There is the ‘educated’ notion that a man cannot really be defined by his place of origin, rather his behavior patterns stem from his personality and beliefs. Men who originate from Nigeria (Nigerian men), however, have unanimously defied this premise, as they are popular around the world… for certain characteristics now attributed solely to them.
Of course, there is the good and the bad.
The Good: They are generous (always willing to spend money); they are intelligent, innovative and excellent in business, as well as with their jobs. They tend to dominate whatever environment they find themselves in and take charge when needed. They are also reportedly good in bed.
The Bad: They are con artists, heartbreakers, deceitful, mean–hearted, not to be trusted, uber-cocky, carelessness spend money on random women and frivolities, and are just unnecessarily randy.
While this is normal, every human has good and bad qualities, there is a chance these Nigerian men only have these traits, as a result of the way they are raised.
It is no secret that the Nigerian society is patriarchal; as such, the men are not only granted unfair advantages upon birth, they are also raised to believe certain notions that can be harmful. This eventually creates problems for not just the men, but the society and world in general.
Here are a few problematic things Nigerian men may have been raised to believe:
Monogamy is a Myth
The Nigerian man grows up watching his father cheat on his mom, while his mom cheerfully looks the other way. He sees his brothers sneak different girls into the house, and other male figures getting away with randy behaviours. He then grows up with the mindset that monogamy is the last thing he feels he owes a woman. He only feels complete when he cheats on the women he is dating, or in a relationship with.
Even if he is in love with her he still keeps side chics or even baby mamas. He is hardly bothered that the female feels hurt, used, and uncared for. He expects women to accept it as a reality of life, because he believes monogamy is a myth.
It is essential that he realizes that monogamy actually is practical and can be achieved. It is weak of a man to hide under the assumption that monogamy is a myth. Monogamy and fidelity are actually attainable traits; you just have to discipline yourself enough to pull through.
He Cannot Cry or Show Emotion
“Boys don’t cry”
Nigerian mothers and fathers ram that into the heads of their sons from a very young age. They are discouraged from sharing their feelings with one another or from having feelings at all for that matter, right from a tender age. Feelings would make them a ‘sissy’ and less of a man. Raised with this mentality, they bottle up their emotions and learn to only express them via anger or mean spirited acts. They become heard-hearted, lacking empathy. And worse, since they believe the female is the one who can have emotions, they believe that the female owes them some kind of free, maternalistic, emotional labor.
The truth, however, is that the Nigerian male, just like the female has tear ducts. He can actually produce tears if he tried. He has hormones as well and can fell things just as the female. It is okay for him to cry, to feel jealous, crave a massage, scream in fear…e.t.c All these do not make him any less of a man. It only makes him human.
He Has to Preserve the Family Name and Bring Home the Bacon
Nigerian men are raised with the belief that they will eventually be the breadwinner of their own families. They will have to go to work, make money and provide for themselves, their wives, children, and even extended family members who cannot help themselves. He is supposed to earn more than his wife, and upon marriage, the wife will have to take on his surname and bear him sons, that will pass on the family name. She will be humble and be the neck, while he remains the head.
This mentality is fostered by tradition, culture, and religion, but it is not necessarily the truth of his existence. This belief puts a lot of pressure on him and also sets him up such that he has expectations that may not even be realistic. These expectations cause problems in his marriage or lead to depression.
No, a man does not have to be the bread-winner; his wife can take up the role, if she earns more and has better work ethics. No, the wife must not take on his surname, unless she wishes to. And no, he does not have to pass on the family name. the same family name will probably not exist in the next 1000 years, so why all the pressure?
He Is More Intelligent Than the Woman And Women Are Not As Important As Other Men
“Why would you let a girl get a higher mark than you?” “How can you be here and your sister is answering all the questions?”
Right from a tender age, it is ingrained in his mind that being a male means he is the more intelligent sex. He grows up with an almost strong disregard for women. If he goes to see a doctor and it’s a female, he will request a male; if a woman in an Uber pulls up to pick him up, he will cancel the trip because “he cannot come and go and die”. If a woman does better than him socially or professionally, he feels terrible. Sexually, he likes to control women and gives little or no attention to their sexual pleasure: he doesn’t bother with foreplay and only likes oral sex as a recipient. He is different with men though. He will be late for appointments and dates with women, but be quite punctual with men. He may suddenly disappear from a relationship without ending it, but will fight to resolve relationship with his bro; he makes a promise to another man, he will keep it, but with a woman, he won’t be bothered. Even when he is in a relationship or married, he will talk endlessly to her about their lives, even ask for her opinion, but as soon as the conversation wraps up, god forbid she starts talking about her hard day at work! His eyes glaze over with boredom, and suddenly he realizes that he cannot stand gossip. Unfortunately, being a male does not mean you are the more intelligent sex. Both man and women are born equal.
He Should Be Able to Get Away With Anything
“Leave him, he is a boy”, “boys will be boys”
These comments suggest that being male in Nigeria means you can get away with just about anything. The gender socialization in patriarchal contexts prime men, not just take on positions of power, but also to believe that they are almost invincible. He is raised to feel a sense of ownership and entitlement over almost everything. An average Nigerian man does not understand why a girl would say ‘no’ to him and live happily ever after; why a company would deny him a job if nepotism is not involved; or why he should have to control his consumption of alcohol. He believes that he should be able to wield a certain amount of authority and power over every situation; otherwise, it is perceived as a mark against his masculinity.
The truth is, being a man does not absolve you from certain responsibilities. You remain accountable for your actions despite your sex.
Pride is Paramount
The average Nigerian man is cocky, controlling, and self-centered. This is probably because he is raised to believe that he is not a man if he does not have pride. To maintain this pride, he pretends to be what he is not, and engages in dubious activities… just to put up the expected façade. During a conversation, they won’t know anything about it, but they will give their own opinion and try to even force it down your throat. They will go bankrupt purchasing an item just to prove a point, or even sell his house to earn a title. It is great to have a measure of pride in oneself, but at what cost?
So think about it slowly and carefully… progress comes when you’re able to unlearn and relearn things in life. Don’t be stuck in the rut. The world is moving forward, and so should you.
Photo Credit: © Kadettmann | Dreamstime