Nigerian-American rapper, Wale was on Jada Pinkett-Smith’s show, Red Table Talk, where he spoke about Nigerian parents, their relationship with their kids, and how they show love. The rapper, born to Nigerian parents, while speaking about men and their ability to show love, said it was borne out of the kind of marriage their parents had.
A lot of Nigerian adults have reservations about what their upbringing looked and felt like. Our parents did not know much about showing their kids love and in many homes emotional and physical abuse were employed by parents to enforce authority.
Saying the words ‘I love you’ to your child or expecting it from your parents was reaching too far in many Nigerian homes. On the altar of parenting, the sense of self of many Nigerian children, now adults was sacrificed forever.
Crucial as these issues are, the African culture of unconditional respect for parents makes everyone shy away from discussing the sad realities that the Nigerian choice of parenting has had on family relationships, and everyone just writes off the mistakes of the parents “they did not know better’, “they loved us notwithstanding’ “.
On Jada Smith’s Red Table show, rapper Wale may have initially been talking to an American audience, but the conversation has gone viral with Nigerians.
The rapper said on the show:
“I think you’ll like to just start to realize that your parents’ marriage had a lot of effect on you as a man,”
“I’m Nigerian. Both my parents are Nigerian and I grew up very Nigerian.”
He went on to say he never saw his parents get romantic with each other, neither did they express their love for their kids in clear words. He said most of what he knew about relationships and the expression of love were from TV, but when he came home, what he saw on TV was never the same with what was going on at home.
He said this lack of emotion and affection between a couple and their children can affect the way their kids view relationships and navigate them.
See screenshots of reactions below: