When I was growing up, I was taught to respect my elders and to defer to their superior knowledge. Even when I knew that someone older than me was talking rubbish, I always smiled, listened and accepted their 'pearls of wisdom'.
However, as I got older, I began to see that not everyone who has grey hair is wise!
Imagine a polygamous good-for-nothing uncle who managed to produce 11 children from 4 women giving me advice about how to be a good wife? What was even more painful was that I know for a fact that it was each wife who bore the responsibility of feeding, clothing and educating her own children!
To make matters worse, my 'funky' aunt who had 5 children for 4 men and whose daughters have proceeded to follow her footsteps decided to pull me to one side at a party - to 'advice' me that I 'should not drink alcohol in public as it is not befitting of a married woman!' Ewoooo.....I have to confess say I bite my tongue sotay blood comot...............! However, as a good Naija gal, I smiled and said 'thank you for your advice ma.'
So, I got thinking about all the instances that our hypocritical elders have let our generation down............
1. Old Lechers:
We always dey blame our girls wey dey do 'runs'. However, I must confess that most old men are simply agbaya ashewos (old prostitutes). I recall when I was only 20 years old and I had to deliver an official parcel to a relative's client. As I made to leave the office, the baba who was at least 60 years old knelt down and begged me 'to do it with him, just once.' If you see the way I ran out of his office, you go think say I see ghost. When I told a couple of my friends about it, they said that maybe it was for fetish purposes....?!
2. 'Sharp' Mothers:
Despite the fact that most mothers got married to their husbands when things were still rough, I have observed that quite a few seem intent on matchmaking their daughters with affluent suitors - no matter the background. How else will you explain an aunt who actively encouraged her daughter to date only 'aristos'. Any yeye ordinary boy who mistakenly knocked on their door was made aware that 'his type' was not welcome there. Anyway, end result is that she did marry a rich thug, who abused her and she is now a divorced 38 year old - raising two children single-handedly!
3. 'Blind Eye' Parents:
These are the ones who choose to ignore what they know is happening because they prefer to enjoy ill-gotten wealth. For instance, your child is supposed to be an undergraduate but lives a lifestyle that you know cannot be from a credible source of income .....OR.....
your child left for abroad two years ago and has come back with five cars and built two palaces.....OR.....
your child left for Lagos or Abuja penniless and comes back within a year to shower you with money and build a duplex.
Shine your eye oh.....Shine your eye oh......Big meat dey choke oh!
4. 'Evil' Mothers-in-law
I cannot understand why a woman who was once a new bride can be soooo evil to the bride of her son. Someone please explain. Here in London, we are constantly beseiged by these women who think we are 'enjoying their son's money'. Oh, I laugh .....!
The most evil ones are those that come to do the Omugwo (take care of a daughter after she has given birth). Traditionally, it is the mother of the girl that comes but, no way, nowadays, the boy's mother HAS to come! I have actually seen cases where the mother-in-law will be watching television and asking the new mother for breakfast. Imagine doing this to a young girl recovering from childbirth! (more gist about this another day)
5. Stingy Leaders
I do not even need to talk about this ...abi? Election is next year abi? ...Same old names have started coming out. Do you think the youth will be allowed to play a relevant role. Obama is 49 yrs old; British PM (Cameron) is 44 and Australian PM (Gillard) is 49 and a woman. How can we move forward when vibrant portfolios like technology, women affairs and sports still remain with the old guard? *sigh*
To be continued............................
(and in the words of Naija film producers - 'To God be the Glory') *laughing*