Children, during a recent debate on the floor of the Nigerian Senate, Mr Chukwuka Utazi, Senator representing Enugu North, said that Africans usually marry for children and not for love.
He was immediately interrupted by another male senator, Ahmad Lawan, President of the Senate, who requested that Mr Chukwuka should speak for himself.
The debate was occasioned by a bill seeking to prevent, control, and manage sickle cell anaemia in the country. Senator Utazi said that he spoke from personal experience, having been a victim of the debated issue.
It could be seen that both men pitched their tents on opposing sides of the divide regarding the sensitive subject.
Twitter also went agog as Nigerians debated the question of love and marriage.
So ladies, what do you think?
We believe that people marry for various reasons, rightly or wrongly so. However, there are primary factors that condition many marriages in modern-day Africa; for instance, money to sustain a good and comfortable life, male children to maintain family lineage, and of course, love between the parties.
What then happens when children are not forthcoming? Or when there are health issues such as sickle cell anaemia (at a time thought to be ogbanje or abiku), or even barrenness? Can love still exist?
It is very harsh if not misleading to suggest that there is no love in African marriages.
This view is perhaps coming from the modern-day ‘context’ of European understanding of love, whereby the emphasis is placed on the exaggerated passion between couples in love, yet when the power is no longer sustainable, each lover will go his/her separate way!
And although we do not want to go deep into explaining the academic nature of love due to time constraints, suffice it to indicate that the western notion of love does not render enough justice to our collective sense of African essence.
The arrival of children in anthropological Africa, just like in the Bible, is considered a blessing from God.
The Honourable seems to forget that in his Igbo ethnic group, women even marry for their husbands to bear children while sustaining that love bond that led them into marriage in the first instance.