“The ancestors say your grandmother is the reason why you can’t get any man to marry you! She has married you spiritually!” These words from the priest and his assistant who looked 50 but should be in his early twenties struck me so hard. If you want to get a husband, then you have to bring a white ram, a black and white cock, white calico material, white kola nuts and a pouch of cowries. But remember that when you get home, grandmother will start talking to you! On getting home, grandma welcomes me with that feeble smile like she does everyday but he’ll broke loose!I told her my piece of mind and she wept, I had always been her favourite! We had a lot of good times and shared wonderful memories. Deep in my heart, I knew things would never be the same even though I still loved her.
This is just one example of many cases that befall a lot of old people and others who died long ago in our societies, whom we refer to as ancestors. They are always the reason why we cannot do something or have done something society frowns upon. But WE are the reasons why we did it or we made it in life! This has not helped in establishing a healthy relationship between the old and the young in our society. If this relationship is not healthy, how can young people learn about the culture of our society which we cherish so much? Are we going to allow the old in our society to take our rich culture to the grave with them?
When we are not able to pass our examinations, it is that paternal aunty of ours who’s son is doing well in school! That aunty has scooped our brains and added it to her. When we cannot secure employment, it is that maternal uncle who is responsible for that. When we don’t get marriage partners, we blame it on that grandfather at home. When we marry and cannot have babies, it is that grandmother in the family who cannot stand our happiness. Sometimes, mother or father has to suffer for this or that crime. Yes! Our in abilities are ordained by the gods!
I think that we young people should be more creative and innovative if we want to have that bright future we all dream about. We should also develope critical and civic thing skills. I say this because the world is changing and becoming more and more competitive so we cannot continue doing things the way they have always been done. If we do, we will continue to get the same old results. Apart from that, we should also stop blaming our misfortunes on people and ancestors who are long dead. If we try and fail, we can always try again in a different way. This way, we will be able to be bear the consequences of our actions
We have to face our challenges and address them than running away from. If we do not use our youthful exuberance to seek self development, what else will we do as young people? Let’s remember that he who fights and looses lives to fight another day, so don’t just give up. We are putting the blame on others because we have not accepted who we are. We forget that, there is no one best solution to a problem. We are all different and unique. We can’t all pass our examination, we can’t all find the right people to marry and stay with. We may not have be able to have children, some of us may not get a job with any of the big companies. We can’t all be the same. But that doesn’t mean we should just sit down cup in hand waiting for manna to fall from heaven. We should first of all make an effort and we are sure to make an impact.
We should also seek knowledge from the old not necessarily to do things the way they did but to improve upon how they did it and get better results. Learning from them will make us unique because we will have rich diverse knowledge from old which we have blended with contemporary knowledge. We are young because we have the energy to do what the old cannot do and that’s one reason why we need to stop the blame game and focus on what we want to do. If the ancestors are dead, let’s allow them to enjoy their eternal rest.
I read somewhere that “it is not the critique who counts, not the man who points out that the strong man stumbles, or where the doers of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena who errs, who comes short again and again, who spends himself in a worthy cause and who at worst if he fails at least fails at doing his best.
So, next time you are not able to convince the members of the job interview panel, that is not the end. You can still do something about your joblessness, you can create a job for yourself. Next time that young man or young lady says he or she is no longer interested in the marriage you are planning, don’t give up. Maybe you need to watch how you speak to people and work on that. All the best and meet you at the top my colleague young people.