Life Talk

“Spare the rod and spoil the child.” That verse has led to the abuse of millions of children in Africa. There’s no difference between an African home and an army barrack.

There’s no difference between an African home and an army barrack. A soldier and a child both share the same fate. Both have duties they must carry out and if they fail or make any mistake? An apology does not suffice. Discipline is the only way. What love is to a soldier in the barracks is also love to a child in a home. Love is shelter, food, education, and clothes. Yeah, that’s the so-called love. “Yes sir,” says the Child and the soldier and that’s it. Don’t ask stupid questions but how will the child or the soldier know what’s stupid in the eyes of their commander?

Am I taking it too far? Comparing a child to a soldier. A home to the barracks. Fathers to commanders. Have you ever seen a typical African parent discipline their child? Have you seen what a typical African father would call the ideal child? One who obeys and doesn’t complain. Do what you’re told. Don’t make mistakes or you’ll get punished.
Let’s row down the years to when I was much younger. Keep in mind that this is a true story about a father who felt his child was sleeping around and bringing him bad luck. Oh, and by the way, he never sat this female child down to talk. To understand if it was true. Commanders/Fathers have no time for communication. Few words, more action. “Daddy is coming” is a warning, not something to get excited about. Beware!!! Fathers come back from work. They get greeted by their children and that’s it. The next time the child hears from the father is when the child does something wrong and needs to be punished. Oh, father the punisher. Frank Castle on duty. Anyway back to the story. The man thought the child brought bad luck and so this fostered a strong hatred in his mind for this female child. He would flog her and the abuses would drench her like rain in June. But if that was all, it would have been good. But on this unfaithful day, after a stressful day at school. This child strolled back home without knowing her father’s disciplinary measure had just graduated to its peak. Like Lionel Messi against Eibar, he was set to unleash his skills. He waited for her to get home and began his usual chatter. Then he tied her to a pole with a rope and flogged her all night. This was the highest case of child abuse I had ever witnessed. He flogged this child to the point where her clothes began to stick to the cane. Sores, she had developed. All in the name of discipline. How could a FATHER ever do this to his beloved child? Was he trying to come up with another crucifixion story apart from Jesus’? Or is that just how soldiers are raised.
And these kids grow up and think abuse is the only way to raise a child. Soldier come, soldier goes. The barracks remain.

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