Farouk Martins Aresa
Do poor children generally love their parents more than the spoilt brats? It depends on the parents is not the answer. No matter how strict most parents are, rich kids have this notion of entitlement unavailable to poor kids. They develop some resentment if they feel their parents are “stingy” with imagined wealth. It’s like the university graduate that complained bitterly that his father gave him a Volkswagen after graduation while his friends got Peugeot or Mercedes.
We all love our children and expect them to love us forever. As we get older and they become adults, their responsibilities and focus shift to their own families. In order to attract them back, especiallymothers, “bribe” them with gifts within their means. It could be with their favorite dish as a kid or a little money from her pension if paid. When you see old people playing lottery with a little they have, they want to share the winning with their children to gain affection back.
Unfortunately, the way parents make their money, in most cases determine how their children love them. Children, like adults, are usually proud of the parents that struggle hard to put food on the table and strive to meet their obligations. However, children cannot be proud of efulefu parents, are actually ashamed of those communities stigmatized as: onye-oshi, barawo or ole!
Children are usually adaptable to their environment. There are families living on environmental dumps on the lagoon and on the streets. Yet, in these desperate situation some families are better placed than the others. One may be able to get better shelter made of aluminum, wood or readymade cave. Yet the bond between children and parents remain in those dire situations. Some of the parents have given their children to others to look after because they are too poor.
Just as a reminder, African children are more than investment. When Yoruba say – a jeun omo o – it is more than expected returns on the care we rendered them. Unfortunately, this is not the generation we can claim that much from. Even rich countries and parents fail to see rosy future for their children unless the top 5% spreads economy gains around. Some will argue it is the reason politicians think they can loot their way into the future so their grandkids will not suffer.
Mind you, riches even the one obtained the old fashioned way, can become a game of numbers. When we have enough to take care of our needs and wants many push for more than the other guys. A bigger house, better car or many more. If an Edge Fund manager, you want to create more profit than the other managers. At some point, some of us realize that more money does not give us happier children orfamilies. It may even deny us of quality time with them.
The relationship between a child and the mother is sacred and most fathers realize that. It takes an overbearing father to assume otherwise unless there is a contingent factor that renders the mother unfit. As in a true story of a toddler and his father struggling to survive. The father was homeless and one could not imagine a poorer mother. Children, no matter how poor, curious if mother or father in jailed. At some point, that child would find them. See HYPERLINK "http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/thepursuitofhappyness/" Pursuit of Happyness.
What is evident is the love of those children for their mother or father. They always miss the poor homes they left and the affection of their parents. When it gets to the point that a poor homeless father has to shelter his son or daughter without the comfort of a mother, it becomes a sadder story. There is some deep lasting affection from poor children. Giving back to parents, a big motivating factor to succeed. Unfortunately, armed robbers and prostitutes use it as excuse.
We also have great humble kids. Comparing their deep affection to those of children that grow up in poor families where the children think parents owe them less is sobering. While it is true that children compare themselves to their neighbors in either rich or poor environment, taking rich life for granted begin at an early stage. The attachment and obligations poor children have for their poor families can hardly be compensated by those of rich parents that hire helps.
Most parents love their children so much, they are willing to go without food, water, sleep and other necessities so that their children may have. Fathers work in camps for months and return home. As these children get older, their reluctance to leave home change from affection to survivalalone on their own.This behavior with children also exist within the animal kingdom.
There must be a continuum from affection stage to survival stage as children grow older. If the parents are rich, there is room to accommodate them. But if they are poor that option is very limited. Since parents always pray that their children do better than them, in the days of less opportunities, children may want to hang on longer at homes where parents are rich. They do not want to give up their comfortable rooms. The poor children do not enjoy that choice.
So poor children look for jobs more diligently. Psychologists have preached that rules have to change once the jobs situation is not favorable enough for children to take the plunge. They must look for some jobs even if it is not their ideal jobs and must contribute to the house. Parents must learn to set limits otherwise children will take over and kick out the parents. Most African parents are willing to accommodate their children longer, just as upper class Europeans.
Indeed some of these children bring their husband and wives home with the promise that they are saving for their own houses. Middleclass Africans and Europeans may accept it but it is less common among Americans until the recession hit. What we see during the recession in America are two generations of middleclass families living together in the same house. Generations of families living together is more common in Africa and Europe.
In short, children only realize fully what their parents went through as they become adults themselves. That is why children never forget the poor homes mothers struggle so hard to keep.
