“I have NEVER thought of getting married to a Bamileke!”

Her argument was simple: not being a bamileke herself, the man’s family will always pressure him to get married to a Bamileke woman AND he would either end up sending her away to get a Bamileke bride or get a second wife, “sometimes …third…”she mouthed disgustfully.
I had nothing concrete to debunk her statement. When I look at my own family, all the women(3) on my mother’s side got married to the men from ONE village- Bafang and both their village (Badjoun) and their husbands’ fall under the Bamileke tribe. Maybe someone needs to do research on this hyphothesis if it has not yet been done.
Marriage is a very important part of the lives of those who CHOSE to get married. You can’t just marry anyone. However, I wonder if my peers (youths) actually do give a thought on this.
My friend is from the Northwest Region of the country and particularly from Mankon( Check tribe). We were discussing on the topic of marriage before she made that statement and launched her argument. My comeback was that: this doesn’t work in all instances and that in my home, for example, my parents have very simple demands as concerns the person I will marry.
For my mom it’s not very complicated. Her argument is not racist but rather one of a clash of culture. To her, if I get married to a European, American or Asian or ‘White’, if a fight comes-up, she could up and away with the kids leaving me alone ( as if I too can’t run away with the kids…duh). “Also”, she adds, “the kids will be far away!” I know she wants to be a grandmother…I understand she would want to have her grandchildren around her. So simply: “ Don’t get married to white”.
My Dad’s the best. One day I asked:
“Dad…what kind of a person would you like me to marry?”
He was very happy. It was as though he had been waiting for this day to give me the marriage version of ‘the talk’. He put down the remote, looked into my eyes like never before, beckoned me to come closer then he asked in his characteristic friendly baritone:
“Will I be in YOUR house with you? Will I raise YOUR kids? Will I live with YOUR wife? My son, it’s your life. Make the choice but know the consequences. If you are happy, I’m happy.”
That was it. He summed it all. That is the answer I gave my friend. Is it the family that lives with the man or the wife? Why would they decide to stay within the tribe or whatever?
Let’s even look at evolution: does the tribe not stand a better chance of surviving if the gene pool is increased? What if you marry you great-grandfather nephew’s daughter’s uncle’s grandchild? Is that not incest? (By the way I just made that family tree up…I have no idea if it is.)
The point is: marriage is not a joke. Young people should think about it.
When she asked me:
“Ok. So… how do you know the kind of person you would like to marry?”
I said I would like to marry someone I’d love to talk to and who would love to talk to me. I believe communication is the key and that when we can communicate, there is no trouble we won’t surmount…for there is ALWAYS trouble in a marriage. I have been at the front seat of THAT kind of trouble.
“What if after two years you don’t feel like talking to the person anymore?”
I was like: “Does it mean you would be getting a divorce every two years?!”
I have no idea what I would do if that happens to me. It is clear from Hollywood that marriages can last for a week or a year …or two sometimes depending on the pre-nuptial agreement signed. Also, people have chosen the wrong persons and after a divorce or two (or more) met the right person.
My mentor, http://www.jamesaltucher.com , is clearly extremely happy with his second wife, Claudia Altucher.My observation then is that: marriage is neither an exact science nor exact religion either because once humans are involved…nothing makes sense.
I think we should think about marriage BEFORE we get into it. We should date prospective WIVES and not just kill time with ‘chicks’, ‘Ngas’ or ‘Maa’ or (insert condescending nominal term chosen to describe female counterparts in a love relationship). The ladies are not exempted either. Some nice guys (like yours truly,) have been victims of ladies without prospects!!
Like in the http://www.TED.com video by MEG JAY, we prepare our married lives now.
I used to have a pretty long list of criteria my future wife would have. I used to seek for these qualities in girlfriends and would often feel silently disappointed when I didn’t find a few. I call that list “The List”. I had about 20 or so items on the list. Now I have just one. Now you know what my next post will be on…
How about you? What is your take on marriage and the selection of a spouse…for life?


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