Today is not about gender war. It is not about who is always right in a relationship. It is not about who is the head or the tail in a marriage. Instead, it is more about us sitting around a table and discussing a very important issue that affects us all irrespective of gender.
I am a little sober today and I will be writing on this tough topic: ‘who is your next of kin?” I understand how many people hate to talk about this topic because there is no way we will talk about next of kin without talking about death and tragedies. Death is inevitable. No matter what we do, it will happen sometime. Even though I pray it doesn’t come for the young and bubbly but we need to ask ourselves honest questions. How prepared are we when it eventually comes knocking at our doors? If something happens to you who should be called? How well protected are your loved ones when death happens? If you have a medical condition and can’t make decisions yourself who is that trusted person you can call to make that decision for you?
So, what exactly does a next of kin mean? It simply means the closest living relative who can be notified in case of any eventualities like an accident, emergency or death. Usually, your next of kin is important in determining inheritance rights of a person when he dies without a will.
Unfortunately, when many people are filling these forms they take the part of next of kin with levity. Some just put in the names of their parents, brothers or sisters and when they get married they don’t bother to change it. This is a grievous mistake because that name on that form you filled many years ago matters a lot when something bad happens in future. That trusted brother or sister may have turned into a monster and it will be shocking to realise that he won’t care for those that are left behind. That is why it is important you tidy up things now that you are still alive. If you are married now go and change your next of kin to your spouse’s name. Moreover, if possible write a will to gift out all your family heirlooms to your spouse, children and other relations as you wish it. I am sure you don’t want any of your stuff to get pawned away by undeserving selfish monsters while your immediate family wallows in poverty after you are gone.
I have heard many stories where men stated their brothers as next of kin and when they died, these brothers took away everything without caring for the family their deceased brother left behind.
Of course, I understand your brother is the most trusted relation you have, he is your best buddy, blood and he knows everything about you. But these same trusted brothers might not act the same way when you are gone. So why not make your wife your next of kin? I really don’t understand what you are doing with a wife you can’t use as next of kin. Yes, if a husband can’t make his wife the next of kin then he is sending wrong signals to her. Your wife should be the closest person to you on earth and not your brother or sister. That is why I keep saying that many Nigerian marriages are just a sham! Yes! We only play happily ever after marriage but in the real sense, many Nigerians are not in very good marriages. Nigerians love counting the number of years they have spent in their marriages instead of the quality spent in there. That is why you will hear someone screaming his lungs off, “I have been married for 25 years” and this same person can’t write the name of his wife as the next of kin when he is making documentation. What matters to an average Nigerian is the number of years in a marriage and not the quality of the marriage. However, I am not speaking only to men; I am also speaking to women. Dear woman, what are you doing with a man you can’t make your next of kin? Why are you still with him when you are certain he is going to squander all your wealth on another woman and not take care of his children when you are gone? If you can’t trust your spouses, you have no business staying married to them? Stop deceiving yourselves, what you have is not a happy marriage. Marriage should be built on trust and when you have both lost it then you are just roommates.
Many Nigerian women are culpable of these acts. They will never use their husbands as their next of kin. They would rather use their children or siblings and they would be the first to scream their voices hoarse when they find out that their husband did otherwise. Oh! Yea, it stings badly now when you are paid in your own coin right?
Although, I am not going to deny the fact that there are bad men there are also bad women too and I have heard so many stories of next of kin saga gone bad. I understand it happens but the most important thing for you is to know your spouse. Whether you decide to remain in a bad marriage or not, the most important thing is to protect your children. If you are married to a philanderer, who jumps from one bed to another that is your business. Whether you are miserable in that marriage or not, it is a choice you made but protect your children. When you are choosing a next of kin, pick someone who is well trusted and tested over time. The same applies to the men if you have a reckless and spendthrift as a wife then be wise about your decision. If your wife prioritizes aso ebi over your kids’ education then you need to buckle up. However, I think 80per cent of women with children will always look out for the best of their children. I am not being biased, I am only stating the fact. A woman will never forget her child but a father may forget, most especially when he is in the heat of passion with another woman.
Moreover, in a country where the lifespan of men is shorter compared to women, I think it is wise to make your wife your next of kin. Or write a will. It doesn’t cost so much to write a will. Get a lawyer and get the future of your family well secured. Stop running from pillar to post trying to prevent death from happening. Stop wasting your time and energy chanting back to sender death arrows to your enemies. All the thunder and fire you have been sending to your enemies how far has it worked? Hey! Don’t get me wrong; I am not saying you shouldn’t do what you want to do to send death angel far away if that is your belief. Moreover, I wouldn’t want anyone to die a sudden death but you should also know that the most important thing is to secure the future of your loved ones.
Re: When divorce is the only option
when one marries an opportunist, it is just a matter of time. You can recall the Ogosis like the Teebillz. Being a responsible wife does not make one nanny. Just learn to prioritise your engagement.
Tito, your piece When divorce is the only option, in the Sunday Sun is sound. I love it. Once a marriage fails, mending it is always very disastrous. End it.
Bolatito, as regards your write up in the Sunday Sun, Tiwa Savage should be blamed for the breakup of her marriage. The raunchy videos that she was constantly dishing out are not expected from a married woman. She should have worked on her marriage. This is my humble opinion —080889….40
Bolatito, every sane person will share your indisputable position on divorce; which is the common feature in marriage these days. The true essence of a spouse is revealed after marriage. Some inklings of a spouse which are natural with him or her may be nauseating and unbearable to his or her partner. There is nothing unusual about a spouse pulling out of an unworkable marital relationship. Marriage like every issue in life has positive as well as negative sides to it. It either succeeds or fails.