It is a well-known fact that Africans are hospitable; though there can be few who fall short of this trait because of unpleasant experiences or by choice. We show our hospitality to people we meet even for the first time by helping them with whatever they need. We are so hospitable that we can even accommodate people we know nothing about in our homes.
This trait I think started with families relying on their most capable member or members. And so a man or woman may be taking care of his children, brothers and sisters, and if they inherit from their mother’s side, his nephews and nieces, his mother and father and their siblings, some of his wife’s family members with his in-laws being an obligation. All these people having no thoughts of being grateful and thinking that it is his duty.
In effect, if you are a dutiful son or daughter, you have to be able to cater for all the needs of these people. It is not a bad idea but the high cost of living in this modern time must prompt people to be reasonable enough not to burden their benefactors too much. Can you imagine a nuclear family producing seven or more children without any proper ways of earning income and expecting a perceived rich sibling of either the man or the woman to bear the responsibility of taking care of every facet of the lives of those children including themselves? Now if this person who also has multiple responsibilities fails to honour even a fraction of that, then there is the perception that he or she is wicked.
With this type of emotional blackmail, how do we expect our people to grow financially with good health?
Let us learn that if our chins are falling off and someone decides to help us hold them, we do not leave all for them and throw tantrums that it is their responsibility to see to it that the chins heal. The world is changing so do not incur responsibilities thinking that someone must take over that responsibility by virtue of your birth. When you decide to give birth, do so because you are capable of taking care of the child not because someone you know has the means of taking care of you and whoever you decide to give birth to. When someone decides to help you in any way, be grateful no matter how small that is because that is not his or her responsibility.
We are Africans, yes, we are hospitable, yes, but we must not abuse this nature.