I had jocularly told one of my gorgeous daughters to quit being ridiculous and go and get married. We all fell about laughing. Having just come through the mandatory youth service, my girls and I are always having interesting conversations about the future. So, who is the man I would say and they would all laugh heartily and tease me and my spouse instead. Okay, so how did you meet daddy, all manners of jokes and jabs.
Anyhow on this day, they told me ‘hmmm, mummy good men are far and few between. Most of the ones walking around are either into Yahoo or are too self-entitled or are doing self-adulation podcasts’. It was a joke but I saved it up in the recesses of my brain.
On another day they wanted to know how their Dad had proposed and on another how I knew he was the one. But it’s hard to explain to young people today that the way that courtship took place in our time was totally different.
In fact, I explained to my daughters that generations before my Dad, the men would farm for their in-laws’ family before they could take their daughter as wife. They would laugh. It was funny to them as it was funny to me when my mom told me.
But they translated to symbols, virtues and values. In a nutshell, it is all about valour, hardwork and dedication to family. A man brought home the bacon, protected his family and was in charge. Those things still hold true but clearly it is a much more complex world.
Remember to tell your son, brother, husband that you love him today. It is not easy for our men
Today men are in a complex field where women hitherto unseen are also in the mix. A lot of men are pressured to succeed and psychiatrists are telling us they are not coping that well anymore. Men are less resilient and more vulnerable and the Internet has worsened the situation where men are displaying wealth and intimidating ordinary hardworking young men. A lot of the bugatti and ferrari are hired to make a loud presence online and many young men and I daresay women as well paying for a slice of a parked private jet to pretend they have arrived.
People without a dime are showing off online and giving the impression that they will be rich till they die. The pop culture, music, songs, movies promote get rich quick syndrome; get rich or die trying. The rap culture of drugs, feuds, diamonds, girls and fast culture imported from America is not helping matters. So our men are doing all they can to impress the girls whose newest mantra is have the dough or don’t talk to me.
If you really do like a girl and you want to impress then you can rob a bank to make it happen. If that is dangerous then try and win an election and be the man. To be there and get there, you now are ready to do anything so you do not as they say chop breakfast.
All of this fast paced life is having a toll on the young men whose thoughts are slowly translating into hard work does not pay. To get the soft things of life they erroneously believe, you need to live fast, live large and live on the edge.
In between all of this, if the stress is getting to them, they are advised to use something to calm them down and another to perk them up. The fancy and eternally damning drug life would have begun. Our men today are between the devil and the deep blue sea.
Parents need to keep an eye on our boys and find the balance. Generally, fathers expect too much. It is not the same world and wives want to have babies abroad, where are they to get the money? Living like the Joneses helps no family. Living within your means is the Answer. There is the issue of school fees now and the men are under pressure to place children in kindergartens requesting two million naira.
Question is why do you want to imitate Ismail or Kingsley. Stay in your lane. The number of men falling off the wagon due to insane pressure is astronomical. Then they are not as resilient as their forebears in things of the heart, things of finance, things of disagreement.
Life generally gives them a tough time. They don’t manage. And sadly we are hearing of suicides and double deaths as in the case of the policeman who took his life and that of his girlfriend’s life in Ogun state. So sad! A fully married man. He just could not put it all together. And in between all of this, there is a thriving gutter juice market in Lagos.
Read also: Is the election ruining your love life?
Yes, a juice of boiled marijuana, blackcurrant juice and other illicit drugs sold in jerry cans by regular women on the streets and bought in the dozens by working class men and some young turks. The scene as I read from The Nation newspapers one afternoon is armageddon personified. Drugs, sleaze, prostitution, madams keeping 14 year olds for the kill. Mindless young men are destroyed on the altar of trying too hard and then getting lost in the maze. Were it not better that they farmed for their inlaws?
Decent hotels are now crawling with young men with deep pocket scamming companies and individuals on the computers and living large. Their cars fast, their girls cheap, their hotel rooms expensive, their trousers halfway between their bums and their knees. They certainly don’t fit the hotels. Hair dirty, nails black, silly looking colourful shirts, illicit, fraud and drug money talking. It’s a sad world we live in.
Where are the good men with values and valour, sharp with hard work and smart brains? Who would rescue our men slowly disappearing in the rabbit hole? It’s not helping that women are strong, earn strong And are ready to get to the finish line, head held high.
Let us teach our boys the values we hold dear. We need money but money is not everything and quick and illicit ones lead you down another hole. Let us teach them resilience, the power of family, faith, kindness, and ethical competitiveness. Let us teach them to respect women. Misogyny is everywhere.
And as we go to the polls, let us do right by voting right. Remember to tell your son, brother, or husband that you love him today. It is not easy for our men. Hold them up for our collective tomorrow. Too many depressed men, full of anxiety. Chin up. I see you. Be strong, it is going to be alright.
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