I listen to so many “my dad would kill me if I marry from a different tribe, my parents won’t approve of my marriage if I marry a Calabar man, and I can’t even let my mom know I’m dating an Edo boy” all these routing to tribalism. I usually thought love covered everything. Why should we discriminate between cultures and let our cultural differences stand in the way of our happiness? What happened to unconditional love? You hear them say things like “people from that town are evil or are witches”. How exactly can we term the whole town bad?
A smart beautiful high-class young Igbo lady with the prospects and a good career stays without a husband for years after her fruitful age and when she’s asked, she begins to tell you how she fell in love with that guy who probably was Yoruba, and her parents just disapproved not minding how the man made their daughter happy in unimaginable ways, has a good job and is God-fearing. All they see is the Yoruba man who they also categorize to be an outcast. They see the “wickedness” as they put it in the Yoruba clan. How certain tribes are perceived among other tribes. For example, Benin people are generally regarded as fetish promiscuous. Yoruba’s are perceived as skilled juju practitioners and also dirty. The Igbo’s on the other hand are generally regarded ritualist and some as man eaters, like the Ijebus and Efiks. The Hausa people are seen as irrational and brutal, even selfish and flirts. All these generational perception of various tribes just blocks out the possibility of envisioning love among people.
I took to my time to upload on my WhatsApp status concerning this topic and I got lots of responses and questions. Some said they can’t let their parents know who they’re dating. We all know that there are some parents that allow their children marry from another tribe.
Tribalism is more of a national situation, it has similarities with racists but there are differences also. I believe that one way to end tribalism is by spreading love and accepting each other as one. When there is love between those that wants to be with someone from another tribe but your parent’s disapprove, what do you do? A friend (Funmi) told me she cares about her dads blessings but if she tries talking to him and he still doesn’t approve, she won’t marry the guy. Funmi then went ahead to say that this is one of the reasons one of her parents have to know who she’s dating before things get too deep, in order to know if they will approve. Another said it will be sad and hard for her to but yet again, our parent’s blessings is the gateway to a happy marriage so she will end the relationship and look for another. Hmm… I wish I got response from guys and not just girls alone so that I can analyse the differences properly.
How long would one keep waiting to find another man when they keep “falling for the wrong tribe” as parents would call it? I think this tribalism beef should end. The mistake of one shouldn’t be the mistake of all. No tribe is the best or rather perfect, this is why we need to pray to get a good man or woman irrespective of the tribe.