By Anayo M. Nwosu
Nnewi parents’ first preference is for their daughter to marry an Nnewi man not necessarily because of propinquity or proximity but to prevent culture shock arising from clash of the culture the girl is used to and that of her suitor’s.
The parental resistance of a daughter’s marriage outside the town is protective.
An Nnewi husband naturally has same attributes as the bride’s father or brothers. Surprises are limited and can be handled in a way well known to all parties.
It is a huge decision for an Nnewi girl to marry “onye mba” meaning a man from another town.
Some neighbouring towns namely Oraifite and Ichi are not regarded as “Mba” as Nnewi has a common paternal ancestry with them.
Any foreigner, who successfully marries an Nnewi girl should know that it was a difficult decision for the girl. She must have braved it.
It is difficult to sell a foreign suitor to Nnewi parents and relations. They feel that the girl is taking a risk.
An “outsider” inlaw should not take for granted this step of faith by the wife. He should not misconstrue the subsequent love extended to him by the wife’s relatives as if there was never a quarrel or dissension before the marriage was allowed to happen.
I overhear some men lament that Nnewi girls dumped them after a promising courtship. It happened because of many factors discussed hereunder.
WHY PARENTS INSIST ON NNEWI HUSBAND
The following are the reasons why parents prefer Nnewi suitors for their daughters:
1. There is a saying that “ọgọ bụ chi onye” meaning that “an inlaw is the saviour of last resort”; that whatever your inlaw can’t do for you, no other person can do it for you.
It is a common practice for sons-in-law from Nnewi to transform and change the economic fortunes of the members of his inlaws’ family. This is done to make the wife feel happy and to continue being a good wife. A happy wife raises her legs the widest, the highest and more frequently for the husband than not-so-happy one.
So many fathers-in-law would commit huge financial resources to make their sons-in-law very successful to ensure that their daughters are comfortable.
In fact, our daughters are properly settled through a tradition called “ị du ụnọ” whereby the bride is even given a house, and all that is required to live in a house, including a car.
This is the daughter’s share of her family’s assets.
2. Historically in Nnewi, our daughters were never sold via marriage neither were they required to change their maiden surname. We say that “ha na-aga ije di” meaning that they are on a marriage mission.
I heard my mum, born 1932, being called “nwa okpu Nnewichi ” or “Nwanyi Nnewichi ” and my uncle’s four wives called with a suffixes of their villages.
Before Christianity secured its tap root in Nnewi, the corpses of our daughters were returned to their fathers’ houses for burial.
3. Experience has shown that families of non-Nnewi husbands gang up against our daughters whenever our daughters start making the husbands to practise success assuring behaviours like:
a) Insisting that his husband’s siblings should be financially responsible instead of crowding her home and depending only on her husband without future plans.
b) Vocally saying her mind to the hearing of her husband’s relatives especially by discouraging her husband from engaging in family projects that do not make economic sense using her background’s experience.
c) Exercising territorial control. At a point, especially after having children, an Nnewi woman takes control of her home, eliminating wastages and determining who visits her home.
CHARACTERISTICS OF NNEWI WIFE
The following are the attributes of an Nnewi wife:
1. PRESSURE ON HUSBAND TO EXCEL: There is every possibility that a husband of an Nnewi woman shall be successful in life. In fact, the lady must have sniffed the traits before she agreed to marry the husband. The guy must have exhibited some attributes of successful man as her Nnewi brothers.
She would whip her husband into line if he deviates the path of success using a combination of nagging, complaints, going out of her way to seek for persons who could help the husband to succeed. They can also manage a home.
2. WISDOM: Being that an Nnewi girl grew up seeing her brothers and father succeed, she would’ve imbibed some success enabling attributes.
Under her watch, her brothers would discuss business strategies and see them executed. Her mother must have also engaged in one business or the other. She saw the techniques of wooing customers.
Bringing her experience to bear in her husband house may be seen as being audacious. Some brothers and sisters-in-law from places outside Nnewi don’t stomach this.
