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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Marriage and Society by Yaya Sillah Part 2

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By Dr Cherno Omar Barry,
President of Writers Association of The Gambia

The importance of the traditional wife

Many people don’t really know the true meaning of a traditional wife. To them, she is just a woman who only has sex to have children and serves her husband’s needs like a subservient slave. This is not the case and it is a misinterpretation to view her in this way.

Marriage is the oldest tradition in human history, from Adam and Hawa to the present day. This being the case, whoever gets married must follow the traditions of Adam and Hawa.

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The traditional wife is the ideal wife that every man dreams of. Traditional wives are part of every generation and every society. They are women who completely base their marriage on the traditional roles of marriage. Everything in their marriage is based on love, care, respect, fairness, sharing and understanding, without relying too much on freedom of choice and ambition.

Traditional wives have self-control in their pleasures and needs. However, as Fatou, a client who became a family friend told me, they are very romantic. They don’t give too much in the bedroom, but they also don’t take too much. Men love women like that. They always give you the feeling that you can get it when you want, and they can get it when they want. Traditional wives are also very shy about showing their body. They only let you have what is enough for you and then preserve the rest for next time, which is very healthy. They always make you feel like you are looking forward to every single night in bed. Women are like food – when you are going to eat them, take a small portion each time and make sure that you eat that portion very well. If you eat too much food at one time you will put on weight, which is not very good for your health. Traditional wives love men who eat well in the bedroom, but not those who eat too much at once. They tease you with their nice words, which are comforting for you, and they touch your body with mercy that makes you feel sensational. They look after you like a woman with her infant baby when she is breastfeeding.

Traditional wives are also very good at maintaining a marriage if there are problems arising. They are also very good mothers to all children. The thing that they know best is how to give love whenever and however it is possible. You just have to be in the right place at the right time – which is in a marriage.

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The radical wife

A radical wife is a self-proclaimed wife who bases her marriage only on what she believes and what she wants, based on fake love and lots of fake love stories.

Following the Second World War, the position of women in society changed greatly. More women started working full time to fill positions that men used to fill. That gave women more power to control their finances and changed some women’s perceptions and attitudes towards male-dominated institutions like marriage. To them, marriage is a tool that men use to control women. This sort of attitude is common in women at each level of every generation and every society. It has nothing to do with whether or not a woman is educated. There are many educated women who are willing to play the role of the traditional wife. Tony Blair’s wife Cherie is one famous example. Many people believe Prince Charles married Camilla Parker-Bowles because she was more willing to play the role of a traditional wife. In my own village there were radical wives who did not have access to any type of education whatsoever. It is more to do with an attitude problem and too much freedom of choice.

A worrying number of women are beginning to think this way due to mass media and mass communication, which connects the world. Everything is within reach. Radical wives have freedom of choice, higher expectations, ignorance of traditional roles of marriage, and they support gender equality. As a result they change men like they change a pair of shoes. A radical wife also cares a lot about the size of her husband’s assets. They are also likely to have sex before marriage, which makes them not worthy of marriage. Some don’t live this way, but they all share one thing in common – fear of being controlled by men.

Radical wives usually don’t care much about social and religious values. They often attend religious ceremonies, but in their heart there is really no God. This makes it very hard to reform them. They usually want to live their lives independently and make decisions based on what they think is good for them without considering how others feel. Some of them are too interested in the material world – if you stop providing for them, slowly but surely they will leave to find another husband. We may call them materialistic women. I think this term is wrong, because every woman likes material objects, whether she is a traditional or radical wife. The only difference is that traditional wives will not ask you for such things, and she will not leave you if you don’t have them. Radical wives are the exact opposite.

