Originally on Bellanaija – http://www.bellanaija.com/2014/04/02/frances-okoro-you-are-something/
Omawumi’s song “Be The Best I Can Be” rings in my head anytime I think of my mother. Like Omawumi, I was also a recipient of the “wash the plates, sweep the house” lessons. Of course, my mother is a Nigerian and like all Naija mothers do to their daughters, I was taught from the moment I could appear to understand the words from my mother’s lips how to work in a home, how to clean the bathroom and toilet, how to be neat, how to take care of babies.
I believe today’s modern women will forever remain grateful for the invaluable lessons our mothers taught us on how to keep a home and I sincerely believe those teachings were wrapped with good intentions but I can’t help but feel that there was a grave mistake somewhere, something fundamentally important to our existence was left out of these lessons.
Some of our mothers did us a great injustice…
I spoke to a friend recently, one blessed with an amazing talent. When she sings you literally feel like the heavens have come down to earth, God’s spirit descends so strongly, you literally have goose bumps springing out of your skin. I personally feel that God has endowed her with talent that can place her on the league of worshippers like Juanita Bynum but the only snag is…
She doesn’t see this. She ONLY sees her future husband and kids; she already has plans for her future home, husband and kids. She says she is ready; she is neat, she can cook, she can keep a home, she is a wife material, complete with as many yards as necessary…
And that isn’t bad in itself, marriage is a beautiful thing but when I asked her what about you? What about your dreams? What about your purpose in life? What plans do you have to use you’re amazing gift to change your world? She went blank, totally mute. She gave me no tangible answer to my questions, just like many others I’ve asked in the past went blank.
I don’t blame her; I blame the world we grew up in. We were taught to be good wives and mothers, we were taught how to keep a home, but no one taught us to be something without a man. A great injustice was inadvertently done to us by our mothers and it needs to be turned right.
I had an argument with a friend when I was in final year in the university who believed that a woman was nothing without a man, she believed even when a woman achieved much, she was still empty if she was not married. I loved her as a friend but hated her ideas. I was appalled by the fact that a lawyer in the making could still hold such views in the 21st century.
Of course my friend and many others who had heard what I thought about that ridiculous stand as regards unmarried women tagged me a feminist but this isn’t about being a feminist, this is about the fact that women need to know that we are something even without the husband/kids.
We need to know that God has deposited a lot into us, and apart from commanding us to be fruitful, to multiply and fill the earth, He also wants us to manifest our light in this world, with or without a husband. We need to find the reason why we were created. We need to find our purpose on earth.
Our parents taught us to be good wives and mothers but we were created for more than the kids, for more than the husband, we are meant to fill a niche, to leave the world better than we found it. We are the solution to a problem; we are something even without the husband and kids.
Alice Walker in the colour purple said- “The Olinka girls do not believe girls should be educated. When I asked a mother why she thought this, she said: A girl is nothing to herself; only to her husband can she become something. ‘What can she become?’ I asked. ‘Why’, she said, ‘the mother of his children.’
‘But I am not the mother of anybody’s children’ I said, ‘I am something’.”
Women arise. It is time to say like Margaret Thatcher-“One’s life must matter, Dennis, beyond all the cooking and cleaning and the children. One’s life must mean more than that I cannot die washing up a tea cup,”
We all know she didn’t die washing up teacups alone; she left a mark on not just her husband and kids but in the world. We can do the same.
Find your purpose. Find your niche and fill it. Manifest your light and glow. Be a complete woman. Use your gifts to touch this world in a way they will never forget. The world awaits your manifestation.
You cannot die washing up the teacups. You are something.