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Married But Single

Dear Africana Woman,

How are you? I hope you had a fantastic week. We have had a brilliant week.

  1. We launched season 5 of our award winning Africana Woman podcast 

  2. All our followers on Instagram were deleted, so we basically have received an audit of our followers. We are believing the people who will follow us really like our content and will engage with it. Follow us @africanawoman 

  3. We are excitedly preparing for Cohort 2 of the Personal Brand Course and Edition 2 of #LUNCHANDLEARN which is in Kabwe

The reason I am writing to you is because I have decided to be sharing my own thoughts of each episode of the Africana Woman podcast. When you listen I do not say much or give my opinion because it is a space for our guests to be able to tell their stories freely.

Episode 118 - Married But Single with Chishimba Chibwe is a raw, gritty and honest conversation about a woman in the process of divorce. Spoiler Alert, if you have not listened you may want to stop here and then come back, but I will dive into the details.

Summary: Chishimba speaks shares her story of being a young woman who was dating a married man. At first with no intentions other than to have fun. However, after experiencing tragedy, she leaned into the relationship for solace and eventually the first wife was ousted and Chishimba married her now soon to be ex-husband. She speaks of the realities of transitioning from a side chick to a wife. She quickly learned that her husband was not satisfied with having one woman and continued his cheating ways, this time on her. The affluence and luxuries she was bathed in could not stop her from sinking into depression, alcohol abuse and bad company. Eventually, she developed a strong relationship with God and found the strength to leave her marriage.

Now let's dive in.

Yes. Chishimba was a side chick who stole a marriage for herself. I know it is easy to not have any empathy for her. However, I would encourage you to look past her mistakes, and listen with an open heart for the lessons she shares. She is aware of what her mistakes and is not afraid to admit them. I admire that in her. Most of us are so used to pretending we have never made mistakes. Yet when I talk about loving yourself flaws n all, it speaks to also embracing your dark side and knowing that is part of who you are. Therefore, love yourself unconditionally. So I invite you to accept your mistakes, forgive yourself and not let your mistakes hold you prisoner any more. People change, you have changed. That's part of being human.

Now that we have that out of the way, we have to speak about why African society is very accepting of men who cheat. Giving Zambia as an example, when a couple decides to get married, they are taken through traditional teachings. More often than not, the woman can go through weeks of training in comparison to a man who may or may not be spoken to for a few hours. In the teaching she is told to tolerate her husbands behaviour even if it is cheating. Essentially saying a woman can only have one man, whereas, men have the leeway to have multiple women. So the woman gets married and suffers emotionally, mentally and physically when her standards of monogamy are not honoured. This has led to abuse, depression, high divorce rates and even matricide. What makes this worse is when the wife seeks help from the family, she is dismissed because she is expected to simply accept her situation and be grateful she has a husband.

Hence the title Married But Single. Where a woman is so lonely in her marriage. Her husband does not defend her. He does not speak to her. or consults her. He isolates her from her friends and family. She is the sole care giver to their children. She does not leave because she is financially dependent on him and feels she has no options. She also fears being laughed at by her community. Surely, this is not a living. It's existing from day to day.

In my opinion, women have the power to stop this cycle by the way we raise our sons. You have such a deep influence on your children's beliefs, behaviours and habits. With intention, you can teach your son, how to run a home. You can teach him how to honour and respect women. You can teach him how to be a leader that a woman will want to follow. Teach him how to manage finances, make investments. Teach him how to be emotionally intelligent and to process his feelings. Teach him that power does not have to be driven by fear.

I speak of teaching our sons and boys because it is very difficult to change the men we have now. As the saying goes you can't teach an old dog new tricks. So our hope really lies in the children. They are going to build the legacy we so desire. You know, most women I have met who have gone through traditional teachings all agree that the syllabus is outdated and needs to change. However, no one ever does anything about it. Maybe we are too superstitious a society to want to tempt tradition. The way I see it, traditional teachings are initiated by the bride's mother. She gets to choose who will educate her daughter, and what they can teach her. Meaning again, women we have more power than you think. What if when your daughter, is getting married, you intentionally co-create a syllabus that takes into consideration more beneficial teachings. You have the power to change the syllabus.

As for the debate around divorce being a sin in God's eyes, I would rather see a woman or man alive than dead because of a toxic marriage that was built on a sandy foundation. Chishimba pointed out "Abuse is Abuse." As society we need to acknowledge that the status is of marriage is not more important than peace and sanity. We need to acknowledge different forms of abuse including financial, psychological, sexual and physical. Know the signs and teach them to your children.

There are so many themes that were brought up in the conversation. Which ones resonated with you the most? I would especially love to hear from people who have thriving relationships because I do believe there are amazing marriages from whom others can learn from.

Overall, I believe Chishimba's main message is that women need to build their marriage on a strong foundation of God, trust and communication. How it starts is a good indicator of how it will end.

You can listen to the full episode of Married But Single here -

Please share it with your friends, sisters, husbands, brothers, everybody. Thanks in advance.

Remember, my hope for you is that you live a life that you desire and you learn to love yourself flaws n all.

Lots of love


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