BUT, BUT WHY MUMMY? - Bimbo Taiwo
Reading Okechukwu Ofili's 'Please Spare The Rod' piece really resonated with me. I think we are all familiar with the 'treat the child harshly' temperament that most Nigerian parents subscribe to. Slaps, flogging, abuses and curses are rained on children by their own parents and not just when a child has been bad, sometimes just because.
No really, WHY???
I put it down mostly to the daily frustrations of living. Allow me to demonstrate...
Parent returns home from work:
Business was bad today, what do you do - Give that child a hot slap!
NEPA has been terrible, you've been sat in the dark for a few hours now and already spent a gross mount on diesel this week, what do you do - Give that child a flogging!
Your mother-in-law has been irritating you, talking behind your back to the rest of your husband's family, what do you do - Give that child a never ending round of torture with words!
THE RESULT: A nation of cold, angry, frustrated parents and children(no thanks to the former). Its a cycle that ensures no one goes untouched and psychology will tell us that if it was done to us we are likely to flog/curse/hit our children too.
What about a kiss and some cuddle time for the children when a Nigerian parent gets back from work, yes even for the older ones - i've never heard of it! I dont even think I had heard of the custom of Parent/Children hugs till I really clued into cable tv where it seemed to be freely given at any and every opportunity.
How many times have you watched a film where the child runs away/does something really stupid and dangerous; the scene where the Parents are reconciled with their child never ceases to frustrate me. The parents run up to their child, hug her, ask if shes okay, throw in a 'you really scared us you know' line in a pukey patronising tone, more cuddles, more kisses - WHAT?
I can't count how many times I've screamed in my head (& admittedly at the TV) - somebody give that child.. a hot slap, a round of flogging, some real punishment, anybody!!!
Ahh..The feeling of (the African upbringing is the best) smugness only subsides when i'm with an apparently married/loving Nigerian couple and the closest they get to physical contact ever, in the presence of company is one putting the house keys in the others pocket. It seems even when we Nigerians do want to be loving and expressive and caring to the people we love we just can't. Is it the cycle, a curse, the psychologist's theory all over again? Then I start thinking.. well maybe those hugs are not such a bad idea.
The world and the way it works is cold and frustrating enough without us having to relate to others that way too.
Project this year: CHILDREN OF IWAYA PROJECT - BOOK FUND
On this project, we are partnering with African Child Development Initiative (ACDI), a charitable organization with a vision to promote lasting improvements in the lives of local underprivileged children. Like us, they also believe education is the key to empowering poor communities in the longer term. One of their current projects is the rehabilitation of Premier Foundation Primary school, an extremely ill-eqiupped primary school in Makoko, a slum lagoon in the densely populated Nigerian city of Lagos. Check out the site for details on this and other projects:
EVENTS: We have two major events this year... a fundraiser (summer) and a benefit evening (autumn). More info on the summer event below.
In the meantime, in order to keep updated please register to become a friend on the site and we will send you details of our upcoming events.
WLFF would like to invite you to come and have a fabulous nite at the..
"With Love From Friends" (WLFF) Official Launch Event!!
Attractions on the nite include:
FABULOUS venue in the heart of the city of London
Great Soul and 90's r'n'b music
Games room dedicated to games of snooker.
All the chocs and sweets you can eat.
Enter into the Raffle on the night to get in with a chance to win:
Free tickets to the Ball at the Millenium Hotel Gloucester Road 4th October.
and lots more..