Exchanging vows in a big wedding ceremony is probably every child’s dream in Afrika. It is in our DNA that as Afrikans we enjoy big and flashy things. We love to dance, hosting big parties and donning elegant clothes. We are naturally fun people, since we love our food, drinks, songs and drums. With that in mind, my main question is; who started destroying us? Where did the bad apples fall after shaking the tree?
Afrikans love big families, that is the reason why the majority tend to despise birth control. During our ancestors’ time, women were well respected. Older women were honored. They were regarded as goddesses, givers of life. On the other hand, men were warriors, while the elders were destiny helpers oozing with wisdom. Something went wrong from the beginning which compromised our place in this beautiful continent preserved by our ancestors with their blood. Though it all, God still ensured that our ancestors multiplied, even in slave trades which were transacted through harsh conditions. That means, we are natural beings that are chosen and anointed. Unfortunately, the colonial system of mistreating each other was imposed on us. For the original native Afrikans mistreating women was never their thing. Mistreating a woman would be interpreted as a sign of weakness, because women were naturally respectful and sober decision makers.
During the same period, Afrikan men would provide food for their families mentor their sons, and discipline their children. The elderly would take care of their grandsons and granddaughters. Pedophiles were unheard of because it was a taboo. Today in Afrika, a lot of people’s manners are lacking. There are no jobs for the youth, no safety of our children going to school or playing outside. Killing, kidnapping and rape appear to be the order of the day.
The trend of our fathers leaving women to raise sons and daughters on their own is a growing concern. The majority of them normally forget that these children will grow and go ahead to marry and get married. Not many parents in Afrika prepare their children for these. For instance, nowadays, it is an abomination for a wife to inquire about her husband’s whereabouts. This may elicit physical abuse by the husband towards the wife. As a result, whenever the children hear their father is arriving home, they run away and hide because it would start a war before he is inside the compound. Sons would want to stand up but their fathers are the first people to sabotage them. On the other hand, daughters would experience so much trauma that they would never envision getting married in future. In numerous scenarios women would not be allowed to separate themselves from their violent husbands because of the monetary significance of the dowry paid to their parents. Should they be further unlucky, their own brothers would even be the first ones to physically assault them. Parents are normally programmed to advise their daughters that they must persevere. The women are left with no options but to return to those abusive marriages. At the end of it all, these depressed mothers build their houses, cultivate land, and educate their children on their own. The saddest part of it all is that only husbands have made it their singular right to access and utilize money for their own selfish agenda, as opposed to providing for their families. They simply do not want to take responsibility, yet when growing up, they witnessed similar difficulties to that which their mothers went through. Children brought up under such circumstances lack solid foundations of family or marriage. So, whenever they encounter anything that smells like their past in their family, they run. They remain broken children experiencing unaddressed depression following lack of role models. Then people would go ahead and brand them as failures.
Apparently, single parenthood is the trend these days. Parents are putting their children in houses furnished with everything with the likes of smartphones, movies, food, and wireless internet just to avoid the responsibility of raising their own children. What puzzles me the most is how, in their old age, the majority of married men return home to their long abandoned wives when they are very sick and nearly dying. Their expectations being that the same women should accept their sorry situations and be ready to start all over again like nothing really happened.
So would one consider marriage good or slavery?
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Robert Macharia is a mentor, trainer and writer bearing adequate experiences in business development and brand management success.