I thoroughly enjoy this Tedtalk Nairobi by Caroline Mutoko, my take on it is what I hold dear – women of today must play their part to build a future for the coming generations of women. Leaning in, as Ms. Mutoko puts it is no longer enough, a lot was fought for before our time, hence many things were a lot easier than it was for women before us.
One thing that I notice in a place like Nigeria is that often in times the most courageous women look the other way when other young women were being lead astray especially when this is done by a self-proclaimed men of God – we watch and get confused internally as we sure know the end is disaster but chose to be quiet because speaking out to enlighten the women of the likely consequences might hurt the ego of the men.
Take for example the case of a group of women being made to think getting married to men they barely know is the best option for their lives because their prophet says so.
A couple of weeks ago, a friend shared a clip of a church program that looks like a scene from a Nollywood movie, a few young men in the congregation who wanted a partner were in a queue, young ladies in the congregation who are supposedly desperate for husbands were asked to line up behind their preferred men – the prophet said he was going to ‘marry for some people for this church… I will sponsor all the marriage in one day,’ hearing this statement, the congregation cheered.
In the end behind each man, there are a few women, some up to 7. Men were instructed to take a look at these women behind them, mastered their faces and after the service, they need to introduce themselves to their choice – this all done during a church service.
I am only learning of Prophet Jeremiah Fufeyin of Christ Mercyland Deliverance Ministry for the first time. Watching a few minutes of his church service online, he is charismatic, loves dancing, people seem to believe everything he says.
So many things are going on in Nigeria that we brushed aside but in the real sense is social malice with serious consequences. The practice whereby a religious leader declares himself as the ‘marriage fixer’ is the genesis of a bigger problem in the Muslim north today. It all started with the religious leader, now in many parts of the northern states, the state government takes it upon themselves to see that all women must be married, so they paid for the marriage to be a third or fourth wife to someone they barely knew. And in a couple of years after a child or two, they are back on the market waiting for the government fix, and those children are often thrown in the streets, hence we have Boko Haram replacement so easily. Kano alone has over one million street kids.
Now in the south, just as we love to copy just about anything that is socially awkward from the north i.e pilgrimage in place of schools/hospitals, we are doing it here, in the name of Jesus as opposed to Allah – but in the end, it is bound to have the same outcome.
Here I wondered, where are the mothers in this church were they thinking of their prophet erratic behaviour? If one has to pick a pick a husband like one does fruits in a bazaar paid for by a stranger prophet – after the marriage with no job to fend for oneself, what will be the end of this?
Both potential husbands and wives in this clip are educated, at least up to secondary school perhaps even higher. If this happens in the north, we say they are illiterates, so we the southerners and educated – why do we keep copying the same ill-fated lifestyle?
Correlation between this story and Ms. Caroline Mutoko’s Tedtalk? Not much, I just think women who learn to invest in self would work towards getting a job to fend for self first, then life partner will eventually come if that is what they want. Being treated like a cattle whereby anyone comes to take a pick isn’t the way to go even if one is in a religious congregation.