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Monday, 4 January 2016

VICTOR --by Kreed

“What’s your name?” I asked, he mumbled some words which I barely heard. “Kingsley? Nice name.” “No,” he responded almost immediately, “I said Victor.” I repeated the same compliments.
Young victor stretched and strained his neck, just to catch a glimpse of the scene that was unfolding. Some minutes later, he sat back on his seat and his head lowered. I caught a glimpse of his face, I recognized the look on it and I hoped he was going to be stronger than I was when I was his age. He didn’t disappoint, he didn’t cry. I wrapped my arms around his neck, “Everything will be fine,” I said to him but not out loud. Throughout the course of our journey, nothing was said of his father and despite every side comment by the other commuters, who didn’t hide their displeasure over Victor’s mother’s decision to take with her so many kids on such a journey, her mother never gave any explanation as to where her husband was. It wasn’t said but from what was implied, Victor’s mother seemed to be his only parent alive. God, I hope I’m wrong, I really hope I am.

Just like Victor, they’re lots of kids out there, kids with only one parent or none at all. In most cases, these kids actually have both parents living but these parents, do not have the financial power to take care of them. This is one the things that disturb me most in this country. Most of the parents who do not have the financial capability to groom two children comfortably, often go as far as having five or more children. It makes little or no sense to reproduce children if you’re not capable of fending for them. Most parents are ignorant of family planning and take no appropriate child-birth control measures.  The product of this ignorance, is having more kids than they can handle.
Eventually all they’ll do is Worry! Worry! Worry! About how they’ll pay tuitions, provide basic amenities, etc. With time, they develop a bitter spirit, get feisty and let their frustrations get the better of them when they discipline their children, rather than nurture the kids with the love and care they deserve. Worse still, they begin to develop heart related ailments.

Things get worse if one of the parent dies. It’s worst if it is the man that dies. Oh Ayin Eka! The in-laws will just come and pack everything. That’s probably the only truth Nollywood depicts in their movies. Some African traditions never cease to disgust me. How will the mother carter for the children? Most African in-laws are only interested in the luxuries of today. Before you know it, the kids are out of school. The they’ll be sent to become apprentices and then, they get frustrated with life and the treatment meted out on them by their ‘relatives’ and before you know it, they’ll try to outsmart everybody they come across. Some though, not all.

Some of you might defend this by claiming children are gifts from God. Well, maybe you don’t know that your house is a blessing too but does that mean you should go and build 1000 buildings just so you can show the world that it is GOD’s blessing? They are gifts from GOD but that doesn’t mean you should accumulate more than you can handle. That’s greed. Precisely speaking, I don’t believe GOD will support anyone who abuses His gifts. Most parents do it as a form gamble, having many kids with the hope that one of them will excel. I think an important question parents should always ask themselves is this, “If I leave for whatever reason, will my partner be able to take care of them alone?” No I won’t use death, it’s too sensitive.

It’s vital for married couples to be sincere when it comes to the issue of reproduction. It is not just fair to have so many kids, most of whom may end up at the wrong side of the law as a result of the carelessness of their parents, which often arise when they bite more than they can chew. If you’re not capable of nurturing a certain number of children comfortably, then don’t give them life. Parents should always try not to punch above their weight. Use the appropriate child-control measures and family planning means, of which abortion is not one of them (my opinion sha).

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