March 21, 2019

Dear Village, remove your eyes from my child by Viola Okolie

Dear Village, remove your eyes from my child by Viola Okolie

It takes a village to raise a child, abi? Well, how come that village is more interested in raising MY child than they are in raising theirs?

We like to analyse and micro analyse how some of the things that happen “over there” in the Western world with their overload of civilization cannot happen over here in Nigeria, because we “sabi how far.” We know how to raise children and if we had been given the opportunity to raise, errr…  Miley Cyrus for instance, she would have continued being the squeaky clean Hannah Montana we all love to expose our little daughters to. Did nobody bother to tell Justin Bieber, Macaulay Culkin and the rest of them that they were our children’s role models?


Were they not “inform” that it takes a whole village to raise a child and in this era of globalisation, the world is my village? All those children that talk back to their parents and elders… kai, if it was in Nigeria, one “igbafo” would immediately correct the error in their brains, restore it back to default setting. How dare they speak while “elders” are speaking? Insubordination!

It amuses me sometimes to see parents go into hysterics over how another parent is not raising their children well: the children are ill mannered, too loud, unkempt, sickly, bla bla bla. Most times while these parents gush around me, I look at their own children and wonder: Physician, knowest thou not that a strong dose of thine own medicine would be the fastest way to convince the world you have the faintest idea of whatever it is you are talking about?

The parent for instance who stands and criticizes how my child dresses, appears, behaves, talks, sits, walks and acts… at what point am I supposed to interrupt her supercilious self-righteousness and inform her that her squeaky clean, “well brought up” children are engaging in behaviour that would curl her toes? At what point should I interject with the perhaps unwanted information that once her back is turned, the children whom she would be willing to swear with her life would win a blue ribbon for good behaviour turn into wild spider monkeys?

I wish I had a scientific name for it but I don’t, so perhaps I would just give you a formula:

The harder you cloister your children + the tighter the rules you force them to adhere to (the more you regulate their behaviour and responses) = the harder they rebel at the very first chance they get.

If you doubt me, google the resultant brouhaha from the wedding of the scion of the deepest preacher in our land. The one who would not allow a lady primp for her wedding day, apply google in searching out how his offspring broke loose on his own wedding day – none of that Aunty Gbagada style for him o, after all na only once person suppose get opportunity to snap wedding pisho!


Dear Village,

I do not need you to raise my child, thank you very much. Every child is a unique being, a different individual and who else can understand them better than the combination that donated some genes to bring them forth? (Otherwise known as mama and papa).

Do not even dream of raising a finger against my child, there is a reason why I am the parent. Bring your grievance to me, and I will apply whatever disciplinary measures I think are appropriate. You do know that sometimes, in your overreaching earth-mother mode, you WILL mistake attitude for insult? Well, in my mumuish mother mode, we do not take away a child’s attitude, we DISCUSS it. We talk about certain attitudes that YOU think should be corrected with the rod and only the rod and try to arrive at the whys and wheretofores. Sometimes, the discussion works marvellous wonders, even more than any flagellation would.

But you do not know that do you, Dear Village? In your own opinion, every other child out there who is to be raised by you is entitled to the horsewhip for the tiniest of misdemeanours while your own child is “just growing. He is just a child ke, he will soon outgrow it”.

Do not even think of opening your mouth and pouring out demoralizing words to my child in the name of “correction”. There is a reason why in MY home, we do not use derogative words as correction. You will not hear the words “stupid”, “idiot”, “useless”, “your head like your papa”, etc used in my home, we do NOT correct by inadvertently doing more damage to the child.

And my child has only ONE mummy in this world – ME, La Moi!

Dear Village, I could go on and on and on with this topic, it is understandably one of my pet peeves but I would not. I would simply sign off this love letter by asking you Dear Village, to take your eyes off mine and your neighbour’s kids, and place them firmly on yours.

You see, you might be acting on what you think society wants, but if my child goes wrong, everyone would ask of me what happened. And if YOURS goes wrong, no one would accept the excuse that you were busy poke nosing and doing “ajayi work” in another parent’s backyard. So therefore, “FOCUS ON YA OWN PIKIN”.



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  1. elizabeth

    This is good….help tell them. Them no remove cobweb from their eyes finish b4 them remove from anoda person own

  2. ayobee

    my sister na wah oo…as in make dem comot the log from their own eyes b4 dem near my firewood. I agree with you my sister but in saying that I don’t mind the village watching my child as long as they are not overdoing it and they’re minding their own too in the process..abi how Una check am.

  3. Neofloetry Edwina

    Lol… This is a serious matter. I quite agree with you sis. I remember back then as a child, i was flogged, and my private area doused in freshly pounded pepper by moi as instructed by my late grandad’s galfriend turn wife, all in the name of correcting tiny me. Years later, i became very rebellious each time i was scolded for something, but i thank God for my mummy, she used the ‘discuss’ approach, and it worked. Yours truly, her pikins became worse than i was. Only God will help us.


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