THE PARABLE OF RAJI AND MAMA ALAKARA

RAJI AND MAMA ALAKARA: FOOD FOR THOUGHTPrtScr capture_4

Mama, sell akara for me now… I have been standing here since… you no wan make I chop ni?”, rants Raji, a student of the University of Ibadan, and a member of the hall of Mellanby. Raji, on this very night, around 09:30pm, is at the front of a long queue of students who are waiting to buy the quite popular bread and akara of Mellanby hall. He uses every means available to convince the elderly lady at the centre of attraction. He would shout, plead and even argue against the others by telling those belonging to other halls of residence to return to their halls and buy akara there. Why must he queue with them as he is a stakeholder in the premier hall, he says. However, despite all these, the akara vendor refused to attend to him. Why? Because he jumped the queue. Not just this, but because he does so, every night.

A few minutes before this time, coming from a programme, I arrived at the hall. I decided to branch at the stand, to get a space, before proceeding to my room. I had to do this because it was of utmost importance to me to charge my cell-phones and laptop, due to the unpredictable and sporadic nature of our electric supply.
While going to my room, I saw the same Raji just moving towards the gate, that is, towards the akara seller. I did all I needed to and headed back to the place. There, I met the situation earlier described.

Raji was relentlessly demanding that he be attended to, and the “mama” kept refusing, firmly I must say. Everybody thought there was no way she would give in to his request, there was no way she would unfairly attend to him before others who have patiently stood up for several minutes, for the same purpose. I could hear the individual staying behind me saying if the akara vendor sells to Raji, then he would be vexed as ‘ese ni o’ i.e. ‘it is a sin’.

But we were wrong.

In a little more than no time, what I can say was anticipated but still is to everybody’s amazement, she eventually gave in, and sold akara to him. Adding that if he behaves the same way the next night, he will not get the same result.

Raji got what he wanted; he succeeded in breaking the protocols, delaying the others and infringing on their equitable rights. YET, nothing was done about it. Nobody got angry, or at least, nobody showed it. Nobody strongly protested it. Nobody said anything or did anything to correct the corruption which has just been committed with impunity.

This got me thinking.

The truth is that, in every country, there are dominant traits. Traits that seem to define the people of that country. Traits that are inextricable from the actual existence of the people. Once these traits are observable in the all the affairs of the people, they will get to the centre, the leadership. And once they are seen at the centre, know that they originated from the grassroots.

In Nigeria, these traits unfortunately include lateness (African time), nonchalance with things that are not ours, the spirit of forgiveness (which does not always work for us), the belief that ‘laws are made to be broken’ and of course, corruption.

The word Nigeria is today synonymous with corruption; this is because it is so widespread in the economy that those in the government are nothing but advocates of corruption and selfish interests. It is now thought that anybody going into politics, no matter how saintly, is automatically going there to fill his pockets. We now find youths publicly asserting that if they find themselves in the seat of power, they would not “dull” themselves, they also would not hesitate to have a long-lasting taste of the symbolic national cake.

Just like Raji, politicians, who are established monsters, incessantly demand to buy the masses’ votes and mandate. And just like the akara vendor, the electorates always eventually give in, mostly due to their forgetfulness, ignorance and spirit of forgiveness. Even those who promise hell if this happens, are in one way or the other, silenced. This cycle of corruption getting rewarded with forgiveness by its victims, keeps rolling and things keep getting worse. This will indubitably go on until somebody rises to the task of breaking this vicious cycle, until ‘mama alakara’ stands her ground and refuses to sell her akara to criminals and deceitful persons, until Raji realises that you cannot always get what you want by whatever means you utilise, you cannot ‘fool all the people, all the time!’

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Life is a race…

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Remember, Life is a race…if you don’t run fast, you will get trampled !
~ Dr. Viru Sahastrabuddhe, Director of ICE, {3 idiots}.

