One LONG sentence for the girl-child – Olukorede S. Yishau

The sky is not high enough for you to leap but because the society thinks otherwise; it puts lots of barriers in front of you; nature, too, conspires against you with peculiar challenges such as menstrual cycle, period pain, hormonal differences and a truckload of others; always look beyond challenges or better still see challenges as stairs you need to climb to defeat the forces telling you that because you are a girl certain heights are too high for you to attain; look into the mirror day in and day out and tell the person in the mirror you are beautiful, you are wonderfully made, and you are the best thing that the human race has witnessed;  ask yourself if it is a sin to rub shoulders with the best in every human endeavour, ask yourself if anyone has the right to pull you down, ask yourself why you should give anyone such right over your life when the person is not your creator nor there when you were formed; tell yourself you will never blame yourself for the actions of a predator, for the actions of a boyfriend who does not see the goodness in you, for the acts of a teacher who relishes saying you are dumb, and for the blindness of a boss who sees your gender as reason while you should not be promoted; don’t smell what you will not eat—temptation may lead you to have a taste and from there lead you astray and retracing your steps may be tortuous; but sing and dance to great songs and never let dirges be your companion; this is how to remain on top of every situation; this is how to let the world know that you are not to be toyed with; this is how to prevent every doubting Thomas from dragging you down; this is how you ensure that girl power is maintained; when you get to the top of your career, make available the ladder that took you up for other girls; this is how you make the world go round; this is how you sweep forces of regression into oblivion; this is how you ensure continuity of gender equality; this is how you ensure patriarchy remains defeated; and when the time comes for you to pick a husband, choose a man who will not see your growth as a threat, choose a man who complement you, choose a man who will cheer you always, and who will correct you in love; and when your kids start coming, don’t make your boys feel better than your girls, don’t tell your boys to stay away from the kitchen, don’t tell your boys to play PS7 while the girls are doing the dishes, because you may be breeding a monster if you encourage that; don’t fail to get your kids to read books because a reader is a leader; and don’t forget to teach them to love God and live by His dictates; these, my darling, are how when you are gone—buried six feet below or cremated as you wish —the world will remember that a great daughter, a great human being, a fantastic mother, an amazing wife, a grandmother above her peers, a pacesetter and a no-nonsense woman of substance once lived on this earth we love describing as sinful but  are reluctant to quit.


-Olukorede S. Yishau is the author of In the Name of Our Father and Vaults of Secrets

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