Iya Wusa Syndrome: Hippie Nigerian Generational Shift

May 11, 2017 Africa , Nigeria , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

Reuters photo



Awesu Olaniyi Williams

“I don’t know my father’s side of the family…I can’t recognize my cousins on the street.”

Our world isn’t just changing it’s changing at a fast and scary pace, where technology becomes moribund, obsolete as soon as it is created.

The boom and doom of an ever fast paced world has eroded the confidence we had in the old order of family life, where parents bonded well with their children before weaning them for life’s struggles.

It was an era when children were ferried to the countryside to spend long vacations with aging grandparents, who in turn engaged the minds of youngsters with titbits of local history and folklore. It was a memory of bliss and camaraderie with other local dwellers and members of extend family up to the fifth cousins.

That was an era only Africans in their 30s upward can relate to with ease.


Omo Iya Wusa

A demonym for those who have broken the social ties and bond on the slaughter table of modernity.

Where toddlers become adult before their first birthday with numerous toys, games and a cable network replacing real human interaction. Nursery rhymes with strong moral ethos are replaced with the daily chant of “Daddyo” “30 billion for the account” in the drum ear, sorry, ear drum of our youngsters.

Society doesn’t run in isolation it’s run by the belief that we are only better off if we could give a portion of ourselves to our kinsmen.


Law Of Solon

Like the Greeks our African tradition runs on the wheel of “Law of Solon” where parents educate and train their children while they were agile and active with life. With the hope that at old age when muscles become weak and sight weakens, those children will return the kindness.

But then what do we have now? A sorry situation of borrowing a destructive foreign and alien culture where aged parents are ferried quickly to the hospice.

They area now denied the cosiness of family life and bonding with their grandchildren, which was the norm years back. Parents ferry their kids to remote parts of town or the countryside to bond with their grandparents, who then in turn nourish the minds of these youngsters with their ancestral historicity.

The same way my grandmother of blessed memories did to me, nurturing my ears with numerous family stories, weaving them around moral anecdotes. No doubt the absence of a formal education never diminished her grasp of dates and events that shaped our community history. It was she who in a flawless rendition of events in her later years helped traced our family genealogy back to life, which was the cradle of the Yoruba civilisation.

Times have changed, as have values. Folks with childish, snobbish attitudes of the “Iya Wusa” syndrome who tend to wear the badge of ignorance on their chest claiming “I don’t care about my extended family” in a repeated show of exaggerated importance are actually destroying the social fabric of the old order and seem to be the new norm of a self loathing and social media blinding generation.










Awesu Olaniyi Williams

Awesu Olaniyi Williams is an award winning public speaker, a  Marxist – feminist writer; whose writing is laced with biting sarcasm as a satirical tool. Occasional poet, lover of books, art and human sexuality discuss.


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