This is really personal for me and I am glad to be sharing. I and my friend Damola collaborated to bring this to you. I love how she brings out light and emotions in her words and I was so syched to be doing this with her. We hope this empowers those it's meant for. Check out her blog also (https://thenigerianstoryteller.wordpress.com/) & thank me later!
1. Remember the time your father called you his little banker. The time your mother said you held the key to happiness when you prepared vegetable soup to the perfect shade of green. Forget you're having trouble meeting up with both obligations at the same time. Swallow these expectations. Don't burst.
2. Be strong enough to dream, your dream is in a faraway location, modelling, writing, creating something, this is not compatible with the Nigerian dream of hammering. Do not forget to dream but more importantly remember to leave it at your bed when you wake.
3. Do not end up being a stifled voice with unfulfilled dreams. Listen to everyone around you filled to the brim with "could have beens." You don't have the guts to become who you want. Practice along with the crowd, name your dreams. Picture yourself at 30, 40. Weigh the consequences, choose wisely.
4. Think of your friend Chioma who is now 3 times her size, but lives with her husband, she says it is better than being alone. She says it's not just the food, there are lots of things you swallow as a woman, things you see and cannot repeat; husband's text messages, in-laws requests. The food is just something that takes you away for a moment and fills you up with something other than tears.
5. See yourself being a house wife one day too. Start practicing, do everything to keep him before he thinks of leaving. Wake up to make his meals, wash his underwear, wait up for him when he doesn't come home, talk to yourself alone in your room. "Do you like how it tastes"
6. I hope your goal in life isn't just bearing another man's name. no actually, you have bigger goals, you intend to bear six sons, all of who will also take his name.
7. I hope your mother's unhappy eyes haunt you, every second she spent trying to make it work. Every time she changed reasons. "I'm not doing this for him anymore, I'm doing it for my children". I love him but he's hurt me a lot. I hope you don't make the same mistakes.
8. Ignore how many times you've been called a slut. Don't explain anything to them, or how lightly you gave yourself away. How many men you let in between you because you liked the taste of their lips or how they pronounced your name. Or the times you just wanted some fucking attention because you're human.
9. It doesn't matter how they can't see you or what you're capable of becoming. How much you love the camera and how you can take everything off before it. You are a goddess, you are unafraid of worship. You are a goddess and even all his unbelief will not conquer you.
10. He talks to you about how you are older than this, now 23, an age where men need to find you respectable, to consider you. Fuck him, tell him you're not a candidate, you're the damn examiner. That you cannot be stripped down into a word, a definition. When you're done cursing, ask him if he considers himself worthy enough.
11. Baby girl I hope you always remember this last point. You are too awesome, too wild and beautiful to be defined, to be stripped down to wife material, or to just one thing. You are this person made of carbon, hydrogen and calcium and capable of incredible things. Baby girl you are a miracle.