​THE PERFECT MAN

#copied # A Must Read
Everyday, especially with the rise of social media, the menfolk are bashed and branded “evil”. We often make generalisations about the whole “specie” based on isolated experiences.

Recently, a Nollywood actress wrote that “all men cheat”. My intention is not to write a rejoinder to the referenced article, neither is it an attempt to repudiate the assertion. However, in my moment of solitude, I asked if truly something is wrong with us as men.

Before making my case, please permit me to share three independent events that will help connect the dots with you.

Event 1

Recently, at a party, I was having a conversation with a group of childhood girlfriends. One of them, Omolara, was deeply concerned about the posture her nine-year-old son is beginning to assume in life. According to her, he is becoming too “SWEET” for a man, (Sweetness in her dictionary is a lovey-dovey, soft, simple and good man). She was actually seeking my opinion on how to help him ‘toughen up’. As I struggled to make sense of her request, I asked why she wanted to alter the poor boy’s personality and to my utmost bewilderment, Bidemi, Shewa and Zainab, all other three ladies sitting with us attacked me with an intense “Jezebelic” venom. I left the party wondering to myself if I was some sort of a novice, probably naïve or worse still, archaic in my thinking.

Event 2

A few months ago, I got a phone call from a very dear friend. She asked if I could recommend the service of a good lawyer for her. Since she worked in my former constituency (i.e. the Nigerian banking industry), I erroneously assumed that she was about to resign her job to register and start a new business, Alas, my very good-natured, homely gentle and caring Bolanle wants to get a divorce. The reason: Bros has been cheating on her with two of his ex-es and a new kid on the block in his office.

Disturbed at the distraught sound of her voice, we agreed to meet up at a nearby restaurant on my invitation. As she walked towards me, the pain from her countenance would best be described as the percussion to the symphony of a shattered heart; in one word: BROKEN.

I watched as she broke down in tears whilst she narrated her experience. She had led a chaste and responsible life as a single chic and had been a faithful and dutiful wife. Her world was tearing apart not only because she caught Le-boo red-handed, but, because he rubbed his affairs in her face and was too prideful to show any form of remorse.

Secondly, because NOBODY was in support of her divorce. Everyone, including her darling mum and numero uno confidante, encouraged her to her stay on in the marriage and their unanimous reason is that, all over the world and particularly in Africa, philandering is in the DNA of men.

As I listened to the societal justification for her to remain in the marriage, I realised that, somehow in our social construct, we may have bought into an unconscious “conspiracy theory” that has no empirical, cognitive, scriptural, or moral validation.

Event 3

The first time I saw Iyanya’s ‘Oreo’ music video, (no disrespect to the talented dude) my first instinct was fear for the ‘boy child’. I reckoned that excessive exposure to those sort of videos in his formative years can catalyse his inclination towards a ‘vulgar’ future expressed in poor character traits such as objectifying women, multiple dating, infidelity, lack of respect for women, cheating, polygamy et al. You can then imagine the emotion I felt when I walked into a friend’s house as the video was playing on one of the music channels on DSTV and right before Daddy and Mummy, was their six-year-old son watching and singing along without parental check.

Here’s my pain:

In most cases, all through her life, the girl child was trained to be contrite, to be meek, to cook, to serve the king as a queen, she was generally prepared for life. The question is, who prepared the boy child for life? Who bothered to help him discover his theme and guide him on how to navigate his way through the tides of life? Who spent time to teach him how to care for a pregnant wife? Who counselled him on how to be a gentleman?

As a teenager, I recall listening to a conversation about the girl child losing her innocence. For the girl child it is a taboo, but in most cases, for the boy child it is acceptable. I have seen where an African mother defended her boy child in a case of fornication gone wrong, but the girl child was stigmatized for the same “crime”.

In some homes, the boy child finished eating his meals and the Mother ensured that the girl child packed up his plate and washed them. It was forbidden for him to do the dishes because he was either the only son, the last boy or the first boy (as some Yoruba mothers will say, “Baba yin ni”).

All his life, the boy child has been told that he is the champion and that it is a sign of weakness to be vulnerable. In some parts of Africa, he is the preferred gender, the one to carry on the family name (‘o ma se o’). There is nothing wrong with building up a child’s self-esteem but there must be a balanced approach to it, the sad effect of these alpha-male doctrines and masculine philosophies is that it messes up the child’s belief system and often times he loses the power of believing right. (The Bible says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word).

The world tells the boy child that he is the VICTOR whereas he is actually the VICTIM.

He is the victim of a society that lied to him that he is superior to the girl child (that is probably why some men may never be able to handle a super successful, upwardly- mobile woman).

He is the victim of a system that deceived him; that it is a sign of weakness for a man to cry.

He is the victim of a system that gave him a false sense of dominance over his female counterpart.

He is the victim of a system where his own mother concurred to the sinister doctrine that polygamist tendencies is an innate trait of the masculine gender.

He is the victim of a system that had no strict boundaries for his social conduct and contriteness whereas the girl was prepared for life and marriage.

He is the victim of our cultural flaws and idiosyncrasies.

He is the victim of a faulty foundation of a failed society.

