AW Gist : The Change Agents (Your Sons, Our Problem)

By Onozasi

This is about picturing the realities in our society.

Just before you begin : This is a discussion between three social agents, three women involved in different social innovations who’ve been brought together to discuss the different issues they’ve solved, the different stories they’ve heard and how we all can become good influencers, good change agents. I hope this stirs a thing up as you read.

                             Meet the Change Agents:

My name is Jadesola Olumide, I Work with women in rural and urban Nigeria. My organization teaches them to work with their hands to make money, well that’s what some people call skills acquisition. I have worked with over 5,000 women and I am still working daily with women and girls.

I am Tomi Nelson, I am an advocate against rape and sexual assault in society. I was working in the UK before coming to stay in Nigeria, and I must say I have seen much more than I expected to see. It’s no news that we have a lot to do but it is news that we need hands to make this happen.

My name is Lilian Ukachi. I am a media personality, social media influencer and trainer. I work with women and girls on a daily basis, I listen to them, motivate them to thirst for more and go beyond their boundaries. We have a lot of women and girls out there whose zest for life has been destroyed. It is imperative that we join hands to make their dreams come true.

 

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Moderator: Hey ladies,

Ladies: Madam Moderator, How are you doing?

Moderator: I am doing very well. The gist we have today is about raising sons. We have a lot of men who were not properly raised. They do not respect women, men who hit their wives physically and emotionally. Men who are tyrants at their workplace. I think we should talk about this issue.

Tomi Nelson: This topic is long overdue. It is okay to have us tell our women to be goal getters, to stand against violence and face their fears and move out of an unhealthy space in their homes but it is high time we started talking to ourselves about how our sons are being raised. You see, the woman who refuses to train her son on the right path will cause mayhem for other women. The man who refuses to teach his son the right things to do in the society will end up having a monster as a son-in-law. We tell women what to do and what not to do right from the tender age of 10 and the boys, they live life around football and nothing more. We need to raise our sons well. Teach them to cook, teach them to look after themselves. Let them know that there is no such word as ‘she is just a girl’ no, she is human. She is not just a girl.

Lilian Ukachi: The seed we refuse to plant well will become a thorn in our flesh. A lot of parents feed on the girl child and leave the boy child. This is the technique, they think the girl child will go into another family and must represent the family name properly while the boy child will have his own family and it doesn’t matter what he chooses to do, it is his choice. They have forgotten that a man who’s irresponsible carries the name of his father and mother about and that alone is a shame. So, what is left to gain?  Let me focus on women cos we do this a whole lot. Daughters are taken to the kitchen but boys are taken to the field. Very early in the morning, she is told to wake up and sweep, they teach her manners, how to relate to elders, how to do this and to do that and the boy is left out. He is left thinking that the onus is on the woman to care for the home and do things right. He becomes entitled. Entitled to things that should be mutual. He thinks he doesn’t owe anyone manners but every woman owes him one. He grows up with that mindset, I watch football, she enters the kitchen and the day he meets a woman who changes the game for him, a woman who refuses but demands the same kind of hard work, the mutual efforts from him, uncle sees her as arrogant, he says she is proud. she is not an African woman, after all, he wasn’t raised that way. Who do you blame? the man or his parents? It is imperative that we have this conversation with a lot of women cos whether we like it or not, we hold the password to training in the family. we are the ones who keep designating responsibilities. A whole lot of us are the frontiers of this patriarchal system.  If we want an equal society, we need to start at home.

Jadesola Olumide: Sincerely, I find this conversation very refreshing. This is the kind of conversations that we should be having. We need to champion our cause to homes. Sit parents down and tell them what they are doing. The average African home is patriarchal.  We cannot perform this magic overnight, we need to include this conversation at PTA Meetings, religious gatherings, the media must also be included, the art industry and so on. That is the only way we can forge ahead. The only way we can have a sane society is by making sure we make our sons humane. We teach them how to cater to people not about themselves alone. We teach them how to say sorry cos a lot of men don’t like to admit when they are wrong. We teach them to be sympathetic because I wonder how some men do it, their wives will be heavily pregnant and they have the effrontery to tell her to pound yam, the effrontery to be angry when she’s not able to make food… Like dude, are you blind? don’t have any sense of sympathy at all? We seriously should start teaching inclusion and positive parenting at home.

Lilian Ukachi: I like what Jade said at the end of her talk, she said ‘Positive parenting’ and sincerely, we do not have positive parenting in this country. We just have people who have been badly trained and are passing it down…  How do you tell a woman who never saw her parents do the right thing with her and her brothers to do train her kids in an inclusive way? So, we need to evangelise this to our women and men also. We need to include fathers so that the men do not bar their women from doing the right thing. Some men can be hardened in their ways, and once again, it is not their fault. They have been raised that way and have become comfortable and this comfortability is what we are here to shake up. Our kids should be trained equally, they should be taught to be responsible no matter their gender.

Tomi Nelson: It is not enough that we the ideas, we need to start working on something. As said, we need to include them in schools and every vital media that can pass this message across in an adequate way.

 Moderator: As we celebrate valentine, we can also preach inclusiveness

Ladies : (laughs) Moderator, you shaaaa. Happy Valentine.

….. Moderator: Happy Valentine……..

Source: Above Whispers

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2 Responses to AW Gist : The Change Agents (Your Sons, Our Problem)

  1. Lanre Davids February 17, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    I smiled through. Sincerely you people should consider using this as a series.

    Reply
  2. Olakunle Olajide March 8, 2020 at 9:51 am

    Beautiful topic…I tend to block gender roles..Anybody can do anything, all it takes is for parents to teach this to their children.

    Reply

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