Teaching is one of the most challenging yet least lucrative professions especially in developing countries like Nigeria. This, perhaps, is what inspired the widely popular saying that the teacher's reward is in heaven.
In spite of the poor remuneration and apparently non-attractive conditions that most teachers are subjected to, some of them have chosen to see beyond the pain and sacrifice; they are motivated by the challenge of nurturing and cultivating the greatness in their wards. One of such outstanding teachers is Franca Maigeri Longe.
In spite of the prevailing trend that has seen teachers hop from one school to the other in search of greener pastures, Longe has put in about two decades of service at Solomon Grace International Schools, a private school in the Abule-egba area of Lagos state. She attributes this to the contentment and satisfaction she derives from seeing her pupils transcend from one level of knowledge to another as they grow to the fullness of their potential.
The result of her dedication is evident in the great minds that have emerged from her tutelage. One of them, Oluwafifehan Ogunde, was full of praises for his Primary 2 class teacher when he returned from the UK after recently completing a Master’s degree in law. “She believed in me when no one else did,” he said.
Corroborating Ogunde's statement, the teacher recalled encouraging the young boy when others had either given up on him or simply ignored him.
“Babajide Ogunde was a very quiet and unassuming pupil,” she said. “You would think he doesn’t know anything but getting closer, I discovered like so many children that he’s an intelligent child. I remember talking to him that he needed to speak out. You don’t concentrate only on the vocal children. There are other children that may be quiet and timid but with proper attention, you will see them blossom.”
Longe further advised teachers to encourage quiet pupils to talk, adding that “one of the ways to do it is to ensure that no child shouts down another child so that you don’t kill the confidence of the children. Even if what the child is saying doesn’t make sense, I try to make sense out of it to encourage him or her. I encourage them to read story books and I make them talk to me about what they have read, and even when they talk to me, I don’t judge them.”
On this occasion of World Teachers Day, we rise to celebrate the exceptional commitment of unsung nation builders like Madam Franca Maigeri Longe and thousands of relatively unknown teachers who are silently working in their various capacities, to deliver the future. These people deserve our regard and recognition. They need not wait till they get to heaven before receiving their reward.
We have to be careful when we throw stone into the market, says a Yoruba proverb, it might hit a member of our family. In the case of African countries, many of us had a great childhood experience that turned us into successful citizens throughout world. Sure, Africa today is not what we desired but we must not forget the good times as we cry about the bad times. Even the worst of times made many of us stronger than those that grew up in the best of times.
Nobody can experience war, famine and abuse by dictators and not complain. However, there is no better time outside than we experienced growing up in our countries. It is the only place they knew your name, where you belonged and were cherished. The best you can get outside that same country you hate so much is tolerance and it has a limit. If you get too rich and cocky, they put you into “your place”, if too poor and dependent, they would scone you into senses.
Everything is relative. Those that crossed the deserts, hungry desperate are only too glad to get one or two square meals a day in the land they got into. They must also remember it was not that bad growing up, some years back or even until the dictators took over. We must remember that most African leaders were too obsessed with Independence than be involved in corruption.
As soon as most African countries got Independence, schools multiplied at home and those that went to school outside could not wait to get back home. In the case of Nigeria, Ghana or Kenya we thought one of them would emerge as a regional power. Nigeria had everything it took to be one. Ghana’s Nkrumah never relented to lead. Sierra Leone had well educated returnees spreading across West Africa, so was Liberia with educated children or grandchildren of slaves.
This is not a history lesson, some Nigerians thought the seventies was the best. Others claimed the eighties while some loved nineties. The reason was the availability of schools through which social, religious and sport activities grew. It was not so much about money but about values in people’s lives. In retrospect many of us that were contented and talked about good old days; we actually grew up in what is considered ghetto today. We never considered ourselves as poor.
Anyone denying these in most African countries is ungrateful to our parents, our dedicated leaders and more important to Africa. No ideal place, not African or “native Indian” countries. But it is a disservice to thank wherever you are outside with the derogatory criticism of African countries; especially if you have not contributed to the betterment of that individual country.
Some people built the country we thank every day and some of you contributed to situations we have in your country today. Some of you are children of looters and vagabonds that dare not show up where your fellow citizens gather without being booed or stoned. As for those of us that got our early education in the same African countries, we can never thank Africa enough. It is the place where we were imbued with confidence, encouraged to learned and rewarded for achievement. Many of us forgot how crucial this developmental stage is to all children.
