Most of the problems plaguing our community today start at home. The Solutions are not in the hands of the privileged but in individuals’ hands. Dysfunctional homes produce uncultured children that turn into adults. Family values begin at home before it can enhance or infect the society. This is why most cultures demand investigation before courtship to avoid embarrassment after marriage that will haunt the children and society. It is the reason we are limited to the lesser of the worst evils.
Folks without pride in their cultural values harbor insidious monstrosity. If we want moral leadership, we must begin with moral children! We must go back to revitalize our family cultural roots. Many of us do not go back to our villages to marry anymore or swear that nobody would dare steal from his village coffers. It is now crystal clear that everything that shines is not gold. After all, we still trade gold for mirrors like our fathers. Nobody or country gets rich on credit cards to pay debts. Indeed, those hypocrites we wanna be like, emulate and worship as Saints are worse than us in their true color.
Parents are rightly worried about the tendency of their children to delay or skip marriage. Girls are traditionally young men’s incentives to accomplishments and good moral behavior. A boy or girl with good prospects is an inspiration to the family and community. Most people want to court, engage or marry partners from good homes hoping the influence would strengthen theirs. Suitable Solutions come from within us, not from outside.
There is no society that can afford to lose the morality of their traditional families without paying for the consequences. People who forgo their culture for others’ are walking dead. The morality in the society is enhanced by the culture of traditional families, partnership or courtship. A Man would not display repulsive habits with the knowledge of his lady or daughter just as women would not, in the vicinity of their men and sons.
The new generation are at a point when they wonder aloud if getting married will enhance their lives or impede happiness later. The number of young people afraid of marriage is increasing. We are witnessing a high rate of divorce out of irreconcilable differences between parents. The children that are most affected by their parents’ decision are taking their time before jumping into the same type of marriage as adults because it is the right way to avoid opportunists.
The same parents that guided them out of reach to boys and girls would come asking for their partners. Most ladies put on a defensive attitude but desperation is not the answer; humility and modest expectation is. Some may get completely turned off, marry older men, become second wife or seek comfort in friends. While we may have our reservations about traditional marriage, we cannot justify the aberration of the alternatives. The same is true of men. If they could not get ladies to marry, they turned to older or women of virtue for relief. How for do naoh?
There is fulfillment and satisfaction in the right partnership between men and ladies. Prenuptial agreement does not guarantee a successful coupling or marriage but it gives a peace of mind for each partner by allaying fear of house snatchers. The problem is children from single parents with only a mother or father at home have to be highly motivated to be as disciplined as most children with both parents at home. Africa used to be a place where it takes a village to raise a child. Life is short, do not set up children against partners to gain love in social experiments.
Prenuptial is not common in African society but cultural norms are influential. Once out of the village, home or Africa, anything could happen. A lady was asked to swear before leaving her village, it did not make a difference one way or the other. Common interest is stronger. Another factor is that ladies are better educated with better prospects than their mothers. They are more assertive and can support their children, even as single parents.
On the other hand, men are weary of confrontational ladies and prefer the type of lady their mothers were. Even those mothers become indifferent when the children are grown. They enjoy the support of their children for or against their fathers. So fathers are encouraged these days to be prepared and save some money for their old age instead of spending their last penny on the family. Though men feel fulfilled earlier in their marriage, later years may not be so comfortable.
There used to be a time women stayed in abusive marriage for the sake of their children. They saw it as a sacrifice to bring up stable families that have both parents in charge to prevent kids from going astray. It is difficult enough bringing up children with a father and mother at home but more onerous as a single parent. Those days of women’s perseverance are limited if they are supported by grown kids. Still, the loss of cultural family values produce dysfunctional societies.
When children get older, their family experience influences their decision whether to marry their classmates, wait until they are more experienced or a little wealthier to be able to take care of their own family. The problem here is that as they wait, the ladies become older, apart from the years spent preparing for careers. They may miss out on their classmates or cohorts that are looking for younger partners. Choice could be constrained to younger men or older men before the biological clock runs out for both men and women, if they want their own kids.
Money has changed us from being our brothers’ keepers to our brothers’ albatross. If we do not know where we are going, some of us remember how we got here. We remember that no matter how rich you are, nobody would hand over their daughters unless investigation turns out to be a man from a family of honor. Today, the only good name is money, and laundering; no matter the source. Criminals are products of individual families because of failure, indifference or neglect.
African cultures demand that we be our brothers’ keeper if it takes a village to raise a child. Invest in all locally, not disproportionately on foreign school fees on privileged children. Those children will become adults, haunt one another and their communities, no matter where they are. We should not be surprised when the children we have in our communities become adults, embarrassing or disgraced ambassadors outside our country or continent.
Farouk Martins Areas @oomoaresa