Chioma Obii-Obioha: I’ve been told that public display of affection is not “part of our culture” – Really? (30 Days, 30 Voices)

Let us promote a culture of love. It is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it is exactly what we need.

I am extremely passionate about seeing Nigerian men (and all African men, for that matter) evolve in their mindsets as it concerns family. Too many times, our men are challenged to make more money, be more educated and be amazing businessmen, but how many times have you seen them challenged on issues of fatherhood and spousehood? How many times have you walked the streets and seen fathers engrossed in the care of their children or showing public affection for their wives? I dare say it doesn’t happen often.

I’ve had this conversation with people in the past and I’ve been told that public displays of affection are not “part of our culture.” Really? Okay, then! If it isn’t part of “our culture”, why is it that on any given day, you can find hundreds of (useless) aristos pursuing and “romancing” a random girl who is clearly not a wife? See what I mean? The culture excuse annoys me because many things were done in the past in our respective cultures but have since been stopped with the realization that they are very destructive. I certainly don’t know of anyone who still throws twins into the “Evil Forest”, but that was once common practice among the Igbos.

A society in which men are expected to be unfaithful and emotionally unavailable to their wives and children will never be progressive. This type of mindset creates individuals who eventually become tomorrow’s sexual harassers, misogynists, and degenerates and who continue a vicious cycle that they don’t know how to break because there is no place to begin.

How can a girl really understand what kind of man she deserves if she has seen her father abuse her mother, be blatantly unfaithful to her, and show that the only role a father plays is a financial one? How can a boy ever learn how to respect a woman if he has been brought up with the view that it is perfectly normal for a “man” to beat his wife, have mistresses, and only provide for his children financially? How can he learn that a real man knows how to apologize when he needs to – not just to his wife but to his children too?

It is important for us to ask ourselves: what are our children really learning about the role a man plays in this world, particularly within his family? Children need physical examples to learn. They learn best by watching and not by listening; yet, it doesn’t seem that are many role models for them to learn from. Even the movies that are produced seem to glorify this sort of behavior: “bad boy” rapes and pillages his way through life until he meets a girl and marries; constant images of domestic violence as the norm for marriages; and so on. This needs to end!

Though the everyday person is a great role model, I would also love to see more Nigerian male celebrities as examples in this area. With the frequency with which they are photographed, talked about and admired, it would be amazing to see them publicly adore their wives and dote on their children. What a difference that would make!

Instead of continually placing all responsibilities squarely on the shoulders of women and holding them up to impossible standards, let the men rise to the challenge. The winds of change are blowing in Nigeria; the change needs to be as much psychological and emotional as it is physical and economical.

Let us promote a culture of love. It is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it is exactly what we need.


About the author: Chioma Obii-Obioha is determined to be the best Christian, woman, wife, and change maker she can be. She is passionate about celebrating African men who are great husbands and fathers and promoting a culture of love. 


Editor’s note: Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Comments (2)

  1. Lovely!! Thanks Chioma for promoting LOVE in our culture xo

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail