If I had Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as a Mother

November 2, 2018 Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , OTHER

HCL photo



John Chizoba Vincent



Sometimes I get myself into certain thoughts I’d rather avoid on a good day because some issues are better left behind than talking or writing about them. Other times, I refrain myself from these thoughts, from putting them on a piece of paper for other eyes to have them just as I have them in my mind. I just have to hang memories here and there because if I don’t talk or write about this stuff, I’ll become frustrated within, hence the best thing I can do to help myself is to write them on paper just to be sane.


Some time ago, I shook the tables of some hard feminists, the experiences I got from them really interesting. The arguments, the fear, the abuse and many other things that came around our neck-to-neck chameleon arguments made me understand more and the distinct characteristics of these very species called feminists. I wonder how they will train their boys if they eventually have one. Would they abandon them in the street for their counterparts, Girls? Or would they give them the same treatment they give to their girls? I keep running away from this but the more I run, the more I come face to face with the reality.


The other day, in my neighborhood, one of them told her son to go and meet his daddy and stop bothering her. She told him that he belongs to his father while the girl belongs to her. I wondered why a mother was painting that kind of scaring picture to her son. I wondered why she made that clear enough to him that he belonged to his father and not her. It amazes me how these so called feminists throw some clothes against their boys and expect to have peace of mind in the future. You can’t eat your cake and still have it. The world is changing drastically and in the near future, women who called themselves feminists will start aborting their pregnancies if they discover it will be a boy.


And this is exactly what will happen if I have someone like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as a mother. We’ll never agree with each other’s opinions, we’ll always step on each other’s toes because some of these feminist ideologies suck. They are out of this world. I will make her understand the fact that some girls or women are sexually abused and assaulted by men, and that some men out there suffer the same thing from women. The fact they don’t cry out to the world does not make them stones. Men are not all beasts, I will tell her. Definitely, there will be a clash of ideologies and thoughts because I won’t bring myself down to dance to every one of her rhythmic beats.


We were humans first before we became people of different genders. We were birthed in different environments and these environments have some fundamental principles and policies that once stood as a guideline through which our parents trained all of us. And as we grew up to become men, we learnt to make our own royal paths which may seem so perfect in our eyes, sometimes abandoning those paths created by our own parents. I think from the onset, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion and notwithstanding, there are some striking opinions that one needs to look into. You wear some people’s thoughts in defense of what they concluded to be the real truth about how and what humanity should be or look like.


Nature can’t be cheated, it can’t lie; it made man and woman and gave us insanity and sanity. Life and death, white and black, and choices to make. Nature gave us positions to suit our individuality and personality. Although society betrayed us all, society lied to the men. It made us look like super heroes who have no reason to laugh, cry and express our feelings and emotions and still remain men or boys. Yes, society lied to us all.


If Chimamanda happens to have a male child, I wonder as to the kind hand or method in which she would train him. Whether she would give him the same opportunity she gives to her daughter, whether she will beat the drum closer to him or farther away from him. Whether those suggestions she made to Ijeawele would be applicable to the boy child. Maybe she would like to take total control of his emotions and feelings, maybe she would have him look desperate and stubborn just like her son, Jaja. Maybe she would abandon him for the honour of the girl child.


We would have to argue about many things. Our philosophies and principals about these two genders wouldn’t work for each other. We’d have to break and re-arrange things and break again many times before we may likely come in term with each other on a longer head. Two strange beings can’t be living in the same room without having to lose themselves and get mad at each other. We would have to disagree on many things ranging from the fact that boys are to be given attention and privileges the same as girls are given by society. Boys have emotions and feelings; they are not stones. Patriarchy is of nature, it is natural.


I would like to run into her thoughts as often as I could. Ever since I was a child I’ve had this dream of protecting the boys from so many harms that society has foisted on them. I don’t think of male children just like everyone out there does, it’s not the normal way you think of them, following your instinct as quickly as possible with your right mind. It’s something you can’t really understand about me. Something so peculiar with me.


When I run through my head over and over again, I zoom drastically into the deepest secrets of boys whose mothers are feminists, edging closer to something potentially more dangerous to whatever I’m thinking about. How do they keep standing aloof from their mother? How do they try to balance their feelings and emotions together without that of their parent who happens to be a circled feminist? I try to understand why I’m always thinking of these things, and the more I spend trying to understand this, the more difficult and absurd the whole thing becomes to me.


The things I talk about feminists like her aren’t abstract and by logical consequence and understanding of what the contextual is. But by context, when you choose to be a little bit figurative with these logical consequences or with what they stand for in their real self or by implication, I’m sure you’d see them in a deeper picture of who they are and what they actually fight against.


There is an unsatisfying truth that we can’t change what is already designed by God, though I can sit on the steps calmly and watch the world around the boys fainting into tears and sorrow, as you see me down through my words, looking steadily into the eye of the future, and still be on the defending part of what I believe in. I can be writing about boys caught in the web of lies while she writes about the girls left unattended, smiling at an imaginary shy character she created just like Kambili and I’ll still be thinking about the boys birthed by feminists. I can be in front of people, talking about my life as a boy, teaching boys how to breathe through themselves and not trying to harm girls, trying to stretch lips by evoking the spittle-thread between boys and girls, yet I’ll still remain me.


I would ask her why a feminist like her created kainene (a woman like her) and allowed her to get lost in the forest without looking for her, why she would allow her creation to go into oblivion and still tell the world she doesn’t know where she has gone. I would ask her why Jaja has to pass through those pains just to protect her mother’s prestige and image. Hopefully, I’d love to defend Jaja just like she defended Kambili, perhaps that may be the difference between being me and her. Or better still, defend the two, maybe that is a better way to serve humanity than defending one side of it.


I started running into these thoughts right from the day my feet stepped into the University of Nigeria. Nsuka, and I scanned through her descriptions of the deepest part of her inner memories and I realised as much as my memory can figure out her thoughts then that she has no space for the boy child. When I first discovered the implication of being a boy in a world full of feminism, agitations, protest, fight for survival and existence between these genders, especially in a class dominated by eyes which only behold the struggles of female and not struggles and assaults of the boys, I was made to believe I represented everything else those boys out there in the street need; Voice. Courage. Brevity. Greatness.


So I began to write yesterday, I ran out of myself to the street to sit closer to these boys born by feminists to know how they defend themselves against the flare and glaring state of their feminist mothers. I ran out of myself learning that boys birthed by these feminists learnt to carry themselves by themselves at a tender age. Life is biased somehow, but cruel.





John Chizoba Vincent

John Chizoba Vincent is a cinematographer, filmmaker, music video director, poet and a writer. A graduate of mass communication, he believes in life and the substances that life is made of. He has three books published to his credit which includes Hard Times, Good Mama, Letter from Home. For boys of tomorrow is his first offering to poetry. He lives in Lagos.

Editor review


  1. Tega November 02, at 18:47

    Beautiful message, beautiful words

  2. Miracle Quist November 02, at 08:55

    Wow.. This is the cry for justice... "Or better still, defend the two, maybe that is a better way to serve humanity than defending one side of it."


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