Life is in stages. No matter where you are now, you definitely started from somewhere. At some points, you were irrelevant; the society doesn’t really care what you did with your life. As life is in stages, so also life exists in generations.
The generation we are in presently, is pretty different from the generation that existed 150 years ago. The scientists call this ‘Evolution’. No matter what, people learn to accept the changes and move on. When we talk about moving on, the developed countries have little or no worries at all. But to my dear African parents, they just want things to remain the way they were. They don’t want anything to change at all.
This is not just from my own point of view, as we all can see the evidences from everything happening around us on a daily basis. I want to boldly say this without any form regret or whatsoever that, we the younger generation are not meant to right the wrongs of our older generations.
A typical African parent should learn to live with his/her mistakes and not expecting his/her children to right their wrongs. This is what we refer to as taking responsibility for their past actions. Let’s take for instance, a father who tried everything possible to become a medical doctor but couldn’t. He then vowed to make one of his children pick up the mantle he didn’t earn. To me that’s not fair enough. A child is born with his/her own dreams. He/she is born with a fresh mandate far different from any other mandate to have existed. Forcing your children to do the things you couldn’t do while you were young is cruel and total wickedness.
Let’s face it; African parents are not that supportive of career plans and dreams of their ward especially when it’s outside the box. I could remember my parents always telling me to study hard in school get good grades, which will automatically warrantee me getting a good job and live a happy life. Am glad that right from my teenager days they gave me room to experiment with entrepreneurship, fail multiple businesses, and make a lot of unreasonable investments that yields no income (seriously, am grateful for all these).
I recall the long hours in primary school where the teacher who claims to know it all and to have seen it all would ask the class, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and answer; “cinematographer or a researcher” wasn’t an accepted answer. Those of us with this kind of odd answers usually get a knock on our heads. I could remember vividly when a certain teacher in my primary school days asked me this particular question and I said, “I want to be a pilot” her response was downhearted as she said “How? No university offers Pilot as a course. Will you seat down there”. I was young; all I needed was some guidance and exposure. But she couldn’t be of any assistance; instead she massaged away my dream.
For months now I’ve been battling with this context trying to find out why the African parents can be so cruel to their wards and what I believe to be the reason or one of the reasons behind this is a bit of a long story and should actually be three separate articles.
The following ideas I will discuss will definitely shear more light on the subject matter. Trust me on this
WHY AFRICAN PARENTS HARDLY BELIEVE IN YOUR DREAM
In simple terms, the answer is in the difference in how our parent’s generation and how our generation was raised, and the opportunities that exists now, and the main reason is colonialism. Or rather our escape from it. All in all we are still pretty much colonized in one way or the other- that’s a rant for another article.
You see, the vast majority of Africa countries all obtained their independence around the same time from 1960s-1980s. This is exactly around the same time most of the parents of this generation were born. The Africa we live in today is vastly different from the Colonial Africa, as we are now mixed up with the generation that was sometimes in captivity and the generation born into freedom.
During the colonial era, according to history you can’t get a job without going to school. This was the system introduced to us by the white people. This ideology really sank into the memory of our then captive parents. This is how they were raised and this is why they can’t be too comfortable to believe in your dream of been a cinematographer, while you can be a doctor and in fact during their own days, been a cinematographer wasn’t a dream at all. They don’t believe it’s possible because to them choosing a career path like that is a risk with no guarantee. You can’t really blame them because they grew up differently, in a world where it wasn’t possible to speak to someone thousands of miles away in a live video conversation and also get to transfer money across the globe without moving an inch from your home. To them, this is all witchcraft!
YOU SHOULDN’T BLAME YOUR PARENTS
Most parents don’t chose to be cruel intentionally. If your parents are not in support of your dream, it’s probably not out of hatred for you. They were born in a different time, a different world. They’re probably just doing what they believe is best for you, which is keeping you focused on your education and other social institution (like religion), so that you could right their wrongs and achieve those things they could not.
Well, to some extent this obviously means they’re been good parents and trying to bring the best out of you and you should be grateful. That’s a gift most people are craving for.
BUT YOU SHOULD PURSUE YOUR DREAM NO MATTER WHAT
Now you owe it to yourself and the rest of us in some ways to make sure that your dreams come true. I’m not saying you should quit schooling or drop your resignation letter, be practical and logical.
I don’t know of the magical word to say to you that could motivate you not to give up on your dream, I just know that it doesn’t take much to find the information on how it’s done and from personal experience, getting started is always the hardest part. You don’t need to worry about how everything will pay off or about what happens next. Anything good in life requires hard work and perseverance.
Your life is your own and you’ve got yourself to impressed because you will be the one looking back 50-60 years from now thinking about the things you ought to have done and by then your parents might be long gone. Stay focused and never stops finding ways to make your dreams become a reality.