It is a known fact that schools as well as several learning institutions around the country offer formal education to their attendees. However, while this kind of education garnered is considered essential for survival in the labour market, the education it offers fails in comparison with the knowledge that our parents, especially mothers, impress upon us as we grow in the family unit.
Each mother is different and has unique teaching skills; however, the way Nigerian mothers dish out their own lessons can be quite exceptional and there are certain lessons that most of them almost always teach their wards. From moments of laughter, tears – from the endless hidings, lessons about life, strength, and more,we share six lessons every Nigerian mother teaches.
1) Sign language
Sign language is officially for people with hearing disabilities, however most Nigerian children would probably score an A in any sign language exam as their mothers tutor and equip them with the skill from a young age. Nigerian mothers always communicate through their unique sign language. If she suddenly stops in the hallway and stares at you, make sure you instantly try to remember what chore or errand is left hanging. Also, when offered sweets/food during a courtesy visit, it is wise to look in the direction of your mother and receive the “it-is-alright” or the “try-that-and-die” stare. Basically, you learn the sign language automatically.
2) Stealing is the worst crime
Growing up with a Nigerian mother, you learn that all sins are not the same. Some sins are greater than the others and one of the worst of them all is “stealing”. Stealing is worse than any other crime you might commit as in the case where you are found guilty, you find yourself automatically “returned to factory settings” with the nearest available whip.
3) Every action has a consequence
With Nigerian mothers, you most certainly learn that every action, no matter how insignificant, has a consequence. You do something great, she pampers you and rewards you with tender care, but you do something ignoble, she chastises you accordingly. Even in cases where you suffer grave consequences as a result of what you have done, she most likely won’t help you come out of it or heal, so that next time you know not to do it again. In some cases, when someone comes to lay a complaint against you, she chastises you publicly and may even tell an outsider to flog you next time you do such.
4) School and church is priority
Nigerian mothers, especially the educated ones take school and religion very seriously. In their eyes, school is more important than anything else in life, the first thing you have to do is study and the rest are details. Church is also equally important, and so, you cannot miss church service or prayers on any given day. Nigerian mothers will almost always try to impact religion in you, and in the case your father and mother hold dissimilar views, it’s usually more likely that you follow mum. Again, you cannot argue with her about religion or get too liberal.
5) Family is the most important thing in the world
This is a lesson you learn very quickly when you have a Nigerian mom and you are not the only child. Older kids are expected to take care of younger kids and if the mum comes back to find an unpleasant situation, the whipping is communally shared by all kids. Sometimes, even when you are the only child, she still teaches you to have great regard for extended family, no matter how awful they are.
6) Anyone can be your enemy
Nigerian mothers can be paranoid when it comes to safety. They teach you at an early age not to trust anyone as you do not know what they have in mind against you. From folk tales to real life stories and demonstrations they impress in your mind that anyone literally can be your enemy and you always have to be on your guard and involve God in everything.
By Nkem Ndem…
RipplesNigeria ….without borders, without fears