The African Child a young boy with a butterfly. I was describing the book not the African Child. The African Child is a book by Camara Laye I read growing up.
I stumbled on this book during one of my many holidays in Delta State South-South Nigeria. Anyway I did not have to dig up the box that contained nearly all the books my aunts and uncles read, this one happened to just be lying around.
I remember the words were tiny so it was kind of a long book for me. Then there was the name “Fanta” how can Fanta be a name? I had heard the name Fanta in one of Alpha Blondy’s Songs “Fanta Diallo” Our Ghanaian cook played on when we were getting ready for school. The only Fanta I knew was the soft drink.
The African Child is loosely based on Camara Laye’s childhood in Guinea and was originally written in french and titled L’Enfant Noir.
The African Child is much more than media displays, we are full of our rich culture and Camara Laye captures this quite correctly.
No, I am not writing a post about how Nigerian men want to consistently relegate women to the background. Neither am I going to rant about how patriarchal society is, although I’ll mention it. Rather I am writing about the mis-education of the Nigerian male mind.
The average Nigerian man sees women as what they have always know them to be care givers, mothers and all that jazz. Do i blame them? No. I blame culture and society for laying the foundation of what has evolved into the labeling and tagging of women with words that depict us as nothing without men.Our heavily patriarchal society refuses to acknowledge that women are more than the stereotyped roles they are born into.
I blame parents for sticking to culture and tradition. Thereby, putting a ceiling on what girls can do or can not do. For it is at home we first hear statements like “Leave tree climbing for boys! Stop whistling it is not lady-like! Men who grew up in settings like this already have a preconditioned mind towards what young girls and women can or can not do!
Imagine what happens when this Nigerian male mind meets a non-conformist woman. Another round of tagging and labelling begins. I climbed trees, grandma whistled and we turned out okay!! Therefore, it is essential parents let girls be what they want to be. Do not look shocked if they do not like dolls but rather want to go get their hands dirty in the yard.
Dear Nigerian male mind, yes you grew up with a preconceived notion about girls and women, its time to grow out of it. Open up your mind and embrace women and young girls for their individuality and not the non sense of conformity.
What actions or activities have you carried out that was termed unladylike like?