THE YOUNG AFRICAN MAN: RENDITIONS BY THE BLOGGER
Last week I posted a writeup on the renditions of an African woman as seen through the eyes of Lily Sparkles. Due to popular demand and due to the constant quest for gender equality I would today talk about myself as an African man. An African man is born with the tag: MANAGE ALL NONSENSE, boldly emblazoned on his forehead.
To this effect, we are meant to live this pretentious life, living in this facade of extricating fear, weakness, emotions and what have you from our lives. In fact, in the words of Adichie, the African boyhood is presented as this cold iron cage where we are locked up forever. However horrific this would sound it is the truth. “Don’t fear at night”, ” Go and lock the compound gates at night”. We end up protecting the opposite sex from harm and fear and yet nobody does the same to us.
The life of the African man is factually determined at birth, being unsuccessful is not an option. We are filled with scary stories of the importance of having the string dangling between our legs. “You are going to fit into the shoes of your father”, ” You would inherit your father’s land “, ” You would protect your inheritance from wicked uncles”, “Your mother and sisters would seek your protection when the old man dies”. All this is done without the slightest permission from the African man. We just stand there nodding, like a lizard, to everything they say. We end up not living the life we want but the one societal conventions has defined us to be. Why should people even complain when we don’t respond to all these responsibilities?
My friend Tochukwu would always wallow in the amazement of the darkness and unkempt nature that lurks in the shadows of the whole manliness and masculinity. It becomes almost pardonable for us to be dirty, to smell and dress rascally. We would not want to appear prim and proper like the girls, trust me, wandering in the arrogance of our sexuality is what we want.
The most endangering thing about the young African man is that when we want to enjoy the greatest dividend of our manliness, we become disturbed. The least nature has done for us is the arrogance, the ability to dominate the female flock, freedom, non vulnerability, supposed power associated with masculinity, this group of feminists swears not to let such dividends.
What have we done to these feminists? These feminists like Adichie, Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Miriam Makebe, Imelda Marcos, Winnie Mandela etc. makes life, I must confess, more brutish, for the men. We sit back and endure their lamentations and overgeneralization of how man, manliness and masculinity is overrated in our society. They say this in such a way that people think we wish to be born with the many facades of manliness and masculinity. Instead of achieving gender inequality, this movement tends to make it lopsided by making us disadvantaged.
No offenses! We are still men, the young African man who strives to succeed and work his bones out to attain the height society has set for him. This he does by sacrificing his fragile personality and priceless humanity. At the end of the day we are faced with the shocking realization that we spent our entire lives trying to please, protect, seek for attention and mask ourselves. We become society made and not self made.
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FOR THE YOUNG AT HEART