I have a niece. She turns two next month and I am really excited for her, so much so that I have even made plans to order a dozen red velvet cupcakes. Her mother is probably going to order a cake but I donâ€™t care; these are my plans. This is my shot at being a cool aunt; I am going to rock it.
I get excited when I talk about my niece, she is pretty and adorable and she has insomniac tendencies which I find cute and consequently I am forever blubbering about her, like I am doing now. Whenever I blabber about her, a question always comes up. Just one question, but over and over again.
â€˜When do you plan on having children of your own?â€™
Well, the answer is that I donâ€™t. I do not want children.
At first I was afraid that my mother was going to fuss about a need for grandchildren but since my niece was born I can breathe and say to people that accuse me of being un-african for not wanting children to mind their own business; at this point I have ran out of insults to hurl when the whole debate comes up.
I have heard about every single argument you can think of. From, we were created to continue with creation. That is my favourite one by the way. Then there is the one I mentioned earlier that wanting children is African; I am betraying my roots. Then there is the call for conformity and something about a husband wanting children.
People that speak of birthing little minions as the only way to continue creation annoy me. I have a great respect for mothers; God knows the world would not be the same without their prayers but I mean look at the kind of lives we live today, the technology we have built; is that not an extension of the creation story? Isnâ€™t contributing to that enough, even when the contribution is just blank letters against a white space? I think it is. No, I do not think, I know that it is enough for me.
Away from the bible and to the African state of mind. Know what else is African? Thatching roofs. Owning a wardrobe that is limited to loincloths. Protesting against Christianity and education. I could go on and on, but point is, we are no longer limiting ourselves to this line of thought and if I (and a bunch of other women) feel that I do not want children; it does not make me any less African than you are.
You could embrace the fact that I do not consider myself generous enough to have children with the same zeal you have embraced education or/and religion. Or you do not have to embrace me at all. But there is nothing wrong with an African woman who is disinterested in having children.
And before you decide that it is torture to marry a woman who does not want children, have you considered that there are men that do not want children as well.