Laraba The Astronaut Who Never Was


Hello all,
It has been quite some time. Yes. We apologize for the delay and promise to be more frequent. Today we serve you something fresh and interesting. A guest writer for the next few weeks will be sharing some stories with us.

This is the first part.



Honestly, I don’t know where to start. Don’t fret, we are in this together. I solemnly swear I am up to good (Remember the Marauding Map in Harry Potter?) Recently, I remember asking a friend of mine where she sees herself in the next five years and to be honest, I was quite shocked by her response; looking at me with her supposedly confident eyes, she struck the pose of someone who knew what she wanted. She said, “I want to be married with kids”. Just imagine. Out of all the things in this life, she wanted to be just another man’s wife.

I felt very disappointed not because she was my friend but because she was another female who still lives in the past and can’t think of doing things for herself, just for a change. It took me back to a scene when I was in primary school. Like every inquisitive 8-year old, I was excited to go home one sunny afternoon. We had just been taught “Careers” in Social Studies. I remember vividly that I wanted to be an astronaut. I marveled at anything cosmic science, the galaxy and the solar system. Aunty Peju our teacher asked me my chosen career. I told her I wanted to be an astronaut. Till this moment, I remember the ‘wicked’ laughter that followed my response.

She said, “Laraba. You can’t become an astronaut. You are a girl”. I thought maybe because she didn’t know what an astronaut did, that was why she was so dismissive. I felt when I told my mother, she would tell me “You can be anything you wanna be” just like Ben Carson was told by his mama. I was wrong, and 17 years later, I am still wondering why Mummy said the same thing Aunty Peju said. Did Aunty Peju come to our house and told my mummy before I got home? That was how I felt for a long time, until I realized that our environment, social beliefs and masochism have relegated the woman to almost an afterthought

Well, back to my friend.

I asked why all she could think of was marriage and she said because there was nothing she had passion for. I mean she was tall, a true definition of African beauty and she told me she had learnt the hair dressing skill. Why not own a hair salon? Why not become a top model? Why limit yourself to marriage because you are a woman? These questions ran in my head “ as if dem dey rush me”.
When I heard my cousin was pregnant and getting married years back, I asked my mum if every pregnant lady must be married automatically to the father of her child. My cousin was pretty, she was smart, I looked up to her, she had just finished her internship in a TV station and I was super proud when her name rolled up the screen as part of the production team; now, she was getting married.

 Why did she get pregnant in the first place? I heard it was intentional; she wanted the guy to marry her because he was a business man and lived abroad. My goodness, I felt angry, I wanted to scold her and punish her for thinking shallow but she was quite older. Now my cousin lives in chains; she does not have a say in her home and cannot even file for a divorce because she is a drop-out and cannot cater for herself and her children. She has become warped in that space that often affects a woman; leaving her dreams because she has become a mother and thinking of what society will say just because she aspired to be better.

Why do females of today limit what they can do or achieve? I see girls wanting to be in a relationship or get married to a man who has wealth already. Why not someone they can build an empire with? Someone who, yes, has a strong foundation and potentials of becoming successful, then you both can work your way to the top. Such person would respect you; he would cherish you and not want to loss you because you are an asset.

As for me, I am not an astronaut. I grew up and found other passions. But, dare I say, I am doing what I love without anybody limiting me.

I have a lot of insights on how to find yourself to share with you in my next post. For now, remain focused, eat healthy and do you. You Only Live Once!!!! Aunty Peju and my Mum didn’t know better. Now you do.  A woman is strong, powerful and wise. Don’t become just another man’s woman. Be yourself, find yourself and the stars will be in your grasp.

Akuba Victoria is a makeup artist, an aspiring on-air personality and vlogger who is full of life, loves to write and take pictures  she writes in from Lagos Nigeria

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  1. Vikkie vikkie, I love ur write up. Its so real and genuine. Keep soaring

  2. Nice write up... Bravo dear...

  3. Thank you so much ... Just what I needed this morning

    1. You ate mos welcomed. Am glad, please stay tuned for more episodes 😍

  4. You are most welcomed dear. Am glad, stay tuned for more 😍.