Becoming royalty

So a little birdy told me about Emir of Kano’s 18 year old new bride – not too bad, its only 36 years old age difference.

My people argue tirelessly on whether or not 18 years lady is old enough to make decision on marriage especially a royal bride where one’s life is pre determined.

I know getting out of secondary school at 18, the last thing on my mind was to be someone’s wife, let alone ‘baba ban gbesi’ Well, that was me.

I also know that when Kate and William got married a few years ago, the reason they were able to change history of British royal succession was because they were both adults who knew the damaging impacts of gender inequality in society, because of decision they made before having children, now their daughter Princess Charlotte will be a Queen before Prince Harry had chance to the crown.

I hear my people saying, that was the British. We are Nigerians and different – yea, of course we are!

18 years old who has spent all her years being catered for have no idea what she is entering to so very likely to nod her way into many things that are not in her best interest

I heard Emir’s decision to take on a 4th wife is in line with his Islamic faith – all good, I can also hear my royal families in the south saying their decision is because of tradition – yeah right.

Oh well, one of Oba Okunade Sijuade’s three surviving wives is in her 40’s, and according to the tradition she is not allowed to re marry, however she can be ‘inherited’ by the new Ooni (this is if all the ruling houses ever agree and choose one person).

My all time favourite Yoruba royal father with a swagger is Alaafin – likely that the age difference between the new wife and the king is well over 40, the king turning 77 in October and word on the street was that the young woman was 17 at the time of marriage last year.

Unlike many of our royal families, Alaafin carries all his wives whereever he goes with the attitude of ‘let them say‘. Here he was enjoying the British chill, in front of Buckingham Palace, perhaps waiting to see the Changing of the Guards – if that wasn’t fun, what is?

Now back to the Emir of Kano – Something that keeps coming to my mind – if this is about keeping in line with the faith, why not marry one of the divorcees that we all know are plentiful in Kano? Less than 2 years ago over a thousand women were married off  in a state sponsored mass wedding – just saying.

Now I wonder how the Emir who is educated and has been preaching importance of education since his coronation going to keep up with this important message given his recent nuptial.


20 thoughts on “Becoming royalty

  1. As for the Emir of Kano’s latest wife.
    It appears he has an eye for young women – let us be grateful that he chose an adult [technically speaking] (He could have easily done what one of the senators did and marry an 8 year old (Senator Yerima? – I believe)).
    This is where religious ‘observance’ conveniently dovetails with culture and personal gratification, so I’sure he is enjoying the best of all worlds on this subject. The same can’t be said on those ‘Christians’ who have more than one wife.
    Educating females, he can still continue with that theme if wife number 4 has some ambition, then he can easily arrange for her to continue/start her education. He will hardly have time to see her, with 3 other wives and his royal duties. So for him it’s ‘no sweat’.
    My opinion on this whole polygamous thing is, ‘each to their own’, as long as the concerned parties agree, I don’t have an issue with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With the Emir of Kano, I think people will still criticise him even if his 4th wife is a 40 year old woman just because of expectations people have of him – he’s educated, well travelled, wouldn’t marry his own child out that age, aware of the impacts of over population etc – so his ‘crime’ here is of many layers.
      I just think the man can do a lot better given his place of authority. People look up to him than this ridiculous act especially after a dozen children and three wives…

      Agree on Christians with more than one wife. Traditionally, Anglicans & Methodists do just fine with multiple wives. Usually the ones who had to hide the second wife are the Pentecostals (not everyone, before folks cut my head) and again, the reason for hiding is tied to church vows. Having said that though, Christians from my experience tend to go with age appropriate partners.


      1. I understand what you mean by him letting people down on ‘many levels’. What you said about overpopulation is perfectly correct. I don’t know what his views on that were, Do you think this is a case of people going overboard with their expectations of him, because his predecessors were so bad? Maybe, people should not incorrectly focus on individuals, but should seek to build a momentum in society to work towards those aims it cherishes/values. This would create resiliency in achieving them.
        My first encounter with a polygamous household was on my first visit to Nigeria, I was 13. My Dad’s landlord is Mr Salisu, and he had 4 wives. I didn’t think anything of it, but then I didn’t know what the demands and expectations of marriage are. I didn’t think anything more or less of the man because of it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I suppose you are right that people (including myself) tend to fall into the trap of going overboard with expectations of leaders we admire in one area to be ‘perfect’ all round.

