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Precious Uwisike: An Entitled Generation



Our generation is filled with self-absorbed, people who are not only interested in success but are also interested in power, beauty and being special.

This isn’t a bad thing, really; but that we seek these things, even when we evidently do not have any tangible value to offer, is the problem. We need to know this: no one is that special, no one is that great, and no one is entitled to jack. We should get over ourselves already. (This is the G-rated version).

Over the years, there has been an alarming decrease in words like we and us and a significant trend towards I and me—Every man for himself, we say. Many years ago, songs by ace and veteran musicians mainly reflected social connection and positive emotions. I remember Sonny Okosun’s song, Great Change about social development in Nigeria; Onyeka Onwenu’s song about love for one another. Sunny Ade, Ik Dairo, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and the likes, were famous musicians that made us love life and appreciate people through their music. They used terms that portray unity and support for one another and called out repugnant social behaviours. Today, we can barely count songs that have social inclusive messages in them.

There is a prevailing cultural trend at play right now, and the idea that a simple life is meaningless is a strong part of this trend (this line reminds me of Cobhams Asuquo’s song—Ordinary People). There is the desire to believe that I am doing something that matters (even when it is insignificant) and the measure of this is the number of pats I get in the back, the likes I get on Facebook and Instagram. It is so easy to measure the smallness of our lives by the standard of celebrities. And the heartbreaking thing is that younger humans are fed this steady diet through reality TV, projected celebrity lifestyle and un-monitored social media, causing them to develop a completely twisted worldview.

This new cultural messaging everywhere is changing how we live, speak and love. Back in the day, our grandparents did not have high expectations of their spouses, knowing that they themselves are also imperfect people. They were concerned about characters and attitudes they could cope with and merge with what they were also bringing to the table to make a successful home. It’s why they celebrate 40 years wedding anniversary; it’s why they are sticking together even at 80. Fast forward to today, many of us expect from the other person what we are not ready to give. We want a partner who listens and does our every biding, but are we ready to do the same?

Truth be told, have we now become an entitled bunch that we believe we are superior to the other person even when we are not really making any difference? Is it true that we lack the necessary empathy to be compassionate, connected people—the ability that makes us truly human? The kind of feeling that helps us understand how others are feeling so we can respond appropriately to the situation. Do we make assumptions that are not even true and go ahead to think the worst of people?

If you are like me, you are probably wincing a bit and thinking, yes, this is exactly the problem with today’s world. Not with me, of course… but in general. We feel good about having an explanation, especially one that conveniently makes us feel better about ourselves and places blame on other people.

The trend of narcissism has eaten deep into our social consciousness that most people associate it with a pattern of behaviour that includes a persistent need for admiration and a lack of empathy. If we, at this moment, try to humanize narcissism, we will observe that behind it is the fear of being ordinary; the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong or to cultivate a sense of purpose. These are baseless fears. The sooner we realize this, the better for us and the generation coming after us.

Photo CreditDreamstime

Kevwe Uwisike is a Communications Specialist; a lover of words, PR Girl, Social Media Enthusiast and Content Developer. You may reach her via email on [email protected]


  1. Ajala & Foodie

    March 4, 2018 at 6:54 am

    Personally, I think this sense of entitlement may have taken on a different form or evolved with changes with time and even technology I,e social media but it has always existed at least in my own experience in our society. My maternal grandparents have been separated for years. Long before my mum even knew who her dad was. My grandfather would fit the perfect definition of a narcissist, if everything was not about him, it was not good. My paternal grandfather believed it was the role of the first son to raise children (I.e the siblings) he (my grandfather) chose to have. With our parents generation, you see parents that believe the entire purpose of their children’s existence is to cater to their every need and wants. For example, a mother telling her son that she wants him to build her house when said son is still renting himself. We’ve all heard of in-laws that come to take over property once a spouse dies, if that’s not the sense of entitlement that has so eroded our society then I don’t know what it is.