3. NOSE FOR BUSINESS: Every Nnewi person irrespective of the sex has excellent selling skills. Right from childhood, Nnewi citizens learn how to go extra mile to satisfy a customer and how to identify customers’ needs and providing them. Our people have nose to smell money from afar. It is inherent.
4. FIERCE SUPPORT FOR HUSBAND: An Nnewi woman would do anything to see her husband succeed. Her mother must have told her that “di bụ mma nwanyi” meaning that a husband is the glory of a woman. She would always present the husband as hardworking to earn maximum respect and support from her siblings and to prove that she didn’t make mistake in straying and suffering by marrying outside Nnewi. She would work extra hard to earn money to support her husband even if it means becoming a distributor of her brothers’ product lines.
5. PROTECTION OF CHILDREN: Nnewi women don’t play with the welfare of their kids. If the husband becomes incompetent or incapable, an Nnewi wife takes over and becomes a bread winner. She knows that the future of the family is secured when the children are doing well.
She does not mind selling her clothes, doing menial jobs and trading to see the children through education or apprenticeship.
6. COMPETITIVENESS: Our women are very competitive. They benchmark their progressive friends and ensure that they also progress. She would not allow the husband to rest until he imbibes success engendering attitudes.
An Nnewi women is ready to confront and chase away distractive friends of her husband. She won’t spare her husband’s siblings with entitlement mentality. You must fund your enjoyment.
Lazy sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law of an Nnewi woman find a Jezebel in her. For her, everybody must work hard and become independent so that everybody would be in a position to make proportionate contributions at the time of economic emergency.
7. FAMILY-ORIENTED: An Nnewi woman can donate her kidney to her brother without even seeking for permission of her husband. Not even love or marriage can turn her attention from her roles and duty of care to parents and siblings. Don’t bother discussing her focus on or attention to her maiden home. It is a waste of time. It’s a marriage breaker.
8. FIDELITY: A typical Nnewi woman is a one-man woman. She is very proud. She may agree to a cross fertilisation for conception purpose. Sleeping around is seen as a shameful and a despicable act. Prostitution is not our value. An adulterous woman is poorly regarded by an Nnewi woman. But we do have Nnewi prostitutes.
BEST HUSBAND FOR NNEWI WOMAN
The best fit for Nnewi woman is an Nnewi man or a man with attributes of an Nnewi man. If you are not from Nnewi and an Nnewi girl agrees to marry you then you must be lucky.
WHAT MAKES AN NNEWI GIRL PREFER NON-NNEWI HUSBAND
The following could make an Nnewi girl to outside the town:
1. GLOBALIZATION OR TOWNSHIP FACTOR: Due to co-mingling in the township, church factor and education, the relationship barriers are being pulled down.
People from different cultures and orientation get so close in work places and areas of residence to the extent that they would start considering marriage. Proximity is a factor in love. University classmates tend to espouse modern orientation that tears the shackles of culture.
Nnewi has lost many girls to more educated and more religious men from other places. Some of these girls later realise that there is more to marriage than education and religious convergence.
2. FATHER’S INFLUENCE: Some Nnewi girls whose fathers are so poor that they have only money and who behave in merchantilist ways may be so aversed to wealth to the extent that they would prefer to travel far in marriage. They overheard their mum complain about their father’s frequent business travels. Due to business commitment, Nnewi men are usually not at home. The wives raise the children.
This class of girls prefer middle income husbands who would always be available. They are the romantic ones. This group Nnewi girls love romance and lovemaking a lot.
3. ADVENTURE: There are very young girls who just want to experience new things. They can marry anyone but may not stand the heat of culture shock. They run home so after the marriage.
4. LATE SPINSTERHOOD: There are few cases when a long-standing friendship leads to marriage. Age may be a factor. An ageing lady from Nnewi finds in a struggling man a mutual partner. They would still together to succeed.
All Nnewi girls are not angels but they are unique. Some people are responsible for giving birth and nurturing young millionaires and trail blazers. Women are responsible for training children in Nnewi.
Therefore, if you want your child to be as successful as an Nnewi man, and you feel up to it, present yourself for appraisal and consideration as an in-law.
Nnewi women as priceless! They are mothers of great men!
Umuada Anaedo, ọọ ụnụ nwe aka a!
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