THE FINAL SERMON

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THE FINAL SERMON:

After praising, and thanking God, the
Prophet, may God send His praises upon
him said:

“O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I
know not whether after this year, I shall
ever be amongst you again. Therefore,
listen to what I am saying to you very
carefully and take these words to those
who could not be present here today.

O People, just as you regard this month,
this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the
life and property of every Muslim as a
sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to
you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one
so that no one may hurt you. Remember
that you will indeed meet your Lord, and
that He will indeed reckon your deeds.

God
has forbidden you to take usury (interest),
therefore all interest obligation shall
henceforth be waived. Your capital,
however, is yours to keep. You will neither
inflict nor suffer any inequity. God has
Judged that there shall be no interest, and
that all the interest due to Abbas ibn Abd’al
Muttalib shall henceforth be waived…
Beware of Satan, for the safety of your
religion. He has lost all hope that he will
ever be able to lead you astray in big
things, so beware of following him in small
things.

O People, it is true that you have certain
rights with regard to your women, but
they also have rights over you.

Remember
that you have taken them as your wives
only under a trust from God and with His
permission. If they abide by your right
then to them belongs the right to be fed
and clothed in kindness. Do treat your
women well and be kind to them for they
are your partners and committed helpers.
And it is your right that they do not make
friends with any one of whom you do not
approve, as well as never to be unchaste.

O People, listen to me in earnest, worship
God, perform your five daily prayers, fast
during the month of Ramadan, and offer
Zakat. Perform Hajj if you have the means.
All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An
Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab,
nor does a non-Arab have any superiority
over an Arab; white has no superiority
over black, nor does a black have any
superiority over white; [none have
superiority over another] except by piety
and good action. Learn that every Muslim
is a brother to every Muslim and that the
Muslims constitute one brotherhood.
Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim
which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it
was given freely and willingly. Do not,
therefore, do injustice to yourselves.
Remember, one day you will appear
before God and answer for your deeds. So
beware, do not stray from the path of
righteousness after I am gone.

O People, no prophet or apostle will come
after me, and no new faith will be born.
Reason well, therefore, O people, and
understand words which I convey to you. I
leave behind me two things, the Quran and
my example, the Sunnah, and if you follow
these you will never go astray.
All those who listen to me shall pass on my
words to others and those to others again;
and it may be that the last ones
understand my words better than those
who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O
God, that I have conveyed your message to
your people.”

Thus the beloved Prophet completed his
Final Sermon, and upon it, near the
summit of Arafat, the revelation came
down:
“…This day have I perfected your religion
for you, completed My Grace upon you,
and have chosen Islam for you as your
religion…” (Quran 5:3)

PRESENT STATE OF MAN: CIVILITY OR BARBARITY?

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PRESENT STATE OF MAN: CIVILITY OR BARBARITY?

Man invented cars, yet pedestrians are ahead.
Man made clothes, yet he remains undressed.
Man built houses, yet he is never protected.
Man invented internet, yet he remains secluded.
~Adebajo A.F.

The present world is viewed by many as the peak of civilisation which man has ever experienced. Myriad sophisticated technologies and novel discoveries flood the whole planet. Even areas of extreme isolation and underdevelopment have a taste or two of the gigantic transformation taking place in the world of mankind. An attempt to compare ancient empires such as the Sumerians and Babylonians, or even pre-historic man, such as the Australopithecines and Homo habilis who lived millions of years ago, with the present day America or Britain, would leave one ‘flabberwhelmed and overghasted’. We tend to wonder how it is possible that man has achieved so much within such a short span of time.

What has amazed me, however, is the ironical state of affairs man is going through. We claim to be civilised yet we bare striking resemblance to savages who are believed to be near-extinction. We claim we are educated, yet we nurture unfounded theories just to promote our egoistic wishes; and then various illnesses mess around with us. Even the best amongst us are unable to find causes, let alone the cures to numerous medical afflictions. We boast we are much skilled, yet find it difficult to govern ourselves peacefully. All these affirm for me, the assertion that too much of anything is deleterious. It is like the life-span of a man. At a point, you reach the peak of intelligence, beauty and strength. But after this point, what ensues? He starts to depreciate in all these qualities. He becomes, more or less, a child once again. Even more a liability than the child. That is the eternal law of God, or if you like, Nature. It is akin to what happens to the marginal utility curve when supply exceeds the point of equilibrium, or to an elastic band pulled to its limit.

