She Built a House under His Nose


There has been argument for and against a woman building a house without her husband’s knowledge. Unlike in developed countries where housing is planned and anyone wanting to own a house has to buy one, in Africa it’s a different ball game. You want a house or want to be a “landlord” as we say, you have to go through the process of buying a land and saving or loaning money to build your desired dream home.

Largely men are expected by society to be the “chief owners” and landlords of houses. Again i found out that more women now take up this role when they have the resources to own their own properties. Interestingly even though in times past women’s right to own their own lands, houses and properties was frowned at by society my grandmother who is now late had not just a house but she owned a number of properties and did manage to leave a good inheritance for her children.

Now where am i going with this gist? Well there seem to be a lot of quarrel over a woman building a house or even owning a property without the “express permission” of her husband. There are those men who do not like the idea of their wives building a house at all. To them it is like undermining their ability to be “the man” that should provide/leadership role. The other side of the divide are women who do not carry along their husbands in this great investment of building a house/owning a property. When such a man finds out all hell breaks loose. It becomes a big family feud that will require external intervention. Sometimes these marriages break as a result.

I believe there should be nothing hidden between spouses. If i have a land or would like to build, I’ll carry my husband along in my plans. In fact i turned up my nose against women who leave their husband in the dark about such huge steps until i heard this story…

There is this couple whom i would refer to as Mr & Mrs Ray. Mrs Ray purchased a land and built a house without the knowledge of her husband Mr Ray. She held this secret tightly to her heart and revealed it when something happened. Mr Ray’s family showed up one day to inform her that their son, Mr Ray had a baby by another woman. They pleaded with her to forgive him of this betrayal and our dear Mrs Ray refused to go berserk because of this news. Days later she invited her husband to the location of her property to show him the house she had built. Mr Ray went into a shock. When he did recover he accused her of “backstabbing”and was very furious with her. Why did Mrs Ray acquire her own property secretly? Could it be that she did not trust her husband? Perhaps so because it was later revealed by her that Mr Ray collected every penny she made from her business often and had assaulted her physically. A lot happened between them that i would not like to go into in this story but the couple eventually separated.

Sad way for that marriage to have ended but i am forced to ask what is wrong with a woman owning properties, lands and houses? Why do some men feel threatened by this?

A man who supports his woman will be the bigger beneficiary of the dividend.

Men and Women should support one another to succeed for the world can be no better with just one of the gender.

Photo Credit: How to make a model of a house

Adebisi Adetunji (C)


8 thoughts on “She Built a House under His Nose

  1. Discrimination against women is allowed by every society and culture in the world. There is no good reason why. This is a hard truth to face. I wonder what good might exist in the world if every woman was allowed the equal right to pursue their dreams. in lak’ech, Debra

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s a very annoying and harsh truth really. Now she will not know peace because he knows that she did what he may possibly not have been able to do. I have a friend who went through a similar situation and my poor Sola was shown pepper because she dared to dream and built twin bungalows. My dear, it’s really a tiresome situation.

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    • I can imagine what poor Sola went through. It really beats me Jackie why achieving any “success” is a big problem because someone is a woman…Any way i say no giving up,keep dreaming and pursuing your dreams. Have a fabulous weekend!

      Liked by 2 people

      • My dear, no way am I giving up on my dreams because society feels that as a woman one should be shortchanged. If God didn’t want me to have aspirations, he wouldn’t have laid the dreams in my heart. Have a great weekend as well

        Liked by 3 people

  3. This is the trend at home now and the one I don’t particularly support and advice my sisters not to thread. My cousins’ wife who built a house to show she could do it did it in a very silly manner… The family already had a house, then they moved into a church free housing and yet the wife went ahead to build a house that wasn’t really design for rental. My wahala? – every term hubby struggle to pay tuition so turned to family, I listened to their tale once afterwards I pointed to how silly it is to have 4 school children and embarking on major project. I told them smart family will spend all the money for good education for kids and when they’re away from home, things get better.
    I have heard a few and often kids education/social life suffer.

    Even in the west where once with stable income one could get mortgage, wife don’t go ahead to own separately, if the trust is broken, I’ll try to fix it, if un fixable, I’ll be out rather than setting terrible example for my children – well, that’s me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I get your point Folakemi,it is all about setting one’s priority right. I also think building a house should not be about “flexing muscle”. Therefore husbands and wives should sit and make plans. No power tussle. However some men think it is unheard of that a woman gets to own properties.

      Liked by 1 person

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