Here is a letter from one of the daughters of the hills, but she speaks for many.
Dear Dad and Mom,
I write this while being aware that our neighbour’s daughter just got engaged, my cousin’s Gusaba is next week and Kamikazi’s baby shower is tomorrow. I am so happy for them and I wish them the very best in their endeavours.
As for me, who you eagerly look at and wonder what went wrong and whether I have been turning down decent guys, I would like to say that I am fine, thanks for asking. To my aunts and uncles who have been kind in referring people to me, I would also like to extend my sympathies for turning down all your offers. I am not sure if there is a cultural way to say no thanks for the referrals, if there is, I would like to master it.
As a daughter of a thousand hills, I would like to tell you that besides the pressure to getting married, I am actually fine and happy. Yes, I am currently studying anything that adds value in all aspects, from design, art, brain development, women’s rights, zoology, natural hair, health and fitness, women empowerment, Christianity, business and the Milky Way. There is so much to learn on this planet besides memorising “Till death do us part”.
Please do not think I am undermining what marriage brings upon, it is a beautiful holy commitment designed by God. I have respect for it and for those who take it on. But as for now, I need to tend to myself and my needs. I have some core skills I feel obliged to take on before I walk down the aisle.
I hereby ask for your patience and love in my season of self-discovery and grooming. I wish it were a joy to you as it is to me. Singlehood is not misery and it is not a curse or a contagious disease. That is called loneliness and it can affect both married and single people.
I love you both dearly and I know your hands eagerly wait to hold a grandchild. All shall come in due season. As for now, please subdue the pressure and allow your daughter to flourish from season to season.
Your Big girl.
This is a daily struggle for many ladies, and men. In as much as I do not share the above experiences, I find it quite appalling how many ladies could send this letter to their parents and it would fit in with their current scenario. But more saddening are those who have taken the pressure to get married due to their close friends and family. Only to post pictures of shiny rings yet sleepless nights of tears might be the order of the day thereafter. Little did they know that you only wear a wedding gown once but live with a partner’s character forever.
Why the pressure to get married and manage a home when the daily tasks of the home have failed you? Why take on the finances of a home when you are still struggling to pay Rwf15,000 for a pair of shoes, yes, the second hand ones on the road side. How about the idea of loving someone for eternity when you have not come to terms with knowing and loving yourself?We may have a nice cup of Chai tea while my list of questions goes on.
I wish this could end with a note of satisfaction. But no, reality is a ticking clock. So please,pay for your Rwf15,000 shoes, or go cheaper and be honest with your budget. After that, enjoy a cup of Chai tea with friends who push you to greater heights. Love yourself and be honest with the person in the mirror, you are all you have.