    So when I see or hear the older generation talk about the sense of entitlement in the younger. I just laugh because truth be told, this sense of entitlement deal has existed for years and generations, the only thing that has changed is how it is expressed with each generation. So no author our generation of is not the only one dealing with entitlement issues, our entire society is.

    • Michy

      March 4, 2018 at 11:00 am

      Can I love your comment a trillion times? You wrote my mind. Our grandparents generation were the most entitled, they never admit they are wrong and there is always someone to blame for their actions never them. They expect to be worshiped not for their wisdom but for their age, need I mention that because they birthed you, your life should be a reflection of their likes and dislikes – how dare you disrespect them by having a life of your own after everything they did for you.

      Note to writer: They celebrated 80 years anniversary not because they are happy but because grandma couldn’t afford to pay her bills or didn’t want to be that woman that is not in her husband’s house.

  2. Jummy

    March 4, 2018 at 8:30 am

    Succinct and aptly put!

  3. Weezy

    March 4, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Speak for yourself abeg.

  4. hmm!

    March 4, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    My own question is how do you handle family including parents/parents in law, and siblings, who are so entitled, that they expect you to continue to support them when you are even struggling yourself. They want you to constantly send money to their accounts, when you have mounting unpaid bills, build them their own house and fund trips abroad. When you say you can’t right now, and give valid reasons even though you’ve helped tremendously in the past; they take offence and speak to you in an offensive manner and begin comparing you to other people’s children. The painful part is at that point in time, you are genuinely cash strapped but they don’t want to know. Oh it’s awful.

    • Ajala & Foodie

      March 4, 2018 at 3:09 pm

      @hmm, you are just going to have to set boundaries. Trust me you’d not be popular when you take this step but if you don’t, one day you’d look back and realize they are living the life while you are only their working machine.

      Speaking from experience my husband had to set boundaries a few years ago. When he first moved here to join me, before he even got a job, they asked for money “for rent”. Keep in mind he had given his mum a large sum of money for this reason prior to leaving but she had decided the money was hers. Or his little sister who keeps quitting her jobs that expects her 2 older siblings to pay for “trips” abroad.

      A couple of years ago, my husband decided it was enough!! I had lost my job, they were aware but not once did they ask how we were surviving knowing fully well, I was the one bringing home the bigger bacon. They were still asking for $$$. We stopped talking about anything that involved money with them, things one will love to celebrate with family like getting a new house, we don’t post vacation pictures anywhere they can see. Don’t get me wrong we still help them but we make sure they are needs not wants. First, only my parent-in-laws get money from us now. Sibling can get job if she wants to live the life. Parents get money quarterly and for housing and that’s it. Don’t worry he has gotten weird messages since he took this step but you know what? we had to do it. When you are unable to save towards your family’s / or your upkeep because money keeps going out, you will do what you need to do.

    • bbb

      March 4, 2018 at 3:26 pm


      I hope you get to read this and think through my two cents. I say think through because the dynamics of your family might make it difficult to implement.

      My advice, cut them off now!. You have unfortunately helped them to enable this entitlement mentality and if it does not stop now you would be dealing with much more worse situation in the long term. They are angry with you now is a good thing, stop communication except it is absolutely necessary. This is your chance to rebuild things and set things in order – which is giving when you have and not whenever they want it.

      If you continue to do their bidding you might find yourself taking illegal route to meet their needs.

      All the best

    • Na me talk am

      March 4, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      Do what I do and cut them off. Leverage the power of your foreign currency. Shocking I know but I did it and initially everyone thought I was mad and called me every name under the sun. They tried every form of emotional black mail known to man. I did not budge. I just refused to communicate with and accept insults from anyone who does/did not value me. After a year won sunki bi shaki. Now I do what I can on my own terms. The morale is to put yourself first. They have lived their life and you need to live yours. You can’t give from an empty cup.

