5

A million gbosa to all fathers on Fathers Day.

This is to all you jealous fathers; I was told by T2 that fathers day came about because mothers have a day so fathers were jealous and wanted to have a day too. Well, I am not sure if that is true but one thing I know is that we can’t do without you fathers, even when you say ‘you belong to nobody but you are for everybody’ , (apologies to Buhari) we know you are joking

Once in a while we throw jabs at you like I did in Of Robust replies and open letters.. and we also want you to examine yourself by reminding you of what your role ought to be like I did in Lets talk about fathers.. and we might not remember to tell you often enough, we want you to know today that we love you and appreciate you. You are irreplaceable in our lives.

It might be your God giving role but we know you are being cheated ūüėČ , two people get together in marriage, start a family and it is the man that provides accommodation, feeding and funding of the general day-to-day smooth running of the home, provides transport, fuels the car, provides a driver, pays the driver’s salary, pays school fees, in some societies such as ours, adopts the wife’s extended family and his own extended family.The fear of failure and the determination not to disappoint, drives you on a daily basis. The mothers might be making money but a mother’s money is her money while a father’s money is ‘our’ money, i.e. the whole family’s money, now are you still wondering why we don’t take fathers serious when they say they belong to nobody? because we know they belong to us

You are the family’s shield and protector, nobody dares mess up with madam and the children, I have been in some situation where I have had to threaten.. ” Do you know who I ¬†am? Do you know who my husband is? And this threat works, believe me. The fear of the father is the beginning of wisdom. You are the backbone and moral support for the mother and the children. The mother needs an extra effort to make things work and make the children turn out right in the absence of a father. You are the constant regular unfailing provider of that other one for the mother :lol:, you dare not say you are tired. We thank God for help like Viagra in the lives of older fathers. Once in a while, you might want to take a break by spending some time with the boys at those beer parlours that are never in short supply in Nigeria, we harass you with phone calls and monitor your movement, … “Where are you ? who are you with? okay let me say hello to them….” that one bottle of beer, we will not allow you have in peace, you have to gulp it down and start rushing home. We have a way of choosing for you your friends and associates no matter how old you are.

As mothers, we know we love you but when was the last time we said it? ¬†We know your ego is large by nature, and it needs massaging but we deliberately ration that massaging so that ‘ it will not get to your head ‘ . We know your type is in short supply and so we should put more effort into showing a ¬†little bit more appreciation but do we? Well maybe once in a while.

Let me get a bit personal, if Naijadad is a bit late in getting home and he tells me that he has gone to look for what the family is going to eat, I will quickly respond by telling him that our wants are few and we are not “jeun kioku” apologies to Fela Anilulapo Kuti and so he does not have to keep late nights because of us. And any time I seem to be making according to him ” unbearable demands” and he asks me if he is a lion, I tell him yes he is, he is the lion of the tribe of Lagos, and so just like Jesus, his father, who is the lion of the tribe of Judah Rev 5.5 and does not fail, he had better not fail me. And believe me, it works, I just got flight tickets for the whole family for a summer trip ūüôā

And what is your compensation? That the mother and the children bear your name? Haba ! our fathers are trying o, biko.

Please lets give a million¬†gbosas to all the performing dads. Gbosa, gbosa, gbosa……..and all the fledging ones, we pray that you recover soon. And to my very own personal Naijadad, ‘ my husband my husband ‘, to all the Naijadads ¬†out there and to all the fathers of the world, Naijamum wishes you a happy fathers day.

Gbosa means kudos

Biko means please

Haba means ¬†please lets aknowlegde a fact as a fact, lets give honour/credit to who it is due. And jeun kioku¬† ¬†was translated by Fela Anikulapo Kuti himself to mean ‘chop and quench’

10

Confessions of a bully

Bullied young girl

Naija pikin being bullied for not giving up her snacks

I am very ashamed of myself but I must confess, I was once a bully but that was a long time ago and I have since changed. I hope you will forgive me especially as my bullying time was short-lived sort of. But this post is not about me, it’s about bullying in general. When we hear the word bullying, what readily comes to mind is a picture of a much bigger kid towering over a smaller kid, a much smaller kid cowering in a corner away from a bigger kid and all other similar situations. This however is not exhaustive, there are so many other situations and circumstances, some of them defying any reasonable explanation. There are also many roles kids play, a kid can bully others and they can be bullied, or they may witness bullying or even ‘aid and abet’ bullying. A kid being bullied in school for example may get home on the same day and go and bully somebody else like your Naijamum when she was a Naija pikin..

Washing 1bullying

Imagine having to do this hand washing more than once because of bullying?

From experience, I have come to know that bullying does not take place only in schools or among mates, for example, it could happen between a child and a caregiver. Growing up, we usually used to have at least three ” house helps’ at any particular point in time. Before I even knew what bullying was, I started experiencing bullying by the leader of these house helps who I nicknamed Iyalode. Acts ranging from either giving me too little meat, very bonny meat or no meat at all, up turning my bucket of bathing water when nobody except me was looking, throwing all my washing off the washing line right into the dirt so that I would have to do it all over again etc. All the other children and helps in the household were so afraid of her that they had to assist her otherwise they would be her next victim.

Another scenario that played out at the same time was in school. A female classmate that had a twin brother in the same class was a bully and all the girls in¬†class had to submit their snacks to her first thing in the morning and woe betide you if you did not bring any snack. This was the situation I met when I changed school. Looking back, the class teacher was no doubt aware and even went on to make her the class ‘monitor’ ¬†and put her in charge of duties that some of us saw as a privilege then.

I was however up to the task of self-defense on both fronts although it was a bit stressful at the time, sometimes I would think it would be much better to give in, then again that stubborn streak in me would ask me why I wanted to give in (after all it was my snack) and so I would continue the lone fight against bullying. In school, the punishment I got was that others must not ‘play with me’, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it sent me on my way to self-sufficiency. At home, I became more vigilant and ensured I did not fall into any of Iyalode’s plans for me, I also became more antagonistic towards her and so she was eventually caught out and sent packing but not before I also became a bully, with all the children in the neighbourhood both male and female under my control. I would determine what type of play to engage in (thank God they were good plays), the duration of the plays, who to play with and who not to play with. I also shared my own chores among them.

Another type of bullying I came across is the type that does not have a particular target or victim, but if the perpetrators perceive that you have crossed their part, they would want to avenge or attack just to ‘teach you a a lesson or to use you as an example to give others a warning ¬†that they were not to be crossed. Something tells me that this was the genesis of ‘ cultism’¬†as we have it now in our institutions of higher learning in Nigeria. This was another experience that I roughed through when I was in high school and I became a hero overnight although I would not want to go through such again if you ask me.

From all these experience, the following are lessons that I learnt

1. There are more bullies than we think, in reality almost every corner we look a bully is waiting to attack.

2. Bullying does not stop on its own, it does not go away, it has to be stopped either by the victim or others that are aware.

3. The act of bullying witnessed by others if not punished lead to breeding of more bullies.

4.More adults than we care to admit actually promote bullying either by laughing off the acts of bullying, not taking the acts serious enough, or/and by not defending the victim even if put in their care. A good example was my class teacher mentioned above, what I read from his attitude was that he felt the victim ought to have defended herself.

5. Your type of parenting or the type of training you give your child will go a long way to help him/her on being able to be independent and able to defend themselves now and in the future.

In the next post we will be examining how we can bullyproof our children.