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Attack of the sisters…

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Some weeks back…at a market in the South East. One was busy at a beverage shop; the surrounding shops were a few salons and cosmetics shop. What attracted my attention to the melee was the scream with which the ladies from the salon were warning a boy, most likely in his early teenage years, about the danger of some sharp iron object that he was playing ‘throw and catch’ with. They warned that the object could land on someone’s head or any other body parts and cause an injury.

As if on cue, the very next throw he did landed on a lady’s arm…it gave her a cut!It was a very miffed lady (you know ‘yellow people’ go ‘red’-complexion wise… when vexation sets in) that went for the boy.

Her anger is understandable…To think that the boy was severely warned to stop. I expected a contrite reaction from the boy, who should be less than 14 years by the way.For where? He rained insults on a woman and every other female that dared reprimand him, that is old enough to be his mother. As if his insults were not enough, he actually hit back the lady and dared her to touch him again. I could not believe what I was witnessing.

I mean, one could have ignored his words as those of an ill-mannered child, but to engage that lady that he gave a bleeding body injury to in a fight? I could not contain my anger.So, I went for him (one of my brothers used to call the act RUSHING SOMEBODY…when we were younger) and slapped him real hard. You know the kind of hard slap that leaves the hand of the ‘slapper’ hurting real bad. It makes one wonder if some people’s bodies are made of some kind of iron, because that boy didn’t flinch one bit. It was rather my ‘slapping hand’ that experienced some pain.

Anyway, back to the gist…
As if some kind of ‘fighting whistle’ was blown, almost every lady around came for the silly boy. Some with their foot wears others with bare hands, an elderly woman also showed up with a broom. A supposedly angry me even became so amused that I let out a laughter-amidst the drama.

By the time I took another look around me…our boy had disappeared!Another disappointing observation was that none of the men that were around was very eager to get the unruly boy off our hook or even bothered to give him a serious reprimand. It was almost like their body language was that of hailing the boy’s unruliness.

Perhaps to some of them such unruliness is what translates to boldness or manliness.Sometimes, these impressionable ones act out the silliness they witness around them especially on the streets and at home. Thus when you as an adult misbehave in public and elsewhere, you never know how many souls you are showing the wrong path.

These days, all a lady needs to fetch her the ASHAWO title is dare talk-back at a guy in this environment, even when she is right.For a boy that young to do what he did and unapologetically, too, only God knows how much “disrespect of women” that he has witnessed around him.

In all my years in the South West part of Nigeria, I had never experienced such insolence towards an elder from a child that young. I thought about those his age(and older) around me, who would have gone into an absolute contrite mode or burst into tears on making such MISTAKES (of hurting someone…unintentionally o!) and a whole new appreciation of their manners filled my heart.

In fact, I made a mental note to buy more Christmas gifts this year.Someone said that the boy was ill-trained at home. As tempted as I was to agree totally, one is also not unaware that sometimes, parents try their best at hom but the STREET keeps undoing their efforts. I mean, some of us have come across very decent folks with unruly children.

Although, a friend opined thus…“Decent folks having unruly children…True, but the older one grows, you realise that a lot of these supposedly decent folks were not really as ‘cool’ as they appear to be. A lot of these folks mask their true nature, which they only let loose inside the confines of their homes, and, knowing kids- they copy these bad habits, but being kids who have not mastered the act of putting up a deceptive façade out there, they display all. The downside of this is that these “closet badly behaved parents” cannot look the kids in the eye and reprimand them. But you and I will be wondering how or why such “good people” ended up with unruly/bad kids.’’


In this article:
Chukwuneta Oby

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