Love in African Homes
What is Love ? And how do we show it towards one another ? How is the state of love in African homes ? I speak as an African child ….. when we choose love, we always choose right. We may choose love or maybe something else. The best relationship is to love oneself first, then spread love to others. This is the greatest gift of all.. and we came into this world to show love. Love is life!
Consider the life you have lived by now, is there anybody who can attest that indeed you loved them or loved you ?
Growing up, basically, I didn’t know what love meant. African parents had their own way of showing love. Never had I seen my own folks hold hands, nor profess the “love” they had for each other. Not even I to my siblings. On my daily routine of scavenging for motivation, I came across a young lady talking about love in African families. It then hit me.
I would say, it was an eye opener for me, because this is something that indeed happens in most African families. Only a few got to see Love at first hand…. I might assume that maybe it was taboo to tell your husband ” I love you “, “I miss you”, ” honey am home ” — this line reminds me of a vintage cartoon I used to watch as a child, ‘The Dinosaurs’. Were we disadvantaged ? Mhh no, life used to run, nonetheless. Sometimes I think if it was shown, maybe things could have been a bit different.
Many will conform with this. In an African home, love meant your dad coming home with sweets and make you line up. Without uttering a single word, gives each one of you some. Silence fills the room, woe unto you if you didn’t say “thank you”. Hell would break loose.
Our mom’s coming with different outfits from the market, calls you out one by one ….” John, take this …. I think it will fit you ” and that is how life used to be. Vividly, the only one time the word love would roam the house is when one of your aunties visited. You’d hear how your parents say how much they loved you and you are the reason why they have to put up with crappy working conditions to see you through.
Then here comes punishment time. It’s so captivating to see today’s children have a timeout. Timeout, indeed is a treasure. I remember being canned by my grandma ….. and she kept yelling at me how I’m being canned because she loved me. Wipe out that evil grin, yes am among those kids who got flogged by their grandparents. Sometimes I thought old people weren’t capable of such strength. Hah aha , it was fire!
Love, was also shown by you being sent to school to get an education. An African parent would sell his lands, livestock, trees, maize to see you through school. Sometimes, even the most prized possession would find itself at a money lender’s shop. The wealthy ones could see to it, their kids went to the best of schools. Best of the best, without compromise.
The kind of love that would make you and your siblings, wait at the gate for the return of your mother. Knowing she has to come with goodies from that event she went to. They always carried these bags with them. Sometimes, if she were home, she would give you three minutes to find your flops, so that you can accompany her to the evening women’s meetings. I loved this.
What now ?
The shadows of the environment we grew up in, still follows some of us around. I try as much to remind my little one of my love, each day. Love needs to be expressed and it does bring a difference in someone’s life. The past, somehow has a hand in how we handle issues now. Men, inherited what they saw from their fathers, and women do what their mothers did. The modern African family is trying. It may seem hard to outlive what we went through as children. Love is precious and should be shown to people we love, or ones we encounter. The scars from the past can be quite hard to erase, but making a little difference and letting our kids know. Yes, we went through that and here we are, making changes, Positive changes.
How we express love is determinant of what we saw, learning from our predecessors. However, love is life, and by that …. times did evolve and we learnt to love ourselves first. Learning that made us love others, so easy to achieve it and spread the gospel. Weirder as our childhood was, at least lets not relive the past. It’s okay to kiss your partner/children, hold hands and remind them each day, that you love them immensely. This will solve the many problems we have in the world today ! If we raise a nation full of love.
How was it shown in your home ? What difference are you making today ? Contact us on [mail_crypt mail=”email@example.com” text=Ivakale.Consulting” js=”true”] or through http://ivakale.consulting/contact/