I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it but Incase you didn’t know already I was born to Nigerian parents, in Zimbabwe, grew up in Nigeria but I now live in the UK :D. Pretty cool yes?
Well asides from my life history, in the 16 years I spent living with my parents (yes I left home quite early, for educational purposes of course ^_^) there were a few things I had to pick up real quick as a Nigerian child. What I’m about to share with you is probably very typical of all Nigerian and possibly west African homes. So here it goes.
#1- You always have to be first. Never 2nd best.
You may think I am exaggerating but trust me it’s true. Nigerian parents don’t settle for 2nd best. Whether it’s 2nd position in class, 2nd in a race, 2nd in anything. You just have to be the best. It doesn’t mean parents would… well my parents for example would not be extremely cross if I came second, they would just always let you know or remind you of the fact that someone was still better than you. However I recall a time when my mum was very cross with me for being 4th best in class out of 30 something students but yeah. You can never be second best.
#2- Marriage is compulsory
Whether you’re male or female, you have to get married preferably before you’re 27 for a girl and 30 for a guy. Yes. Marriage is the end goal. While growing up you learn to be domesticated as a girl because you’ll get married one day and it’s a sign of proper home training. So through out my life as a girl, all the discipline I got and chores I did were all in preparation for marriage.
#3- Girls MUST know how to cook, Guys… not so much.
Asides from knowing how to cook, as a girl you have to know how to carry out every possible house chore in the house Yes it is that important, hence why I am kind off saying the same think from point 2. Sweeping the house, moping the tiles, washing the dishes (without a dishwasher), washing clothes (without a washing machine), buying groceries, everything!!! but the most important of them all is how to cook. I remember being teased at school for not being able to cook certain dishes and I was barely 15 at the time. So yes, cooking is very important.
#4- The first born child is the third parent and the last born child is the ‘Scape goat’.
While drafting this post my cousin , Kamacho [Hi Kamacho :D], reminded me of this very vital point. I am the first child of my parents and the burden on me to be the best and a perfect example to my brothers is enormous. I remember when I was little and my brother and I would have an argument, even if he was wrong I would have to play the fool because I was the eldest. At a point it got so frustrating, anytime he got on my nerves I would just go to my parents and say” tell him to get off my back, because if I retaliate you’ll remind me that I’m the eldest”. That line became my strongest weapon :D.
#5- Good children are their fathers children, while rebellious ones are their mothers children.
Because of the way African homes are set up, mothers are the ones seen as responsible for training the children and teaching them the right morals while dads are the provider and main source of income. If a child gets good grades, a good job, gets an award for something, it’s seen as a result of the fathers wealth taking care of the child well enough to achieve so much. Once a child is rebellious, he or she is the product of the mum alone. Mothers get blamed a lot for not training the child well, even if she has 11 children and just one chooses to be rebellious.
There are so many other things I could share with you but these are my top 5. I’d like to hear from you and what you learnt growing up, regardless of where you are from.
Don’t forget to leave a reply below. Until next time lovelies
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