She was really a little kid, not more than six. Her mum was a busy worker and thanks to Lagos traffic there was hardly enough time to spend with her kids. Her dad though was a disciplined and strict father, the regular African parent. Little Ada was kept in watch of a neighbour, Aunt Chineye who was trusted, since she was way older and mature.
Everything seemed fine, but Aunt Chineye had a younger brother, Chidi of about 14 years old. On a fateful day, Ada got back from school but Aunt Chineye wasn’t around, so it fell to the duty of Chidi to take care of Ada. He helped her out of her uniform and took her to the bathroom to bath for her, while in the bathroom, Chidi got caught up and started to stroke Ada’s private part as his own sexual urge was also just growing and was new to him. Ada knew this was wrong because her mum had once told her on an afternoon “if anyone ever touches you here… ‘touches her vagina’ or here… ‘Touches her nipple’ make sure you scream or report such act” but in this situation Ada couldn’t scream, she saw Chidi as an older brother and he could well harm her.
Now, you would think Ada told her mum when she got back from work that day, but, No! Ada tried to summon courage to speak up but she couldn’t. She was scared of the beating she would receive and was disheartened that she had committed such a sin that she’d rather keep it to herself than suffer from the pain of confiding in her parents. The remaining part of Ada’s childhood was a nightmare for her, as Chidi continued this act on her until he outgrew it.
This is just a little of what an African home looks like. Our parents get carried away with imbibing discipline so much that they forget to instill trust and emotional dependency. The children of this generation, girls especially, 6 out of every 10 are going through a whole lot of trauma and stigmatisation because there’s no one to listen to them. Young lives are being destroyed , little dreams that should spur to greatness are being broken.
Please, raise your hand if you still did all the things you were told not to do. Raise your hand if still disobeyed despite all the beatings, hard discipline and breaking of will? See? All hands are up!
Parents should help their kids grow not only through telling them what to do or what not to do, but through communicating, not just communicating but empathetically communicating and creating a flawless and healthy relationship with our young children!