African Mothers are out-and-out disciplinarians. They can flog sense into a Child’s brain in a flash. An average African Child knows the whereabouts of a particular rod, specially contrived to romance his/her body at the slightest dare. Beautiful enough, a black skinned child becomes a practical psychoanalyst at a very tender age. He/she makes no mistake in decoding mother’s eyes movement. When an African Mother coughs, she’s likely passing a message her children understand. A girl reading my blurb would remember how her mum would scratch the ground, with her foot, in a gathering, just to let her know she wasn’t sitting the right way, as she was expected to sit in a way that would not alter the dark of her privates. I would necessarily google my mother’s eyes to seek approval before passing the hat on anything offered by a stranger. If not, the delicacy of the candy or sweetmeat would not be a match to my Mum’s hot slaps. Oh! African Mothers condone no-nonsense, only those children, who practiced peanut stealing can explain. After being beaten like he/she is disgusting, a child caught stealing would be made to go hungry for hours. In my continent, parents teach their children, how to talk in public, how to dress modestly, how not to be gluttonous, how to relate with elders, how to eat without beating the plate, how to greet, how to cook, how to wake up early, how to read for exams, how to be orderly and well behaved, how to run errands, how to pray and so many ‘how to(s)’, but won’t cram them with: how to fall in love without breaking bones, how to deal with sexual urge, how sex feels, how to relate with the opposite sex, and, how to go about birth control and/or safe sex. So, since the failure to plan is a good plan to fail, who teaches African ladies the rudiments of sex and the different styles they explore in bed? Their mothers! How? The next paragrah!
When a sex nine-to-fiver(Olosho) is your guest for business, if you can convince her, she would prepare a very delicious meal that you would not want to exhaust in a giffee. She learnt it from her Mum. Little wonder, a runs girl would still sit with her laps closed. She learnt that, too, from her Mum. Don’t be surprised, if a prostitute woke you up in the morning with, “let us pray.” Not her fault. Even that, she had learnt from her parents and it’s already part of her. Some Ladies were in Ekiti for the most recently conducted Jamb exams, my friends hooked them up and the rest is history. One of them complained of how one of the Ladies almost killed him. He almost died feeding the kitty.The question is: From where did those young ladies learn those bed smarts? Seriously, their mothers caused it in the least!
An average African Mother recites to her daughter(s), “run away from boys”. She tells her children how guys could be dangerous, how the only good a boy can offer is: impregnate ladies and dump them. How a handshake with a boy could mean a nine month off. She only teaches her daughters how sex is a Sin. Some even cage their females, while some would threaten fire if they ever saw their daughters with boys. Many grown up African Women would even gossip their neighbours’ daughters found gamboling with males, they call such girls names and treat them with disdain and contempt. Unfortunately, the realities of life is not favourable to such disciplines. It happens that a girl programmed to stay away from boys shares space with same in the classroom and is compelled to relate. In the make ready of such ordinary ties-up, a girl finds boys more accommodating and fun to be with. She discovers how her newly found boyfriend is nothing close to the danger zone her mum has made of his likes. She begins to see the lies and/or exaggerations in her mum’s rhetorics and takes other steps forward. Haven discovered faults in her mum’s voice, the innocent then runs to friends, either male or female, to ask questions meant for a mother. She falls in love with one charming guy in class, but, Not trusting her mum’s judgement(her mum must not even hear of her falling in love) she asks her new-found lover questions meant for her Mum. “How does it feel like to have sex?” “Is sex really bad?” She feels some heat between her legs and discovers she’s wet. Not trusting what her mum’s ruling would be, she would still have to confide in her new-found guy. Believing what the guy has to say, “I’ll stay by you forever,” “I’ll die for you,” “I’ll make you my wife,” and so many other emotional ABCs, the only thing stopping her from allowing the man acces to her pant is, “but my mum said sex was a sin, and that it was bad.” Trust the hot demon, he has the answer already,” “if sex is that bad and should be avoided, how did they come by you ? Seriously, I love you… and won’t do anything to hurt you. If you love me too, allow me this once.” What more do an ignorant doll face need to give in? She eats the fruit and knows what it tastes like. She now wants to enjoy it better, and, willing to blow her boy’s mind in bed, she researches styles, practices them, gets thumbs up, and becomes addicted.
On the other hand, girls who are fortunate to have less-unsparing mothers, who school them on love, sex, birth control etc, grow up to be stronger, more confident and informed. When they say ‘no’ they mean it. Some of them make virgins of themselves. What would a guy tell them about sex that their Mums have not told them? They are independent and worship their hymen. They dream of the right Man and have their standard set. Don’t mind them. They already know that men are friendly, fun to be with, and caring. Mum had already told them how beautiful it is to fall in love. That men are not dangerous but could do anything to get under one’s pant, makes sense to them. When they are getting overwhelmed with sweet talks, romantic, erotic and lovey-dovey voices, they run home to ask questions, and, trust their Mums, they would be schooled most affectionately. Even, when they make mistakes, they cry and tell mum everything and she knows what to do. So, it’s easier for them to get back on their feet and move on.
Anyways, when I become a parent, I will tell my daughter(s), how falling in love is pretty. How it is possible to be in a relationship without giving in to sex. How beautiful Hanky panky is, when delayed till the wedding night. How sex is meant only for the married. How risky it is to make love before working down the aisle. How she should feel free to introduce to me, her boyfriend and how I’m always available to answer her questions on Love, sex and relationship.
(Originally written in September, 2017)
Ayeni Faith Damilola is a writer, public speaker and eulogist.