Sunday, January 13, 2019
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Women are not rehabilitation centers for badly behaving men - Jaseena Backer

s I was planning to leave the country, the patriarch of my mother's line called me into his presence. "Don't go abroad and lose your mind. Don't marry anyone we cannot trace his ancestry," he admonished. Choosing to misunderstand his coded message, I queried, "We can trace everyone's ancestry, can't we?"

He exploded, "You know what I'm talking about! Don't go getting foolish ideas like Awodunni's daughter who married a French. Don't marry an American. Don't marry a European. Don't marry anyone we cannot go to their house to visit his people."

Uncle was a traditionalist who believed marriage amongst the Yoruba was a family affair. You married, not an individual but his family. Indeed, your entire family married his family. Thus, it was necessary to check out the lineage. What were they known for? Did they treat wives kindly? Were they occultic or mentally challenged? Everything mattered in this life-long entanglement that didn't end even if the union between the couple did. But, like many Yoruba patriarchs, uncle refused to acknowledge the pitfalls of marrying "a man we can trace his ancestry" to Yorubaland.

Unfortunately, Yorubaland has been known to produce persons known as Yoruba Demons; great to look at but deadly to befriend. They are profligate, promiscuous, lazy, vindictive, passive-aggressive, mean-spirited, and self-absorbed. Raised to think themselves the center of the universe by mothers who have either been sidelined/abandoned by their fathers, or neglectful parents who pandered to them, they expect worship, adulation, obeisance, and adoration. For instance, a Yoruba Demon, without providing a dime, would expect you to use your money to cook soup and beg him to come and eat then top it with a scrumptious dessert. His only contribution - his splendid presence.

Their "I the Universe" mentality cause them to use and dispose of people, things, goodwill, and relationships, without care. As such, friendship, intimacy, and marriage to such men create emotional, mental, financial and physical heartache to those involved. And as the women soldier on, battered and bruised, they perpetuate a cycle of abuse and raise another generation of demons.

Thus, cultural compatibility no longer (if it ever), guarantees marital success. The fact that you can trace his parentage, does not ensure good behavior. Further, our culture appears to be reproducing more demons than angels due to the abandonment of parents in pursuit of money, distractions, and grand ideas.

What if instead of demons, we raise Yoruba angels - considerate guys; head screwed on straight, good partners to build marriage, family, business, and nation? Men who believe in "ka f'owo we wo, l'owo fii mo" (the right hand washing the left to ensure cleanness). Men who work the day shift, so wives may work at night. They cook, clean, care for kids - whatever is necessary for the welfare of their family. They live omoluabi values of "ise loogun ise"(work is the remedy for penury) and "oruko rere san ju wura" (a good name is more precious than gold)." Beyond the homefront, they work towards the progress of their communities and the world. They are the Akinkanjus, Ajagunnas, and Okunrin Meta. They are those whose ancestry, virtuous spinsters would love to trace; whose families, they'd want to join in marriage.