This post is the concluding part of the my Thoughts on the Good Old Days which I posted on Thursday the 28th of November 2013. if you have not read Part 1 you can read it here at http://wp.me/p2dACR-3m.Feel free to enjoy it and share it with your friends, comments will also be much appreciated
So you want to go back to the “good old days”? I wish you luck, because you are going to need it when as a woman you want to convince your uneducated father to send you to school, and then he looks at you like you just asked for a piece of his soul and says: “why should I waste my money to send you to school, when after the whole thing you’ll end up in another man’s kitchen?”If you are lucky not to end up in an uneducated family, well that is great because then, you must be prepared for an endeavor where you are not likely to find any encouragement because there are only a few people like you, and the opposite gender are secretly resentful of you for not staying in the kitchen where you belong, and intruding on what they think is their turf. You must be ready for not being able to date the guy you fancy, because his mother had drummed it into his ears to avoid university girls because they are loose, rude and proud. Anytime you visit home, the names of your friends who are now married will inevitably crop up in every conversation because your relatives would keep “wondering aloud” why you have not been able to do the same since you are a graduate and you have a job. And when you finally get married don’t resent it when your husband inevitably refuses to let you work that it took quite some time for men of the time period (educated or not ) to warm up to the idea of women’s rights and girl child emancipation
I listened to a radio programme a few weeks ago, where Adetoun Ogunseye, the first female professor in Nigeria, pointed out that Nigeria’s education standards started to fall, when the Government decided to take over schools from the missionaries, because they felt the missionary run schools were too elitist. It seems that even in the utopia called “the good old days” education was still beyond the reach of the common man, a situation similar to the issue of private universities today. It was an era when Universities were elitist institutions where, your parents were either rich enough to send you, or you were exceptionally brilliant enough to get in. If you didn’t have the grace of either, you worked and starved to send yourself, or you cut your dream to fit your situation. It seems the good old days was not the education utopia our parents often describe it as after all.
My rant is not to berate the likes of Soyinka or other people who demand for social equality who use that time period as an example to demand justice and accountability from the current generation of leaders. My rant today is not claiming that our generation is morally or even intellectually superior to theirs. We also have our own problems. This piece doesn’t change the fact that ASUU has being on strike for five months and Mr Nyesom Wike is now threatening to sack all of them (how he’ll manage that is up to him and his boss though). it is not ignoring the fact that some people are going to suffer needless injuries, and still end up with fake stuff because of Black Friday, 500 million naira fuel subsidy removal fund has gone missing, or that President of Nigeria Mr Goodluck Jonathan decided God no longer lives in Nigeria and had to go to Israel to look for him, or that five nPDP governors have defected to APC, in what could prove to be the beginning of the largest instance of carpet crossing ever. This piece is not oblivious to the fact that Rick Ross somehow believes we all like his shirtless body, or that some people now have the belief that their life should be determined by the number of people who follow them on twitter. this writer certainly saddened that two grown up men took time out to rain abuses on each other on twitter over a stolen song, and he is still bewildered by the fact that Tonto Dikeh is still as white as ever, and still in our faces no matter how fervently we try to wish her away.
In Anne Rice’s The Queen Of The Damned, Armand, the immortal vampire caught in the 20th century notes “…. the public has no meaning of anything, every social problem is observed in relation to ‘norms’ which in fact never existed, people fancy themselves deprived of ‘luxuries’ and peace and quiet which in fact was never common to any people to anywhere at all”. The truth is no matter how much you wish for the “good old days”, no matter how much the older generation make us wistful about them. The truth is life has never been perfect and it will never be. This is our time, this is our own generation and this is our chance to make it right, what we have in our hands are the tools to make it right. As the Yoruba will say: “If the child falls, he looks forward, if the adult falls he looks backwards.” Be careful what you wish for because you may not like it when you get it.