The only way to understand this is to study the educational developmental stages of Africans childrenin Diaspora. It is an uphill battle that many of them go through such a disadvantaged system and still make it beyond their zip code neighborhood, becoming professionals against all odds. This writer and his friends decided to register at a university as soon as they arrived. They were told to see a counselor because they needed additional subjects to get into this university.
By the British system, all we needed was three subjects at “A” level. Not at that university, they needed 5 grade 13 subjects. Moreover, those of us going into medical sciences or engineering must also have what they called modern math. Well, some of us had “math, math, physics” or “physics, chemistry and biology”. The counselor said we also needed English at “A” level! Sho!!
He told us we must not attempt the new math because it was difficult. We left, laughed and took all the subjects we were missing at “A” levels. We all passed with flying colors as we say at home. The most important point here was how we got the confidence; killed in many. We could not even imagine how many African Americans, Canadians or British had been so discouraged. But these are the children of Nkrumah, Azikiwe, Awolowo and Kenyatta for Sango’s sake!
What Africa has given us, nobody, no matter how highly placed or where we find ourselves, can take it away. As much as we criticize Africa, especially as this writer, no one of us must point to African countries with embellished finger. There are different ways to contribute since all of us can’t be politician, foreign contractor or expatriates. If you have not gone home and contribute your little part after your training, especially those that got scholarships you have compromised your criticism. The cultural difference between you and your kids’ success, is the African fire.
Our Nigerian children complained that since they were born, they have never witnessed regular water and electricity. A change of government, nothing else, fear of Buhari improved electricity. Most of us inherited subsidized schools, medical, religious, sports and entertainment programs without realizing or complaining we were growing up poor because our environment was rich, clean and salaries were paid on time. We were wealthy in values, so poverty is relative. If you enjoyed any of those and you chop and clean mouth, watch out!
Indeed, as we become richer in gold, diamond, uranium and oil; our problems became bigger. Division among us widens and greed took over. In African countries where it takes a village to raise a child are becoming countries of me, myself and I with the survival of the fittest. Nobody but Africans can solve our problems. Thank your hosts and deride Africa as much as you want, your days like that of every dog, will come. Ever wonder about how grateful native Indians are?
We can appease our hosts as much as we want, sing and dance obsequiously, the most they will hand out is a little out of the profits they make in Africa. Until Africans build and rebuild Africa by ourselves, no African will be respected anywhere in the world. If we are so good and brilliant outside Africa, we must prove it inside Africa. Any country where its minorities are destined and programmed for less opportunities inside or outside Africa, cannot claim to be a role model.
The news of a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Olu Falae, coming home alive was good news to all of us, as it is not unusual to hear that kidnappers have killed their victims even when ransom is paid.
The news of a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Olu Falae, coming home alive was good news to all of us, as it is not unusual to hear that kidnappers have killed their victims even when ransom is paid.
Victor Ahumaraeze 07038658888
On the 25th of September 2015, the world, especially your fellow beneficiaries of the Imo10,000 job scheme, bid you, Dr Ugonna Damian Omereonye unceremonious goodbye with tears in our eyes. That day, your dreams were buried with you, unfulfilled. That day, your family dreams on you were shattered beyond repair courtesy of an envious and wicked conspiracy of those who were afraid of Dr Ugonna’s rising profile.
That day, 25th of September, all energy, resources and time put in by your parents and guardians to bring you to this world raise him to adulthood with all necessary education, moral, mental and spiritual upbringing inclusive, were destroyed by nine bullet triggered by enemies of Imo youths for inglorious quest for power and recognition against the wishes of the people.
Ugo, when your contemporaries especially your alleged killers were self defeated by low profile background, you declared no retreat, no surrender and embraced education as the only alternative out of the situation. Against all odds you kept your heads up and got your university degree from the prestigious University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) as a trained Veterinary Doctor.
Comrade upon your graduation, the challenge of unemployment reared its ugly face against your zeal to appreciate your parents’ effort in training you through the university by taking care of them and your siblings, but a divine intervention came. The then Imo state governor H/E Dr Ikedi Godson Ohakim came to the rescue of Ugonna and other thousands of Imo graduates and youths, who gave them a life time job opportunity into the Imo State Civil Service, if they pass one of the best aptitude tests ever organized in the history of the country and Imo in particular.