Numerous attitudes, mentalities and activities abound today which are, after critical analysis, no different from what is derived thousands of years ago when man was still struggling to understand his habitat and learn how to survive. These phenomena have resurfaced in more endearing but, even more dangerous shapes. Perhaps, it is true that history has always repeated itself. Year after year, epoch after epoch, civilisations spring up and die, dictators come and go, new inventions are made and before we know it, they pass into oblivion.

One of the things most popular, most attributed to early, uneducated, animalistic man is that he was stark-naked. If you ask any kid or grown-up to draw an image of Ape-man, he will definitely not draw him with suit, a waistcoat or any garment. At best, he will be portrayed with an animal skin across his shoulder. This fashion is considered barbaric by any right-thinking man. We all thank God for civilisation, and being born in the present generation. However, I dare ask that what is the difference between the manner of our dressing this present day and that of our animalistic forefathers? We boast of our great intelligence, yet our attitude towards clothing is no different from that of lower animals. The situation in this civilised age is that in which we ‘dress’, nevertheless we are still bare. I shake my head for the set of ‘human beings’ who even believe that wearing nothing at all is the best. In the words of a great scholar, ‘if civilisation is to be measured by how much of your body is nude, then animals not humans are most civilised specie.’
We have reached a time when you are persecuted, fined and laughed at for covering your body, while others are paid, praised and adored for showing the world what is meant to be, and is actually labelled ‘private’. We have reached a time when lunatics, prostitutes and philanderers are our youths’ role-models. We have reached a when people who honestly religious and self-conscious are loathed and jeered.

And again, anthropologists, most particularly Henry Lewis Morgan, would tell us, when treating the evolution of marriage that man started from having a courtship system characterised by group sex or promiscuity, to being polygamous, and later on subscribing to monogamy. This group-sex courtship system is attributed to the era of pre-historic man, because there is really no empirical evidence for it; but they thought that since man is theorised to have originated from the same source as apes, and apes are known for their uncoordinated sexual drives; therefore man too must have been like that, mating with any of the opposite sex whenever the appetite comes. I would say, however, that we need not search too far for evidence for this type of behaviour in the human race. If we look around us, we will definitely know that group-marriage is still the most widely practiced marriage system. We can continue to deceive ourselves saying ‘one man one wife’ is the way to go, and is the most civilised manner of expressing our sexual urge, but reality keeps telling us the exact opposite. An average monogamous man, religious or not, is, in reality, also a coveter of numerous concubines. That is why I hereby suggest that restricted polygyny remains the best form of marriage. I do not wish to go deep into that as it is not the focus of the moment.

This bit of ‘modernism’ is evidently more prevalent in western cultures, and as gradually diffused to unsuspecting areas of permeable customs. Westerners, who are purportedly the most refined of the human race, are also infamous for having the highest rates of rape, domestic violence and divorce cases. While their backward, underdeveloped counterparts in Asian and African countries can boast of better conditions. I remember once again the words of another great scholar. He was advising an American to marry early as he is already of age, but the reply he got stunned him. The American said; ‘if the reason why we buy cows is for us to get milk, and then milk is available for us in excess quantity; why do we still need to but cows?’ What he is saying in essence is that, if the reason why we marry is to satisfy our sexual cravings. And then we have the opportunity to satisfy ourselves at little or no charge, why then do we still need to marry? That is to tell you how bad our situation has become as a race.

Women are now treated as sex-toys, all in the name of feminism, female liberation and gender balance. You can pounce on any girl you like and use her to your whims and fancy, without getting sanctioned by the society, as long as both parties (i.e. you and victim) gave their consent. Even if the other party does not do it out of volition, it is easier for a blue-whale to enter a needle’s eye than for the guilty individual to get caught, prosecuted and convicted. It is very demoralising that punishments for fornication and adultery, just like sodomy and bestiality, are far becoming obsolete.

