The Nigerian culture is one that reserves a lot of respect for marriage. Men; when they get to a certain age make the decision to get involved in this institution called marriage. They do this either by choice or by pressure from family and friends.

I see a lot of young men who are not even ready and know nothing about marriage being led into it simply because they are the only child or they are the most comfortable in the family. But this is wrong because it has caused so many problems in the homes and left so many women heartbroken. This exists more among the Yoruba where men get married without knowing what it entails.

I am from the eastern part of the country. My dear Igbo brothers will live and enjoy their lives to the fullest with every kind of girl you can think of. When it is time for marriage, you see a 45-year-old man going for a 15-year-old girl. What a terrible culture!

Our parents, out of greed, give out their precious daughter to a man who sees life the odd way. A man who has committed all sorts of atrocities only to leave the smart Lagos girls and go to the village for an innocent girl who knows nothing about him and who hasn’t seen anything pertaining to life on the other side.

These young girls, most times get excited with the fact that they are getting married to a wealthy man without being told the pain involved. The parents, especially the mothers feel so honoured to have such a rich man come for their daughter. To them in the eastern part, the life of a woman is worth living only when she is married to a wealthy man.

What has money got to do with the choice of a good man for marriage? These Igbo men don’t want to get married to the city girls because they know everything they do and also know how to handle them. They also don’t want a girl who will come in and start exercising her rights as a wife. They want a girl who they will control without opposition and who have no right to make choices.

The girl after all the big parties,” Igba-nkwu” leaves the village to Lagos only to come and see the reality of life. She is dumped at home and made worthless. She gradually begins to lose her sense of value. Some of these girls grow up hoping to become lawyers and medical doctors. But now she finds herself sitting at home, cooking, eating, and watching Africa Magic. To her, this is the best life she can ever dream of.

But guys, is this all to the life of a woman? Was she born just to pass this world a wife and mother without leaving her footprints at the sands of time? I bought a magazine today while driving with a friend. It is a Christian magazine focusing solely on women excelling in life as mothers, wives, and professionals. I asked a question which got my friends attention; how many Igbo women can be seen in this magazine? Guys, to our utmost bewilderment, there was none.

When are the Igbo men going to wake up to realize that times have changed? So many of these men still live in the Stone Age. They believe a woman has no life of her own. They believe a woman was created just for the purpose of marriage and procreation. They see women as baby-making factories. This is the reason you see childless women from the east go through hell because of something they have no control over.

Men, please wake up and understand that the reason God brought that woman in your life is for her status to change. When I talk about status, I am not referring to cars and clothes. To a typical Igbo man, a woman is living a good life in her husband’s house once she moves about town in “machines” that are not even registered in her name.

When the woman opens her mouth to complain you remind her of all the good things you have given her. My brothers, change your mentality. I really feel sad because a lot of women are in their husbands’ houses just like another piece of furniture. So many of them have become what they are not simply because they see no hope of survival with the man.

Oga, can your wife handle things and handle them well in your absence? A good number of men, especially the Igbos will tell you they don’t want their wives to get exposed because she will start talking back when they talk. Is this a good enough reason for you to ruin a very bright future? You are just a selfish creature.

So many women out there are doing well because their husbands have refused to reason the way you do. You don’t want your wife in any good career because other men will start dating her.Oga, you lack confidence in yourself. Your conscience is pricking you because you know there is something you are not doing right, change it and set the woman free.

You drag her to Idumota market even against her wish, get a shop next to yours because you want to monitor her every move and the kid of customers that enter her shop. Change your ways and begin to trust yourself.

Haven’t you seen women in top management positions? Some of them had a very poor first degree result. They are where they are today because a man like you saw them, loved them unselfishly, and decided to make the best out of them. They refused to get intimidated by the look of the woman and the negative advice from those evil friends.

I had an argument with a friend someday on the issue of marriage among the different tribes in Nigeria. He felt Igbo make better husbands and fathers than the Yoruba. When I asked for his reason, he still pointed to the fact that Igbo give money to their wives. Guys, is money love? Is that all a woman needs?

When it was my turn, I came up with the following points. I told him that there is no better gift any man can give me in life than the gift of freedom. I want to do those things I have always dreamt of doing. I don’t want a man who will so drag me that I forget my own vision in life. I gave examples of women like Tara Durotoye, Pastor Nike Adeyemi, Uche Ibukun Ohimai, and Nkiru Olumide-Ojo.

The above mentioned women have their husbands solidly behind them, giving them ideas and making them stars even when we know little or nothing about the man. These women are more fulfilled in life than all the Lolos you see in big rides. Their husbands may not have as much as my Igbo brothers have, but they have given them the best in life.

When are the Igbo men going to deal with low self-esteem and release the women into their places in destiny? You are trying to protect your property but right there under your roof something is happening. The woman you think is ignorant looks at you as the most foolish person on earth.

Even some Igbo pastors who should understand better keep their wives at the background in the running of the ministry. These ones use the Bible verse that tells a woman to keep quiet in the church to defend their misdeed. The same pastor saying a woman should not be seen is being seen all over the place with his PA who is also a woman.

In releasing your woman to her place in destiny, your children will be happier. When you train a woman, you train a whole nation. I am sure that by the time your own daughter gets married you want to see her in a very good office doing exploits in her chosen career.

A relation of mine once told me something that shocked me. This girl happened to be a daughter to one of the super rich Igbo men. Her mother till date is one of those furnitures at home. When you talk with her you will see a visionless human being. Her husband stopped her from working and doing business. Yet the man does not give her enough money at home.

This same man goes all over the place, buying jeeps for people’s wives and sending the children of widows abroad while pretending to be an elder in a church. His own children never crossed the border of Nigeria to Cotonou.

While talking with this girl who was so bitter against her dad, she said Amara,I blame my mum for allowing herself spend all her life a housewife. Had it been my mum is exposed and educated, I will have someone to give me direction in life. To her there is nothing she has to learn from her except sitting at home and wasting away.

Be careful when you make that decision to tie the woman down because you are not helping yourself and your generation. Women are now smarter than you think. You don’t want to see her have an account of her own because she is a slave. Some men trickishly open a joint account with their wives just to make her feel as part of him. Why make someone a joint account holder when she can’t even have access to the money? All she knows is that she is a director in oga’s company but ask her what is going on in that business, madam does not have an answer.

Let my Igbo brothers take some clue from their Yoruba counterparts. You claim Igbo men are more decent than Yoruba men. You claim they are polygamous. I want to ask you this question: Are you not polygamous? The only difference is that you keep your own girl in a different house while the Yoruba man legalizes his. So tell me, are you not birds of same feather?

He does not stop his wife from moving on in her career. He puts her at the fore front of things because he respects her. But with you, the woman has lost her individuality. Don’t get me stuffed up with the money that is killing me. I want you to show me how to make it in life.

Wake up brother, the Stone Age is far gone. Your wife’s quest for some level of financial independence is not because she wants to start riding you. She wants to be happy with herself. She wants to be able to contribute to the home. She wants to be able to buy her underwear without bothering you. Why not let her become fulfilled in life.