This year has almost flown by. So soon Christmas is here again. Christmas has always meant different things to different people and will continue to be so. But two perceptions of the true meaning of Christmas form the basis of today’s column. The first is “Christmas time is family time”, while the second is “Christmas season is a time for healing and reconciliation.”Read More →
John came back from his village recently. For some reasons he has not been there since the new millennium. His trip was a mixed bag: happy to be back to his root, but came away with a cultural shock: Many of his relatives and age mates had 10 or more children with some having many wives. But that was not his concern; his concern was that many of them are poor and unemployed, with those employed not earning more than N15, 000 monthly. “What goes on in these people’s minds? How do you just breed without thinking about how to cater for them?Read More →
Internet has affected virtually every aspect of human lives, and the increasing way at which children immerse themselves in this new order, opens new challenges making parenting.Read More →
Recently, I came across the story of a 14-year-old American “girl”, Jazz Jennings, who was born a boy, but did a sex change to transmute to a girl. According to the story, Jazz started “leaning toward a feminine side at only 15 months old (hmmm).Read More →
Monday, December 1, is World AIDS Day, a day set aside since 1988 to beam the searchlight on HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome).Read More →
Sometime ago, I went on a business visit to a client and friend. Inevitably the discussions veered from business to life. We talked about the ephemeral nature of life and vanity. As if preempting me, he told me that when he goes to bed, he sleeps like a baby.Read More →
I went with my wife to an office I visit often, but that was the first time I was going there with her. Immediately I introduced her to the two young ladies at the reception, in unison they chorused: “no wonder.”Read More →
I will not keep you in suspense. In Africa, we give our new-born babies names to tell a particular story of the time, the past, situations or purely as a metaphor. One of such names in Urhoboland, though rare, is: Uwevwirohwofabeno (it is difficult to understand the inner workings of another person’s house). Jaw-breaking? The short form, Beno, is our title today.Read More →
You must have heard the cliché at least once: “Love is blind.” What does it really mean and just how blind should love be? I decided to investigate. I suspected that responses will be varied and I was not disappointed. My finding is that the phrase is amoebic; it means different things to different people, though with some common denominators.Read More →
Joan and John were attending different churches when they met and started dating. They were deeply in love and wanted to make the relationship permanent. But there was a snag: Joan is the “typical Catholic girl” and could “not imagine leaving the Catholic Church and …told John in very certain terms.” Love-struck John did not see any big deal in denominational differences; “after all we are all Christians.”Read More →
Marriage can be a minefield and needs careful navigation. Running a business with your spouse brings added risks. It is a double-edged sword. It can be so wonderful on the one hand and on the other hand it can put enormous strain on the marriage and even cripple it.Read More →
Time can never diminish those wonderful early memories. That moment you came into the world, announced your arrival with a cry and upgraded my status to a father. Going to work became a massive drag; coming home was magnetic. A 30-minute journey home looked like eternity; I felt like taking a helicopter to beat Lagos traffic.Read More →
A former colleague was already well into her 30s, while her husband was just shy of 40 years, when they got married. Feeling that the biological clock was ticking away, she set about starting a family immediately. But the much-wanted pregnancy would not come.Read More →
Of recent a number of youngsters have killed their parents. The trend is somewhat strange to our culture. So why are some Nigerian youngsters turning on their parents? On the surface, the issues are often trivial: disagreements over household chores, poor grades in school, missing items, differences in opinion and so on, but I believe there are underlying fundamental issues.Read More →
Disclaimer: Notwithstanding the appellation, I do not
see older women who date or marry younger men as
cougars (predators) because the young men went into the relationships with their korokoro eyes. Technically they are consenting adults, unless they are saying the mamas bewitched or hypnotized them.
Many of us grew up seeing relationships—marriages, courtships, sugar daddies—where the men were older than the women. The opposite was rare and where it existed, the difference in age was often negligible. Not anymore; we have entered an era when men in their 20s are marrying, or romantically linked with, grandmothers in their 60s and 70s. When the trend started in the western world, I knew it was only a matter of time before Nigerians, who have become very adept at following global trends in a world that has shrunk into a global village, will follow suit. While I have not heard of any of such marriages within Nigeria, desperate young Nigerian men have married women old enough to be their grandmothers in Europe and America for citizenship, fortune or whatever. However, we have heard of women in their 60s who are romantically linked with young men in their 20s within our shores, although it always seems to be a hush-hush affair. Recently, the Vanguard Newspaper reported the arrest of 31-year-old Adio Opeyemi Michael who defrauded a 72-year-old Dutch woman of about N40m in a romance scam.
Viewed strictly from the primary purpose of matrimony, which is companionship, you cannot fault the married couples among them. But when you throw in the second most important reason for marriage, procreation, there is a question mark in a post-menopausal woman marrying a young man in his 20s. Child bearing is certainly not part of the plan. In America, where childlessness is often a choice, it is understandable. But in Nigeria where childlessness has put enormous strains on some marriages and torn couples apart, where mothers-in-law and extended family members pile unbearable pressure on couples over child-bearing, the young men involved need to tell another story, beyond love, to justify this self-induced childlessness. Night and day do not cohabit, but matters of the flesh are a different kettle of fish. But that still does not take away the gulf between sunrise and sunset.
Relationships, where there is a vast difference in ages between the couples, naturally attract attention. Even women, who marry much older men, are often looked at with suspicion. The husbands’ children from previous liaisons and other family members often see the young women as gold diggers. Love is a complicated issue and you never know what drives people, but suspicion will continue to trail relationships with vast age differences. This is especially so because, in most of the cases, the older party is either very famous, rich or both. Many people have, however, grudgingly accepted relationships and marriages between older women and men who are few years younger.
