Nursery school, Primary school, Secondary school, 4 years of university, 5 years even better,
then they can boast, “my son studied engineering”, “my daughter is a law graduate”
As if that alone defines satisfaction

Ruling our lives and world silently
telling us what we must and mustn’t do
whispering silently that our choices and dreams do not matter

University done, now it’s time to get married
lest I forget, masters is a must these days, just do it, everybody else is,
how else do you expect to get a good job.
“Now don’t spend all your time studying, I want to see my grandchildren before I die”
“What do you mean you have things to achieve first, what do you mean you have dreams and goals?”
“You already have a job, don’t you? You don’t have to enjoy it right now, you young people and your funny ideas”
“The important thing is that it brings in money”
“And now you’re going out again, to the movies eh? Is that where you’ll find a good christian husband?”

Who came up with these rules?
Whose reality is this?

Hear the relatives whispering among themselves when I say I want to take a year off before university to travel and see new places, experience different and new things.
Hear them, “So unserious, when her mates are talking about school and such, she’s talking rubbish”
“Don’t mind her, refusing to study nursing because she’s not “interested” in it, is it a matter of interest?”

So then, I live my life for them;
Nursery school, Primary school, Secondary school, University, got a job, got a husband, I did it all for them.
You would think they’d leave me alone now,
let me be and enjoy the life I now have
but just as I am about to let out a sigh of satisfaction,
I hear a banging on the door, they’re back, they want more,
I try to block out the banging on the doors and the windows, the screaming;
“When are you going to give us grandchildren? do you want us to die without seeing our grandchildren?”

A friend that has somehow become the enemy
With effects that crept up on us so slowly, we didn’t notice

Don’t get me wrong, culture isn’t a bad thing,
culture defines a people after all
I just wonder; if we actually think, will all aspects be for everyone?
Would young people all be looking to get “big office jobs”, no matter what it is and regardless of whether or not they enjoy it?
Would young girls be getting depressed that they aren’t married at 24 just because their friends are?
At some point, we stopped thinking and just did
We always talk about finding fulfilment, why doesn’t this include important issues such as education and marriage and such? why do we take it as a forgone conclusion that those things are meant for everyone?
All people aren’t meant to play football, are they?

Approximately 1.7 million Nigerian students took the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) examinations this year, 2013 and about 1.2 million of them will not be getting into university… think about that.


15 thoughts on “C.U.L.T.U.R.E

  1. This is a good post. I understand how culture can end up ruling people’s lives. I’ve had people as me when I’m going to get married and when I tell them I’m not interested I get weird looks. I won’t let culture rule my life to a great extent. I am lucky that I have an encouraging father and as long as he is accepting of what I do, then the opinion of people don’t matter. He never applies the pressure of culture onto me and I won’t do the same to my children.

    • Wow! That’s amazing, you are so lucky to have a father who doesn’t simply want to conform with the “norm”

      and thank you for reading this and the comment. I’m so glad you enjoyed it

  2. Chinedu says:

    The statement “1.2 million of them will not be getting into university” is also part of the Culture! Good one you have here.

    • Pat says:

      Good thoughts here though I think culture need to be separated from parental guidance. The older you get, the more you think you need to protect the younger generation from their evil environment and, YES, from themselves. But I do agree it is unwholesome when parents meddle too much in the life of young ones. Wait until you become a parent, if you ever chose to be because no one will force you, then you will feel the concern parents feel for children. It is well

  3. Great post Adeola!!! Sometimes I wish they would freaking leave me alone!! Thankfully my parents a liberal, but that doesn’t stop the unwanted questions about marriage, kids, job security from friends and other members of my family etc. I am not a 100% sure I want kids even(my mother mustn’t read this). However I do believe it boils down to the individual, because if in the process of giving into everyone’s wishes things don’t turn out right the person who gets stuck with the mess is YOU.

  4. Culture or typical Nigerian parents mentality? My grandfather is so pissed that my sister did not study Law and i Pharmacy. My dad wanted me to study Physiotherapy who am i to follow what if my mum and grandmum wanted me to study Medicine and Architecture. Hmmn na wa oo

  5. Jude says:

    Nice one love, I love it and would love all my parents, uncles and aunties and every on that has a link to my life to read this. Am tired of hearing “when are u coming home”, “what do you mean you want to do masters and phd before you get married” etc IT’S MY LIFE!!! I love your blog. I can’t wait for the next post.

  6. This is the TRUTH!!!! the funny thing is when it all goes wrong the same voices would be there to critize. Excellent piece on every front. Thank you for sharing

  7. Totally true… The good part is, we are beginning to break from the norm, we are taking charge of our futures regardless of the storm. we are the generation of change.

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