This hype about African parents’ mode of discipline can sometimes be over the edge.
There’s nothing wrong with a scolding here and there, nothing bad with “pick pin” (come, is that what it’s truly called? One finger touching the ground and one leg raised?)
That punishment was invented by African uncles.
Yes, so, a bit of these were in order, we learned to obey our parents…though a few harsh methods that left us scarred for life were still dished out.
I was in my late teens when I got the beating of my life.
Not from my parents but from my elder brother whom my parents put in charge of us; he was our small daddy.
I “crossed” in front of my brother while he was on the praying mat. He was observing the 2’o clock prayer-I needed to get something on the other side of where he squatted praying and I figured I should just skip, pick up the item and leave. I was wrong. I was wrong to have crossed where he placed the slippers, indicating no one should cross while he prayed and so for that, when he was done, he beat me so brutally, I cried for days with my body covered in bruises and welts and bumps…yes, swollen and ready to burst from gorged blood; my eyes were blood shot for weeks.
For someone who had just prayed to God, he beat me like he’d just consorted with the devil.
My parents didn’t say a word to my brother, didn’t ask him why he was so brutal with the beating; didn’t wonder how come the punishment was so violent…he beat me for at least one hour because I just kept insulting him as he rained the blows on me, this infuriated him and he beat me even harder. As far as I was concerned then, my parents gave him the cane to flog me!
Two stories on the way Africans brutalise their children for offences, stood out for me last week; one was that of a young woman, an old video I had seen before and refused to watch again, it is the one about a girl, could be in her late teens or early 20s; she was stripped naked and brutally flogged by her father while her brothers pinned her down.
She kept begging for help, she begged for mercy…they continued inflicting deep welts on her bare back and butt with the rubber pipe they used to beat her. They even went as far as to pour water on her naked body for maximum pain.
What was her crime?
They said she posted a nude video showing her smoking and twerking to Naira Marley’s “I’m coming.”
For this “shame” she brought to the family, she got a beating so brutal it left many who watched it traumatized. I can’t even begin to imagine what the girl must be going through now.
Though she screamed to mummy for help, mummy didn’t show up in the video, nor did we hear mummy’s voice pleading for her errant daughter.
What struck me first was, “Why do a video of her punishment?”
“Why beat her so much like she was a criminal?”
Why didn’t one person, just one member of the family intervene on her behalf? Maybe they did, we just didn’t get to see that part but the point here is, why so much rage, so much brutality over a nude video?
I’m not saying its ok to make a nude video, I’m saying the shame will ultimately be hers, if there’s any shame to be felt now or in the future.
The second story is the report of a mother, one Zainab from Osun state, who bathed her 11 year old daughter with hot water because the girl didn’t run an errand for her.
Punch reports that immediately the girl screamed for help, “a woman, who has a shop nearby, rushed inside the house and dragged the suspect out. The woman and another neighbour, a man, beat her up. The neighbours also took the victim to a hospital and paid her bills.”
We like to joke that African parents know how to reset their children’s brains, but I think a lot of these parents should be jailed!
A young friend told me of how her mother put raw pepper in her vagina when the mother thought she had began having sex at an early age…she hates her mother for it to date.
The family of the girl in the video over nude post should all be jailed!
Zainab with the hot water should be jailed!
Why is parenting the African way perceived as too harsh sometimes?
Because we believe the harder the punishment, the faster the child’s brain will ‘reset’ to factory mode, I mean, Godly-mode.
The truth is, many parents lose their children when they enforce brutal means of discipline and in today’s world, they should be taken to go cool their heels in jail.
For instance, my brother should’ve been jailed, too. (I hope he doesn’t read this; the beating was too much, I ached for weeks.)
While I don’t agree with the western ways of only “talking things out” with our offspring’s, there are many ways to deal with errant children that do not always involve the cane
Stop their allowances, if they are already teenagers or older;
Prevent them from going to places you know they love to;
Take special items away from them;
Get older people they like to talk to them on your behalf and when all else fails…
I mean when the “eye cutting,” the ear twisting, the heavy conking, (heavy raps) on the head that makes you slightly woozy; you can negotiate with a backhand!
Just once or twice to set them on the straight and narrow, anything more than that is wicked, I swear!