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Strange Issues facing African Marriages

Updated on May 11, 2010

There are solid African Marriages, but the percentage is not high.

The Culture in Africa is that the man is the head of the house. Two people can’t wear the trousers but that is not to say he should treat the wife as a maid. It’s just an honour given to a man and he should respect and cherish his wife. As in the olden days and even in most western cultures, the wife normally looks after the home and kids, but it shouldn’t be an issue if she works.

It bothers me that a lot of Africans change when they get to Europe or travel abroad. I have heard/read so many stories, I could write a book.

Eviction from Matrimonial home

Some women are so humble in Africa, but once they set foot in Europe and grow in confidence (sometimes the wrong confidence, due to friends they mingle with). They actually end up throwing the husband out of the house. You dare not do that in Africa. I think the Law in Europe favours women and they take advantage of it. There's a little argument - they call the police and say they don’t want the Husband in the house. This is a man who has spent years working to buy a house, paying mortgage and bills. What do the police do?

Police: "Excuse me Sir, please can you leave, she said she doesn’t want you in the house".

The husband has no choice but to leave. Some stay with friends, some sleep in the car, some have a mental breakdown, while she stays in the house and claims Government benefit as a single parent, which the government are so generous with. These days you can claim for kids who are not even in the country - both Common Wealth and EU.

The Accused
The Accused

Interference of Outsiders

There are also many occasions when people intervene and tell the husband that the wife is a witch and he needs to leave her. How did they find out? They refer to some occultic “church” vision. Sometimes, he does leave or she leaves and the marriage is over, regardless of children. Some even accuse the innocent children of couples of being witches. I don’t know if anyone has seen the program on innocent African children being accused of being witches and tortured. Details.

A Sweet Couple on their Wedding Day

Tanimu and Hadiza Yakubu - 2009.  Nigerian Wedding. (Nigeria)
Tanimu and Hadiza Yakubu - 2009. Nigerian Wedding. (Nigeria)

Webs of Deceit

It’s a double sided coin. There are some reasonable African men out there but still some married ones who try it on with singles. I guess this is because they are allowed to have more than one wife, but it creates havoc and enmity between siblings. I have met such people. If you ask them, if they are married, the response is: “It Depends!” and if they admit they are and you respond that you can’t go out with a married man. The answer is usually: “she doesn’t need to know”.

Sadly, some ladies give in, as men shower them with money and there are babies everywhere. The painful side of this, is that when he: buggers off, excuse me – when he dies - As the Will is being read, Kids that the main wife has never heard of before, start appearing from nowhere, claiming he is their dad which is true, but totally heartbreaking for the woman who thought she built her life with an honest man. What is she to do? Dig him up from the grave and give him a good telling off?

In summary, I plead:

1) Ladies, be patient with your man. It’s not necessary to call the Police on him, unless you were physically abused. Even if you are a Bank Manager and he is a Postman, it’s not nice to belittle.

2) Family members, mind your Business. If the wife hasn’t had a baby within one year of marriage, there’s no need to gang up on her or put pressure on the man to marry a second wife to conceive. Stop accusing every Tom, Dick and Harry of being a Witch. Some lovely African wives have maybe 4 daughters, but no - the husband's family will give her no rest until she has a son. This is why in UK, hospitals have stopped telling African families the sex of the child they are expecting as they might terminate it.

3) African Men – permit me to say, if you stay faithful, you’ll enjoy marriage till the end of your life. Why do you need one wife and so many concubines or other little wives – multiplying trouble for you and your children in future. Recent Example 2010 : A Senator marrying a 13 year old girl. Read: Philipo's Hub.

OK, my last Hub was about Age not making a difference in a relationship but this 13 year old, would be his 4th wife.


Another Sweet couple on their Wedding Day - I wish them well...