    • Des

      March 6, 2018 at 4:31 am

      Hmm, sorry o. But na you start am. The message in this little phrase is: do not start what you can not end.

    • Manny

      March 7, 2018 at 8:51 pm

      @hmm! do what Ajala’s husband did. Don’t cut them off (you should definitely help your parents). Rather, establish a schedule for giving and stick to it. So say, Jan 1, Apr 1, Jul 1, Dec 1 you give them money for their needs. The only exceptions would be birthdays. When you do this and stick to it, they get the message.

  5. Hmm

    March 4, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    @ajala and ffodie I bet you don’t have any problem sending money to your own parents and siblings though .

    • Ajala & Foodie

      March 4, 2018 at 7:06 pm

      @ Hmm, I knew someone with this narrow mind set will come here. And in response to your silly statement . Nope, my parents Don’t ask us for anything!!! God has enabled them to actually be of help to us during our trying times. Yes, they gave us the little they could when times were tough. Except for buying gifts here and there (which we do my in-laws). I have never had to give my parents $$$. Can my in-laws help? O yea!!!

      My MIL is always visiting the country we reside in (she has a sister here) once every 6 months but not once as she brought even plantain chips for us. So spare me the your parents nonsense. For the purpose of full disclosure, I had nothing to do with my husband’s decision. We have always kept seperate accounts and have an agreement I would deal with my family and he with his. Do I support him? O yea!!! So keep your nasty presumptions to yourself!!!

    • Ajala & Foodie

      March 4, 2018 at 7:16 pm

      As for my siblings. Let’s just say they are the major backbone in ensuring i strive for more. Why? Because they both are doing way better than i am financially and career wise, and I love them for it!!! So trust me, I am not sending money to them either. I don’t need to.

    • Nate

      March 4, 2018 at 8:02 pm

      Thats what you understood from her comment…smh

  6. hmm!

    March 4, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Thanks so much guys; Ajala and foodie,bbb and Na me talk am your comments are very much appreciated. It’s true what they say ‘a problem shared is a problem half solved’.

  7. Mrs chidukane

    March 4, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    People have always been entitled. I agree with your comment. My husband’s mother will take the last thing you own because she birthed you and so you owe her. Like, she can just enter my kitchen and pack everything because its her son’s money. My mom will not ask for herself, she is a successful business woman but she expects you to just be dashing everyone money. As if you’re a cash machine. You’ll tell my mom,uncle this is coming to the house. ..OK,when he comes give him food,drinks and 20k for transport. Give this one that, dash this one this. My maternal uncle called us all sorts of names because we haven’t emptied our purse on his head. He doesn’t even care how you’re doing, what he knows is she lives in a big house so she should do it.

    • Anon

      March 5, 2018 at 4:22 pm

      Una social backgroung na wah.

  8. troublemakers everywhere

    March 4, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    @ COMMENTER 3:21P.M ; Be quiet you’re just a flipping trouble maker did you not read where she said she only sends to her parents -in-law for now while her own parents receive from her on a quarerly basis ? Flipping small minded troublemaker.

  9. Meee

    March 4, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    Thank God for all the comments here. Dear Precious, narcissism did not start from today o, even in the context you are putting it (relationship/marriage) it has always been there. Like a commenter above said, women stayed in a bad marriage mainly because of lack of funds or the fear of the stigma. Most women are now empowered and don’t care about being a single mum so that could be a reason they are not ready to tolerate what our ‘elders’ tolerated. Social media has also sort of put people on the spotlight making it appear that we are more narcissistic, but na lie. E don tey…. At least this generation of parents do not put expectations on their kids and even manage the number of kids they have (the educated ones at least)

  10. Anonymous

    March 5, 2018 at 3:25 am

    You guys are sooo right. Our parents’ (I’m almost 50) generation is the most entitled ever. They just managed to hide it under the veneer of culture. I’m supposed to pay bills they didn’t ask before they incurred and I’m not a good child if I insist on preparing for my own imminent retirement. Never mind that age discrimination is global and you have to be sensible enough to do that. Our children’s generation are not being raised to pay our pension so if you like don’t plan your retirement.