One of the challenges
women who marry or date younger men face is the immaturity and insecurity of their male companions. Some of them have problems “growing up” and fitting into the circle of friends of these women. Sometimes the women’s friends and families neither accept nor respect them. They often look down on the young men and make degrading remarks about them. They are often seen as gold diggers. These guys find the situation offensive and become resentful. Unfortunately, the women are often rich, which aggravate the situation.
Sometimes, the guys were picked from the gutters and brushed up. Incidentally, in many cases, the old saying that you can take a pig from the slime but you cannot take the slime out of the pig is never far away. In the last 10 years a number of women in such relationships have been killed by their younger lovers out of jealousy, greed or rage. The last celebrated case was 31-year-old Kelechi Mojekwu (His name and age vary in the newspaper reports) who allegedly killed his rich and older lover, 39-year-old Lizzy Njideka-Nzewe. These guys do not seem to know how to keep their insecurity and immaturity in check.
These women also do not help matters. They want the best of both worlds: keep these young men for the “mind-blowing sex” while also keeping other male lovers for connections, power, business, money, prestige and public show. It is a dangerous, delicate and high stake game and some of these women who are not adept at playing it have paid dearly. Even if, ab initio, the relationship is defined as no-strings-attached, strings get attached over time because you are dealing with feelings and emotions not rationality.
Many women in these relationships confess that they are enamoured by the physique and the boundless energy of the young men and the relationship makes them feel young. They also say the sex is great. Undoubtedly the combination of an experienced mama and a young man in his 20s with youthful vigour looks tantalizing on paper; only if you can just take the sex in isolation. Unfortunately it does not work that way. While you are at liberty to live your life the way you want, you have your spiritual life, family, friends, position and other things to consider.
I was watching an
American reality show when a woman in her 40s stormed out of a party in anger after finding out that her 72-year-old mother was dating a 27-year-old man. A twenty something year old man coming down on your seventy something year old mama certainly is an unpalatable meal for many family members, including liberal-minded Americans, mama’s feelings, rights and opinions notwithstanding. For many people, it is a taboo.
Ultimately, our ability to balance all the contending areas and issues in our lives and be attuned with our creator is the mark of true success and fulfillment. Or what do you think?
I refused to tell Mba about the birth of Oghenemega and instead requested for the envelope I gave him to keep for me. He thought it contained some important documents and had diligently hidden it far away.Read More →
Science subjects were not my strongest points in secondary school, but when a credit in at least one science subject became a stumbling block to entering the university, I fought and got it in Biology.Read More →
As newly-weds settle into matrimony, they are confronted with new experiences and challenges.Read More →
Marriage is a formal union of man and woman, but each letter of the word “M-A-R-R-I-A-G-E”, does have some significance and together bring to fore the character of marriage.Read More →
Soon, schools will resume for the new session and parents will be coughing out thousands, hundreds of thousands and millions of naira in school fees, depending on where they hung their hats. In addition, parents of new entrants are going to make the critical decision whether their children should be boarders or day students.Read More →
One of my problems with some social commentators is the attempt to tie the destiny of Nigerian youths to bad governance of our leaders. If any critic has issues with politicians and government officials, criticize that official; shred him/her, if you like, but do not dampen the spirit of Nigerian youths.Read More →
Separate or Joint Accounts — Should couples have joint or separate bank accounts? This is a question I get asked often. I know some couples who operate joint bank accounts smoothly and they seem to have mastered the act. I do not have joint accounts with my wife, although we have access to each other’s money, including ATM and debit cards.Read More →
Separate or Joint Accounts — Should couples have joint or separate bank accounts? This is a question I get asked often. I know some couples who operate joint bank accounts smoothly and they seem to have mastered the act.Read More →
By Francis Ewherido I often beg my children that they should not allow pollutants to contaminate their thoughts and minds; that their thoughts should be the dominant paradigm in their peer group. I also remind them that nobody in this world, except God, can love them more than their parents. In addition, I drum itRead More →
The Vanguard Newspaper of July 7 and 9 carried the stories of Tolani Ajayi, a 21-year-old Redeemer’s University student, who allegedly killed his 60-year-old father, Charles Ajayi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, over an argument.Read More →
Leisure: A man with a family of eight I met recently mentioned some mind-boggling figures they spend on airline tickets and accommodation when they go on vacation, especially to the United States. Many Nigerian families cannot afford that kind of vacation.Read More →
Friday, July 11, 2014, is World Population Day. The day was declared in 1987 to draw attention to the world’s population growth and ensuing issues and challenges. Religious bodies, governments, the United Nations, concerned civil society groups and other relevant organisations are all firm and uniform on one issue: the need for family planning and/or population control.Read More →
By FRANCIS EWHERHIDO Still sounds like a fairy tale and a dream although it is about a year since that tragic Sunday afternoon of June 30, 2013, when against all prayers and hope, God called you home to His bosom. I knew from that afternoon that life would be different without you, but the realityRead More →
The first time I heard the phrase “global village” was in the mid 80s. It was a vague concept then because all we had to prove it in this part of the world were air travels and restricted access to telephone which enabled a few people to reach the outside world faster. Beyond that, it was difficult to make sense of it.Read More →
I write to wish my father, Joseph Ewherido, a happy Father’s Day, which comes up tomorrow. even though I know he may not really need it.Read More →
My personal struggles and imperfections notwithstanding, I hold very strong views on sexuality, molded mainly by my conservative Christian orientation. But I have also come to accept that we live in a free and secular world, and I therefore must tolerate contrary views and tendencies.Read More →
I have an exercise I always conduct in my pre-marriage class. I normally ask the participants if their parents are still alive. If the answer is yes, I will ask if their parents have health challenges, faulty or old cars, leaking roofs or broken walls or other problems the parents need money to solve. Normally, they also answer “yes”.Read More →