I sat so close yet managed a few distance from my father as the Master of Ceremony kept calling out the awards in the midst of applause. My feet were beginning to shake uncontrollably as I looked at my dad. I remembered boasting to him that I would get nothing less than two awards, like I always did but at thar point, I felt I won’t make him proud.
The most baffling thing was that teachers never stopped talking about my exceptional lifestyle in respect to culture, background and character, which also made me the favourite of many, yet the award of the most disciplined student had just been given to another colleague of mine who no doubt, is a highly respectable boy. I knew I shouldn’t hate on someone else success but I couldn’t help the fact that I was so confident in myself, that I even made my father sacrifice all he had to do, just to be at the awards and prize giving ceremony in my school.
I felt a sharp and intense look from my father as the Master of Ceremony announced that the last award of the day was to be presented by the representative of the Commissioner of Education. “Finally, the award of the Most Outstanding Student of the Year goes to Adebiyi Modupeoluwa”. The sound of my name jerked me back to the present, as I felt my father’s hand push me from my seat. I walked shyly in the middle of a standing ovation as memories flooded my head. Memories of times when I was beaten for speaking wrongly to an older neighbour, times when my father would publicly disgrace me for dressing indecently , times I would be forced to sit listening to his boring but useful advice, times when I would find myself asking why he has to do all those things to me and right there. When I got the award, all those things made perfect sense to me. “ I am what I am today because I am a proud, full blooded AFRICAN CHILD” I said, looking at my father who was beaming with joy and pride.
In Africa, success is a Requirement
In Africa, success is your Definition
In Africa, success is the REAL Deal.
The question many have been unable to readily answer is, what defines success? Academic Excellence or Career Fulfilment?
It is funny how many African parents react to their children at their prize giving ceremonies , especially when their child gets a prize that they consider lower to other prizes, for example, “best in Yoruba”. Lol. They most times make it seem as if, any child who doesn’t get those special prizes such as best in mathematics is not brilliant enough. Why don’t you just ignore these other children and concentrate on your own child. Have you ever asked your child what subject he finds most interesting or Which is giving him problem? Have you ever asked what he wants to become in future and why? Have you ever taken out time to go through her assignments without being asked to?
If you don’t do this, you shouldn’t be out there, castigating the effort of these children
What happens when they don’t even bring home any gift? It’s like a death warrant, in fact, they are in soup already all through the holidays. But, come to think of it, can all children get a gift? No! You ask why your own child can’t be the one to get it? Well, maybe because there is more to parenthood than you are giving to him. Before you judge your child, look at yourself. Don’t hide under the umbrella of making money Because it doesn’t match up with your responsibility as a parent. Before you beat up your child, ask yourself how many of your colleagues who got many gifts are living comfortably? Don’t get me wrong, academic excellence is important, but the focus should be on making the child better, rather than finding a relief for your betterment through the child.
- One question I expect us to ask ourselves, especially the parents among us, is… If academic excellence is all there is to success, will I be where I am today?
Always remember that life, success and fulfilment goes beyond the four corners of a school. It is time to rebuild our ideologies, it is time to revive our mentality. It is time to re-brand our sanity. It is time to realize that, it only makes sense if a child graduate from the four walls of a school into the four walls of self fulfilment… Than to leave school and be sorting for self discovery.
BUILD YOUR CHILD,DON’T BREAK THEM