Prince Debo Luwaji

    By Prince Debo Luwaji

    This year’s versions of International Women’s Day and Mothers’ Day come up on 8th and 10th March respectively.

    Interestingly, I have never been a fan of these once-yearly rituals. I think a day of just hanging balloons in public places and posting flowerly messages online somehow diminishes the very depth that a woman and a mother represent.

    I submit that women are very specially and wonderfully made by God, obviously at a moment of His deepest introspection, and that mothers are even more exceptionally packaged by nature and nurture. Men who appreciate this fact are always the better for it!

    So roundly endowed, a mother is sufficient in all graces – empathy, love, foresight, focus, intentional discretion, responsibility, forbearance etc

    Given the innate differences in most couples.
    I always thought that a child’s future might not get seriously impaired with an absentee or irresponsible dad, as it certainly would if a caring and conscientious mum was lacking!

    For many fathers, the newly-born evolved from fun and pleasure. So, bearing the weight of responsibility is never automatic but always a matter of individual choices. Given her travails and pains however, a mother has no such luxury of choice. For her, accountability is instinctive and compulsory.

    If you think mothers are mothers everywhere you need to take more time to disect the make up of the Nigerian mother!

    Did we not read the bizarre story of an American mother, a single parent who deliberately drove her 4 children over a cliff in a faked accident, killing all in one irreversible action, the objective being to free herself of what she considered an obstacle to a new marriage?

    The likelihood of such horrendous thing happening in the hands of a Nigerian mother is absolutely NIL. Here, even to separate a baby from her lunatic mum would take a combined team of determined and armed officers!

    I grew up in a tough neighbourhood . That I turned out good in the midst of a pervasive peer-influencing rot was due largely to the persistent efforts of a mother who was strong in prayers as she was unspairing with the rod!

    Like when my mum discovered my elder sister had no significant savings after nearly a year on her first job , inspite of enjoying free accommodation and feeding at home. The consequences left marks on her body that required her to wear long sleeves for a long time.

    I am not sure she was able to show those marks to her children in later years as mummy clearly intended, but today she is a highly valued professional in the US and she had that disciplinarian of a mum to thank for her rising stocks.

    Ours was never one of those indulgent mums who would weild the cane in the presence of witnesses who were bound to intervene and plead your cause. In my case, I would have long forgotten what my offence was when, at 2am or thereabout, she would wake me up, hand me one of two long canes in her hand, In case I might wish to put it to use in the course of a round-the-room lashes that was bound to last a while!

    At other times my mum’s style of correction would be wrapped in an emotional appeal and honestly, I wasnt sure if the canning was not much preferred. This time she would wake me up at a period my sleep was sweetest. Showing me a wardrobe filled with old, well-worn dresses, she will regal me with the same tales of how, were she selfish, she could have done much more for herself with the bountiful gains she was making from her government contracts and rent collections than pouring it all on my education and that of my siblings.

    She would end this exasperating, dead-night talks with the emotional “Mo kunle fun eleda e. Joo ma je ki won se ko ton ni di mi.” Please, do not let my mockers say didnt we warn you so?

    Women have unbelievable capacity to give of themselves unrelentingly.

    The joke is often shared by comperes at events, how mothers always ended up with the best of the children’s attention and gifts in older age. So why not?

    Listeners who havent undertaken much foreign travels lapped on such comedy with ecstatic imaginations, as though mothers being ferried abroad to take care of their newly born grandkids is a carnival of sorts. No, bro.!

    Far from any lovely sight seeing, being abroad for the purpose of omugo is simply a mother’s continuation of the same sacrificial hard work she’s been volunteering all her life!

    Finally, may I add as an aside that over pampering and celebrating the boy child has done very little to help his likes to turn out the best.

    “Oko mi”. “My husband”. “My champion”. “My king”. “My prince”. ‘Olowo orimi” – strong titles that accord a little boy an abiding sense of importance he has not earned nor prepared for.

    This is the reason why we keep having boys who never grew to become responsible men. Why single mothers are multiplying in droves and ‘widows’ are emerging from marriages whose spouses are still alive and agile.

    It is the reason why today, in all our schools, girls are dusting their male counterparts in winning overall best prizes and are more of the best graduating students of our universities home and abroad.

    It is the same reasons ladies are in the forefront in all spheres of our national life except perhaps politics.

    In corporate leadership everywhere you turn, be it banking, education, medicine, customer relations international affairs, name it, women are the preferred choices at the apex.

    This trend is not about changing anytime soon, till our families stop hero- worshipping the boy child and overloading his female sibling for no reasons other than the difference in their sexes.

    I would take the liberty of ending this piece with a few nudgets for today’s parents.

    Firstly, to the young mum, do the most you can to support your spouse as the helpmate you are called to be , but please refuse to be the sole burden bearer.

    Indulging his indolence will never wake him up. from his convenient slumber to rise up to his responsibilities. Ultimately you will be the all-round loser.

    Lastly, to all, if you still have a mother or an aunt whom you truely love, dont wait till youre super rich to pamper and celebrate her the best you possibly can. Do it everyday. Trust me, when she’s gone, as she would sooner or later, you would wish you had done much more to demonstrate your affections and gratitude!

    Happy Mother’s Day. Happy Women’s Day to God’s best handworks!

    This piece is dedicated to the memory of the rarest of mothers, Victoria Morenike Luwaji-Akinbohun and Olori Adebisi Teleola Luwaji_
    Prince Debo Luwaji is an Entrepreneur and public affairs analyst.

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