Former Nollywood actress Steph-Nora Okere was elated after she took a photo with actress Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde. Steph-Nora revealed that she ran into her former colleague who she had not seen in almost two decades, at an event this week. Sharing a photo of herself with her Omotola, […]
“Vanessa, so when are we hearing wedding bells with that your big shot guy?”
“Marriage is a big No for me. Why should I get married when being a baby mama is more profitable?”
The above conversation is between of one the acclaimed Lagos big girls in my neighborhood and her friend. In 2004, I was with a friend having a chat when he made this statement “There will be a lot of girls who will prefer being single mothers to marriage”. I doubted him back then until now that I have realized that he actually had the powers to see the future.
The term “Baby Mama” originated in Jamaican Creole in the 60s. The term was used originally by the fathers of illegitimate children to describe the mothers of their children but recently it has been applied to single mothers. In the 90s, the word filtered into the American hip hop music circle and became an accepted title for women who have children for the celebrities but not married to them.
In Nigeria, the business of having children out of wedlock was frowned at in the past because of the ugly sides attached. It was not something that the women were really proud of because its stigma. It was seen as a stain or dent on the family name. A good example is the culture of the Igbo’s in the eastern part of the country where a maiden’s dowry/ bride price becomes less than the original price if she is getting married as a single mother who had a child out of wedlock. Parents used this as a medium of preventing having children out of wedlock but today, it has changed.
The baby mama syndrome is fast becoming a trend as most of the younger girls are targeting celebrities and big shots to become mothers to their children. The aim is no longer to be legitimately married to these men but just to have their kids. The belief by most of these women is a guaranteed future for the children but most times it doesn’t turn to be in their favor. Some lousy parents even encourage their daughters to go after the rich.
Before the advent of Baby mama, every girl wanted marriage to “Prince Charming” “Take home to mama” or “Six packs” but the table have turned when women started getting pregnant for celebrities and openly declaring themselves as baby mamas. The women who have become baby mamas for topnotch celebrities like whizkid, Tuface, Davido etc now automatically see themselves transforming from ordinary citizens to celebrities. A large majority of those in the entertainment industry has lots of baby mamas with some boasting of two to three baby mamas. Some have carved a lucrative industry of making baby mamas out of women.
Some of the women did not intentionally choose to have that title “Baby Mama” stamped on them. It was a either a mistake or circumstances as the case may be. This category of Baby Mamas is referred to as Circumstantial Baby Mama (CBM). Most of the CBMs do try to give marriage a shot so that their kids can have good parental backgrounds if it finally presents itself. A lot of their kids are well brought up and well-behaved.
The most common and actively spreading category is the Intentional Baby Mama (IBM). The motivational factor is money. For IBMs, control is not an issue as they are not under any man and you can become baby mama for two or three men without any hassles. Marriage is not the aim and never a part of the plan even when it presents itself. As an IBM, they can live life as they want. IBMs don’t target only celebrities but big time money bags as well as fraudsters, yahoo boys etc. They don’t care what these men do for a living; all they want is the money.
The kids of these IBMs are mostly left for nannies, aunties, teachers etc for their upbringing as there is really no parental guidance. They may have all the toys, food, or best places to visit but never have better upbringing. They mostly end up as spoilt brats. IBMs have many cadres – the classy, the average and the lowest ones. While some IBMs are targeting celebrities, yahoo boys, others are targeting chairmen of Agberos (park touts) who are rich as well as billionaires.
The danger of this trend is the creation of a sophisticated demon that will come to haunt us in years to come. The only solution is a re-orientation of society on the demons we are gradually creating and orchestrating through ignorance and negligence. There is need for values to be imbedded in our children to avoid things like these.