Yinka Beatrice Oladeji is a 30-something, Oxford-educated, Nigerian woman living in London with good friends and a well-paying job at a prestigious bank but to her mother and aunts, she is flawed.
That is the gist of Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband? that starts at her sister Kemi’s baby shower, where her mother and aunts said a long prayer for Yinka to find a husband, just when Yinka was thankful no one has asked her yet.
The constant ‘Yinka when is your turn’ and the prayer do bother her.
“Lord, bring Yinka a good, good huzband. A man who is God-fearing, tall and educated,“ "okay, in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.” The interjection comes from Aunty Blessing, and I resist the urge to hail her, says Yinka inside the book.
Most African and African-American women would relate to Yinka. When you are just a teenager, society tells you to focus on your studies so that you will find a man when the time is right. In your 20s you are told to focus on you and your career so that you can always figure out family and children later in life.
The author, Lizzie Damilola Blackburn shows how tough Yinka’s life was just because she wasn’t married at 31. To make matters worse, her 25-year-old younger sister married and was about to have her first child.
“And look at your junior sister. Married and pregnant.”
When her cousin and friend, Rachel, shared news of her engagement, Yinka could not take it anymore and decided to go on ‘Operation Find-A-Date for Rachel's wedding’.
She started changing who she was, how she dressed, the church attended and almost bleached her skin, thinking she was not good enough - how else could she explain her single status? she mused.
Reading Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband? was like talking to a friend sharing her experience dealing with pressure from family, friends, society on finding a husband and getting married.
This book review was first published in The EastAfrican.