While growing up as a child, my parents sacrificed a lot for me which helped shape my thinking as a man today.
A child holding elderly man's hand
By Alexander Thandi Ubani
In a time of social media activism, while some people are using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to advance useful ideas to make the society better, some others have also decided to use these platforms for clout chasing, propaganda, popularity contest, and what-have-you.
It is for these set of people that I am writing this piece, to see if I can redeem the gullible ones who might have fallen victim to the bait.
A self-styled Nigerian relationship coach, Solomon Buchi got serious bashing on Friday after he said that no one owes his or her parents anything. He went further to say that 90% of African parents are entitled and toxic.
He tweeted: "You really don’t owe your parents anything — don’t let them manipulate you into feeling that they did you a favor by feeding & housing you, giving you education. You don’t owe them for this. I know this will offend some people, but 90% of African parents are entitled and toxic."
I am writing from a place of hurt because the post is about to hit 1,000 retweets and over 3.7k likes, with thousands embracing the idea as their truths. Some have gone ahead to defend the tweet. Such a sad time to be a Nigerian.
It is not hard to see the kind of upbringing Solomon endured from his tweet which is the reason for his baneful thought. Statistically, the idea that 90% of African parents are entitled and toxic is false because there is no data to back up such a claim. Brandishing data that is false to deceive the gullible is in itself a cheap way of leading many people astray. Honestly, I see that tweet as hate speech against hardworking African parents who should have used condom, postpill/postinor 2, or even aborted such twats in the first place. If not, why would a reasonable person utter such inanity.
Of course, many people can easily agree with Solomon:
1). People from broken homes
2). Those abused by their parents (sexually & physically)
3). People who never enjoyed parental care or love
So, if he had said that those who were abused, abandoned, or from broken homes etc, do not owe their parents, it would have been quite understandable. If he had said 'I Solomon Buchi, because of the way my father abused me or because of the way my mother treated me, I owe them nothing', we would have understood. But, rushing to join issues with all African parents is a sacrilege that we cannot forgive easily. Understandably, Solomon may have been abused as a child by his parents, but that should not give him the right to lead many people astray with his toxic coaching. Many who have a strained relationship with their parents will latch on this diabolical tweet to become demons to their parents.
I am really disappointed in Solomon. I thought he was doing well with his coaching career, only for him to spoil it with his dramatic clout chasing manoeuvres.
I've had this memory entrenched in me over time how my father and mother suffered trying to bring me and my six other siblings up. They sacrificed everything for us and sometimes had to go hungry just to see that we survive. Such level of sacrifice makes it even foolish if I had waited to see them beg for something I can afford before I answer them. I still feel sad that my father and mother are not around to enjoy the sacrifice they made on my behalf. I owe them all I have.
When I got admission into Government College Umuahia many years ago, it was my sweet mother who carried my locker on her head as my little self started my secondary school journey. You could see the proud smile on her face and the resolve in her mind to see me through even in those difficult times. Or is it the countless times she went to the farm many miles away, enduring hours under the hot sun just to see that we eat? How about my university days? The sacrifices father and mother made. I will stop there please, remembering all these stories will make me cry.
My story is akin to that of thousands of other Nigerians who proudly come from poor homes and have through hard work, made it in life. If Nigerians should start telling stories of the sacrifice their parents made to see them reach their present level, I am sure social media will not contain it.
It is necessary that we correct the 'indomie generation' of ungrateful scallywags who are happy to be led astray by clout chasing online savages only interested in growing their followers. These set of bitter individuals in a bid to sound 'woke', are content at leading many astray.
Even the holy book encouraged children to take care of their parents. Proverbs 23:22 “Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.”
While unfortunate children hide under the 'You really don’t owe your parents anything' tweet to despise and abandon their parents, Africans who are cultured and naturally empathic, even when their parents wronged them would find ways to reconcile and not propagate such hate.
Before my mother died, she was the love of my life. I could give my life for her and the day she died, I was devastated that my prayer to swap places wasn't answered. Even in death, I still love and adore her. Nothing, I mean nobody has the right to tell others to treat their parents badly because they come from broken homes. Deceiving people into hating their parents with the idea that they owe them nothing is a teaching from a wicked soul.
I owe my parents everything, even in death. It is my resolve to continue to make them proud by my actions and inactions. Here I stan!
Alexander Thandi Ubani