It is no new thing for anyone to understand what this topic means especially for a true born African. I’m so certain while seeing this topic first thing that came to mind was everything that comes with it. I mean with the way an African man or woman goes about with dealing with everyday challenges.
And we could say every African share one thing in common. For instance, a boy prostrating to his elders. A woman kneeling to serve food to her husband. The names we call our husbands and the rest of them you could mention.
There is so much to learn from when it comes to Africanism. It is exciting to know about the culture of the Africans but some certain things don’t really seat well. Some ideologies and their beliefs tend to affect a whole lot of people and make them vulnerable to both males and females. For every typical African parent would be, never have friends over, never visit friends, and all of that. And that describes what good parenting means for them. Don’t get me wrong, every good parent wants the best for their children and that’s why they get overprotective and I totally agree with that. With some kids level of freedom, one could predict what they will turn to be.
Parenting is one difficult job one could ever take and at the same time exciting. Every kid between the ages of 12-20 should be carefully observed, this is an important stage of their lives. Where they don’t really feel comfortable about themselves especially during their puberty stage. The girls tend to pay more attention to their body, face, skin, and many more such things. The guys get to think more of what people think of them and the people they hang out with a lot affect their lives positively or negatively.
When we ask parents certain questions about why they take parenting so important. The majority of them will tell you they are scared of their female child getting pregnant and their male child hanging around with bad kids. So to avoid these things they keep them home all day.
To be honest the only thing the African parenting circles on is just so the child doesn’t get pregnant. Ha! But you’ll agree with me that 75% of parents only have power over their girl child and leave the boys out of it. They believe it is not the boy who comes back with a child anyway. But a child who stays indoors all year or gets out all day once he or she has things up her mind and wants to execute he or she will do one way or the other. Parenting is hard. I haven’t been married before or get to have a child yet. But then we all have siblings and somewhat a child of our parents so we get to see their decisions they make every day and truly it is difficult.
What I’m really driving at is that there are ways to go about it, and not using authority as a parent not to hear them out.
In Matthew, the Bible tells us about the good and bad tree. It says a good tree can’t bring forth bad fruit and vice versa. Well in rare cases I’ve seen good tree bear bad fruits (I meant rare cases). Many people will take the Pastor’s child as a case study, but really at least 70% of people confirm this and somewhat is true, we still trying to find out why this is so.
In my own opinion, African parents don’t tell us what we need to know that’s why sex education is really important in every family. Yes, I said this. Every child should get closer to their parents and communicate a lot more.
Here is a quick question: why do most females get to hide about their rape experiences and then open up after a long while and then tell us in detail of how they were molested?
Our parents are somewhat always busy or sometimes they feel it is wrong when they bring up topics like this with their kids. These rape cases are true and it could happen to anyone. We should learn to speak up on time when find ourselves in such situations. And so back to sex education. I met a girl who talked about how uncomfortable she gets when she talks to her parents not even her mom which she should be closer to. What was the problem? She got infected and it affected her so badly that it changed her entire monthly cycle to becoming an abnormal color and yet she’s not pregnant, but she felt comfortable asking someone outside her family. This reason could only be that African parents are judgemental. Our parents leave out what we need to hear and even if we come of age they still got codes to go about it when they talk to us.
I can remember every common statement about mothers when they talk about a girl’s first menstrual cycle. They will go like; “This is an important phase of your life. It means if you sit close to a boy, you’ll get pregnant”
Like how? hah!they are scared of telling them what they need to know. Now, what has the girl gotten from the little discussion? Oh yeah right “Don’t sit close to a boy.” I could remember when someone came to ask me what ovulation means or some will go by asking what’s the discharge that comes out in a girl. A lot don’t know how to calculate their cycles they sometimes get to learn from school which isn’t still enough. There’s a saying that charity begins at home. For the boy child, they don’t let them know what they have to know about sex education. In fact, they don’t even bring it up in any way except when they go out a lot they will tell them, “Don’t get any lady pregnant”. Has any parent talked about the consequences of rape to their male kids? Well, your answer will be from the results of rape cases we get to hear and see every day on the net. Oh, how can we forget about how they inflict us to believe we can’t marry from another tribe. I mean the popular tribalism they practice.
AFRICAN PARENTING FOR MARRIAGE
Oh you can’t marry an Igbo guy, they love money and they will use you for rituals. Oh, you can’t marry a Calabar man, he will so beat you up and waste money on different women after he gets his salary. Oh yes, you cannot just marry a Hausa man or woman. The truth is that they don’t practice love at all.
Every tribe got its bad and good sides. No one is perfect instead we should focus on how they get compatible and not where they come from. Another pressing issue is the lifestyle they portray. If you don’t set good examples how do you want the younger ones to inculcate? For instance, a man who comes home drunk every day or woman who nags at the man every time. Calling him abusive names like useless man, stupid man, etc. A family who hardly tells sorry when he or she is wrong and claims he’s always right. Or a family who sees nothing wrong with a man to cheat, I mean he can cheat and he’s forgiven but a lady who cheats faces the traditionalists.
Mind you I’m not a feminist but I believe in what is right.
When a child sees this and has made it a part of him it takes the grace of God to make such a child come outright. Look towards all these things mentioned you can tell how this has affected our societal lives one way or the other. I love our African parents and I want them to work on themselves a lot more because it is going help better our younger generations.
Rachael Etim Bassey is from Nigeria. She’s a writer and currently, a 400l student at the University of Calabar studies Science Laboratory Technology (a major in PhysioPharmacology).