The African culture molds the boy child to be bold, in control, and strong… a boy child is perceived to be the one in a better position to withstand harsh conditions as compared to a girl, therefore, is allocated chores that require him to be physically challenged, like staying out in the bush for days tracking down cattle with the wild being his only source of food and comfort.
It doesn’t stop there, as the years go by, it is inevitable that he assumes the position of a father figure, being responsible for the security and welfare of the women around him.
In some cases, like single-mothered households, which are ridiculously common here in Botswana, the boy child becomes the shinning-amour of the family, looking out for his sisters and mostly his mother. He is the one they turn to when the roof is leaking on a rainy day or when one of the goats didn’t make it back to the kraal.
The modern African boy child is no different; he is the one who has to climb up the roof, fix the television signal and, later on change, the bathroom lock.
It’s these little things that make a boy child feel needed and in control, and being needed tends to make one a bit territorial, constantly trying to prove they can do more and better and sometimes controlling. The boy child will object to his sisters’ acquaintances together with his mother’s because he feels they are his responsibilities, which is why in most cases girls adjust fast to having step-fathers in comparison to boys.
Boys take time to adjust, some never do… they end up resenting the new man in their mother’s life because they feel threatened and replaced. We are then quick to say the son is being impossible or rebelling but it’s a tough one to swallow, growing up being responsible and feeling needed by people then another man walks in and takes over…
Even in their personal relationships, the average boy-child likes being called when there is a light bulb that needs to be changed or when there is that heavy box in the garage that’s too heavy for her. They grow up feeling needed and always at the rescue. They have a natural ego that, over the years, has been well fed, which brings me to the issue of insecurities over successful women…
He wants to do the care-taking and the providing because that’s what he is used to. He grew up with women who look up to him when the power goes off; now you can imagine the discomfort of having to date a woman who is far more accomplished than he is, a woman who not only can change a car wheel but can also buy anything of monetary value on her own.
So basically, this type of a woman can do everything for herself, therefore, robbing him of the chance to exercise the one social skill he has acquired over the years. As much as there are some African men out there who would hate to admit it, every man wants to be in control, it’s inborn.
Not to justify men’s infidelity but having a woman run things and sometimes even provide for them sets off alarms in their egos. They feel inadequate and they contemplate the idea of crossing the road to a place where they are needed.
Is it the African culture that produces men who fancy being needed and being on top of the food-chain or do men of all genetic make-ups have this constant need to care for and provide? To nurture and being in the driver’s seat?