Apart from all these, my assertion that the human race has slipped into barbarity yet again without knowing is also based on the fact we are growing more individualistic by the day. If Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s proposition concerning the state of nature in his social contract theory is anything to go by, then man from the beginning of time, or from the start of his existence was few in number and scattered all over the planet. This made communal relationships impossible to take place. Each man was to himself. Each man catered for his own nutrition, shelter and survival. But as he increased in number, he started clustering into families, and from families, communities, from communities, kingdoms and from kingdoms, nations. He started establishing social institutions and promulgating laws to facilitate peaceful co-existence. He began to trust and rely on his neighbour.

Conversely, what is noticeable in this present time is that we have retrogressed back into that original state of ‘each man to himself’. Nobody cares anymore if his next-door neighbour is starving to death as long as he is satisfied; nobody cares if his course mate is on the verge of getting rusticated as long as he is having A’s, nobody cares if his cousin is unable to get a job as long as his robust income is constant. The truth is that nobody cares anymore. The government does not care about its people and neither do the people care about one another. Everybody wants to be independent of the larger society, and be able to make selfish decisions without having to worry about sanction or opprobrium. It has got to the extent that an average man is hesitant of assisting his fellow man due to the fear of being ill-treated. This is the horrendous situation we now find ourselves.

My dear reader, please ask yourself, are you one the barbarians parading the streets as a civilised ‘human person’ or are you truly refined in the ideal sense of the word? … At this point, I would like to say that Rousseau’s proposition that ‘science, art, and social institutions have corrupted humankind and that the natural, or primitive, state is morally superior to the civilized state’ {Encarta} is not absolutely mistaken as it contains elements of veracity.

If truth be told, it is high time we left the shackles of immorality, ignorance and savagery. It is high time the human race sprang up and makes progress which is actually productive and pro-forthcoming-generations. It is high time we pondered on the odd but germane question, what is the present state of man, civility as it is widely believed or barbarity as it seems more likely?

PROSTITUTE IN DISGUISE

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PROSTITUTE IN DISGUISE

I may pretend I do not see you
But I do quite clearly
In fact
I seize every chance to take a look
I see you
Working against my success so doggedly
A devil incarnate you must be

You please my eye-balls
But worry my soul
You serve yourself
For others to devour
You think you are at liberty?
NO!
All you are is a slave
To the society

You roam the streets
Like a gentle lunatic
No better than a dog
Proud of its regalia
You put on fishnets
And say you are decent
You cover yourself in nylon and strands
And claim to be clad

Mini-skirts, mini-wits
Sleeveless shirts, zero feats
Buried face, glaring folly
If you deem yourself gorgeous
Why not ask your past love
Your days are numbered, O whore
For old-age is no one’s foe

My pals would point at you
As if to say
Now that is one material
Worthy of wedlock
In disgust I shake my head
Because I know
You are no more
Than a second-hand doll

You this clown!
You have the cheek
To say you a woman?
All you are is
A left-over dish
A worthless toy
A prostitute, in disguise

Money

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MONEY by OLOLADE ABIOLA BAKARE

Money here.
Money there.
Everywhere.
Anywhere.
Whatever you want, you get.
But where is the Money to spend?
You are useful but,
Children and Family
matter.
Health and education
matter.
Food and transport.
Night and day.
Church and Mosque.
In the Lord’s name.
You’re needed everywhere.
Life is tough without you.
Nothing comes easy without
you.
Oh Money!
Where art thou?
You are as hard;
As a nut to crack.
Without you,
Our problems are like my mother’s paying
beads.
Will you desert the commoners like that?
They search.
They count.
They wait.
They cry.
Yet theirs is a life of beaded needs.

To all money-proprietors…

THE LOST PROPERTY

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THE LOST PROPERTY.