Cyril Adeoti and Diane Barton from Salford. Nigerian Wedding (UK)
Cyril Adeoti and Diane Barton from Salford. Nigerian Wedding (UK)

My experience

Let’s not go there in this Hub…   However, for everyone reading, I wish you a Blissful marriage and for any single, I hope you trip on a Kiss and fall madly in love, forever…



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    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from London, UK

      @ThussaysNanaMarie Thanks for stopping. Good to see you again.

    • ThussaysNanaMarie profile image


      6 years ago from In my oyster

      So well put. Thanks for that. It was interesting.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from London, UK

      Thanks Stars439. Best Wishes.

    • stars439 profile image


      6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Wonderful hub. You are so right in your discussion. God Bless You.

    • Royalmark profile image


      6 years ago from Lagos, Nigeria


      Dalu too.

      Why I don't write that much on Hubpages is that I have to churn out 5 articles for my blog each week - My target. It's not been easy combined with school, so, I just try as much as I can and when I do, it's always short.

      I'm praying for better times. IJN. Amen. :-)

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from London, UK

      Chukwuka, thanks so much for stopping by to read lots of my Hubs this week. I appreciate it. I do visit your profile but you haven't posted anything new yet. Not to worry I will visit your other blog.

      May God send people to support you in all you do.

      Dalu. :)

    • Royalmark profile image


      6 years ago from Lagos, Nigeria

      Madly in love forever?

      Is that a prayer or a wish? I don't want to be mad yet. Hehe

      On a more serious note, some couples are dumb.

      Also, it hurts when I see people raving because of a son. I don't know why (guess I'm different), but I believe a girl and a guy are equal in a home setting. What's up with the inheritance thing? Africans (Nigerians) attach too much significance to it. A little is okay but they take too much sip from that bottle over and over again.

      Off to the next interesting hub.


    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from London, UK

      Hello Anna

      Thanks for sharing your experience. Sorry about your Divorce but I am so glad you have settled again. It's nice to know that East Africans don't have issues of "witches". It's so common in West Africa and they practice a lot of occultic stuff that ruins people lives. I would have been happily married to a Nigerian but his family continually interfered. I don't know what their problem was - I come from a very good, well known family. (I think I wasn't dumb enough for their son) lol.

      I really wish you well and it might sound cuckoo but always put your marriage in Prayers. If I had a choice, I would not like to marry a Nigerian but I don't know what God has in store for me.

      Thanks so much and Take Care.


    • profile image

      Anna Robbins 

      7 years ago


      I think the article is very interesting, however, I feel I must say that all of Africa is the same and that the cultures and traditions of East Africans are very different from those of West Africans.....For instance in East Africa the issues of a wife or girl children being called witches is very uncommon......and the level of interference from family in marriages say from Tanzania and Kenya and level of interference from family in marriages say from Ghana and Nigeria is very different.....

      I am an African American who was married to a Nigerian for 4 years and the pressure from his family was unbelievable....we got divorced and I am now married to an Tanzanian man and have been married for two years now and some of the same issues that were cause for family meetings in Nigeria have been dealt with without the whole circus and pressure....

      I still find it difficult to understand some of the things expected of me but the reaction is very different in Arusha.....

      That's just my personal experience....

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      Thanks for your encouraging comments Amorea.

      Best Wishes.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hi - another lovely piece of writing - your sensitivity shines Lady E - I especially appreciated the line, " ... trip on a kiss ..." - Thank you - again.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      Thanks so much for commenting Kaltopsyd;

      Sorry to hear about your Aunts. It's such a pity that there are such issues and the truth is I have only covered just the tip (just a peep) of what happens.

      I would have been happily married by now, but for these silly issues/interfering people.

      I appreciate you stopping by. Best Wishes.

    • kaltopsyd profile image


      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Great Hub. I was interested in reading it because in my family there was a Nigerian marriage and a Ghanaian marriage. Both failed, however, and on the same grounds as you described. One aunt said "goodbye" to her husband. My other aunt walked out. Neither of them were African though.

      I digress... sorry. Once again, great Hub.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      Cheers Suny.

