I was discussing with a friend a few days back about our society, our norms and the present day Africa. Things have really change from how it was back in the olden days. The things that were taught to us with pride are no longer valuable today in Africa or other societies. Sometimes I wonder what our society is coming to and what would it be like for our kids in future.
Read a great post by a sister Rosemary Okosa, her growing up in the suburbs of Lagos. The humble beginnings, the joy of out-doors, time shared with friends, neighbours and family. The games that today are regarded as primitive and the walking in groups to school. What love it was in the face of what many looked at, as a period of lack.
It was an era when kids were given the community upbringing, they were not just their parents kids but to the entire community. Kids within a living locality belong to all, parents or not. Food were shared among families. children walk to school together, study together and play together.
In the evenings, everyone gather together for African tales by moonlight. These were tales oral passed down from generation to generation. It indeed was a fabulous time, where playing trance from school gets a child disciplined by anyone who discovers it even before the parents finds out. The lashes does not end there, the whole community gets to put in words or punishment and when next you think of playing a prank, you think twice.
Respect was the order of the day, for kids to their elders. Till date, most people raised in that era, do not call their older siblings by name. That was the era of being your neighbour or brothers keeper.
The community upbringing is gone. Today in our society in Africa, the adage of being a brother or neighbours keeper is gone. A brother would see a brother’s/neighbour’s kid going astray and watch in glee because gone are those norms and values that made our society what it was.
It gets bad by the day. The other day, a lady was recounting her experience with a friends son in Lagos VGI area. This lady had gone to visit a long time friend and as she sat with her discussing , the nine years old son returned home from school. The family driver had gone to pick him and he walks in with the driver carry his school and lunch bag.
He got into the living room, removed his shirt and threw it at the driver. Removed his shoes in the middle of the living room, which the driver picked up to add to the pile already in his hands. This young guy picked the remote change the television and proceed to stretch on the sofa, without greeting the mum or her visitor.
This lady could not hold herself, she asked the young man if he did not see her and the mum as he came in or if he was not taught how to greet his mum and elders when he returned from school. Instead of apologizing or doing the right thing, this child screamed the mum and stamped out in tears threatening he was going to call his dad to report the rude stranger in their home.
As if not enough, the mum got up and asked the lady to leave her home. According to her, this lady friend of her’s had not only embarrassed her son but lowered his self esteem. She told this lady she was raising her son in the Western way and that it was not compulsory or a force for her son to greet a visitor.
This is the era we live in, an era many think kids must be raised in certain ways to show affluence and wealth. Are these ways the best for our kids? Do kids deserve a new way to be raised to signify affluence/wealth or are the ways of old best or Archaic?