Africa as a continent is one which has believed in correcting children with firm discipline. There is no hesitation in enforcing the rule of the rod when it comes to correction. Now, it has seemed that some form of Western civilisation is phasing that out. Children rights activists have protested and frowned at the decision to cane or physically abuse a child as a means of correction; it is seen as barbaric and an act which should be stopped so that the child does not suffer from psychological and emotional trauma in the future. Truly, it does cause some form of trauma in the future and abuse should be abolished but then, the future of the child too is bleak without adequate correction. Physical abuse is taking discipline too far and putting the child’s life in harm’s way but then, proper correction also instils discipline in heart of the child. This story about abuse is just bullshit for this present generation; a kind of deception that makes me fear for the future or the coming generation. I would like to back up to the generations past where the rule of the cane was enforced greatly. Foolishness is abound in the heart of a child but the rod of correction drives it away.

Now this present generation have had it pretty easy when it comes to disciplining or lashing as the case may be. A younger friend of mine once complained to me about her dad caning her for refusing to do something which seemed so trivial and unimportant; she was so bitter about and was really mad at her dad for even thinking of hitting her. While I was outspokenly sympathetic with her plight and criticised her dad for being so violent, in my mind I was like  “Bitch please!!! I come from the dying era of the rule of the cane, the golden era.” I remembered my dad and his own form of discipline, I remembered his stash of canes, I remembered how ambidextrous my dad became every time I was to receive a beating, I remembered how calm his face became moments before the cane hit me and how it quickly changed back into a murderous look. I remembered all these and said to myself, “You never chop better cane before.”

In the times past, Africans were firm believers in the truth that indiscipline in a child could never be dealt with in a soft manner but with the force of an iron hand. Those generation probably produced the best sets of African exports ever; the kind which were able to stand their ground in every nation of the world, knowing that the only way they got there was through discipline and that only came through beatings. They grew to be strong men and women, capable and independent, hale and hearty; a good beating never killed anybody. These same people are the ones trying to phase out that great culture; after leaving the shores of the country in search of their various pursuits, they are suddenly influenced by western culture and decide that the culture which made them who they are is to be abolished, flushed away because it seems barbaric. This is the case and we are suddenly complaining why there is a sudden upheaval at the rate of moral decadence in the present youth. Children that are supposed to be beaten are now told to face the wall or go to their rooms or grounded or even denied pleasure trips. Those events do not instil fear in a child; I would have gladly preferred facing the wall or staying in my room than to face the full wrath of my father and his endless stash of canes. The weals on my body after body after a beating were enough to, like in Job 41:8, make me think of the struggle and never do it again. A sort of autobiography would suffice to give you a brief insight into the minds of disciplinary parents.

As a child, I was a bit of a spoilt brat; getting everything I wanted when I wanted it or at least, this was what I was told. It all stopped when I was aged six years and my father decided that the path which I was towing would lead to destruction. My father started becoming strict, giving me the occasional scolding. My mother too was not left out as she too barked at me when I was out of line. This made me start growing rebellious and stubborn and my parents decided that it was time to seek some other form of correction. I remember my dad’s first cane, just a small stump of stick he picked off the ground, thin and wiry, probably a dead branch from one of the trees in the house. He gave me my first beating and it was a life-changing moment for me because the floodgates were now open to the torrent of beatings I was going to receive in the future.



  1. Pingback: PURPLE HIBISCUS | The Written Rantings Of A Cunning Linguist

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