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I hope the Ash cloud doesn't wake up as you plan to travel. lol. The weather in UK is lovely right now. Hope you enjoy your stay.


    • suny51 profile image


      8 years ago

      I am feeling so great full for what you have done for me a few hours back,Thank you very much.Now there are people who have their own ways of living their lives and I would rather not comment on that,but being an Indian I find them a little hard to understand although these are common things only the ratio may differ.Thank you once again,by the way I am in UK next month if every thing runs smooth.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      Cheers Billyaustindillon

      I appreciate you stopping by. The different cultures in all 5 continents concerning marriage, are sure interesting...


    • billyaustindillon profile image


      8 years ago

      Very interesting hub about totally different cultures and problems that have developed or as you point out solutions haven't.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      Thanks Tina for sharing your comments and that Bible Verse.

      Best wishes.

    • TINA V profile image

      TINA V 

      8 years ago

      Marriage has its ups and downs in the life of any couple. Whatever race we belong, it is a partnership that needs to be worked out. But it is just sad that there are relationships that end up the wrong way. I want to share this Bible verse in Ephesians 5:33, “Let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

      May your readers be reminded of their role and duties as a partner through this hub. Have a great week!

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      Hi SupportMed,

      Hope your day is going well. TGIF. Thanks for the comments. Things are so different in US. I also heard that you have to pay for Hospital/medical costs while in UK, it's all Free.

      I like the US System as it encourages people to go out to work or maybe make a small business at home. I think the new Government we have now, will address this issue.

      Thanks again, I appreciate your comments.

      Have a lovely, relaxing weekend.

      Best Wishes, Elena x.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      ** Hello Nancy's Niche, I like your comments: Marriage should be a Partnership. How blissful would it be, if everyone adopted that attitude. Hope you are well and following our politics in UK. We are Well, we had a Hung Parliament. Best Wishes.:)

      ** Hello Philipo - it's interesting to know that the stories are cirulating in Nigeria too. I thought long and hard about writing my experience and decided not to. It would upset my readers. I included it in the draft on MS word, but didn't paste it into the Hub. I actually tease my Dad and tell him I can't give him any guarantees that I'd marry a Nigerian after what I've been through. Thankfully, he always says: "if you are happy, we are happy" but we'll see...

      Thanks for allowing me to use your Hub.

      Best Wishes.:)

    • Support Med. profile image

      Support Med. 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Lady_E: Since this goes on in rich families as well, I am reminded of the song by the O'Jays, 'For the Love of Money' as well as the good book stating that money answereth all things.

      As for gov.assistance:here it is determined by how many children you have. However, the amount is so small that it is not even enough money to pay your rent. Gov. will help with day care/babysitting once a client is placed in a work/school program. Even with that, they do not cover the full cost of child care, so the mother will still have to come out of her pocket.

      PS: You do not have to respond unless you choose to, just wanted to add that in, because US moms on gov. help do not have the choice to stay home if collecting gov. assistance.

      Thank God for the few good men.

    • Philipo profile image


      8 years ago from Nigeria

      Lady_E - This hub indeed captures so much of the happenings in Africa. I have also heard the stories of "humble" ladies in Africa that once they start enjoying the goodies of Europe, they see their husbands as nobodies. So many factors really face African marriages - the good, the bad and the ugly. I actually wanted to read your experience. Any way you have tactically skipped it. Its ok. Marriage practice in Africa is different from what obtains in other parts of the world. Some are not really cultures but individual attributes.

      This is a nice hub. Thanks also for linking my hub on the 50 year old Senator that happily got married to a 13 year old baby girl.

    • profile image

      Nancy's Niche 

      8 years ago

      Lady_E, This was no doubt a difficult article to write; it touches on so many emotions. Marriage is difficult at times and people change. There has to be a healthy balance of love, respect and tolerance on both sides. Marriage is a partnership, not a dictatorship, it’s being able to talk and resolve issues together. When the latter comes into play that, is the beginning of the end in most cases...

