"I'll never clean all day," says Doncaster model in latest swipe at traveller community
A Doncaster glamour model who has caused uproar by speaking out on life within the traveller community says she feels sorry for wives left to cook and clean at home all day – and says that’s not for her.
Non-traveller Nikia Marshall, 22, and her husband Michael, 38, have been lifting the lid on traveller lifestyles in a new web series I Married A Traveller – but Nikia, originally from Doncaster, says following the community’s rules is not something she’s going to do.
She quit being a dedicated housewife after six months, describing it as a “boring” life, saying she wanted to earn her own money, not be stuck at home.
Nikia, who now sells cosmetics and clothing, says she doesn't care if people think it's "shameful” and told The Sun: "I do not follow a traditional traveller’s housewife duty of life, that is not me. I don’t have time to clean every day.
"I shout at Michael, I tell him what’s what. He has to cook, he has to clean with me, I work as much as him, we have a 50/50 lifestyle.
"When we first got together, I lived like a traditional travelling woman but I realised I would’ve got very bored very quickly.
"I feel for women who live that life, God bless them. How can your only purpose in life be cooking, cleaning a caravan and having children? It's ridiculous.
"Women are made for more than that. We have brains, we’re smarter than men most of the time. I feel like women should have a fulfilled life, not just sit there and say ‘I’ve had 10 kids so I’m happy now’.
"That wouldn’t make me happy, that’d make me depressed. I’d be thinking ‘I’ve had all these kids, I’ve relied on a man all my life, what am I doing?’
"If I had to stay home and clean all day and wasn't allowed to do anything else with my life, I’d leave Michael. That life isn't for me."
Although Nikia works, Michael, who owns his own roofing business, feels it's his role as the husband to pay for everything, with his wife admitting: "He pays for the roof over my head."
He said: "That is traditional, it comes from being an old school gentleman. I open doors, I pull out chairs and it’s my job to pay for everything.
"Normally when a travelling man goes out in the morning, they will leave £50, £100 or £200 cash for the woman, to get the food shop or whatever she needs.
"If the woman’s asking for money and she’s not getting it, sooner or later it’s going to get round that the man’s a bum. He’ll get talked about.
"Nobody talks about money in the traveller community, the ones who do are frowned upon because they’re known as braggers or blaggards.
"They'll show off with cars and trailers instead, but nobody wants to get talked about not having any.
"The money I make goes in a joint account, we're a modern couple."
"Now it’s frowned upon for a woman to go to work, because travelling men are more controlling and dominant; they won't allow it.
"They want their wives to stay at home, clean, cook and look after the kids while the man goes out and makes the money. Personally, I think it should be respected, not frowned upon.
"But most men feel emasculated, like less of a man, if another man is giving their wife orders. If he was telling her to stock the shelf or a till, most travelling men wouldn’t like that.
"And me personally, I wouldn’t like that either, another man giving my wife orders and telling her what to do in a shop or a bank or a supermarket.
"So most travelling women now will start their own business, get their own car to go out and sell stock. They’ll have a little job like that if they want to work."
Despite this, Nikia doesn't contribute to bills or meals out as a couple, instead using the money she earns to treat herself.
She says: "How I see it, I think a woman should work and that money should be for her. And Michael's money should be for us.
"If he fell on hard times and wasn't working, I'd share my money. But I’m the safety net, he’s the giver."
You can watch the latest episode of I Married A Traveller HERE