Nigerian parents often speak of reaping the 'fruit of their labor', but are they entitled to it?
Young people were reminded of yet another of our coulture's gifts by none other than Leon Balogun, the Super Eagles defender who just made it clear he feels his parents have no right to his money.
Balogun incidentally is the average Nigerian parent’s dream come true, at least where his paycheck is concerned. The centre-back earns thousands in Euros, playing for Mainz in the German Bundesliga.
“My parents for example, even if I give them something, they would not accept it, because they say ‘that’s the money you work for’,” he said in an interview with Oma Akatugba of Oma Sports TV.
This position is a far cry from what is expected on most Nigerians, particularly males, who are expected to ‘chip in’ or bear the weight of family members.
It has been called “the black tax”, and there are those who believe the burden holds the younger generation back and limits their freedom to invest in themselves and opportunities presented to them.
The strong bonds of trraditional Nigerian families are challenged in this age, thanks to social factors that include the spread of liberal and alternative lifestyles, financial insecurity and an ultra-independent generation of young Nigerians.
Opinions and attitudes vary on the subject, which one should expect in a society where young men can barely fend for themselves, but “the fruit of a parent’s labor” has been romanticised into culture.
So we decided to ask 5 people what they think; are their parents entitled to their money?
1. Michael just wants to ask one question; “ Is it your money?”
"I’ve had a problem with this thing about giving money to your parents as an obligation; especially seeing that on certain occasions, my father grumbled when he remembered he had to send some of the little he made to his mother."
"Parents should not be entitled to your money because, even though you could make the case that they spent time, money and effort to raise you, trying to repay that money will hold you back and slow you down."
"It doesn’t change the fact that you should show up when they need money or any assistance, but entitlement is a different thing."
2. Tunde thinks we need to change that mindset
“Yes, they can feel entitled if it is up for grabs, let’s say in the case of the child’s demise."
"The sense of entitlement often comes up in a Nigerian society which has the mindset that kids must handle financial obligations to their parents as a necessity even if they are not capable of carrying such responsibilities — this is faulty.”
3. Akin thinks the pressure can be a bit too much
“In Nigeria, parents believe they groom their children to reap the fruit of their labour when they grow and start making money, so parents feeling entitled to their children’s money is a norm, an expectation that makes a jobless child feels guilty."
"But, I don’t think it it is a bad idea if children have and make their parents enjoy from their wealth. But in a situation where the child struggles to make a living, parents should not put pressure on them."
4. Ada thinks parents have a right, to an extent
"Entitlement is a strong term. What I find is that due to the extent of the sacrifice involved in raising a child in our society, parents expect that their efforts will be repaid when these investments in the child’s life begin to bear fruit, as people say."
"And we do have a role to play in their lives, once their ability to fend for themselves is diminished. But when the child also doesn’t have the means to meet their needs, they should be understanding. But how many parents want to ‘understand’ and for how long?"
5. Lekan thinks we should acknowledge our obligations and stop all the woke talk.
“Your parents raised you. Do you know how much it costs to raise a child? What do you think is the difference between an ideal father and an irresponsible one?"
"These things are conversations we shouldn’t even be having. Your parents invested time and effort into you and they deserve whatever they need as long as it is within your powers."
"Leon Balogun’s case may be different but imagine you’re rich footballer and you tell your parents that you can’t send them money because they aren’t entitled to it.”