One of the biggest challenges of being a single lady in Cameroon, is well… being single, and well to do. Yes! This may sound ridiculous, but it is true. On the one hand, people tend to envy such women, because they are financially stable, can afford whatever their hearts desires, and most of all, don’t have to be accountable to anyone but themselves, if they chose to. The challenges the single lady faces come in different forms. Sometimes, her wealth may be associated with untold rituals. Other times, she may be branded a high class prostitute whose clientele includes directors, ministers, international businessmen and so on.
Regardless of the source of her wealth, the well-to-do single lady faces many challenges. Take for example a situation that requires a huge financial commitment, not only from her, but her family and friends. Somewhere, at the back of their minds, her loved ones would expect her to contribute the most. While this idea may seem justified, it does open doors to grudges. She may feel used, because in those times, she automatically becomes the most ‘important’ person, and in not too dire times, she may be overlooked due to her status.
Any attempt to complain may bring forth statements such as “You don’t have responsibilities.” “What do you use your money for?” Woe betide if single lady admits not being financially viable at that time. The claws start coming out. Hurtful statements, which the speaker would define as ‘truth’, will be directed at her. “What did you do with all the money?” “You never have money.” “What have you ever done for us?” and the list goes on.
True, some of these ladies are just downright stingy, and her loved ones may indeed be right. However, in a case where single lady is not stingy and has been supporting the people in her life as best as she could, this is quite unreasonable. Not being married and maybe, not having children, never equal less responsibilty. For one, we know that in our Cameroon, our family trees are quite large and close at the same time. Perhaps, she is supporting this person and that person and yet, her loved ones consider it meager. She may be paying off a loan for a house under construction, she may be supporting orphans and so on, or she may just want to save for her old age, just in case she has given up on the marriage agenda.
We all come from various backgrounds. Equating singlehood to less responsibility is at best, myopic.To each his or her own. To all my single and well to do beautiful sisters out there, kudos. Remember, I am not in any shape, form or fashion, encouraging stinginess or any form of craftiness. Neither am I advocating unwise spending. The important thing is to find a balance. It may not be a perfect balance, but it is a balance nonetheless. Besides, trials are meant to sharpen our rough edges, and you never know who is admiring the dexterity with which you handle yours. It may just be Mr, right 🙂