Connect with us


Atoke’s Monday Morning Banter: Love So Pure, So Choking!



I love LOVE! The idea that someone has my best interest at heart warms me up immensely. Simply knowing that if something happens to me, there’s someone somewhere who will move mountains to get me out of that bind. Honestly, love is one of the most beautiful elements of humanity and it is the one thing that keeps me going.  Oh, and I mean true love by the way. The kind that’s pure, selfless and completely without airs; not the apparent display of affection that lacks depth.

You see, the beautiful thing about love is that most times, it’s effortless. You don’t really have to PROVE it exists, or that you feel it, it’s natural. There’s a primal need to protect and save the one you love,  something like a mother hen’s reaction when you try to take one of her chicks. Parental love (in most cases) is a good example of pure unadulterated love. Most parents would do what they think is the best to protect you and give you what they think is the best for you, because they love you and it’s a feeling that comes as naturally as the cold in Calgary!

I was going to put on my imaginary cleric’s collar and have the above talk with one of my relatives who had asked me to chat with her son. He had just finished his masters degree in the UK and he wanted to move back to Nigeria for work. Mommy had other plans. She wanted him to explore the options of doing his PHD, maybe in an Ivy league school in America. According to him, he was young and he had no business being here.  She went on to talk about how she wanted him to strategically position him for the future; it was all about him and how she wanted the best for him.

I think parental love is very profound but there’s also a thin line between wanting what’s best for someone and imposing your wishes and desires on them and it takes a genius to figure out how to carefully straddle that line. We’ve heard tales of parents who have insisted their children study “professional” courses because they “just want what’s best for them”. You hear tales of parents advising you not to marry from a particular country/tribe based on their own experience with that tribe/culture. Tales of parents trying to influence where their grandchild is born or where their children are receiving medical advice.  It can get really overwhelming sometimes and it has led to more than just simple disagreement in many homes. However, finding the balance is key. How does one then know when to take what is said as it is, and when to stand firm in your own beliefs and choose to chart your own course?

Someone once said that he who controls the purse, pulls the strings… basically who plays the piper dictates the tune. In essence she was saying that a lot of young adults are not financially independent and as such can’t assert their right to their own opinions or will.  It’s an arguable point and one that bears mentioning. It is one that makes you want to work harder and break from the shackles of financial bondage if it’ll make you have a say in your own life.

Anyway, I’ll leave you with this: life is too short to not make the best of your life. Find a reason to smile, keep your head up at all times. Remember that true love is something that everybody should experience because it is deep and beautiful. Have a beautiful week ahead.

Peace, love & cupcakes!



You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website for more information.


  1. Opsy

    January 21, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Nice writeup. Totally agree on the bit about thin line between wanting what’s best for someone and imposing your wishes and desires on them. Helicopter parenting can be irritating though the parents are thinking in the child’s best interest.

  2. jumoke abimbola

    January 21, 2013 at 9:16 am


  3. notaplayerhater

    January 21, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Atoke, Nice oNe! I understand the feeling of being ‘choked’ by parental love, one of the reasons im just now working on getting my masters 8 years after graduation. Daddy was willing to fund it after my B.Sc, but man, i was chock full of the ‘daddy, pocket money’ syndrome! I guess it was fuelled by long term independence (started my first biz at 8 years-selling peanuts bought from my pocket money to my friends on the street) and the fact that i was the first child. But i opted rather to go for my nysc and thankfully got a job immediately after. and been wrking ever since. This is my 3rd attempt at the masters( had to defer twice cos of childbirth) but i dont feel a loss or anything. If anything, i feel relieved and somehow- i feel i have convinced my parents by actions that i can indeed take care of meself!
    Now, if only i wasnt such a ‘helicopter parent’ to my own kids!! :p I do kinda understand the feeling that you wanna protect your kids from the world. No matter how old they get, my father would say, the age difference never shrinks…. so im still big baby to daddy (shakes head) and i’ll be 30 next year…. go figure!

  4. giggy

    January 21, 2013 at 9:40 am

    thank you Atoke…. right on point

  5. Doll

    January 21, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Oh goodness I can soooooo relate to this. In my case it’s a an elder sister who feels she knows best. She likes to give ‘advice’ when not requested. Her definition of advice is basically telling you what to do. And if you choose to do otherwise, you are rude and disrespectful! Mind you, I’m independent and earning my own money, but she still feels she knows best. As a result we’ve been having very heated arguments and I believe it will continue until she backs off. She sees her husband dictating to his younger ones what to do with their lives, so she thinks she can do the same. Sorry big sis, your in-laws depend on their bro for almost everything, meanwhile your siblings were taught to be independent. My own parents don’t dictate to me how to live my life, so she needs to back off! ***rollseyes***

  6. Sonia

    January 21, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Atoke, you ALWAYS have the most relevant and engaging topics. Awesome!

    Anyway, my thing is I think Nigerian parents dunno where and when to back off.
    And if a parent wants to reduce what they have with their children to just money, then so be it. How can you want to control your child because you fund their lifestyle? Nonsense talk! Especially when that child is grown enough to make good decisions for their life. I guess money really is everything.

  7. Chattyzee

    January 21, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Absolutely on point! Have a great week people!

  8. gooby

    January 21, 2013 at 11:11 am

    i can totally relate 2 dis! Right nw i’m working in a place dat i never imagined being in.. tnks 2 my parents

  9. Rola

    January 21, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Atoke I see ur name in cheerios *wink* its important that parents know when to draw the line and let go and sometimes we the children have to help by standing our grounds. However children that rely on family fortune find it hard to becos of what is at stake and with every parent like notaplayerhater says *age difference never shrinks*. I am a new mom (blushing) and can relate with the depth of parental love, however it’s printed in my subconscious to keep values from my parents and not repeat their mistakes.

  10. @miss_nwawe

    January 21, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    atoke i luv u!!!!!!!!!!!!i can totally relate to this. Now i’m thinking of how to tell my dad i want to be an OAP after studying engineering. He wont find this funny..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tangerine Africa

Star Features