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Nigeria Children And Adult Work Culture - The Good Old Days

by samson

Nigeria is a country of hardworking people. We value hard work. We train our children to work hard at school and at whatever they do so that they become the best they can be.

The core occupation in Nigerian societies in the good old days were farming, fishing, and hunting. And both adults and children engaged in these three societal activities back in the good old days.

Work And Children In The Pre-Colonial Nigerian Society

Men and women worked hard in their farms to make food available for the family. Farming was the source of food for the family. And families had access to foodstuff they did not grow or have through a simple system of trade by barter because modern currencies were not available in Nigeria at the time.

When a woman was pregnant, she worked hard in the farm with her husband the pregnancy notwithstanding. And she kept at it until it was impossible to continue.

After she puts to birth, she spends a couple of months nursing her baby. Soon thereafter, she is back in the farm with her husband with the baby strapped her back while she worked or placed under a shade (or in the farm hut) to shield the baby from the heat of the scorching sun.

As the youngster grows up, he or she accompanies her parents to the farm, weeding, tilling the soil, planting, and harvesting. Before long, the youngster becomes proficient in the farming business. As the Nigerian child learns the farming business, he/she at the same learns the art of fishing.

Guess what.

By the time the child is in his teens, his father will assign a part of the family land to him for him to start his own farm.

Why start his own farm?

Simple. Soon he will have to get married and start a family of his own. His farm produce will become the source of his income. And the size of the combined income from his farming, fishing and hunting endeavours is what will determine how wealthy his and his family will live.

In fact, when many fathers think of giving their daughters out in marriage, they look forward to having their daughters get married to a man that is industrious and have the capacity to provide for their daughters and the children she will bring to this world. And this is often determined by the size of the young man's farm as well as his barn.

In a similar vein, fathers who have sons want their sons to marry women from families that have good reputation in the community. In addition, the women must be known to be hardworking, industrious, humble, and good workers at home and in the family farm.

In the pre-colonial era, there was no formal education system. There was no primary and secondary school education. Neither was there university education.

Children learnt about their family history and past heroes through folk tale and word-of-mouth communication. And since there was no formal education, their education took place in the farms, forests and rivers through personal one-on-one interaction with their parents who were experts in farming, hunting, and fishing.

Since wealth was measured by the size of a man's farm, Nigeria men gave birth to many children who became free workers in their family farm.

Consequently, it was common to see men with 12 children, 20 children, and more.

Nigerian societies were mostly polygamous societies. And the presence of many wives, each having her own children, helped quickly increase the family size and the family farm.

Bottom line.

In the good old days, children were an essential part of the family's workforce. Children generated income for the family. And that made the burden of caring for the family less on the father who is the breadwinner.

Add to that the fact that there was no formal education that gulped a sizeable part of the family income and you will appreciate how simple life was in the good old days.

No wonder our forefathers lived longer!

Here's another thing to remember about the good old days.

In the good old days, Nigerian men and women . . . old and young . . . never went in search of jobs. There was nothing like unemployment.


Well, it's because each person had his own business.

Every young man had his own farm . . . his own farming business.

The Nigerian man and woman grew up learning the skills of faring, fishing, and hunting. And grew up starting his career in these fields of human.

Bottom line.

Over 90 percent of adults were self-employed. Virtually every one had his own farm. And those without a farm worked in their father's farm or their husband's farm.

Life was so simple, uncomplicated . . . and wonderful!

Work Culture In Post Colonial Nigeria

The white man brought the bible with one hand and the British government style and work culture on the other hand.

They came as missionaries of Christendom stating that they wanted to convert pagans to the true God. But they were also very keen on establishing their work culture, educational system, and government.

These colonial masters created cities and white collar jobs to fuel these cities.

These white collar jobs looked more attractive to Nigerian youngsters who worked night and day in their farms in the villages. Besides, they also wanted to enjoy the glamour of city life . . . the hotels, the electronic gadgets, electricity, pipe borne water, and all the luxuries associated with city life.

The result?

Thousands of young men and women left the villages in search of the golden fleece. They left their farms and their parents and migrated to the different cities around Nigeria, Lagos being the most popular of these cities.

Unknown to them, they were leaving behind their business to help grow the business of another man. They didn't understand at the time that they will soon become the 'slaves' of these
modern slave masters . . . the owners of these multi-billion Naira factories who are passionate about maximizing profit even at the cost of good work conditions for employees.

I pity these young men and women as they big for mercy in the hands of the "modern slave drivers" . . . greedy business owners in modern cities who use people as tools to increase their profits.

Children Work Culture Today

What is the state of affairs today? What is the work culture of the Nigerian child today?

Formal education have come to stay. There is now primary school, secondary school, and University education.

In simple words . . . we have embraced the white man's education system wholeheartedly.

The good news is this . . . the white man's established formal way of study and education is good.

So, what is the problem?

There are, in fact, two problems with the current education system.

1. The education system trains young adults to be 100 percent dependent on their parents. This places a heavy burden on parents who cover the cost of education of these kids and

2. Today's education system trains young adults to become white collar job seekers when they graduate from school.

What is the consequence of this system of education?

This education system results in high rates of unemployment.

Instead of young people having a business of their own (faring business, fishing business etc), they write application after application to companies that are not recruiting.

Since these graduates don't have jobs and attempts to get jobs is unproductive, they become disoriented, desperate, and a menace to society.

No wonder there is so much criminality!

A Return To Nigeria Work Culture

The burden of caring for children's education all the way from primary school to the University and beyond is killing millions of parents. And the fact that millions of these young people are without jobs after they graduate from the University just compounds the problem.

Thousands of parents recognize that the way forward is to return to the work culture that our forefathers had . . . a work culture that trained children from childhood to become financially independent by doing stuff that empowers them to be self-employed.

Consequently, some parents who are small business people get their children involved early in the family business. So, even while the children are still in school, they learn the critical skills required to start a business of their own.

More importantly, they acquire a life-saving, mind liberating mindset . . . the self employment mindset . . . early in life.

Unfortunately, most Nigerians who are small business people are actually petty traders. In keeping with this tradition, they send their kids hawking in busy city streets where they are exposed to untold hardships and risks.

Here's a message for parents.

The desire to return to the ways of our forefathers where children were productive members of society is good. But introducing to street hawking is not the answer.

So what is the answer?

The internet.

using the internet, children and adults can create hobby or business websites that generate income for them right in the comfort of their home.

Yes, your kids can generate income to support their education and become independent business people even before they graduate from University.

So, instead of becoming 'slave-workers' in another man's farm (in factories that treat them like tools for profit), they can have their own home based business and enjoy the deep satisfaction that comes from doing what you love.

Yes, let's return to the good old days. But let's do it in style.

Click HERE to learn more.

Related article:

Easy Home Based Business

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