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      Hello SupportMed...

      Oh my goodness, I feel you really got worked up, but the issues are truly upsetting and strange. On reading your comments - it's not just in poor families. This situation happens in families that are rich as well.

      As for government benefit in UK. Some single mothers are on Benefit and do want to work, (maybe part time) but by the time they calculate the Baby sitters money and other payments, they would be better-off just staying on Government Benefit. Catch 22. 1) the house is paid for. 2) Council tax paid for. 3) income support allowance 4) kids benefits. (each kid has a separate benefit) These are just the ones I know. So, it does add up.

      On a positive note, as noted at the start of the Hub, there are some reasonable African men and women. Very nice with integrity but there is still this other negative side. If only people would change their mind-set.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to write your comment. As you noted: Soon and very soon, may we experience Peace.

      I hope for that in all Countries.

      Best Wishess. :)

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      ** Hello Deborrah, thanks for your words of wisdom. I wish everyone would heed to what you wrote: "It would be far better to listen to God than to friends and relatives!" Friends and relatives have caused so much damage to African Marriages. Thanks so much for stopping.

      ** Hello Again, dreamreachout. You always bring a smile to my face. Regards.

      ** Thanks SweetMocha-Monroe, for your encouraging comments. Nice to read from you.

      ** Hi Andromida, Exactly! Who on God's good planet made him a Senator? She's been put in a very vulnerable position (the other 3 wives could do anything to her and I'm talking spiritual). Then, when she has kids, the battle carries on. Only then, it would be extended to the innocent kids. Thanks so much for stopping. Regards.

    • Support Med. profile image

      Support Med. 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Lady_E: I am appalled at reading this. The following comments are based on limited understanding of African traditions. As it is my understanding that all African men having more than one wife is normal and accepted, there.

      The children: It is beyond shame that these children have to be accused of being withes and being inhumanely tortured and murdered because of it, they already experience village wars,rapings and killings which have no basis to them whatsoever. Where is their childhood? Do the parents of said children love money more than their children? Or, is the poverty so great that they would rather sell a child to be relieved of poverty for a season? I wonder, would the parents face certain 'consequences' if they had not agreed for their child to be purchased?

      The men: It is totally inhumane to be able to 'buy' a child to be a mans 'wife'. If there is any 'success' to it whatsoever, it is only because the child is living in fear, adapts to the situation, but inside prays for deliverance. The whole idea of having more than one wife, or one wife and hundreds of concubines is gross in itself. But, to have a 13 year old wed to a 50 year old man is hellish. Where is the integrity of African men, in Africa? True, the same can be said of some 'religious' cultures here in America as well. And although it may not apply to all men, there are some men who are just not happy being with one woman, religious culture or not. It is truly a pathetic situation.

      The women: It appears that the women of Africa have no power or say in how things should be done, accept to the running of the house, cooking/cleaning and caring for the children, etc. I can only guess that for the women who willingly accept this, it is contentment for them. Why does it change when they come to America or the UK? Again, only guessing, I would think that they did not want to be married to the old fart in the first place. The sad part is that they have to be sent back to Africa. Maybe they just really want to be not married, or not married to that particular man and only got married because of tradition and thought that being in the US, etc., they can now be free to marry whom they really want to.

      UK gov.: I am glad that the government does not let them know beforehand the sex of the child. Killing an unborn because they are not male. Some women never have male children, and 'men' you are the ones who decide the sex of the child before it is conceived. If only 'those kind of men' can discover the power of allegiance with sperm and egg so as to be 'not disappointed' and have hundreds of male babies 'only'.

      I don't know how much the government provides for single women with children in the UK; but here in America, any woman thinking she can raise her children on government provision alone, is only fooling herself. It's not enough money, and you are not allowed to be a stay at home mother receiving government funding. They make you go to school/work or you are cut from govt. assistance.

