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Yetunde Olasiyan: How Old Are You & How Does Your Age Define You?



​Society  has wickedly and conveniently set an acceptable age limit on achievements; and because we are not used to challenging norms and man-made traditions, we have allowed society’s wicked mindset/values rob us of tangible happiness and good health.

Yes,  good health…because so many have become depressed as a result of being  judged based on their age when they have not attained certain heights in life.

Such heights include marriage, having kids, getting a job, getting an apartment, leaving home, starting a business, retiring etc. Some have lost meaningful relationships because they refused to date/marry a far younger person. Or even far older.

As a society, we have slammed on ourselves ‘acceptable’ ages to achieve all these. So, if you fail to do any of those at the societal age limit, you are tagged a failure. It is that bad.

This is not encouraging laziness or lackadaisical habits or those who sit and chant ‘what will be, will be’ without getting their lazy butts up to make hay while the sun shines. No.

The point is, age has robbed many people of happiness and liberty. It has sent many into depressive states. When God has not put limitations on us, we put many limitations on ourselves.

But God is a God of perfect timing, not of age. He doesn’t look at your age before he blesses you. He comes at the time of ‘life’, when he knows you are mentally, spiritually, intellectually ripe for what he wants to give you.

For some, they believe so much that age is just numbers. It doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t define who they are. They say age is not directly proportional to  wisdom. But then, they  still judge others by their age.

They look down on younger people without even giving them the chance to prove themselves.They have this sense of enforcing brotherly/sisterly rights over young people they do not have any direct affiliation with.They  just want to prove that they are older.

There are still some, who are very embarrassed about their age. They cannot just reveal it to anyone. It’s not even a direct question to ask anyone be it acquaintance or colleague without getting an evil eye in return.

Their age is their best kept secret. When you ask, they answer with ‘why do you want to know?’ ‘Or it’s none of your business’.

There are those who lie about their age to get into certain positions or to claim juicy jobs. As wrong as it is, those ones believe they have to reduce/increase their age as the case may be in order to get what they want.

That’s why there are lots of aged people in the workforce today who are very young on paper but old in reality. There are also those who willfully conceal their age only out of embarrassment. They feel that they are too young or too old.

It was the case in my secondary school when anyone older than 16 in SS3 was believed to be too old while anyone as young as 14 in the same class was considered too young.

This made some people hide their true age. The ridiculous situations and comments such people were exposed to, made them withdraw into their shell. Thus age quietly became a self esteem issue.

Society tend to expect more from you as an older person. You don’t get away with stuff that might be overlooked for a younger person. This happens in the family mostly. Bad or good behavioural patterns are pardoned based on the age of the one involved.

So, who says again that age does not define us? As subtle as the topic of age is, it is a very important one. It is crucial to the level of success or failure one attains in life. It affects one’s mental attitude.

Why don’t we all break lose from the bondage of getting embarrassed about our age? Why can’t I tell you my age at our first meeting? Whether it’s a man/woman relationship or mere acquaintance?

No matter how much we hide our age, age will still tell on us. Trying to prove we are older or younger than our chronological age has not added any physical benefits to us.

OK, maybe I am missing something here. But please I need to honestly know, what is it about age that gets people embarrassed? Do you feel your present age is a barrier to your happiness? Has your age ever set you free in a life and death situation? Do you weigh your success based on your age and feel happier if you get things done at a younger age than if the reverse were to be the case?

How old are you sef? I will be reading the comments.

Photo Credit: Ieva Geneviciene |

M.Sc International Affairs&Diplomacy, ABU, Zaria|| B.Tech Environmental Biology, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso|| 1st Prize Winner, SouthWest Nigeria-CLO Essay Competition on Child Labour in Nigeria|| 5th Prize Winner, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation Essay Competition|| Certificate of Participation, World Bank Essay Competition|| Author of A Gift of Dreams|| [email protected]|| Former Content Editor,|| Ghostwriter, Editor, Profile Writer|| Nike|| Olasiyan|| For writing enquires email [email protected]


  1. EE

    January 26, 2017 at 4:03 am

    “Society has wickedly and conveniently set an acceptable age limit on achievements”

    Has it???

    Isn’t Wizkid for example richer than generations of Nigerians???

  2. Adeola

    January 26, 2017 at 4:10 am

    it really inspired.. that was my mind set before but God helped me me to overcome . now i can face life the way it is n move on no matter what.

  3. osa

    January 26, 2017 at 5:12 am

    I think the age thing is about certain disadvantages that come with being a certain age and the idiots who stigmatize people

    I remember the story of a good friend of mine whom at 27 met a guy, 39, who was really really into her after seeing her the first time. (Btw she is a stunner – looks sort of african american). The guy kept pestering the person whom he had met her through, for her contact. She wasn’t too keen initially but the person who linked them was a married older colleague whose judgement she trusted, so she eventually allowed the older colleague to give the guy her number.

    Then the guy calls her the first time and they start off with a conversation. An Interesting one. They talk about the weather etc nothing too personal. Then at some point she tells him how old she is when he asks. Somehow, from that point the conversation sort of ends. And thats the last time (and first) he contacts her. Btw the guy is igbo. And i know typically igbo guys prefer ’em young the older they get.
    Age matters for as long as it gets more difficult to achieve things socially, economically etc the older a person gets.

    • EE

      January 26, 2017 at 7:57 am

      “looks sort of african american”


    • nene

      January 26, 2017 at 11:35 am

      @ osa, african smerican ke? what village did u grow up in?

    • Mawi

      January 26, 2017 at 11:45 am

      Loool… me sef I confuse

    • osa

      January 26, 2017 at 7:31 pm

      You people no dey quick to understand things. Typical black americans have this look that africans do not necessarily have. E.g certain features that just make you know they have some oyinbo blood in them. However littlr
      The average black American has some distinguising features that regular africans un africa do not have. I no fit talk. Pls

    • Jennifer

      January 26, 2017 at 8:08 pm

      He is 12 years older than her, I don’t understand; does he want someone 20 years younger than him? How is the girl old? She’s young in my opinio; 27 isn’t old and the guy is 39.. I’m 23 but some guys in their mid and late 30s are really stupid and think that marrying someone way younger; they can have nominance and control. Not happening in this generation.

  4. Anonymous

    January 26, 2017 at 5:29 am

    Getting older is a sign of being alive. It’s something to be proud of.

  5. Uno

    January 26, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Nice writeup…this Age talk is kind of touchy,if @30 as a young lady I don’t have a job,still job hunting,no side business people will definitely call me lazy,NFA, same for a guy, or I’m in a class where I’m d oldest some will call me old even employees put age limits making it difficult for some to get a job,its all so draining & depressive ,we have to get to that point where we work together to make life easier for one another,we shouldn’t let such things as age limit us, I think everybody is so self-centered & inconsiderate hence we end up placing priorities in things that don’t matter

  6. nonye inspired

    January 26, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    @Uno I totally agree with you..We are prisoners of our own devices..We ask God to do everything for us whilst we cant task ourselves to forge ahead but allow frivolous things to hold us back..Na wa..

  7. oyeniran kayode

    January 26, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Me I will kuku say the truth, I’m 23 years old, will be 24 next month February 14. Unemployed though, and it scares me that I have just 2 years left to hunt for jobs, remember the age limit is 26…………(stupid nigerian mentality).
    Age has nothing to do with my success, this I’m confident about

  8. LostInSpace

    January 26, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    It’s all about an individual’s mindset..

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