A few days ago, my Twitter friend, Nick Twinamastiko disclosed to me that many colleagues he went to school with — who are now in their forties — are not married and don’t seem to be in any rush to marry.
From my observations, I also notice that a life of bachelorhood is not only limited to Nick’s erstwhile schoolmates, but also stretches to many folks in society.
Since I had the interaction with my friend on Twitter, I’ve been pondering what the cause of very many cases of single life is.
I’m inclined to believe that two reasons largely contribute to the many evident cases of bachelorhood:
1) High costs of living have made the idea of marriage unattractive to many men.
2) Most Ugandan women were not nurtured to chart their way to financial freedom and therefore very few have an active financial genius.
Overtime, the cost of standards of living from housing, feeding, transportation et cetera have been skyrocketing amidst increased unemployment. Even the few employed men are trying to guarantee a financially secure tomorrow and so, a woman who is likely to depend on such a man as though he’s an ATM may not be an attractive idea.
Most men are expected to marry by the time they turn thirty years and prospective women expect and wish to get married to a man with a stable job, a house or able to rent a posh crib in the city outskirts. In Uganda’s economy, it’s unlikely that an honestly earning lad of 28 years, approximately four years out of university, can have the financial capacity to sustain a marriage.
Most men, although they may not openly admit it, are always worried about what their wives or girlfriends will do if they stopped providing. From experiences of most men, most women will show you their back soon as you become financially handicapped. With such a scary prospect, most men would rather steer clear of marriage than dive into it and divorce after a few months.
With the prevailing high standards of living, most men would wish to have a business partner or a person to share bills with in a wife — not someone to sit and wait for him at home for conjugal rights only.
Unfortunately, most women in Uganda were nurtured to believe that a woman is a queen who must only maintain her pretty looks to be provided for by a man of her choice. Their financial genius is dormant or passive. For some women, it’s actually dead beyond revival.
If one has a keen perceptiveness, one can discern that lately, many Ugandan men have developed a special interest for women who are independently striving to climb the income ladder. The interest isn’t going to vanish any soon. Rather, it’s going to grow stronger and in 10 to 20 years, women with a sharper financial genius, a sense of strategy and business management skills will have an upper hand over fellow women without the same qualities, in the race of marriage.
That’s why I find it tragic that parents in Uganda today are still nurturing their daughters in the same way our grannies nurtured our mothers. Women of the 21st century should acclimatise to the changes and upgrade from being mere sex partners and mothers. They should realise that the high financial demands that come with a family are only sustainable if shared.
In late thirties or early forties when men have already been crowned as senior bachelors, financial status tends to improve for some and they can sustain a marriage singlehandedly.
But, after living for twenty years as a bachelor, the idea of marriage feels like an encroachment to one’s normal life and at that age, the idea to live unmarried forever might seem more attractive than marriage.
In all this, I really sympathise with women because they find it more unfortunate to live unmarried than men because to most women, marriage, in the true sense of the word, is an endorsement to their beauty and the woman in them. Without marriage, most women feel like they’ve led a life of great tragedy.