Not too long ago I witnessed a sight that I thought would never ever be feasible again in ‘Liberal UK Today’: An oyinbo (i.e. ‘English’) parent actually disciplined a child that, quite frankly, had it coming.  What’s more, the parent was actually applauded by bystanders.

It all happened when I was on my way to the doctor’s and I saw the mother trying to calm her child down and simultaneously trying to be to be as patient as possible.  From what I gathered, the kid wanted a toy and the mother couldn’t afford it. That was all the excuse the child needed to start a kicking tantrum.  The poor mother had to deal with bags of shopping, bad weather and a banshee of a child no more than 6. Suddenly she snapped.  She delivered a backhand slap that was E forun, E gbati & Egbarun: all 3 well known Yoruba slap simultaneously colliding into the pale flesh of this kid.  A slap that was operatic in its delivery that would have impressed many African Parents.  The child never saw that slap coming.  It must have done the trick because that kid shut his mouth up; save for the sniffling normally associated when you’ve just received some form of punishment.  I honestly thought that the
NNSPC police would roll up and arrest her, but no.  The mother did console her child but I guess her message was clear: don’t mess with an already stressed mummy!

Ahh, it brings back memories of when I was disciplined by my folks, a story many other Africans can confirm!


One thought on “Oyinbo discipline

  1. Hi there

    “…E forun, E gbati & Egbarun: all 3 well known Yoruba slap simultaneously colliding…”

    I almost died of hilarity on reading that. I actually visualised it. You are so funny and I like this post. I have an observation however it appears the tradition still exists as you witnessed and prevalent especially within the working class or should i refer (oh, i hate these labels) to them as the lower class (especially those relying on the welfare system) – mostly the mentally challenged who cannot be bothered to try getting into the childs mind

    I love your blog.

    Hope you have a good weekend.

    Ill be back.


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