After reading the Emannuel Adebayor story, I was left wondering how much we would do in name of family. Adebayor accuses his mother, brothers and sisters of using him for his money. He says his family has been ungrateful despite having tried everything by his means to empower them economically. Just to think that his family already has a plan in place on how to distribute his wealth in case he dies is really disheartening.
Why would one bite the hand that feeds him/her? Honestly how far would you go to accommodate those who are tied to you through blood?
Adebayor’s situation is just a common phenomenon in our African culture where you find that the success of a child simply means looking after the whole clan. No wonder years later, the person who is perceived as the achiever in the family will have nothing to his name.
Yes as children we are supposed to take care of our parents once we start working but it can only be done within one’s means. Children achieve differently but that does not give the green light to create or encourage dependency syndrome in the family.
Lending out money or giving financial support to family members and relatives is often an emotional experience. Nevertheless, I think that we should try to handle the situation as objectively as possible. By letting our emotions and pity control our decisions, we could end up in our own financial mess.
Relating to Adebayor’s story, Sabine Ochinanwanta says “I could tell similar stories about some young men who came to Germany in the 1980’s to work hard (eventually illegal), they sent money home to Nigeria for a good living for their families. Some also could afford to send cars, for families to use them for business but nothing came out. One young man worked 16 hours a day with no break for months because his mother told him she was building a house and company for him. He sent all his money and after three years when he came “home” to Benin City his mother shouted at him: You are an Idiot; you live a fine life in Europe and think we shouldn’t live good like you. Yes, we all ate your money and there is no house”. What can I say? This young man came back to Germany, told me about what happened to him. Two weeks later he hung himself in his flat,”
Again, my close friend explained that many people were living lies as they were going an extra mile to please their families.
“Many people are living lies. The people we give have become very selfish. They never care for others. What a cruel world. Our families can be very strange. I believe in empowerment and no one should receive money. They must work for it,” she said.
However, some people are of the view that this trend only happens in Africa. General King Faisai reacts on Facebook saying, “This only happens in Africa, white people won’t depend on brother, sister, father or mother but rather work to achieve. This is why we are not progressing “when you start to make it, they want to bring you down. The whole family becomes a burden, lazy and demanding always. The moment you fail to give, you are a bad person. Let’s put riches aside ,in Africa even the poor are killed in the family over mere stuffs like land and inheritance issues. Hatred, greediness and envy is affecting many families. We hate to see our fellow brother progress,”
Frank Gashumba who lives in Uganda says he has been through the same situation and has paid a heavy prize for his generosity to the family.
“I live in Uganda and have gone through the same. The more you give them, the more they ask for more. Give them your main house, they will demand for a servant’s quota. I have paid a heavy price for that. The worst regret we have in life, is not for the wrong things we do, but for the thousands of right things we do for the wrong people,” he says.
In all this one really wonders the role of parents but one writer says, parents must realize that their responsibility towards a child does not end till death.
“ As your child grows, your role as a parent changes. You do not bring a child into the world as an insurance policy or a pension fund. You do not expect your child to pay you for taking care of him,” Maame Darkowaa says.
I think as hard as it maybe to say no to family, there is need to draw up the line. Many people end up with huge resentment for their families. What has happened to people being united by love?
I generally think that it is best to offer support in another way such as helping family to find income opportunities and teaching them financial responsibility.
To restate a famous saying, “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime. But teach a man to sell fish and he will eat steak.”
What are your thoughts about this topic?
The writer writes in her own capacity. Till we meet again, Aunt Dolly.