My Mother once told me that a man without roots to tradition is lost to the world. The young me believed that. Now the present me can’t help but question this cliché about our traditions and cultures.Your Culture is your behaviour and values in the society that places you with a set social group of people who have the same values.
Now the question is:
“IS CULTURE AND TRADITION ALWAYS RIGHT IN ITS TEACHINGS?”
There is an eastern Nigerian saying which says “A wife or a husband is like a parcel. No one can know the content very well. when you get home, whatever you find in the parcel is yours, you take it as it is.
If you are fortunate, you could find a delicious soup and pounded yam to enjoy, or you might find a scorpion or a snake. What you find, you have to LEARN to live with.
I would like to stress on the word “learn” from above. I am like the majority of people who believe in the sanctity of marriage, enduring through thick and thin.To quote me “Through the thick and thin” I hear some say of course, marriage is about the good, the bad and the ugly, hands up, yes I am on the same page.
Yet there is a big ‘but’ to it all and the big ‘but’ is to do with exceptional grounds like domestic abuse, physical to emotional amongst others, most common is domestic violence.
Question is, should a woman go through the thick and thin of domestic violence, enduring daily physical battering? Not daring to speak up but rather learn to live with it? When at a breaking point, they run to family for support but they get sent back because traditional norms frown upon a woman abandoning her matrimonial home right? “
Now let me give an illustration so we all get the picture of what am on about here.A woman gets married to a man, her choice or family’s choice for her them to choose for her traditional marriage rites are carried out. She goes home with him. For the first few months all is well.
With time this husband of hers starts beating her, battering her with little to nil provocation. With every beating, he gets more vicious, leaving her covered in bruises and wounds that become scars.One day, she realises the possibility she might not survive the next beating. She makes the decision to leave but she wants to speak to her family first, to let them know her predicament.
She is at a crossroad because she hears her mother’s voice in her head “Only a useless woman leaves her husband’s house”.
Traditions and culture are meant to guide us, to help uphold our values as Africans. Traditions are the foundation and identity of us Africans not a platform to hide behind by weak men to abuse women. Let us all make it our responsibility to apply traditions and its accompanying values to uphold what is true and real.
If you are in that situation now, we say speak up, ask for help before it gets too late, do it for you, do it for your children! Know this, no one will care for your children like you. Yes, they will show them love but we all know a mother’s love is priceless.
By Elijah Igbokah For UnbrokenChords.
SPEAK OUT!! ASK FOR HELP!!