You, Ugonna was one of those that defended their academic qualifications by passing both the written, oral tests and other Imo state civil service recruitment procedure/processes, it was hope for a better future and life by Dr Ikedi Ohakim led Imo state government, as they were legally employed according to the lay down rules and procedure of the state civil service.
Ironically, the blessing was upturned into a curse by Ohakim’s successor, Gov. Rochas Anayochukwu Okorocha, who unconstitutionally sacked you and your fellow compatriot who benefited from the 10,000 job scheme, without any tangible reason, if not to disparage his predecessor, Dr Ikedi Ohakim’s achievements.
It was this illegal action of the governor (Rochas) that brought you out to limes light in the whole state, as you and some other members of the beneficiaries peacefully rallied yourselves into one big family and went to the National Industrial Court to seek redress. The constitutional and constructive steps to get your jobs back was perceived by Okorocha and his cronies as an affront to the authorities, hence you, Ugonna and other co leaders of the struggle were declared enemies of the state, by extension the entire beneficiaries of the job scheme.
After winning the first round/half of the legal battle at the National Industrial Court (NIC) Enugu, unfortunately, upon the creation of the Owerri arm/jurisdiction of the NIC in 2013 December and the case was transferred from Enugu to Owerri, where the case proceedings have been dormant as the state government allegedly bribed the Court in Owerri to use delay tactics to frustrate the case, as justice delayed is believed to be justice denied.
Disturbed by the intrigues of the court in Owerri , you and your colleagues decided to use the 2015 general election to reclaim the jobs, by voting and mobilizing the families, friends and relations of all concerned to vote for the People Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha, who has openly promised to reinstate you back to your jobs if voted in.
Dr Ugonna Omereonye it was clear you went extra mile in the struggle to enthrone a PDP led Imo government in 2015 general election, via bulk text messages to your colleague and supporters which unsettled your killers, on the eve of the state governorship election. The text read “ we r voting 4 Ihedioha dis sat, wit dis electn we can decide our faith. Go out wt ur family & vote 4 PDP. Guid ur vote & resist al rigin 4rm Rochas. Ugonna 08030813757”this is believed to be the crime you committed against the emperor, and your death warrant was signed by God knows who and orders given to your kinsmen to delete your person so as to disorganize your legion of followers and your colleagues all over the state.
Meanwhile as your family, the Omereonyes were thrown into mourning, the governor of Imo state Rochas Anayo Okorocha whose action on the 6th of June 2011 took your life on the 10th of may 2015, has been busy celebrating and telling who ever cares to hear that his son Ahamefula made first class with Imo money in far away Manchester England….. he wants and enjoys the best for his son.
Ironically, the acclaimed Senior Advocate of the Masses, Rochas Okorocha, has not in any way; directly or indirectly sympathized with your family since the 10th of May to feel for his young promising subject that was brutally murdered in his family house at Ubahangwu, Akatta Oru East, an incident that has caught the attention of every Nigerian and the International communities.
Ugonnaya, why will you leave us, why would you not survive to see to the triumphant end of the struggle you were so committed to, only to leave pains and tears in the eyes of your loved ones.
You know your widow mother, your brothers and sisters will miss you, above all the general Imo youth. I wish you could wake up now and see what has become of Imo state in four months. A situation you foresee and fought so hart to avert. I still find it difficult to comprehend the again of your assailants and their pay masters.
You were such an easy going fellow who accommodates people and opinion logically no matter where and what they represent. You did not believe in confrontation and illegalities as way of solving pressing and contemporary issues/problems.
Rest in peace, Comrade, a great Lion, my conclusion and prayer is that whoever that has hand in your death, will have his/her own children cut short at exactly your age and prime and they will taste the condition/situation of your mother burying who would have buried her.
Say Amen to that.
Farouk Martins Aresa
Saudi Prince blamedthe Africans for stampede in Mina?Yeah, right! There we go again. Even Bible linked black Nimrod with the devil. Africans have neglected their God for too long. While the hypocrites were stoning devil, it reactedlike Samson betrayed by Delilah. People forget that the devil used to be a trusted angel of Allah until he went astray. Blame everything on Africans for forsaking their Holy Shrines by taking a long journey to seek a foreign God. It has consequences.
If you brutalize your fellow Africans and seek forgiveness in a foreign land, what are you? If it is not Mecca, Africans would seek God anywhere including Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. No one can convince some Africans that when they look everywhere and find no salvation, they must look into own hearts where salvation is waiting for them. It is beyond comprehension that Africans do not see God in their fellow man, even when God said he made man in his own image.
