20 Sep 2013


“If you travel home during the Christmas holidays and end up being locked indoors till the holidays are over, kindly put up your hands”, *counting*, “quite a number”. “Thank you, you can put them down now”.

“Now, if you have never travelled home for the Christmas holidays i.e. those fall into the category of *my mama tell me say I be Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba*, or you have never had any of your cousins /relations visiting over for the holidays, kindly put up your hands”, *counting*, “quite a number”. “Thank you, you can put them now”.

If you do not fall into any of the above categories, then you are lucky.

Most parents do not allow their kids travel back home for the holidays, hence grooming the next breed of “my mama tell me say I be Igbo”. This may be due to several reasons, majority of which are as a result of the enmity in one’s family. When parents back bite, fight and hate each other, they lose the trust and friendship they had amongst themselves. Sometimes, it gets so bad that sitting in the same room with one another becomes a taboo. From just a little quarrel, it grows into malice then full-fledged hate. This hatred is then passed on to the children.

You hear parents telling their kids, “Your Aunt Nkechi is a wicked person. Tufiakwa! I don’t ever want to see you go near her or talk to her children. Wickedness is hereditary, she would have passed it on to her children. See the way her first daughter, Raluchi, does her mouth anytime she sees me. Biko nu, am I begging her to greet me?”

Ihukwa, what does poor Raluchi’s mouth have to do with her mother’s wickedness? Is wickedness hereditary? Psychologists and sociologists in the building, the question goes to you. When you are told this, you had better not say a word in defense, else you get the 3D slap from your mother or father.

“Your uncle keeps chasing me with a cutlass in the dream, never you go near his house or children. M nweta gi ebe I natara ya ife o buna, m ga-apia gi utali, ike gi acha red”. (i.e. If I catch you accepting anything from him, I will flog you, until your ass turns red).

These warnings and threats, go on and on. This hatred is passed on from one generation to the other. Suddenly, these children start hating themselves because their parents asked them to.

In as much as these advises are true in some cases, parents should learn to stop feeding these young generations with the spirit of hatred and discord. Let the children find out and discover themselves. Simply, because, one’s brother or sister is lazy or wicked, doesn’t automatically make his children lazy and wicked to. Such traits are not inherited. Let these children develop the bond of friendship and be united. Let them be best friends, let them be their brother’s keepers. Let the bond in the family be so strong that it would be difficult to break by outsiders.

Parents, learn to bury the hatchet. Uproot the seed of discord in your generation, so that the next generations would live in peace, love and harmony, else, we would have generations of families who cannot see themselves eyeball to eyeball. Teach your children to love one another. Let them learn to forgive each other, hug and say “I LOVE YOU” after a quarrel or a fight. Teach them to always defend one another, if they hear an evil word about the other from an outsider. Let them learn to settle their disputes among themselves and bury the hatchet. Let them eat from the same bowl, and share their belongings with themselves. 

Parents, bury the hatchet amongst yourselves, and teach your children to love, believe and trust in family. If they don’t take care of one another, who will?

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