Here’s how I see it:

It is our responsibility to show him (the boy child) the masterplan of his creator.

To be strong at heart yet not afraid to admit his weaknesses and cry if need be

To be a leader yet with the humility to be a servant and have control over himself

To be courageous yet not afraid to open to his errors in the days of adversity

To be strong yet meek

To be swift yet patient

To be sweet yet wise

To be kind yet firm

To be wise, prudent, caring and focused

To be honourable in the place of chastity

To build the capacity to commit to his words and not renege on his promise of love

To respect the WOMAN, her GOD, her will and her body

To demonize feminine abuse and revere her emotions, her spirit and her essence

To own his story, his will, his calling, his purpose, his family and his life

A man who will treat all women with dignity and not exploit her vulnerabilities even when the latter so easily give in.

Let’s help develop a breed of perfect gentlemen

Let’s help the boys grow to become Men after God’s heart!

To young mothers with growing boys, teach them how to handle the needs of a woman from a woman’s perspective, it is obvious that men don’t get it as much……(Family Customer Service 101)

We may not be able to change the global stock of men, but in our little corner, with our sons, our nephews, our cousins, our protégées, our godsons, our neighbour’s sons. We can build ONE man that will affect a nation.

A sage once told me: it is easier to build up growing children than to repair broken adults..

Feel free to share on groups. So we can start building the kind of men we want for our daughters. COPIED!

NB: I have two daughters and many days I think to myself I would rather they married non-Nigerian men, But then someone raised my husband so what gives? No I don’t believe all men cheat- it would be like saying all women enjoy cooking. Growing up I had the same exact privileges as my brothers- same curfew, same speeches about sex, everybody had to cook (including one of my brothers who can burn water in a bad way). We all cleaned house, washed cars etc. 

What are your thoughts? And how can we do better?

You can still win N50K HERE

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6 Comments on ​THE PERFECT MAN

  1. chrisyinks // July 7, 2017 at 17:47 // Reply

    Very wise words…indeed there is much that needs to be done.

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  2. Hehe lemme just laugh, ‘burned water in a bad way’

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  3. This is a sad reality. Omoni Oboli was just chastised by some people on Instagram for uploading a pix of her son making puff puff. They claimed it was wrong for her son to be doing “women duty”. I wished I could put my hand through my phone and strangle those foolish people. I don’t believe all men cheat. It’s a personal and conscious decision also brought about by society. This same society makes some men feel it’s ok to beat up a woman for mouthing off or whenever they feel they have been insulted meanwhile if a policeman or soldier tells them to frog jump or roll in gutter in public they do so without complaint. I’m really tired of our society and pray that God will give me the grace to raise my sons as decent humans.

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  4. This your article resonates the recent thoughts of many Nigerians.
    As Mrs Fab said…there was a pic of Omoni Oboli’s son cooking and we had different reactions to it.
    I strongly agree that Nigerian parents especially mothers should do better on raising their children. I say mothers bcos it seems us women are our own greatest enemies.
    I grew up in a home where my brothers were not made to feel entitled. They were required to clean and wash plates like us girls…and I was never required to serve them or anything like that.
    I also married a man who is not ashamed to do chores that most Nigerians regard as female chores.
    I say we women are our greatest enemies bcos it’s women that make it so hard for men to do these ‘feminine’ chores.
    For example, die to the nature of my job, I work weekends sometimes…my husband takes my daughter to the salon to make her hair…and I’ve faced criticism for this as it’s regarded as abnormal. My husband and I laughed at the ignorance of people and we continued doing things our way. But this behaviour is the reason why men are the way they are IN Nigeria.
    Also women cause this a lot while they’re dating.
    So.many women in an attempt to show they’re ‘wife material’ do all sorts of in my opinion ‘degrading’ things to get the ring. Go to boyfriend”s house…cook..clean…wash his clothes….some of the condone cheating during the dating period…of course such men don’t change during marriage.

    We have to stop treating male children as if the sun shines out of their anus….then they make better sons and husbands. we have to make sure our daughters know their worth.

    Sorry for my epistle…I’m very passionate about this topic.

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  5. I grew up in a home where every argument I had with my brothers ended with the same words “you dont know you are a woman…” it made me hate my brothers at the time, and I plotted ways to get rid of them (thank goodness I didn’t go through with my plans). I was the cook, dishwasher, laundry girl, house girl. And that wasn’t even appreciated. They could never say thank you for a delicious meal, but were quick to diss me when the meal didn’t turn out right.i couldn’t go out without their permission. I felt caged, monitored, and attacked . It made me a fighter, made me hate cooking, made me hate coming home during the holidays, pulled me into a shell, and learn to pretend.
    Today I’m married to a man who respects me and my opinion, though I lash out at him sometimes because I take any disagreement to be him ‘lording’ it over me, but im working on that.
    Today, my older brothers aren’t married, mostly because they can’t find women who’ll take their verbal and mental abuse; the proverbial submissive woman.
    I have so much to write/rant, but I should probably stop here.
    I have a year old son who I’ll teach to be a human first, and treat other -male and female alike- with love and respect.

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  6. The post and comments resonate my views too.

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