Father at 13 years – Question of Social and Moral Degradation

kidfatherOh yes! Bravo! Is this another History going into the Guinness Book of Records? A thirteen year old British kid has successfully given the media and the whole world interesting headlines to write such as Dad at 13, British boy becomes father at 13, Baby-faced boy is father at 13 etc. Shocked?

I bet you are not as shocked as I was – I was speechless and lost my breath. The said kid-dad, Alfie, fathered his child with his fifteen (15) year old girlfriend, Chantelle – read full story

And that is not all. Just few days after the kid was declared the youngest dad, some other kids are equally claiming that there is a possibility of them being potential fathers to the new baby, as they also claim to have slept with the girl in question With this new development of claims, a DNA is to be conducted to prove the paternity of the child. Tracing down Alfie’s family, it was also discovered that his elder sister who is now nineteen (19) years old also had a child at the age of thirteen (13) Is this something that runs in the family or am I the one missing something? Wow! What an interesting story! It did sell well in both print and electronic media.

And I ask – Is this an achievement, something to be proud of – becoming parents at such tender age? And the publicity this is getting beats my imagination. According to one newspaper it has been tagged the morality tale of the 21st century. Such a story is what can destroy a family’s reputation in Africa whereas it is attracting much publicity or should I say fame to the concerned people. What a world! What a mess! What has gone wrong? Everything has gone wrong. This is moral and social degradation.

kidfatherAt thirteen what does Alfie know about raising a child? At this tender age what is going to happen to his education and future? Anyway they cannot be bothered because they have an alternative – benefits from the government. Agreed the government are providing support for the kid on how to be a good father, but that, as far as any normal and right thinking human being is concerned, is crap. Do I sense an encouragement to this kind of situation? I keep wondering what is happening in this part of the world.

A lot of teenagers are single parents in Britain, which is why I will proudly sing my nationality to whoever cares to listen. In fact finding a teenager without a child is like getting fire from the sky. It is very, and I mean absolutely IMPOSSIBLE. The Jeremy Kyle’s show and Trisha Goddard’s show, television programs here in UK on ITV 1 and FIVE TV respectively, give a vivid idea of what is happening in this very developed world – UNITED KINGDOM. It features 95% of people who have problems in their relationship. More than 95% of this people have children either from a current relationship or a previous relationship. They come on the show for reasons ranging from infidelity by partners, need for paternity (DNA) test conducted through Lying Detector Test, accusations and counter accusations on who cheated who and the frequency of cheating. This has really gone offhand.

Hmm! What a world! Interestingly majority of the featured partners have one problem or the other such as alcoholics, drugs, anger, to mention a few. And you know the worst part of it, the guys more than the ladies are jobless. They depend of government benefits. Can you beat that? Paying you for being unemployed! That is a second issue which I will talk about some other time.

kidfatherMy fellow Nigerians, we really do not know the value of what we have. From a layman’s point of view, the moral and social degradation in Europe out-weighs that in our country. Yet they call us all the names under the sun to paint us very bad. Fortunately for us and unfortunately for them, what we have is more valuable than the world’s riches. Our family, society, culture and tradition frowns at becoming parent outside wedlock. Need I talk about the stigma that follows such a person, especially in our Igbo traditional society? I am sure the same can be said of other traditional societies in Nigeria. Yet in UK if you are yet to become either a father or mother at most early twenties, then you must be from another planet. We may be bad in certain aspects but at this rate, I am absolutely sure that if a survey is conducted on morality, we would come out tops. I must use this opportunity to thank all Nigerian and African parents for instilling in us what wealth, riches, education, globalization and anything you can think of that makes the big countries thick, cannot buy. It is a rare gift that surpasses the above mentioned.

Who is to be blamed for the social and moral degradation – parents, children, tradition, society, culture, development? They should know better. I am more interested in ensuring that our society does not turn out to be socially and morally depraved as most western societies are today. While embracing modernization, we should apply simple wisdom not to overdo it. It is insane allowing our teenagers bite more than they can chew. Watch out!


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