In our great-grandfather’s era especially in Igbo land, people will glance through your house to see the number of yams in your barns. They spread rumours of the number of goats, cows, and chickens you have.
In that era, yam defines one and puts one above another. People are given titles for killing a cow. The number of goats you have increases your respect. To be married to someone with plenty yams and goats, is for the ladies, a dream come true.
And if by chance you can hunt wild and dangerous animals and can defeat anyone in a wrestling contest, then you can point who you want to marry and how many you want to marry, and they will be yours.
Morning came, evening came, the end of our great-grandfathers’ era.
And so came our grandfathers’ era. Owning a mirror or a pierce of metal became a great deal. Some of our grandfathers betrayed and sold their own relatives to foreigners in exchange for a piece of mirror.
Then came the glamour of owning a bicycle, a pair of shoes we now call “akpola”, a pair of “Fela” trousers — tight at the thigh and waist, but wide at the foot. They walk around leaving their hairy chest opened as they kept combing the plenty hairs on their heads. We may laugh at it now, but that was the features that attracted the ladies to them.
Evening came, morning came, the end of our grandfathers’ era.
And so came the era of our fathers. They laughed at the bicycles of the previous generations because they now have Vespas, Suzuki, or those bikes Nnewi people call “Ladies”. Building a house and including a toilet inside became a big achievement.
The more respected people drove the tortoise car or Beetle as it was popularly known. Still, the glory of the beetle did not last for ever, 504, 505, and the Almighty Mercedes 230, made everyone crazy.
Morning came evening came, the end of the era of our fathers.
And so came our era, the era of the emerging fathers.
It is no longer enough to own a car, the question is, which car? Gwagon? Range Rover? What model, what year of make? It is no longer enough to build a house, the question is, which house? A duplex? What type of roofing? Who did the interior? It is no longer enough to wear clothes, the question is, who is the designer? It is no longer enough to own a phone, the question is, what phone? Which type? And in fact, it is no longer enough to marry a girl, the question is, what type of shape does she have?
Every generation will always think they are better. The next generation will look at some of the things we are fighting for today and laugh.
Not long ago, some girls slept with men because of blackberry phones. Now, give them any of those phones for free and see their reaction.
Not long ago, some boys could go stealing to be able to buy the jeans they call FUBU, today, give it to them for free, they will not wear it.
What is necessary in this world are simple things: Breath in and out, eat, sleep, laugh, love and most importantly, have a relationship with your creator, then wait for death.