Living in a Nigerian home is not easy sometimes. Most times, we get to a certain age in life and we just want to leave our homes. I constantly hear my friends complaining about how they couldn’t wait to leave that house but I couldn’t relate. My home was (sometimes still is) my safe haven. I didn’t fall in the category of people that wanted to leave home; in fact, I couldn’t wait to go home at the slightest opportunity I got.
Although things are different now. I cannot say the same anymore… somehow, I have begun to relate with my friends who couldn’t wait to leave their home. Everyday there’s something that my parents do that I have a problem with. In my opinion, I think our parents go the extra mile when it comes to protecting us from the world. They have an entirely different idea about what it means to bring up a child.
Growing up, I did experience a reasonable level of freedom; but just enough to get me by. Just enough. I’ve never been the type to always go out anyway so it wasn’t a struggle for me to keep up. Although in this case, freedom is not only limited to going out and hanging out with friends. Sometimes, it concerns other aspects of your life such as decision making. I’ll use myself as a quick example; my dad wanted me to study Economics in school, I didn’t want that but I did anyway. That single decision changed my life in ways that I cannot even begin to explain to the world! Freedom of choice is something that’s not exactly being practiced in many Nigerian homes.
Nigerian parents will encourage you to live your life for the people; maybe not all parents, but most of them. They constantly remind you of what Mrs folusho will say and how Mr Bolaji will look at you. You cannot bring shame upon this family… it’s sad that their kids’ choices and discussions mean very little, compared to society’s. Constantly making decisions your kids can lead them into depression, which will be swept under the carpet anyway.
Comparison is the middle name of many Nigerian parents. They will compare you to their friends kids, the kids their friends tell them about that they don’t even know, the kids they see on television and even your siblings. They think it’s a way to motivate you to do better, it might work for some and not others. There are different ways to bring up different kids because bottom line is: everyone is unique in their character.
After all said and done, we still love our parents unconditionally. We know they want the absolute best for us; maybe they’re going about it the wrong way but it’s the thoughts that count. Hopefully, we do better than them.
What issues do you face living in an African home? Share in the comment section, I’d love to know.
Love, Tobi 💕