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9 Stupid Myths Nigerians Need To Let Go Of By Moroti Olatujoye

Growing up in Nigeria or in most African societies has instilled some beliefs that have led us to take decisions that have in many ways affected our lives. These are what I’d call myths in the course of writing this piece.  These myths have boxed us up, making it impossible for us to see life…”
March 11, 2018 8:20 am

Growing up in Nigeria or in most African societies has instilled some beliefs that have led us to take decisions that have in many ways affected our lives. These are what I’d call myths in the course of writing this piece.  These myths have boxed us up, making it impossible for us to see life as it truly is. In other respects, these myths have defined the way people behave, interact with people of other backgrounds or reasoning among others. So, here are some of the things we should learn to stop thinking are true.

Girls and boys should be brought up differently

This is probably the hottest topic now. Following Anthony Joshua’s comment on how he trained his niece to be a good and disciplined woman and let’s his son have his way. As much as people have criticized his words, I realize that the blame is not on him but the mentality of his guardians, parents and surroundings.  Girls and Boys SHOULD NOT BE TRAINED DIFFERNETLY. This is the only way we can have good fathers and mothers. While you train your girl to do dishes, train your son to do dishes for days when he’s a father and his wife is probably sick or dead. Train your son never to date multiple women because he needs to keep himself for his wife as much as she is trained to. Strong headed men will read this part of my article and say I’m a feminist, I’m not I just don’t want to end up with a man who has no self discipline to impact on our children because his parents didn’t give him any.  I’d end this part by dropping Chimamanda’s words; “We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.”

IF a girl goes to a guy’s house, she can’t claim to have been raped

This is one of the saddest myth I’ve grown up seeing people talk about, and unfortunately even parents are guilty of this. If a girl decides to visit a man often times than not no one will ever believe she was raped, because ‘na she use her leg waka go there’.  Just as the chances of you realizing that you are sitting with a robber in a public transport are rare till you get robbed, so are the chances are that a lady will visit a man and know that she intends to be raped. As a man asking a woman out shouldn’t give you the go ahead to rape her when she visits all because according to you she already ‘knew you like her’. Finally we all collectively have to know that rape is a terrible crime, not just to the person’s physical state but also psychological state and it worsens when the case is shoved aside because she went visiting. RAPE IS A CRIME, AND NO REASON JUSTIFIES IT. Young men might not understand till they have daughters they will die protecting in the future.

Men can’t be raped/ sexually abused

This is another big lie we have unknowingly been brainwashed with. Men can be raped, infact small boys are getting sexually abused by older ladies and women but pride wouldn’t let them come out to say it, because when they finally get exposed to the sexuality that they never knew they had, they feel the person who abused them helped them become MEN. As a matter of fact, an article I read years ago while preparing to see a play Tazan Chronicles had revealed that most men had their first sexual experience with an older female. So please don’t just watch who carries your daughter to sit on their laps, watch who interacts with your son and the attachment your son has for a particular aunty.

Sugar causes Pile and Menstrual pain

For ladies to know more about their feminine side and how their body works, I strongly recommend my father’s gift to be on my 16th birthday ‘Every Woman’ by Derek Llewellyn-Jones. It was at this point I realized that contrary to popular believe, sugar is not the major reasons we have cramps, bile or diabetes. According to my findings online (please feel free to read some more, and ask your doctor, PS not the quack one who gives malaria drugs for every sickness o) cramps are caused by the contraction of the uterus to help expel its lining. Hormone-like substances involved in pain and inflammation trigger the uterine muscle contractions.  Pile is also not caused by too much sugar as we have been made to believe by our “Alagbo”. Internet is your friend, please use it.

Girls who are exposed and free are sluts

Back in school, guys will talk down on a girl they are certain is slut because she loves to go out, meet friends, and are friendly. As a matter of fact our shallow minded majority believe that a girl who is friendly towards a man definitely likes the guy. Please wake up o, we are in the 21st century. Just as men love to go to places girls also love to go to places, meet strangers and talk for long hours without thinking in their minds that they will ever meet them again. It’s a temperament thing or perhaps a personality treat. Just because a girl is not quiet and reserve doesn’t mean she is slut, and quiet girls are not always good girls too.

All guys who have 8-5 jobs are responsible

I remember watching Tyler Perry’s movie- For Coloured Girls, where a young lady was deceived by the fact that a young man who like her was responsible enough to be invited over for dinner. This guy walked her to her studio with flowers regularly with suit and tie going to work, only for him to rape her in her own house. My mother was also once in love with a young man in my church for me, he was perfect to her, he came to church, dressed well, no tattoos, low cut, good 8-5 jobs and all the endless lies we grow up thinking made a good man. I eventually had to show my mum my chat with her ‘angel’ for her see what the guy was under his decency. Responsibility goes beyond looks, and what they do for a living in most cases. Please this is not to say there are no decent guys, all I’m saying is this is not a reason to think he has sense.

Marriage makes you happy

Thank God for blogs that share true life stories of what people face in marriage giving us a better platform of exposure to real life situations, it is clear to the blind that marriage doesn’t take all your problems away. If you’re broke now, getting married wouldn’t help you. If you’re dirty, depressed, incapable of been faithful, selfish, irrational and so much more marriage wouldn’t make you better. To reduce the rates of broken homes, singles who are yet to venture into marriage should know that marriage is not a magical place where all your problems disappear. Yes you should marry someone who makes your life better and vice versa, you shouldn’t also take all your burdens into it. Be happy, be financially stable, get rid of the hurt from your ex’s, have a plan for your future before you go into marriage.

There’s a certain age for everything

This is 100% true in Nigeria. For ladies at the age of at most 26 you should be out of your father’s house and into your husband’s home. You should be in the university by at most 18, you should have a job by 25 as a guy, in an organization where you seem to be the youngest, the elderly ones believe you don’t deserve to be paid a particular amount because you’re too young. Luckily for the younger generation this myth might not really be in existence because we have suffered from it so much we sure wouldn’t let our children go through the same thing. As long as we should make hay when the sun shines, our paths are different to bring us to our purpose. Don’t go into armed robbery or fraud because you’re 30 and still don’t have 3 million in your account. Read true life stories of great men and women and see how the world wrote them off because they had passed the age to succeed and learn your lessons. Be forced, work hard, and set your own age limits.

People who study art in school are lesser students than lawyers, doctors…….

This would be the last on my list for stupid myths we must stop believing in. This has a lot to do the fact that I studied theater arts in school though, because I had a lot of people pressure my parents to not let me study what I had chosen. Now the supposed better students who study law are graduates who work in law firms that unfortunately pay N30,000 monthly, an amount that a graduate of music would make times two of in one show. I wouldn’t talk about engineers who work as bankers o, I’d just shut up and move on to the point. There is no such thing as better course of study in colleges honestly, we all need everyone. We need doctors, and artists, we need lawyers and dancers, we need people who studied history just as much as those who studied accounting.

Another experience a friend had was that of his parents mandating him, the 4th out of 6 boys to go for Sciences in his secondary school days. He refused and went to art to work on how to become a journalist. Finally, when he finished and became a Journalist, he became a pride of the family whom most of the family members go to whenever they have any media related jobs to do. This has made him a figure to reckon with in the family. Now, the other 2 boys are not mandated to go to any class.

Wherever your son or daughter wants to go to, just encourage him/her to be serious, dutiful and become good members of the society in the future. Leaving your children to follow their passion is more advantageous in the future to them and to you as parents. Watch It!









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