      Lady_E, I did not intend for this to be so long, but reading this brought so many thoughts to my mind. It's sad and I am sure there are many who are praying for the women and children (and some men) in Africa.

      Soon and very soon, may we experience Peace.

    • andromida profile image

      syras mamun 

      8 years ago

      I love the summery of this hub-everyone should read this hub.I'm a bit shocked learning that a Senator marrying a 13-year old girl;how come he is a senator.Thanks Elena for another solid hub on social issues :)

    • SweetMocha-Monroe profile image


      8 years ago

      This a very insighful hub and very much needed. Thank you for writing it.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Yes babuji!! Your hindi repertoire is wonderful after seeing all those bollywood movies!! Even Mahatma Gandhi is called Bapuji in India!!

      I came back to remark on this wonderful hub of yours!! :)

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 

      8 years ago

      Lady E, Great informative hub! You have given us much insight into African marriages!

      One should really think before they say "I DO" It is important that the couple shares the same values... For a marriage to last it takes love, commitment and patience! Marriage is honorable in the eyes of God! His way is one husband and one wife for life! It would be far better to listen to God than to friends and relatives! If more honored this it would be a lot less divorces...

      Thank you as always for sharing! In HIS love, Peace & Blessings!

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      ** Hi Rossimobis, I'm so glad you stopped by and shared that story of your friend. What a pity he was put in Jail. There's so much happening here and if you are a single parent, it's not worth working. The Government give you an allowance. Also the kids already get an allowance from the government and the hubby you kicked out has to pay an allowance to you. lol. Anyway, thanks so much for stopping. Much appreciated.

      ** Cheers HP Roy - I agree with your comments. You would make a good African president. People should abide by the law of ethics. Best Wishes. :)

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      ** Hello J Dove-Miller - Hope you are well. I agree, having babies outside the marriage is a good reason to put a man out, but not for little Arguments. Thanks, I appreciate your comments. :)

      ** True Hello, Hello - both parties are not always willing. Hope you are well and getting used to the idea of Cameron being the new PM. :)

      ** Hi Pisean, I have been learning about the Indian culture but never knew that there was such an issue with "witches". Thank goodness, it's now rare. Glad you stopped by. Shukria.

      ** Lol. Dreamreachout - That Amitabh Hub has gotten so popular, I have made a note to put the link on my Hub: My love affair with India. It will make a lot of people smile.

      Thanks for your comments, I like the way you have elders sorting things out. The outcome will definitely be fair and I have observed that Indians have a lot of respect for there elders too. For "Babuji?". Nice to read from you. :)

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 

      8 years ago from Guwahati, India

      Marriage is nothing but a divine love in true sense. If some one needs a second wife for some reasons he has to decide with patience as well as abide by the law of ethics. One should not bring second wife without divorcing the fist wife. The reverse is also true for the ladies.

    • Rossimobis profile image

      Chibuzo Melvin Mobis 

      8 years ago from Biafra

      Sister,i enjoyed my stay here not just reading this piece but let me begin with the last point,the issue of the 13 yrs old girl and the selfish senator is inhuman,this is where the so called Sharia suppose to be a shield against an innocent child but instead it served as a means of exploitation.Africa(Nigeria) is so awkward, that is why the stupid man irrespective of his social status still serve as a senator,bet me;this kind of thing won't happen in a civilized nation. Furthermore, "leave she don't want you"...a friend of mine recently had an argument with the wife,they both leave in DC,she got so hot that he gave her a minor slap on the chick but bet me,he spent the next 24hrs behind bars,on bail and given 100 yards away from his wife,a woman he married and transformed from a Nigerian villager into an AMERICAN ELEGANT LADY but she is down home as of now facing the entire family,the elders said..

      (ALU)...TABOO. it is forbidden for a woman to lock up her husband, for this reason,you will remain in Nigeria until further notice.

      That was a judgment the American system could not change.

      I don't mean to advocate for abuse of any kind but most ladies become something else once they get to the shores of USA,EUROPE as you mentioned and my advice to couples is this...

