Why Nigeria Airways’ First Female Pilot Hadiza Lantana Oboh DREADED Men And Felt Marriage Was Too Much Trouble Even Back In 1984

The late Captain Hadiza Lantana Oboh made history in November 1984 when she became the first female pilot of the now defunct Nigeria Airways. A self-assured and super confident woman, she always knew what she wanted and went for it no matter the challenges. Until her tragic death in the hands of her domestic servants, Lantana, as she loved to be called, did not consider marriage. Many Nigerians did not really know why she chose such a life but in an interview conducted in November 1984 with Guardian, she outlined why she was so scared of men and did not consider marriage was really for her. Below are excerpts from the interview, then she was aged 26:

Lantana insisted she was a career woman and she said:

I had always wanted to make a career out of something very challenging…nothing except health reasons would make me give up my job.


If I do settle for matrimony, I will give birth to 100 kids if I can because I love children. But for now, marriage is simply not on my mind. It’s too much of a hussle.

When she was asked if it was the pilot training she had that influenced her ideas about marriage, her usually exciting face turned pensive and moody. It took more prodding from the journalist for Lantana to open up precisely why: it had to do with the experiences of her two best friends whose names she would not disclose. She narrated:

So painful was their agony that I’ve since dreaded involvement with any man. My friends and I returned home from the United States out of love and nostalgia for Nigeria. And yet they received nothing but dejection and sorrow. Their marriages broke down barely after 14 months of wedlock. And they have never been the same. I see them quite often and the effect of their ‘sudden change’ lives with me.

On thing that Lantana always made very clear over and over again was that even if she decided to get married, she would never leave her job for any man, she said:

If any man wants me, he has to compromise otherwise it just won’t work. If he loves me well enough to want to marry me, he should be able to accept things about me such as my job. Nothing, nothing except health reasons can make me give up my job.

Hadiza grew up in poverty in Kaduna (she was born there) where she attended Government Girls Secondary School in Kwoi. She never let anything stop her dreams and eventually became the first female pilot of the Nigerian Airways plying local and later international routes. She would focus on her career maintaining her stance on marriage until her very tragic death in the hands of her domestic servants in Lagos, I wrote about that earlier, see the details HERE.

In Nigeria today, marriage is still a big deal but it should not be so because matrimony is not for everyone and for those who want to go into it, they should always be very careful with their choices and think clearly before making very costly decisions all in the name of being married.



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