    The sense of entitlement even extends to in laws. Some in laws even in our generation are sooooo entitled. A sister in law feels entitled to live with her married brother because the brother seems successful not minding the impact living with a couple will have on the marriage. Some even get mad when you try to set boundaries and like the earlier commenters said, you won’t be popular if you set boundaries. A sister in law embarking on a trip wants to come and conveys the information a day before jetting out but gets upset when told she cannot stop by. Can’t people have their own plans? Are you entitled to barge in at short notice? Or everyone should switch plans to accommodate our culture of entitlement.

    The truth is that nobody owes anyone anything but we owe God everything as all Good and perfect gift comes from God. Be grateful for anything given you by any relation or friend and don’t say things like “$100 Pere” ( meaning ” only $100). That person had to have earned about $130 to 150 to get you the $100 after tax. Interestingly the only institution people should be entitled to expect from is totally non functional in Nigeria and folks are not up in protest. Rather it’s their relative that should pay their social security and housing bills. Section 8 housing recipients here get it from the government. They also get their WIC and Food Stamps from the GOVERNMENT. Your brother or sister owes you nothing but love. Everything they do or give is extra, thank them for it.

    • Buhari Bu Ndi Ojor

      March 5, 2018 at 4:19 pm

      Thank you o. My husband’s distant cousin came to my job to say she has a gynae problem and can she use my coy’s medicals? I said no. Now, my org is a multi National with own medical facility on site. I am a popular jingo so how are you going to impersonate me? Even if I am not, how do you want to jeopardize my source of livelihood like that? I heard She called me wicked. She also stopped being friendly.

      Same woman brought her raggedy looking brother to my job to demand I help with employment. See me see whahala. Dude made a third and they wanted me to give him a job in an organisation where I am ONLY an employee.

      I tire for Nigerians. Or Is it my cousin that said he wanst ONLY 60k to buy a bus. That word ONLY gave me instant headache. Ofcourse I did not oblige. Same people will ask you down the line how you managed your life.

  11. The real dee

    March 5, 2018 at 9:38 am

    I think the narcissism of social media has nothing to do with entitlement but VALIDaTION. The need to be seen as living the life, the need to receive validation from others have turned them to narcissist.

    Now to the entitlement, as everyone has stated here, the older generation is even more entitled than the younger generation. Those who are young and have this entitlement mentality are lazy, manipulative people who have refused to do anything for themselves but will rather leech on others and feel you are obligated to help them. For example, some debtors have an entitlement mentality, how can you borrow money from somebody and the person requests the money after weeks of refusing to pay back and the debtor starts insulting the lender?. I remember a coworker that lent someone 700k and because the person is her family member, he felt he could hold on to the money and pay back at his convenience, meanwhile she was cash strapped.

    As for the older generation, I think your family background matters, that’s why I believe it’s better to marry within your social strata, exception will be where the family is noble eventhough there’s no money. I don’t see comfortable parents/ grandparents feeling entitled to their children’s money,in fact, rather than demand, they give. So if you come from a family that’s well to do and then your partners family is an ojuorolari i.e they are just waiting for their child to make it so the entire family can leech on that child, then be ready for some entitlement. You can’t avoid it. Like yorubas will say, the only rich man in a family of many poor people will soon become poor himself.

  12. Sanmi

    March 9, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    THis is an interesting read! That comment about a mother asking her son to build a house for her when he obviously lives in a rented apartment is so hilarious! Sounds like what we can watch in Igbo films. *no disrespect please o before y’all come for me.
    In other news, Bella Naija, you people should have edited this write up well na. There were mild grammatical errors that should not have slipped by you.
    Next time, please pay attention.

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