"ARE YOU MAD? WHERE ARE MY CHILDREN?"


My French friend has married to a Nigerian guy in 2011 and they don't have a child yet. They have gone to Nigeria a few month ago and the first thing my friend's  husband's mum said to her is "Are you mad? Where are my children?"

In most Nigerian culture the first child is expected from the couple almost immediately after the wedding. Additional to that the birth of male children is still the source of pride and honour in Nigeria, while that of female children is seen as failure. Sometimes this desire for a male child has resulted in husbands pressuring their wives to have more children. 

I was extremely lucky that my first son arrived very quickly. It was only after his first birthday that my mother in law "asked for " a second baby.

Now I have some peaceful time expecting my second child soon. However it took me a while to understand all this pressure. 

An average Nigerian does anything to have a male child, who will carry on the family name in the society. Some female children also retain their family name, even in marriage, to preserve their father’s name.

Secondly the pressure for economic survival has made people to become desperate for a boy.

Some parents expect their children to play a major role in the family up-keep. Up to 65 percent of the Nigeria’s population live below the poverty line, according to the Nigerian Economic Summit held in the country’s administrative capital, Abuja, recently.

If you are married to a Nigerian my advice is just try to understand the culture and take it easy. Bless you!



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