      "True love counts no error"

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wonderful hub again!! I can understand very well since Indian laws are much patterned on the British laws and hence much of the things here are same!! Educated urban women are taking advantage to earn a fortune!!

      The tribal population in India is better off as they dont take recourse of the law, they have their own social bodies usually headed by the village elders who abjudicate in case of dispute and their way of solving disputes is mostly fair to both parties!!

      Great hub!! magzz had written something hillarious for you on amitabh hub!!


    • pisean282311 profile image


      8 years ago

      witch hunting in unfortunately present in India too though instances have now become rare..

      i liked ur hub ...

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      I fully agree with you but the problems arises when one if willing and the other counteracts with all the power. This can only be solved if both are willing and that you will find very seldom.

    • JDove-Miller profile image


      8 years ago from YOUNGSVILLE

      Though I find the break up of a marriage a tragedy, I don't regret women standing up to husbands who deserve being stood up to. Having babies outside the marriage is a good reason to put a man out as far as I'm concerned. Love travels both ways... toward and away. Infidelity is the road away.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      ** Hello Bingskee, totally agree with you. It's nothing to do with Colonial mentality similar to Pete's comments. Interesting to know that you have a similar situation in your country. Nice to read from you. :)

      ** Thanks Susan, you'd be surprised at what goes on in other parts of the world regarding marriage issues. I'm glad you liked the pictures. Thanks so much for stopping. :)

    • Susan Carter profile image

      Susan Carter 

      8 years ago

      Marriage is such a sacred bond that it upsets me when I hear about stupid ideas that come into a person's head which destroys their ability to see that they have a beautiful thing going on. Every culture is different, but love does not recognize that difference. Treat your mate as you would treat yourself and the love will blossom and keep you together. Good Hub, Lady_E. I found it very fascinating. I had never heard of some of the things you mentioned. Thank you for the pretty pictures too.

    • bingskee profile image


      8 years ago from Quezon City, Philippines

      it makes me sad how people can be changed with other cultures. it is no different in our country. some people has this 'colonial mentality'. but i digress. it is very sad that one can just a throw a husband, or that children are called witches, or that a man treats women as sex objects. how varied cultures are but somehow they are similar one way or the other.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      ** Hello Coffeesnob - Patience sure helps a lot of situations. Thanks for being the first to comment.

      ** Hi Happyher, sadly it's happening even right now. People being falsely accused and "no leg to stand on". It's upsetting. Nice to read from you.

      ** True Mike - Laws are not there to be abused. If 3/4 of the world thought like you. The world would be a happier and peaceful place. Best wishes.

      ** Hello Pete, interesting points but they've had zillion of years to grow out of it. Common sense should deal with a lot of these issues. E.g chucking a partner out of the house, (who didn't even cheat) or torturing a child who was an Angel to a couple when he/she was born, until some people declared the innocent child a witch. I don't understand that mentality. Thanks for stopping and sharing your comments. Regards.

    • Pete Maida profile image

      Pete Maida 

      8 years ago

      Relationships can be tough everywhere. Each part of the world grows out of the old rules at their own pace. Africa did not have a chance to develop naturally. They were drug through hundreds of years of development by colonization.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 

      8 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Call me a romantic, but I am very much of a mind that a man and woman should be blissfully happy forever and ever. I know it doesn't always happen that way, but it is what I would hope for everyone. I would never favor customs, laws or interventions that don't have a married couple's interests at heart. I realize laws must be enforced to ensure the safety of the woman (or man), but the laws should never be abused.

      I believe in love. I am soft-hearted, I guess.


    • HappyHer profile image

      Tracy Morrow 

      8 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      I couldn't imagine having to share my husband with another woman or having to defend myself or my children against charges of being a witch, whether it was true or not :) Thanks for an interesting hub!

    • profile image


      8 years ago


      Patience is always needed in a marriage. And your 3 points in summary go a long way in any marriage.




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