I thought you were supposed to be the one to handle all aspects of my life? I thought you were supposed to be the one to equip me with the weapons of knowledge, skills and abilities? It is your responsibility to care for me physically and otherwise, isn’t it? They told me mothers make their children happy, healthier and disciplined. Are you doing any of those for me?
Mother, you are supposed to give me strength when everyone else has failed but you do to me the exact opposite. I had the impression that a mother can only be good when her children are loved and she knows it. You think “they” love us?
You are meant to be the one to whom I could scamper for safety when it doesn’t seem safe out there but you seem to be like them too. Mother why?
At the very age when you were ripe for marriage, you were taken away from the slave masters by the heroic men who wished you well; who wanted to seek your hand in marriage. Successfully, they did.
I was told your marriage date; how would I ever forget it? Wasn’t it on the 1st of October, 1960? It was. People rejoiced, jumped, danced and sang praises unto God for the gift of your freedom from your slave masters into the hands of the one who was truly meant from you – democracy.
And as is the custom, men must seek your hand in marriage after every four years except the incumbent one is strong enough to keep you to himself. We have seen in the past some that were able to. Did they fight so hard to retain you because they truly loved you? No! They wanted to steal from you! You were, and still are, so rich to cater for all your children but they controlled you to the extent that you couldn’t even care for us anymore. Food and water, you could not provide enough. Many of us were left to wallow in despair – that was all we could do.
Your numerous corrupt husbands, the legitimate and those that forced themselves on you, stole your riches for their own direct descendants and left us to die of hunger and thirst with no clothes to protect ourselves from the elements and no place to rest our heads. Your husbands made the world look at us with disgust and therefore in 2013, placed a tag on your neck, ranking you the 136th corrupt mother among 174 other unfortunate ones. The following year, they pitied you and ranked you 38th. Are you supposed to be known globally for corruption?
I know many good mothers. They make available to their children the needs to help them function properly. Their (children) safety is priority to them (mothers) but in your own case, you leave us to find shelter under the bridges, in the slums that are already densely populated with your own children. You leave us at the mercy of your other children who have taken to crime as a way of life simply because you refused to give them food to eat and your husbands keep our very own rightful resources for their own people.
You know your children have turned against each other right? They no longer recognize one another. We have lost what unites us as a people. Fighting, maiming and killing one another over nothing. See the Fulani brothers and Hausa brothers fighting over cows, the Igbo and Yoruba brothers looking at each other with hatred in the eyes and with little or no resistance strike each other at the slightest provocation. What is wrong with us? Where have we gone wrong?
Mother, how much discipline have you inculcated in your children? Many of your sons have decided to live by the gun and they shall die by it too. Your once good daughters have taken to prostitution; running so fast in the wrong direction. By the time they realize, it might be too late. You have heard of and seen so many of your kids involved in illegal practices abroad and facing the consequences right? I know you now understand what “charity begins at home” means.
One mosquito, mother, just one, can kill many of your children in a matter of days. Where are our brother-doctors? They are nowhere to be found because your husbands and others responsible have refused to pay them. When they manage to come to work, they have nothing to work with – like farmers without hoes and tailors without scissors.
A mother works hard to make sure her kids are equipped with knowledge, skills and abilities but how much of these have you equipped us with? We go to school without learning materials, to sit on the floor or hang on the windows because there are no chairs and desks. Our teachers cannot even think straight while teaching. On empty stomachs do they teach, with heavy hearts too thinking of how many mouths to feed and many don’t even know what or how to teach. Why? The tertiary education system they passed through was and is still faulty. Settle the lecturers in cash or kind is the way out.
The system is bad! From nursery school to primary, neglect (of pupils by teachers) is the order of the day. “They’ll learn in an upper class when they are older and more reasonable” is what they say. Secondary school comes and the new anthem is “You’re old enough to read and learn on your own”. Many (teachers) don’t even bother to attend their classes and when they do, they spend time punishing students, telling jokes, reading back their own notes in the name of explanation or worse, engaging in staring competitions – dey look me, I go dey look you. That’s just the theoretical aspect of it; talking about practical classes when there’s even no facility to work with will be a waste of time.
After secondary school, everyone wants to go to the university because the society often times see non-university graduates as worthless. But how can one get into the university without going through the frustration of a life time? I had talked about how the devil reincarnated himself in the name of UTME (JAMB) in a previous post but after that, it becomes worse.
Some weeks back, my female friend couldn’t help herself anymore. She poured out her heart and cried out, lamenting and complaining about the humiliation she faces every single day because some other people who know other people that know people have displaced her from the merit list and replaced with some other unworthy candidates. And she’s such a brilliant girl. It’s her second trial and now this. Is she going to face JAMB a third time? How many more of this kind do we have out there? Many!
I’m tired! The thought of all these make me shudder when I think about our future as a people. The list doesn’t seem endless too. Is it our senators messing themselves up in the senate or the corruption rocking the country? From corruption to epileptic power supply to inaccessibility of good drinking water to incessant fuel scarcity and it goes on and on and on. I didn’t even mention insurgency which is the order of the day.
I cry deep down inside every day, not only for us but for those unborn. Let’s keep praying, talking, acting and be agents of change; I know one day e go better.