I remember one of my clients had a radical wife. They left Uganda for the UK, and lived together for nearly 5 years. Previously she had been married to three other men, and she never really showed her fourth husband any love. She would ask him to buy her this and that, and if he didn’t, there would be no sex. If they did have sex, she called out the names of other men while they were having sex. One day she told her husband that she had been transferred to work every weekend in Belfast, in Northern Ireland. He didn’t have any choice but to agree with this move. One day, six months later, she was having a shower and had left her phone on the table. Her husband picked up the phone and started to look at the text messages. He could not believe what he was reading: hundreds of text messages from all over the UK, asking her how much she charged for sex. When her husband confronted, she confessed that she had been doing a part time job as a working girl for the past six months. He nearly had a heart attack. He left his house there and then, and came to me. After he told the full story, I recommended that he divorce her immediately, which he did a few weeks later.

This is very common in society now. That woman’s husband had his doubts about her for so long, but he did not have any evidence until he read those text messages six months later. If you are planning to get married, you must be ready to follow and play the traditional roles of marriage for your own benefit. Some radical wives are not interested in having any children. This normally makes them very lonely in the end. Those radical wives usually end up with lousy men, who in return use them and abuse them. When they get old, they usually end up in a nursing home where they do not receive any valuable care, help or support. Some have nothing to show for a lifetime of work. Additionally, what they took from different men is used solely to pay for their care.

The disadvantages of being a radical wife

Don’t get confused between radical wives and modern women. A modern woman is completely different – she is a woman who may be very well educated and who has a great understanding of social and religious life. She is ready to take on her role and serve her community, society and the world, and she plays her role very well. She can be either a traditional or a modern wife. I have seen lot of modern women playing the role of traditional wife, without affecting their career.

The radical wife will marry someone conditionally. She relies too much on freedom of choice, and aims to have full equality with men. There are many disadvantages in this. She will find it very difficult to socialise with religious and conservative people. She will find it difficult to find a suitable man who is looking for a strong family connection. She will find it difficult to raise children. She will find it very difficult to stay with only one man. It is also very common for her to struggle to maintain any type of friendship. She is usually not worthy of marriage. The majority of radical wives prefer to be in a sexual relationship with men outside marriage, and sometimes with women too. This way, no one can question her actions, and she can freely and independently do whatever she wants to. She doesn’t care about the future; she lives for now. That is why the future doesn’t care for her – it ends up ruining her.

If you are one of these wives, try to change your way of life before is too late. It is never too late to become a good person if you are willing. Life is too short – it is not worth leading a loser’s life. There is nothing wrong with being a good, traditional wife. Marriage could save you from danger. Women can never become men. You can be one of the greatest women in your lifetime without challenging the role of men in society. It doesn’t really matter how rich you are, your life is imperfect without a proper husband. I don’t have to name anyone, but I’m sure you know someone who used to behave in this way, and in the end I’m sure they regretted it. Don’t let yourself down and become a bad example for future generations. Your family and friends will only be proud of you when they see you happy and following something which has a future for you. They will not like seeing you changing men like pairs of shoes. Your intelligence will only come to light when you begin to do good for yourself and the wider community. People will only judge you by what they see and hear. However, God will judge you one day, and on that day there will be no turning back and your only thought will be “If only I had known better”. Well, you know now: what can you do about it?

Happy marriage is usually based on mutual love and understanding. That is why it is very important to choose the woman you love for marriage. This is what I call a ‘pick and choose’ wife. A ‘pick and choose’ wife is the best wife you could ever dream of. She is also someone who will not mind playing the full role of a traditional wife.



Alahaji Yaya Sillah, also known as Yaya—Patchari, was born in Jarra Sutukung Sillah Kunda in the LRR region of The Gambia. He is married with children. Born into a family of religious Muslim conservatives, his views are more liberal and moderate due to much time spent travelling the world. His area of expertise is sociology and spiritual counselling. Through his counselling service, he has inspired many people to become successful in their own right. His first book, published in 2014, was “Marriage and Society’, centred mainly on the essence of marriage and the importance of education. Later that same year, he established his own charity, the Back to School Foundation, which aims to promote education and research in Africa. In 2019 he founded Suba Kunda Publishing to promote African literature in the diaspora.

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