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Between wild and free: A book you should read before you get married


Let’s get real, single life in Kigali is not an easy thing. You have to balance professional life, personal life and dating shenanigans, which sometimes can be disappointing.

Do not even get me started on the pressure one can feel from family, friends and even strangers to get married. As soon as you are done with studie and are working, the question on everyone’s mind is “when are you getting married?” or “Umukazana wacu ari he?”

I’ve heard so many people complain about having to return home to see their families because they’ll be bombarded with questions like those. Which can be exhausting and frustrating at times.

As a young adult, you are traveling through life, encountering challenges here and there, making mistakes, gaining experience, and, most importantly, discovering yourself.

Back in July 2021, I read Caroline Numuhire’s novel “Between Wild and Free,” a book about the daily lives of women [represented by Linda in the book] and how they balance personal aspirations and societal pressure.

The novel follows Linda as she juggles professional success, love [dating], and the freedom to be herself and act on her own timeline.

Linda, a thirty-year-old Rwandan woman, is dealing with a series of dramatic events in her personal and professional lives. Linda is a successful working woman, but she struggles to overcome society’s label of “unmarried girl” because of her single life.

She works in Kigali at a regional office of a non-governmental organization based in the United States that promotes social entrepreneurship. She had previously worked at an institute for innovation.

Linda, the novel’s main character, feels judged by those around her, including some of her family members. All of this causes her to doubt herself and believe she has a problem.

It doesn’t get any easier now that her younger sister is getting married before her. She goes on to date a dubious man, and the drama, toxicity, gaslighting, and guiltripping are all real. Don’t even get me started on the plot twist that I had not anticipated, but you’ll have to read the novel to find out.

Caroline Numuhire, wanted to highlight the journey of precious Linda, who does not know herself, what she likes, or what she wants to become outside of the successful career she was building.

I don’t want to ruin the story for those who haven’t read it, but it’s all about figuring out who you are and what you really want. It is also about knowing who you want to be with and refusing to settle for anything less.

Which was a valuable lesson for me. Some people nowadays marry because they want to be wives and mothers. Because of the pressure, I believe you may feel unsatisfied at some point because you are not a husband or father.

But, before you can become that, you must first go through a journey. A journey of self-discovery, in which you discover who you truly are and what you truly desire for your life.

This stress and expectation is what is destroying so many marriages today. You don’t give yourself enough time to get to know your inner self, and you don’t give yourself enough time to get to know who your partner truly is.

Following the wedding comes the most important part, ‘the marriage,’ and from what I’ve heard, marriage is not for the faint of heart.

My point is, why should you read this book before getting married? Because it might make you consider aspects of your life that you haven’t considered before.

You, like the main character in this book, must silence external forces in order to discover who you truly are.

Between Wild and Free costs Rwf13, 000 for those who want to read it. The book is available on Amazon, and a soft copy is available through the Imagine We Rwanda app. The book is also available at Ikirezi Bookshop.

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