By Stacy Kendi
As ages come and go, it brings along a new age and takes away the old age. This has been the case now, since the rise of the digital era, the old traditional ways have been totally swept away in Africa and the new ways have taken over. There is very little to say about the traditional african ways currently in Africa.
However, among all the changes that have taken place, there is one main change that has really struck me and it saddens me to think about how this particular situation has changed to a rather worse situation than what it was previously. What I am referring to is the position of mothers and daughters in the view of their relationship with each other.
The once adorned and esteemed culture of African women being selfish with each other’s time is now eroded. Haha, their selfish time when they could sit in besides some warm fireplace and talk about ‘girl issues’ and have their Aha moments together. If you were a man and dared to go near them during their selfish time together, you could always expect to be unwelcomed.
During this period, many conversations would arise from being a true African woman, how to conduct yourself as a lady within the society, how to hold your pride as a woman up high, how to keep a man and even keeping your home (as a married woman) a conducive environment for your husband and children. Mothers and daughters had these conversations over and over again and at some point, later on, they would be mistaken for siblings because of the strong friendship that has grown. A daughter would never be afraid of speaking out to their mother about any issue.
Turning over to the current age, the digital era, the mother daughter bond, has been broken. The best friendship situation is no longer there. Mothers have become too busy running about errands to put food on the table being the support system of their husbands. Well, on this, we can only blame the economy where one person cannot only sustain the whole family. Mothers will hardly get time to sit with their daughters conversing with each other. While not working, the mother takes her journey to different destinations to meet with her fellow age-mates while daughters take their journey to their friends’ spaces, clubs or eat out joints. The time that is to be used for the mother-daughter conversations is taken up.
At the end of it all, we come to find daughters getting affected in the current society. We find in a world where social media has taken over as the form of communication and interaction, mental health has become a norm in the society. On of the reasons being, there is nobody to lean on and share our stories with, at the point we feel broken down. The point where a mother ought to be at the pinnacle of the daughter’s life helping her deal and cope with the different life stages, they are not there.
Daughters have to face the society and struggle with life as it comes. It gets to a point where daughters have gone through so many challenges in their life such as mental health, relationship complications, school problems among others such that they turn to anything else that can help them feel better. They end up turning into drug addicts and sexual tools for men preying on them in the name of being “sponsors or blessers” as commonly referred to. Daughters can no longer turn to their mothers for help due to fear of being judged, due to the perfection mentality standards set upon them by their mothers, who are hardly there to walk with them the journey emotionally and not only materialistically or physically. By the time they realize what their daughters have gone through it becomes too late that nothing can be salvaged.
The question then is WHO IS TO BLAME?
It is time for mothers and daughters to reunite and create the bond that was there initially. The bond where mother’s advise their daughters on life challenges, mothers become a shoulder to lean on at points when there is no one else. A mother’s role should not be taken up by teachers, media interviews or pastors.
Let’s all take a stand a vouch for the re-ignition of the mother-daughter bond that was there initially. Shall WE!