Ayomah wants to know what transpired between Mama and Dad within the confines of their bedroom 

“It’s a long story.”

“To you not to me, Mama.”

“To cut it short, it was on that last Tuesday in November of 1978—before dawn—when he woke up to say his pre-dawn prayers that everything went wrong…Ayoma, I’m so sorry.”

“What went wrong Mama?”

“You were conceived on that night.”

“How did that happened?”

“Ayoma, you are asking too many questions.”

“But I have the right to know. The winds of change are now sweeping all over Africa—freedom and liberty can no longer be sacrificed at the altar…unlike in the past, the African youth now have the right to choose and the right to know about things that directly affect them…we’ve been cribbed and cabined and confined by the old concept of absolute respect for tradition.”

“You are right. But you still do not have the right to know what transpires between adults within the concrete walls of their bedrooms. What right do you have to know about what happened between your Dad and myself on a Tuesday in November 1978?”

“Mama. Are you depriving me of my democratic rights. The reality is that, to we the African youth, democracy is like a huge snowball that keeps on rolling downhill—and getting bigger. Old traditionalists like you might try to slow it down, but you can’t just stop it.”

“Look Ayoma. Don’t lecture me about democracy. Where have you learned all these?

“Let me tell you Ayoma. Voters in countries across Africa are becoming more disillusioned with the way democracy is practiced—even as African countries hold more elections, more of their citizens are steadily losing confidence in their democracies.”

“Are you uncomfortable with our present democratic dispensation?”

“No. Not at all. I’m only saying that, more and more Africans are beginning to realize that elections alone would not allow them to remove objectionable leaders in power.”

“So are you advocating coup d’etats as a means to remove those in power?”

“Not at all. I’m only saying that, there should be a better way to manage our resources—both human and material. In my view, it is the management of these resources that has been lacking. These resources have been hijacked by those in power, and when we go to the polls to vote them out of office—for their misdeeds, they hijack that as well.” We should therefore not rely on democracy alone to solve our problems.”

“Then what do you have, Mama?”

“When I was your age, I couldn’t talk to my mother the way you’re talking to me now…you now have the right to choose—democracy or me.” Mama said—with a curl of her lip.

Raising up her gnarled middle finger on her left hand, she said:

“Look at this deformed finger and my calloused skin. Raising you wasn’t easy for me at all. Sometimes, I was forced to do rough work just to be able to put food on the table.”

To be continued…