Overtime, the quest and the inordinate zeal to fit into the western way of life have ravaged our worldviews as Africans and have continued to stand our existence on its head.
Though, a dumping ground for western irrelevances and a dependent on the west in various fronts , the African state is still towering high in maintaining some of its cultural values which is ironically considered as treasurable by the west and of course pivotal to its existence. Some experts have indeed opined that we lost our dynamism and with it our identity when we jettisoned those things that made us Africans. While China (an ancient civilization that went the downward trip) and most of Asian Tigers chose to modernize without becoming westernized, we in Africa chose to westernize believing its the same as being modern. That could indeed be the only difference between us and other nations that were at par with most independent African nations back in the 60s.
The family as the smallest unit in the African Society is woven in traditional orderliness, cultural responsibilities and absolute discipline. The African family is unique, built to subdue the rigours and inadequacies of life. Indeed today’s economic realities are putting a huge strain on these age- long beliefs and of course our “westernized nature.”
In the home, culture and tradition empowers the man, not only to be honoured but to provide for his family. To provide for one’s family is seen as noble, while the role of the wife is seen in assisting the man in catering for the welfare of the family.
It’s germane to bring to fore that the statements of Pastor Enoch Adeboye have continued to generate plethora of controversies in the religious and social circles in recent times. The last comment credited to the Septuagenarian is not in isolation from this discourse. The vilifications which trailed the comment shook the social media, with majority of these vulgar comments emanating from young people who appear critical but hypocritical on the issue.
Aside the fact that Pastor Adeboye is a church leader who has the responsibility of preaching from the scriptures and to guide and counsel millions of people in the faith he professes, he has a right to his opinion, and he has the moral and spiritual rights to preach in his religious enclave which must not be ladened with casuistry. How these are criminal, and have gone to attract acerbic and vituperative comments from our youths is unjustifiable!
It is not out of sense that in the African setting, the woman is seen as mothering, solution-proffering, a care-giver – some even go as far as bearing sacrifices in the dead of the night, making incisions on their wards, preparation of herbal medicines and concoction, visiting soothsayers and native doctors, all, for protection – to the family. Therefore, why should Pastor Adeboye’s or any other religious leader’s homily of “No cooking and praying, No husband“ in his/her religious community generate anger or pose an aberration to a system that recognizes spirituality and diligence as some of the virtues of a good woman? If the traditional woman cannot be wrong in the discharge of her role as a wife, why is Adeboye wrong in the discharge of his role as a religious leader? Why is he wrong in underlining these virtues which have been beaten to a zilch in the youths of today? The shift of argument and of course the questions that should resonate in the hearts of our young people should be how scripturally laced his comment is, how contradicting it is to other faiths and how unacceptable it is to the African culture.
If only we can be humble enough to learn from nature, the metaphoric of the lower animals is handily explanatory e.g Apes, Birds, Dogs etc. What roles do mothers play? Some of the mothers in the lower animals circles are worthy of being role models to many human mothers when you compare the duo. The disaster in it all is that most people complaining are products of homes where the mothers are like most African Mothers who are always praying to influence that which is ordinarily human since the government has failed us.
The solidity of the ground the Redeem Pastor leaned on is made justifiable on two portent reasons; Africanism and Religiosity. While one is debated to be traditional, the other remains the import of westernization in the case of Adeboye’s comment. Africanism and westernization is what majority of our youths are not striving to merge, rather, suppressing one for the other. The frightening and increasing number of cases of divorce and domestic violence being recorded in our national dailies these days are not unconnected with this inability. While this anomalism is daily growing monstrous in devouring young and old couples, our youths are daily waxing stronger in acute Ignorance. An irony that just got represented in the outrage which bedogged not only the comment of Adeboye but also his personality.
It is exigent to emphasize that the harmony of the African home is dependent on interdependence of roles, a symbiotic relationship and each party’s ability to wake up to responsibilities. Therefore our youths are enjoined to arm themselves with the understanding of parental guidance, marital roles and responsibilities.
Instead of living in absolute denial, and playing the pharisees on the social media on the issue that has ignominiously battered them so much by sending numerous souls to their untimely death and rendering many lifeless, our youths are expected to be purged of the negligence of consummately importing westernization into a system that still holds in veneration it’s principles and traditions as this may play a counterproductive impact on the home if not considered.
On the contrary, the choice to accept/ignore is yours while Adeboye has discharged the only choice made available to him as a religious leader. As a lady, you may choose not to cook or pray after all we still have the fast food all over town. As a man, you may opt to do the cooking while your wife does whatever soothes her. The Yoruba proverb that says “ìgbèyìn ló ma yé òlóku àdá”, aptly captures the scenario. The future is here.
Osinimu Tawose is a Media Scholar from Lagos, Nigeria. Contact via firstname.lastname@example.org.