Africa’s slave trade by Arabs and Europeans still echo repercussivevestiges on all mankind since every continent had its turn of the evil trade. Africans still suffer from the indignity at home and in Diaspora. Too many died in the slave ships from inhuman treatment, revolts or suicide rather than be taken alive to plantations. Not even Africans wish the refugee plightandflight on Arabs.
It seems that some senses are prevailing along USA, Russia, Iran and Syria understanding on how to confront the ISIS that has turned out to be worse than cancer invading many countries in the name of religion. No amount of money and tolerance can accommodate war ravaged land of the Arabs as the refugees flee their own comfort, land and religion to take solace in foreign land where they do not belong and fed like animals. HYPERLINK "http://www.aol.com/article/2015/09/17/disturbing-video-shows-refugees-being-fed-like-animals/21237490/?icid=maing-grid7|main5|dl35|sec1_lnk1%26pLid%3D-147015092" Disturbing humiliation
President Assad of Syria, Putin of Russia and American presidential candidates pointed to Iraq War as the beginning of the Arab refugee crisis. Most people including the Arabs agree that the solution to refugees’ flight from Arab countries must be solved at the root. Religion has divided the Arabs beyond any reasonable explanation. It is not the difference between Muslims and Christians, but within the Muslim sects.
The call for Assad to go can only be decided within Syria, not by United States. Distractors of Obama claimed if he had only enforced the red line against Syria, ISIS would not dare him. But it was the U.S Congress that sat on the authorization to go to war. Moreover, Britain also denied its Prime Minister the authorization to go into Syria with U.S. Nevertheless, Obama negotiated chemical weapons out of Syria. Otherwise, ISIS could have benefited from redline enforcement.
Today, only the middleclass and rich Arabs refugees can afford the exorbitant fees paid to the smugglers from Libya, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan only to be dumped in the sea. If they survived they face ignominy, rejection, hostility with cases of hospitality from good Samaritans in the land they desire in Europe and America. The picture is so disturbing; it haunts our historical memories of slave trade days and memories of it will haunt us many years from now.
The difference here is that they are not forced into ships as Arab and Europeans did to Africans, they paid dearly for their escape. Some prefer to go back home as the father of the dead child that caught world attention when the dead body floated to the shore. The struggle of man to survive actually resulted in misery. Many of them do not know which is worse: getting into the middle of war at home against Gadhafi and Assad or fighting rejection in Europe.
It gets more complicated when one looks at the sponsors of the present conflict: from Saudi Arabia Sunni Muslins to Iran Shiite Muslims and some sub-religions between them. Even the European and American supporters have run into dead-ends trying to support a Country like Iraq with majority Shiite against ISIS that are Sunnis. So far only Iran-Iraq Shiite with the support of Russia seems to be effective against ISIS to the displeasure of Americans that want Assad out.
This is separate from the Kurds that have strife against ISIS but also seeking independence from Turkey and Iraq. Saudi Arabia had to get involved in Yemen for the fear of losing influence in a country that is too close for comfort. As long as the initial sponsors of ISIS include Saudi Arabia, it will be difficult not to blame them as part of the problem in the area. Moreover, Saudi Arabia is very conservative with its funds to other Arabs unless their interest is at stake; like everyone.
Russia learnt its lesson in Afghanistan. Nobody could have argued against United States that was provoked but could have taught them a lesson one at a time rather than getting into many wars at the same time. It drained resources and manpower that could have been better used inside USA. At the end of the day, like wild grass, the people of the region will outlast invaders and go back to their old ways. American youths cannot sacrifice their lives for every country.
Change is never easy but it must come from within to last. Even then, it must be well managed and controlled, otherwise Arab Spring would be taken over by undesirable elements like ISIS. It is a lesson United States should have learnt from The Shah of Iran, Libya and Egypt. You cannot keep on making the same mistakes and keep on expecting different results. People can only be encouraged to change their own system from within, not by invasion by innocent young blood.
There is a lesson for Africans here at home and in Diaspora. Stop looking for salvation outside your own influence when you can create it at home. God said he is everywhere including your souls and land. If you refuse to seek salvation where you are, you cannot get it where you are not the master of your own destiny. All the countries that lost their citizens in Mina, Saudi Arabia are grieving for their dead, Africans are given the additional fault on top of their grief.
Africans have claimed to be Egyptians, Jews and now as Syrians to gain refugee status!
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