Samuel A. Ogungbemi
Today, I join the rest of the world to celebrate the liberation of women and their remarkable contributions to reshaping the global world. There is no doubt that the world is not complete without the existence of women. Little wonder women are tagged with “the salt of the earth.” In the beginning, God knows that man was not sufficient to occupy the earth, hence He said, “it is not good for the man to live alone”. A woman is not just for companionship and fellowship but would be most useful for family and nation building. Behind great men mightily used in life are women who painstakingly stood by them.
For the past 100 years, the 8th of March each year is set aside to commemorate the International Women’s Day. This is to showcase the impact of women all over the globe. In this article, I shall carefully examine the spiritual, social, educational and cultural roles of Nigerian’s women in raising Godly children. Nigeria will ever be grateful to God for blessing the nation with vast number of agile, creative, responsible, futuristic and promising children and youths. Though there are still some weeds among the tares of our population, made up of mostly women and children. This population dynamics has been so from creation of the universe.
The progress of any country depends on the strength of its family life and the Godly living and concern of its people. Thus, we should keep praying for God’s blessings on the family life of our homes, communities and the nation to bring up our children in the fear of God. No nation with good intention would want to see her resources on children and youth wasted. Therefore, the women folk in this country, in these days of high degree of immorality, cultism, gangsterism, drug-abuse, sexual pervasion, gross indiscipline, yahoo-yahoo plus syndrome, children trafficking, and many other vices threatening to completely destroy our children, should be our hope for tomorrow.
The women gender should therefore not fold their hands and see our children and youth being destroyed through avoidable lust and desire for mundane things, God forbid bad thing. Time is now ripe that Nigerian women should put all their resources together and salvage the lives of our children and put them on the right track of development, achievement and innovation. At this juncture, who is a godly child? A godly child is a child who has the fear of God-his creator, has good conscience devoid of offence. He can discern evil from good, do to others what he will like others to do to himself, loves his neighbour like himself, accepts or takes defeat in good faith, smiles in sorrow , imbibes sound and good training from his parents, guardian and others in the community.
A godly child is obedient, apt to corrections, law abiding, a good citizen, an epitome of role model, lover of his nation, eager to serve his nation with all faithfulness and selflessness, able and willing to show good examples that are profitable. Every woman as mother must be self-disciplined and cultured to enable her has impact on her ward because an adage says “he who will offer one a cap of honour, must first of all see what he puts on.” In other words, you do not give what you do not have.
A woman is obliged to first of all inculcate the fear of God into her children, that is to train her children in the way they should go, and when they are old, they will not depart from it. This is the first spiritual responsibility of all parents. There is greatness and virtue in every woman that trains her children to become an asset to the nation.
It is the role of a mother to train her ward socially, spiritually and educationally. “Be not deceived, evil communication corrupts good morals.” Mothers should monitor the movement of their wards, in school, place of worship, social gathering, in and out of the house.
It is also the role of a mother to give her wards sound education. Qualitative and quantitative education is fundamental human right of a child. Though the government has a civic role to play by creating conducive atmosphere for quality education for every Nigeria child that will make them fit squarely into the larger society all over the world. According to United Natiosn Children Fund (UNICEF), 40 per cent of Nigeria girls do not attend any primary school, while female adult literacy rate (ages 15 and above) for the country stands at 59.4 per cent in comparison to the male adult literacy rate of 74.4 per cent. In view of this, the women must aim at deliberately providing conducive atmosphere to enhance quality and affordable education for their female wards.
The government at all levels must also legally forbid school age children roaming or selling petty things along the streets during school hours. Every child must have access to quality basic education at no cost or affordable cost. Cultural training of a child must also not be left out. There are no people without culture– the way of life, the beliefs, customs, art and traditions. Every tribe in Nigeria is blessed with tradition and culture.
Today, it is sad to see that western culture has almost wiped away our own culture in this nation. It is the absolute role of a woman to indoctrinate the good culture of our land into her children. Today, it is worrisome and appalling the way our women wear and exhibit nude dressing all over, even in places of worship (churches/mosques). The clothes meant to cover their nakedness are designed to even expose them. The present hair-do of our females, nowadays have wiped out Nigeria’s good culture of platting of hair of the good olden days. How many of the western ladies now imbibe our culture?
Male children are not also left out of drifting from our good culture. Of recent, our male children have also drifted from our rich cultures and now put on nasty hair-cuts. This calls for serious concern by mothers and all concerned people in our society. Our rich culture has almost been thrown into dustbin. Nigeria women should wake up and be alive to their responsibilities before it is too late.
The women in collaboration with some NGOs should rise up and educate our children correctly, both male and female on ethical and moral issues. Women who are lawyers and lawmakers should form a formidable team to fight against rape. Cases of such horrible and animalistic behaviours of men without conscience should be handled expeditiously. The Chibok girls and Leah Shaibu should be released from the bondage of Boko Haram.
With God, all things are possible. Women of drive and will have a tremendous transforming power over the lives of their children and they should not relent in this responsibilities. As mothers, they should re-dedicate themselves towards improving the quality of life of their children if we must have a virile nation and better tomorrow.
Ogungbemi writes from Ibadan