- The Storried Platform
TIRED OF BEING A MAN – By Adegbe Samson
“You are a useless man, Nonso. I don’t even know why I fell in love with you. Look at your mates, living in big houses and driving the best of cars, but ours is different. Even our little boy can’t go to school, You are a disgrace!” She said in tears.
I could feel her pain through the words and insults, and I’ve been so grateful to her for being patient with me this far. But what she never knew was the problem that was eating me up. I wanted to console her, but she wouldn’t give me the chance to do so. I had to leave the house, just like every other man and think about my problem.
Being the last child in the family of nine, I was the most loved. I was born into abject poverty that my father had to send my brother and me to primary school through the bride prices of my sisters he saved over the years. And that was the only education I ever had. I could remember those days, where I’ll call all of my friends and tell them how my future would be, where I will marry the most beautiful girl in the world, eat rice and stew every day, drive the latest car, where in fact I had never seen a black man drive a car in my village. And they all had theirs to say too, but I made sure mine was more distinctive and better than theirs. Those were the things that made those days beautiful.
And now, the future is upon us. I don’t know if any of us achieved all we said then, but for me, I achieved none of it. My plans to enter Form 1 after our primary school days came to a halt when my uncle, who was to pay my transition fee, suddenly refused and said, we were all boys, and that we should go to the farm. I cried and pleaded with him, but he refused and when I pleaded with my father to speak to him on my behalf, he still refused. My world came to an end when my father told me I’m a man and I don’t need school anymore. That was how my dream was buried in gender belief.
Ever since then, I’ve farmed throughout my life with little or no successes. I have always been at the mercies of seasons. Both day and night, even when the weather is cold or hot, I have to work for my family to eat, even for my extended family. My last maize plantation didn’t do too well in the previous year and that was why my wife was complaining because nothing was at home. But I don’t have who to complain to because the society believes I am a man and I don’t need help, and I’m strong to do all because it’s my duty even when I’m sick and situations beyond me make me fail. I should still take the blame because I am a man.
That is why anytime I see a boy, I show some compassion for him because the route to becoming a man is not as easy and smooth as he may be thinking. It is all about hard work, sacrifice and patience, confirming all my father told me a long time ago.
“Nonso, Nonso, so you are back?”
I didn’t know I was almost at the entrance of my house not until my wife called me.
“I’m tired of a being a man,” I said almost crying.
“But it’s an honor being one,” She replied smiling.
She walked towards me and gave me a hug. That was all I needed for that moment.
By Adegbe Samson
“You are a useless man, Nonso. I don’t even know why I fell in love with you. Look at your mates, living in big houses and driving the best of cars, but ours is different.