Our diversity as Africans is great. First, we have dark skin caused by the presence of melanin which doesn’t crack, second the builds of our body, we are stronger than we look this is because of the rich supplements that we get from our rich foods which are grown on our very rich soils, our sarcasm is very great we are the founders of memes, but the most important one is our parents. We have scary parents, in an African home, the parents are the most respected people because of being just how they are.
Parents determine what and who you will grow up to be. They shape you to become who you are and they make your path easy by supporting you in all the stages of your life and I am grateful for that because without them we could not be where we are today but there is something or somewhere that they go wrong while raising us, some parents raise us how they were raised by their parents and for a generation like mine my parent is someone who first saw shoes when she was going to high school, she first saw a phone when she was in her late twenties, he used to sell maize to provide education for himself and his younger siblings.
You get that they have walked a different path than yours where some struggles have shaped them on how to handle life and that’s how they decide to raise you. I want to talk about my experience with my parents, my parents never wanted me to go out if that is how I remember my childhood, I spent most of my time indoors and that is why I am an introvert and I would rather be at home all day than go out it’s just how I grew up, and due to this my social skills are not that great because I was denied that opportunity to socialize when I was young.
If you have met the younger version of me, you know what I mean. I was the shy one in a group of friends. When I joined high school, that’s when I met a lot of people who were raised differently than me, their lives were so different from mine that it seems they were raised on honey and milk, I had my first phone when I was in form two, at that time every person had a phone, they were in trend with what was happening, most people knew how to chat, some were even dating, others knew songs I didn’t know existed because I was also raised as a Christian. We lived in very different worlds and I figured it was because of how our parents raised us. But the common denominator in being raised by African parents is not sparing the rod, I know all of us were beaten like bean pods in a sack or as the famous Kikuyu saying ‘nitakugonga kama golf!’
If you dared to utter the word ‘SI’ in your sentence anything within reach would be thrown your way, if you came home after the sunset that would even cost you your life. You get beaten and you are told come and eat then you say you don’t want to eat, additional strokes. I received my last beating when I was in form three and the thing with parents they never want to hear you. Anything you will say is just an excuse and that will add to the beating. And African parents know how to cane, they will cane you until you regret the day you were born. Aah terrifying experience but thank God we are still alive because ‘wueh!’
The problem with being raised in an African home is you will do what the parent says, no matter what opinion you have, no matter how old you are because the parents are always right and this is so wrong because we as children fail to be open-minded, open emotionally, depressed, anxious, perfectionist and a lot of things because any opinion you give will be regarded useless. After all, the parent is always right. Because of this some of us grow up to be negative because we don’t believe in ourselves, when you are in trouble it will be hard to rely on someone who never wants to listen to you or who has set rules that if you break you will be in a lot of trouble.
I was raised in a very strict home, my mother was always judging my friends till now, and every male friend is a threat because I might get pregnant but you cannot fail to educate me on sex and sexual relations and expect me not to try and experience. During my adolescent years, we moved and I got a best friend, her parents were very different from mine, they were cool, she was social and every time I was with her I got to be friends with a lot of people which turned my belief that socializing is not wrong. One day my mum saw her, she was talking to a boy and my mom came home and told me if she saw me hugging boys like she saw my friend doing, she would make sure that all my limbs were broken. The thing with children is in their minds they will come up with other ways where they will avoid situations where you will find them socializing.
They say ‘ mtoto akililia wembe mpe,’ am not saying it is right for children to be hugging each other because that is where you will find some got married because of a hug, but you should at least warn them by educating them while they are young because at the time our emotions have not yet developed so it will be easier to understand situations that will arise in their teen lives and it goes a long way. We live in a man and woman world so socializing is inevitable. And if you are very strict on a child best be sure that the moment you grant them freedom, everything that you denied them to do, they will do all of them, and you will find out very later in life because they have trained themselves to be good liars and have different personalities and mask their emotions.
This is a message to the parents, we know you work hard to make our lives great and we should be grateful by respecting you and doing what you say, but that’s not right, you dim your children’s lights because we are different people from you and we have been born in a different era, we have different paths in this life and you should guide us through the troubles by preparing us well, the rod should not be put aside because it is a very important factor in a child’s life but don’t overdo the scolding, because it will be hard for the child to open up to you. Another thing you should stop doing is not supporting your child in their dreams, when you decided to bring us to this world we never wanted to be here so the least you could do is be our guides and ensure that life is not hard for us, that is how you get children who will never disappoint you, let your child do what they want with their lives because it is the only way to make your child happy.
P.S I LOVE YOU BY THE WAY.