Africa is a very unique continent with unique people. And I find it extremely interesting that no matter where African children grow up, they are pretty much raised up the same way. Most African parents raise their kids to survive the harsh conditions of life. We have an identity and below is an identity, I identify with. In an African home:
1. Your parents will seldom admit they are wrong. And if they do, you will be too stunned to actually believe it. Like mummy, did you just say you found your money and I am actually innocent of your accusations?
2. Your grandparents are the only people who can put your parents in their place. And when those moments do come, please enjoy them with a bottle of chilled coke and pop corn.
3. Your parents are demi-gods. It does not matter if you learnt at school that the sky is blue. If daddy says the sky is orange, then the sky is orange. Case closed. At least, accept it in their presence.
4. The youngest child will be blamed for everything, until he or she is able to talk. Only God knows, the number of times I blamed the missing pieces of meat on my younger siblings.
5. Going to church is not an option. Except if you are willing to fast on Sundays.
6. Everyone who is older than you is your “auntie” or “uncle.” Calling them by their first name is a crime against humanity.
7. Coke in the fridge? Its either your parents were in a really good mood or visitors are coming over. If you don’t want to shed tears, please ask before drinking.
8. If you cry while being accused of something, it is assumed that you are guilty.
9. You will have 2 conversations about sex with your parents. When you reach puberty and when you are leaving home for boarding school. Mummy will scare you with, “Don’t have sex otherwise you will get pregnant and die” followed by “Don’t bring shame to this family”
10. Your older siblings will be the first people to bully you and as you grow older, you will realize they were preparing you for the big world out there.
11. Your friends better greet your parents anytime they see them otherwise that friendship is over
12. God help you if you are living under your parents roof and you shout at them, slam a door in anger, and curse in their presence. Yeah, God help you. The leather belt will do the talking.
13. Your parents strongly believe in “spare the rod and spoil the child.” So please psyche yourself up. There will be more and more crying days ahead of you. And when you grow older, you will actually be grateful they did not spare the rod.
You won’t appreciate your upbringing until you reach adulthood. And you will burst out into tears of laughter when you are narrating your experiences to your children and grand children. But one thing, I know for sure about African parents is that, they are proud of their kids. Even if they don’t show it in your face. They still are.