Fathers are blessings and every child can attest to this truth.
Nigerian fathers too are not exempted from being blessings, but beyond fatherly love, a Nigerian father is an interesting character.
Modern Nigerians are so used to hearing and writing about the peculiarity of their Nigerian mothers that it seems the fathers are occupying the back benches in these nostalgia narratives. Quite unfairly, we seem to move on with remembering the Nigerian mother narrative that we are completely comfortable leaving our Nigerians fathers on the figurative back benches.
But think about this: would your throwback father from two decades ago be happy with this decision of neglect?
In discussing Nigerian fathers, we cannot afford to forget their hobbies and preferred habits. Some of them we loved but others, well, did not sit well with the younger versions of us.
Pass the remote
Your Nigerian mother has always been attributed with the pass the remote trait but little did you know that this phrase originated from Nigerian fathers.
Think about this, from post-colonial Nigeria, a typical Nigerian father spends a reasonable amount of time in front of the television after a hard day at work.
The time in front of the television is usually, for the fathers to catch up on News updates. You can imagine their disapproval when they are met instead with soap opera, cartoon and movie channels.
Pass me the remote, usually bellowed to any child close enough, is a Nigerian father’s way of saying, ‘It’s time for me to listen to the news.’ For most of us, this instruction meant the end of whatever interesting channel we were formerly tuned onto.
I was always first in class
For an average child, result-collection day was the absolute worst. The entire term spent having a good time at school was never enough to skyrocket result sheets and cards. And so it was with heavy hearts you’d show these average results to your Nigerian parents.
It would be with even heavier hearts you’d meekly listen to your Nigerian father admonishing us. He’d first of all, echoed by your mother, demand if the child topping the class had two heads.
After going on and on about this two-headed classmate of yours, he’d finally summarize his admonition saying he was always top of his class.
Trust me, no Nigerian child wants to hear their father go on and on about his ‘intelligence’. Dear Nigerian fathers, sarcastic responses were always at the tip of our tongues but for our lives, we remained strong.
I’ll leave all of you at home
One of the most frightening things to threaten to a Nigerian child with is that you’d leave them behind for a pre-planned outing. This meant two things for us growing up: the child would be getting a beating at the end of the day or the child would be getting a beating at the end of the day.
An average Nigerian father keeps to time. An outing for 1 pm is an outing for 1 pm. This meant you all had to leave the house at latest 12:30 pm depending on distance.
Failure to beat the call time in any household would result to this scene:
Nigerian father walking off to start his car, issuing several ‘I’ll leave you at home’ warnings and worse case, driving off without everyone unprepared.
Go and read your book
Your father is not fully Nigerian if, on several occasions, he has not asked you that you ‘go and read your books’
To a Nigerian father, reading your book meant burying your head in school textbooks and nothing more especially during school terms or semesters.
Owning a sense of humour or doing anything remotely unrelated to reading school textbooks were not activities your Nigerian father envisioned for you.
Despite the sterness of an average Nigerian father sometimes, it is never to be mistaken that they were only looking out for us. Nigerian fathers are the best as they successfully raised us properly. At least I speak for myself.
Poultry Podcast anchors, question the level of Nigerian females in the midst of the global shake by women fighting gender pay-gaps, sexual misconduct against them and equality:
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Image Credits: Father and Son, Pexels