So, do you have siblings? “Yes I do! Two sisters” Oh, you’re three girls? “Yes”. No brothers?
First, let’s take a selfie 😂
Growing up in an african home that was not so conformed to cultural expectations really helped shape the way I perceive a complete family. Although I have 3 biological sisters, we were never alone in that my parents always brought in children to care for as their own, some related to us and some unrelated. So in a way, I would say I have about 12+ siblings. Each one, is family. When people first meet my sisters and I, they would always be a little amazed that we’re “just girls”. Few times we might get the odd ” aww no brother?”. To us, we never felt like we did not have brothers, because our home was always full and we were enough for my parents.
1. Why do Africans lowkey believe a girl child is not enough?
It’s not rare to find families with 8+ girls, where it just seems the family is not complete unless there is a boy. Some husbands go to the extent of marrying another wife just to have a boy child. Or ridicule their wife, calling her names as if they can even conceive half a child. Maybe this mentality has been around from when our nations were governed by kingdoms. And so a male child was seen as more valuable – heir to a throne. Or perhaps it’s a thing of carrying on ones surname. But it goes beyond just the birth of a boy. It goes into upbringing and education. It’s scary how till date, in a family where there a more girls than male children, the boys will be sent to get an education, while the girls learn a trade or be groomed for marriage. These things are still happening!
This backward mentality is so engraved in African culture that even women look down on each other. You’ll find a fellow woman, feeling like she’s made it in life because she has 4 boys, while another with 1 girl child may be feeling sorry for herself. There is a sense of pride attached to boy children from birth. While girls only gain this pride from their communities once they accomplish something.
But the world is beginning to realise just how valuable a girl child is. African women are defying all odds and taking up every leadership position you can think of. Even in impoverished places, girl children are sustaining their families. Please, hear me, a girl child is enough. A boy child is enough. Children are a gift from God. Let’s stop this backward mentality and be grateful for what God gifts.
2. Why don’t Africans Adopt?
Totally unrelated to the first point about girls😂, because my adopted siblings are actually mostly girls too😂.
I’ve always been passionate about orphan care/ Outreach, and so I’ve spent a lot of time volunteering in orphanages in South Africa and Cameroon. And each time I visit these homes, I always wonder how their stories will end. If they will ever experience what it’s like to be in a family – have someone to call mom & dad.
Picture details : House of hope orphanage, Mbengwi, Bamenda, Cameroon 2016. Outreach, Fun day & Motivational talks.
No child asks to be born into the circumstances they are born into. I do applaud the fact that in most African homes, families take in a relatives child to sponsor. So whoever is brought in is only within the extended family. But then I ask myself, what then happens to orphans who are in orphanages with literally no extended families to take them in?
Picture Details : Indawo Yethemba – IsiZulu Language (Meaning, Place of hope). End of year Christmas party 2016.
Surely these children also deserve homes? Sometimes I get annoyed when I see a family with 8+ biological children all from one mother. I understand in the past this was normal. But in this day and age I won’t lie that it annoys me. Instead of having so many children of your own, why not have 3 children, adopt 1 and then take in another family members child, if you really want a big family. Instead of conceiving 8 children of your own!
There are kids out there who need homes! It also doesn’t help that there is some stigma attached to bringing in a child that is unknown to ones extended family. People will start saying ” why are you bringing in a strange child when this or that cousin has a child in the village who needs help”.We need to push pass these backward mentalities. Adoption shouldn’t only happen when you can’t have children. Adopt because you want to give a child a home, if you have the resources to do so, regardless of whether you have a child or not.
Yes Mordecai and Esther were related, but the point is, he ushered her into her destiny by taking her in. And received honour from the king later on. How do you treat other people’s children? Do you want to be a destiny influencer?
This one was from the heart cause family is everything to me. The one I grew up in, and the one I’ll have one day by God’s grace.