The awareness of guilt
The state of reticence
The manacle of restraint
That has accompanied me for years
Has vanished as a bubble does in thin-air
Only its fragments remain
In places of extreme solitude

Civilisation has separated us
Technology has sundered us
Imperialism has disunited us
I have lost my conscience
I have lost my rue
I thought I had freedom
But the reverse is the case

Your dearth, it is, that makes me
Take to the streets in rags
Indiscernible from a lunatic
Except that I appear less filthy

Your dearth, it is, that makes me
Steal from my fellow country-men
Relegating many into poverty
Without a hint of penitence

Your dearth, it is, that makes me
Defiant to mother nature
Longing for repulsive coupling
With another who is gender-equal

Your dearth, it is, that makes me
Commit crimes against humanity
Slaying my man-kind en masse
Only to satisfy my egomania

Your absence is killing me
But I know not
Your lack is bestialising me
But I fear not
Reality is only a lid away
It is more than a big shame
That not anymore can I find shame

THE ROLE OF YOUTHS IN TACKLING CORRUPTION

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THE ROLE OF YOUTHS IN TACKLING CORRUPTION

WRITTEN FOR THE PURPOSE OF: A LECTURE ADDRESSED TO 77 STUDENTS FROM ADEOLA ODUTOLA COLLEGE, SENIOR SCHOOL
COURTESY: COWYL NIGERIA
DATE: November 23, 2011.

The word ‘youth’ means young people in general. Since you are young and I am young, then we are the youths.
Corruption is undoubtedly a negative trend that is widespread not only in Nigeria but all-over the world. Corruption is the reason education is not free. Corruption is the reason our schools lack basic amenities. It is the reason commodities such as food and oil are becoming more expensive by the day. Corruption is the reason the government is finding it hard to pay the 18 thousand naira minimum wage. In fact, it is also the reason why groups such as the Niger-Delta militants, MEND and Boko-haram etc. are springing up. Corruption is responsible for poverty, unemployment, social decay, educational backwardness and many other ills in our society.
Corruption is defined in the dictionary as dishonest, illegal or immoral behaviour, especially from someone with power. Therefore, corruption is not only restricted to government offices. Every sector in the country, be it economic, academic, political, social or religious, are affected by this evil called corruption.
However, it is defined by transparency international as behaviour on the part of officials in the public sector, whether politicians or civil servants, in which they improperly and unlawfully enrich themselves or those close to them by the misuse of public power.
Nigeria is one of the most infamous nations for corruption in the world. It was ranked in 2007, according to the transparency int’l corruption perception index, as the 147th least corrupt country, Ghana ranked number 69 and South Africa, 45.
It is very unfortunate that a whopping 80% of our oil wealth goes to less than 1% of the entire population.
Sanni Abacha is allegedly the 4th most corrupt President for embezzling up to 2-5 billion US dollars.
According to the world bank, between 1960 and 1999 , $400 billion was stolen. That is a staggering amount of money because if you were to put 400 billion dollar bills end-to-end, you could make 75 round trips to the moon . concretely, those 400 billion dollars could have translated into millions of vaccinations for children, thousands of kilometres of roads, hundreds of schools, hospitals and water treatment facilities that never came to be.
Seeing how inimical corruption is to the growth of our economy and success of the youths, then we no doubt will agree that it is important for us to fight it head-on. Fighting corruption should not only be the duty of bodies like EFCC, NDLEA, SSS, ICPC and so on. We the youths also have a role to play in tackling it. So, as youths, what are we expected to do to abate and curb this negative trend?
First and foremost, we need to always do what is right. Mahatma Gandhi, the man that liberated India from the shackles of Imperialism, once said; ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’. If you want our leaders to be honest and less corrupt, you also must be honest in all your dealings. It is ridiculous to accuse a person of a crime that you yourself are guilty of. So let us examine ourselves right now. How many of us can proudly beat our chest and say we have never consciously told a lie before? How many can beat their chest and say we have never taken what does not belong to us? How many of us in this gathering can unequivocally claim that we have never engaged in examination mal-practice? The truth is that almost all if not all of us have engaged in one corrupt activity or the other. We need to change our attitude if want our leaders to change theirs, because personal development is a prerequisite to national development. And the incontrovertible fact is that our personality cannot be good if our mentality is wrong. If you are the type that goes about with the mental-mind that corruption is justifiable means to an end, if you are the type that seeks for a public office because of private gains; then you are a liability to this nation
In short, we need to evaluate ourselves and determine the extent of our corruption. After the evaluation, we must endeavour to correct our mentality i.e. it must be at the back of our minds that corruption is wrong and it cannot get you anything that will last-long. It will only cause us shame and embarrassment. After adjusting our mentality, it must show in our personality. We should not be the ones that will be caught in acts such as lying, theft, bribery, favouritism, exam mal-practice, embezzlement etc.
Secondly, in our fight against corruption we should preach what is right. What I mean by this is that you spread the message to your friends, family, relatives and even stranger, whenever you have the chance and by whatever means is at your disposal. It may be through the school magazine, through morning talks on the assembly ground, through the social network, the internet in general etc.
Thirdly and lastly is that you need to demand what is right from others, the leaders and people in power. If it is your class captain/prefect that you find culpable of corrupt practices, call him/her to order. If he/she fails to take to correction, report him/her or take other disciplinary actions against such person. If it is your teacher, do the same. The future does not belong to cowards. Wole Soyinka once wrote, ‘he dies he who keeps silent in the face of tyranny’. Gani Fawhinmi also said, ‘stand on the right thing, even if you are the only one standing’. Any leader that is corrupt is a tyrannical and despotic ruler because he is self-centred and he fails to consider the outcries and interests of his followers. We must note that the best way to demand what is right from people in power without prejudice is if we ourselves do not benefit from their corrupt activities.
In summation, to tackle corruption we should ensure we always think the right way, do the right thing, preach the right thing and demand the right thing. We must say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH to corruption if we desire to move forward.

