“Your soup is too watery, you will always argue with your husband.”
“Your sadza is too thin, what will your mother-in-law say when you serve something that looks like porridge?”
“You cannot slaughter a rooster at your age. Will you run away when your in-laws are looking forward to having a rooster for supper?”
I am sure that some of my African sisters have heard these phrases before. These phrases have made girls angry, confused and wonder why everything is always linked to marriage. The young girls are made to believe that being able to do their chores very well is a guarantee that one’s marriage will last. In some cases, one will view marriage as an act of impressing her in-laws. Some girls are willing to master all the chores. But is marriage all about being able to do the house chores?
A child is taught to walk not because they have to go on errands in future. A child is simply taught to walk because that is what is required at a particular stage.
The same should be done in our African societies. Do not get me wrong, I love and admire the mother figures in my society. But instead of linking everything to marriage why not teach the young girls what needs to be done? Advise the young girl that she needs to have boiling water when she is plucking the feathers of a hen. And try by all means not to link everything to marriage. Although the correction can come from a good place it will end up sounding like a broken record. Dear African mothers, do not paint a picture that the mother-in-law is someone who only wants perfection.