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Becoming a Nigerian parent

Becoming a Nigerian parent

By: Olamide Francis

If not for the Nigerian way of raising children, we will not have a working society as we have. If I lie, look northwards and see the laudable achievements they’re making with childbearing and child upbringing.

The first rule on how to be a good parent in Nigeria is to marry as many men/women as possible in noble poverty. No one will question you. You don’t even need to cut your clothing according to your size. Your minimum wage monthly salary will rise, like ‘garri ijebu’, as you forcefully bring the innocent children to this earth to enjoy the ever-flourishing life in Nigeria with you. Just walk in faith because God will provide for their needs. After all, faith doesn’t require any common sense. God will do it when the children come.

Fulfill the mandate that your religion teaches: “Be fruitful and multiply.” God that landed in your bedroom to give you a helping hand during the act of sexual intercourse will rain manna from heaven to cater to the children when they arrive. Don’t even let your wife rest. Doesn’t she belong to the other room? Few months after she delivers your triplets, fire her again in that your room self-contain. She needs no rest. She’s the baby factory. Your vision must be as large as a football team, with a robust reserve bench at that. So, your wife must deliver enough children to make your dream come true. Don’t worry about space. Your ‘face-me-I-face-you’ room is elastic. It will expand as you give birth to more children.

Don’t listen to that nonsense they call family planning? It’s what the enemies of progress have devised to cut short the ‘be fruitful and multiply’ mandate. More so, you’re a Nigerian. Carry go. Everything your children need to thrive from birth to adulthood is available. Free education. Sound health care. Job opportunities. Adequate security. And all that makes life sane and habitable. You need not worry. The Govt. has got you covered. This rule is important. ‘Born’ them plenty. Your children must surround your table (so, make a very long table), as well as your grave on the day of your funeral.

After giving birth to them like plantain, make a list of all your brothers’, uncles’, family members, and everyone you’ve ever helped in this life. Ensure the list is comprehensive enough because you will have to deploy every one of those children – that your well regulated sexual organs and uncommon sense helped you bring to earth – to their various abode. You now nah. On a NYSC level. Deploy them to their various place of primary assignment. If your relative disagrees, wait till they visit your abode. Donate one of your many children to them in goodwill.

Where it comes to parenting, you must also up your game, either you have them in abundance or units; especially with the kind of children, we have these days. Children shouldn’t be over-pampered o. First, you must try as much as possible not to give your child(ren) one whole meat; no matter their protein deficiency. That kind of treatment spoils children. Let them share one meat if you have more than one child. That is a very cogent way of showing them that life isn’t a bed of rose and disciplining them to be great people tomorrow. Children with less meat to eat have more sense than children with all the meats. Leave malnutrition, face home training. You as a parent, gather all the meat into your storehouse. Feel free to take as much meat as you can, at least four pieces for every meal, depending on how many are in the pot. You need the protein. Don’t mind your body weight.

Also, as a Nigerian parent, you must magnify your position beyond your responsibilities. Use your position as parents to subtly control your children. Isn’t that the style of leadership of our colonial masters? It is part of home training to call for your child on the tenth floor to come to help you pick the TV remote that’s in front of you on the ground floor. After all, parents give birth to children so that they can rest. It’s not laziness, it’s exercising your fundamental parental rights. Shutting your children up when they have things to say is part of it too.

Only spoilt children will speak when the elders are talking. What an old primitive elder (that has refused to keep up with current reality) can see from a stool he inherited from his grandfather, a young lad on the Iroko tree cannot see. That’s why all these ‘small children’ shouldn’t be given a place in the public service. They lack the experience. Long live the old, primitive, and rugged, who have all the experiences to move the country two steps forward and twenty-two steps backward. Movement is movement.  

About flogging; you’ve not started parenting if you cannot flog your children. Madness is in the heart of children; it must be chased out with the rod. Ensure you leave them with scars so that they can remember not to do it again. Don’t mind Nigerian drivers that won’t obey a traffic sign. Their parents didn’t flog them well when they were young. Even those that still throw pure water nylon inside the gutter, they didn’t receive enough flogging. Don’t even talk about the public servants who are working so hard to ensure poverty is evenly distributed in the land; they were not flogged. It’s too stressful trying to think about other ways to instill discipline into a child. Who needs to think about disciplining a child when ‘pankere’ and ‘koboko’ is nearby?

As a parent, you can’t afford to open your eyes and watch these children get rotten. Can’t you see the way all those ‘yeah men’ children abroad have turned out to be because they were not properly flogged? They call the cops on their parents when they see them exhibit negative traits. Parent your children the African way, if you want them to stay sane. Those abroad children are not sane. That’s why you can’t compare our educational system and rate of our scientific and technological invention with theirs. We were flogged well. They weren’t. 

The last but not least, never allow your children to marry from other tribes or religions. Abi what fellowship does garri have with rice? Fight it to the ground. They must marry someone from your village. The genealogy must be preserved. If they attempt to go on with the marriage, remind them that you’re their parent. You cared, nurtured, and catered to them so that they can serve you all their lives. Their life isn’t their own, you’re their god; you gave it to them. You’re meant to be worshipped. It doesn’t matter if you have never been there for them.  

Let’s end with these additional instructions:

There is no crime in using your children’s school fees to buy ‘aso ebi’. It shows how you value education. You have to satisfy outsiders before taking responsibility at home. School can wait, ‘aso ebi’ cannot. If you don’t buy the ‘and co.’ clothe, heaven might fall and they’ll not come to your party next time. It’s a do-me-I-do-you game; its best played with your children’s school fees. You don’t have to have the money, borrow to make the party organizers happy. Then, soak your garri in silence with the fine ‘aso ebi’ you just bought. Satisfy others at your own expense.

You can even use your children’s school fees to organize your own very necessary party too. Especially if it’s the funeral of your relatives, like your grandfather’s brother cousin in the village; the one you have never seen in your life, not even in a picture. Call for a big party so that the soul of the departed can smile at you. There is no gain in quietly burying the dead? After all, the deceased was the last of the heads of the family nah. He deserves some good final respect. It doesn’t matter what kind of person he was to you. This is a family ritual. The burial must be a talk of the town. After the burial, you can resume your water logged-mosquito infested one room in Lagos, but let the village people know that you have arrived.

In conclusion, when parenting comes to your mind, just know that you have to raise the bar. There is no need for improvement. Just copy and paste the mentality that you were brought up with – the one responsible for all the sense you’ve been able to gather to date. Keep passing the torch. 

“It took a while to really decide what I want to do. But one thing has stayed with me all these while: oral and written communication. At the moment, I volunteered for an NGO that educates millennials in Nigeria about politics via digital media, popular culture and technology. I have a BSc in Environmental Management and Toxicology. But I’m not doing again. I want to do communication. I want to be happy going to work, so that I won’t be fighting bus conductors and crazy drivers because of how miserable my work life is. I sensibly manifest on all social media platforms as Olamide Francis.”

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The only thing you need to know about me is I speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth ―― well, except when writing.

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