I am not one of those girls that is in a hurry to get married or thinks about getting married 24/7. I am not saying it is a bad thing but a recent incident gave me an inclination of how my parents would react if I were ready and brought a man to them.
So there’s this guy that ‘loves’ me and said he wants to meet my parents, just so they know him and he doesn’t feel like he’s being sneaky or anything. No problem right? WRONG! On paper he seems picture perfect and in fact he has everything I could possibly want in a man (if I was looking to get serious and marry). I discovered that it is not enough for you to like someone that has all the characteristics you want because your parents could see things completely differently, from what you see in him. I discovered that the cultural bias and stereotyping of their generation was still prevalent. I for one don’t see culture, tribe or ethnicity especially when it comes to who I want to marry or have as my friends but my parents do, so what do you do then?
It seems many times we place people into a box immediately we find out where they are from which I believe is wrong. As much as where a person was raised and who raised them plays a major role in who they turn out to be, people still have a choice on who they actually are. Placing them in a box does not give you the opportunity to know them, know who they truly are.
I’m Igbo and he was not and when my mum found out his tribe she immediately had preconceived notions about him that even when he came over as a friendly gesture to greet them she did not give him a chance and did very little to know ‘him’ which I felt was sad. Now that has made me a bit worried about who I would bring to them in the future, what if he is not Igbo. Would she dismiss him? I guess that would be decided when I actually find him, whoever he is.
The lesson here for us, especially as young people is to leave that bias and stereotyping of our parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles generation and see people for who they are. Get to know people beyond where they are from and where they were born. Having an idea of someone before you meet them because their name is Chioma or Tolu or Edet immediately makes you lose the opportunity to know them for real and discover how awesome they are. We have a chance as a generation to stop these tribalistic stereotypes, take it up as a personal responsibility today.