APPRECIATION

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 My recent state of infirmity

Has opened my eyes to some reality

One is…

Even if one thinks hard about it

We can never appreciate the value of good health

Until one is on the verge of losing it

We cannot know the importance of a penny

Until it is with us no more

We cannot realise the blessing in freedom

Until one tastes a life of imprisonment

REFORMING THE SOCIETY THROUGH THE FAMILY

 
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  REFORMING THE SOCIETY THROUGH THE FAMILY.

Recently, I saw a picture on facebook showing two Muslimat and one catholic putting on a veil. All of them are ‘corpers’, equally wearing the NYSC cap.
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After seeing it, I was pleased that we still have Nigerians bold enough to regard modesty and religion higher than routine and secularity. But to my dismay, the page that uploaded the picture actually meant to condemn and ridicule the act, and it earned the endorsement of majority of the ‘commenters’, some describing them as barbaric and obsolete. This only reflects how twisted the thoughts of many are, how suddenly our values have changed and how we now condemn attitudes that used to be cherished by majority of the human race.

Many have wondered why there is so much anomalies, immorality and corruption in present times, why every aspect of human life seems to be upside down, why our mind-sets are so perverted that we now consider normal things as strange and abnormal things as ordinary. Many wise enough to detect this worrisome state of affairs, have attempted to seek the source and eventually reduce, or at best, curb it once and for all.

Some believe that the inadequacies of the government is the root-cause due to the paucity of employment and a qualitative accessible education system. Some are of the view that it is the media along with means of globalization that brought immorality along with it when it emerged because of the innumerable immoral ideas propagated through TV shows, radio broadcasts, magazines and most especially the internet which seems to have its tentacles glued to all lands across the globe. Others believe it is the backwardness in the schools and ineffectiveness of the pedagogy that has led to the situation we find ourselves.

However, I am of the strong belief that none of the afore-mentioned agencies has been the cause of more havoc to our societal values and moral standards than the family has. The Family, apart from the individual, is the smallest unit in the society and it exerts the most influence on the individual by helping to form his views, opinions and mind-set. This is not surprising as the family is the first companion, teacher and mentor a child has. And if it IS defective in imparting the right values and attitudes into a child, then it will ultimately affect the society that child grows in.

