married then you have to work on achieving a sustainable marriage.

    • Akpeno

      May 11, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      My dear Haba….. getting married is not achievement people are doing it left right and center every Saturday in Lagos there are at least 10 weddings taking place…. and they are also divorcing left right and center because they were not prepared for marriage or married the wrong person… Some people get married more than once in their lifetime because it’s easy to have a wedding… not so easy to stay in the marriage…. A SUCCESSFUL marriage is an achievement.

  24. Akara Pancake

    May 10, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    Wedding is an achievement, but a healthy and sustaining marriage is an ongoing process until one of the couple kpemes

  25. Diamond

    May 12, 2017 at 10:47 am

    I don’t understand this part… I mean how? Why? “Others are destined to raise kids with other women. (Biko, cam dan, women in Igboland did this before the advent of Christianity.)”.

    • Idomagirl

      May 13, 2017 at 6:03 pm

      Google Ifi Amadiume’s “Male Daughters, Female Husbands”.
      It’ll give you an idea of what she’s saying.

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