          Well, hard to tell with the late Emir Bayero – he was quite influential and seemed to be well loved amongst his people, however he was targeted by Boko Haram few months before he passed away, shot at close range that killed his guards – that was bad, and tell a different story we seldom hear of.

          With Emir Sanusi, I suppose because he is younger, known for speaking out his opinions on important issues is what constitute to peoples’ expectations of him.
          Agreed that creating strong institutions of value will serve people best.

          Check out this tedtalk before being made Emir, very few Nigerians in his position at the time would be that courageous.

          I am not sure about his views on overpopulation either but it seems that area isn’t what keeps him awake at night.


          1. Because the Emir Bayero was targeted by Boko Haram, doesn’t make him a good man. I would interpret that he was unpopular with BH.

            Emir Sanusi, is happy to say one thing and do another ( I listened to the speech), he is only human and as such we shouldn’t become too disappointed that he failed to live up to expectations. Maybe we should lower the bar for Nigerian leaders. He’s no Fidel Castro, that would sacrifice anything for his country and clearly no Nelson Mandela. Let us be more wary about the next prominent person who promises a lot.

            Nigeria has vested interests in all angles, so to stand up to all of them ‘takes some doing’. It is good that Emir Sanusi raised it, but what has happened since his departure? Is it business as usual?

            On the topic of not relying on the individual. President Buhari is guarding the oil ministry from his fellow citizens. This very noble, but the bottom line is that an institution or mechanism is needed, what happens should he die or leave office, the hyenas will descend and make off with the spoils of that ministry.

            Thank you for the link.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. You are right on lowering the bar for these guys – I am learning to do that.

              What happened after Sanusi? Nothing really, GEJ appointed Emefiele, probably spent the first few months covering up what Sanusi was adamant must be in the open, amidst all of that, oil price slumped, then power changed hand. Not sure anything has changed.

              President Buhari has profound issue with trusting any Nigerian with money for very good reasons. His speech today reiterates that, he really wants to get to the bottom of where diverted crude oil went to.
              I totally agree with you that it is transparent institutions that we need to build for long term benefits. Hopefully, he is leaving some details of his plans and suspects just in case…

              On the late Ado Bayero, my thoughts with him being attacked by BH was in the same line as you. I try to not smear my sentiments on royal families based on my upbringing to all royals however, after visiting Emir’s palace a few years ago, seeing all his lavishness and young boys sitting round early in the morning for food handouts before going on the road begging for alms, I knew even if his people were doing ‘rankadede’, it is not all genuine.


  2. Sanusi, no matter his education and supposed implied “progressivism” born of exposure, is just another reactionary, pardon me, if need be. Any difference between him and any Emir in a tiny hamlet in the North is the proverbial difference between half a dozen and six.

    Even while a work-a-day, not much that one can refer to in his past points to a guy who would not exploit religion for self interest. Interesting, though, is the fact thAt one is aware of some of such guys who cradle-snatch in the name of religion have their own daughters in big colleges in Europe and America where many have been educated to impressive levels. Don’t bring out the drums for – oh, at least, they do get some girls educated.

    Three decades ago when our oldest girl was just leaving high school, one such “progressive” BIG man who used his religion in ways I was always sure the Holy Prophet would probably not have approved of saw our gangly daughter and pronounced her fit for marriage to one of his sons, an absurd, if not downright insane proposition to which my spouse gave a very appropriate response. The guy apparently was not fazed by the response he got but told my spouse that the little girl’s “sins will be on your neck”! He was no Central Bank governor like Emir Sanusi but his epaulette in the army showed a general’s rank.

    How can you change a mindset like that.

    Of course the South has its share of lecherous men who, thankfully, cannot abuse the Bible by citing it as their source of indiscipline but we have different nationalities in Nigeria and the country will find it difficult to progress until that fact is acknowledged in the way it’s supposed “federation” is run.

    Thanks, as always,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All hail King Sanusi, the Emir of Kano. ‘Kome ka zo da shi, an fi ka’ (What ever you come with, it is surpassed in Kano) He is fitting in just well. From Monetary Matters to Mammary Matters,

    Nothing makes an educated man look stupid like religion & culture. The combination is lethal to literacy and civility.

    Liked by 2 people

            1. Hi Leslie,

              That’s incredible tribute to Malala, thank you!

              I like the bits where you say “when you look in to my eyes, you can read my soul, that’s not desire you see, it despair” – that’s powerful.

              Malala is an incredible role model for women of all ages – it is never about one person, it is about everyone getting a fair shot in life.

              Liked by 1 person

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