The similitude of a flawed family to the society is like that of a rotten egg to a crate of eggs. It, no doubt, will transfer its malady to the other members. Hence, to curb social ills, we need to look inward and start from the fountainhead of the larger society, the family.

The family is like a complex edifice, with many intricate body components. For a family, and by extension the society, to be successful, one has to monitor all these parts. One of these is the marriage, the foundation of all homes. At times, due to some inadequacies on the part of marriage partners, the future of a child is destroyed even prior to its conception.

Many people jump into marriages without making necessary considerations such as the availability of a sufficient source of income, the compatibility of genotypes and the rationale behind ones attachment to ones lover. The latter is very paramount as ignoring it may lead to long-lasting scars in the married life, thereby affecting the future of the offspring. Marriages borne out of lust are bound not to last long, or if they do last long, then they will be tumultuous. In any case, the children will be the ones to bear the brunt psychologically, financially, academically and socially. Also, children should be properly begotten. It is a fact that children who are products of fornication or adultery, children who are HIV positive or sickle cell carriers and those that are born into extreme poverty will find it difficult to live a normal life and will on the long-run, take to behaviours harmful to them and the larger society.

After properly constituting our families, what else we need to do is encourage the re-emergence of the extended family structure, which is the common practice in Africa before the infiltration of western values. Now, many people prefer the ‘me, my spouse and children’ type of home. The havoc this is causing is not obvious, but great. One, it makes it hard to monitor the child(ren). An extended system would provide sufficient monitoring, security, healthy competition amongst the children and moral support to the children. Here is what Pearl S. Buck has to say; ‘the lack of emotional security of our American young people is due, I believe, to their isolation from the larger family unit. No two people-no mere father and mother-as I have often said, are enough to provide emotional security for a child. He needs to feel himself in a world of kinfolk, persons of variety in age and temperament, and yet allied to himself by an indissoluble bond which he cannot break if he could, for nature has moulded him into it before he was born’.

Another important issue, germane to the success of any family is that of career mothers. I am of the opinion that it is in the interest of no one that a woman should work far from home, and for long hours. Mothers seem to have lost focus on their most important goal and duty; to cater for the children and the family. It is naturally, historically and scripturally the work of mainly the man and head of the family to provide for the monetary needs of the family. In a case whereby the father is hardly at home, and the mother too is a workaholic, leaving home early in the morning and returning late at night; even if a nanny is hired, it will still have deleterious effects on the child. Mothers need to understand that the best way to render service to their community is by being there for their children. I’m not arguing that they should not engage in any lucrative activity, but such activity must not in any way hinder them from giving their ‘all’ to their family.

Apart from these, parents have a duty apart from feeding, clothing and educating a child, and that is to show good examples to the child. They should not only instruct him/her to do or not to do something, their behaviours must also manifest such instructions. A scenario in which the child observes that his parents are adulterers, drug addicts or amoral individuals, will only degenerate to the child being no better as he/she will tend to take them as role models.

Lastly, the level of discipline in our families is very abysmal. Parents are no longer strict in monitoring and correcting their children. Whenever children act inappropriately or in an impolite manner, parents no longer caution them and if they do, it is with inordinate clemency. This kind of attitude will only prove to be counter-productive, as the child, judging from the reaction from his parents, will not be aware of the enormity of some enormities.

In summation, I would like to implore all those truly desiring to reform the society and set things right in the world, to begin from their individual homes. The situation of our families is very appalling. The fact that countries like Russia, USA, Mexico, Cuba, Ukraine and Panama with very high divorce rates also have the highest prevalence on crimes and immoralities is not a surprise. Once the family is not effective in its inherent function of nurturing the children and future leaders, this failure and ineffectiveness will inevitably reflect in the society. I wish to end with a quote from Anthony Brandt: Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.