By Ayodele Ale
Bullying is real and a lot of children are traumatised. One of my children came home complaining about how he was being bullied at school. They kept on taunting him. Do you have washing machine at home? Do you have dish washer? Bla bla bla.
He was branded as inferior. I told him to fight back. We don’t have and there is no shame about it. We were then living in an environment where the light could go for two weeks without PHCN caring if there are human beings there. So, where do we get light to run washing machine and other gadgets? More importantly, I am from Ekiti where we use ‘laulau’ and ‘kanrinkan’ to wash plates. In Ekiti, we are used to ‘olo ata’ (grinding stone) because grinding machine erodes the taste. My grandma used ‘ogiri’ to replace maggi without apology. ‘Omi cocoa’ was our juice. The gift of my mother-in-law to my family when we got married was ‘odo’ to pound cocoyam. We were putting pounded yam on banana leàves with bush meat and vegetable to match, before the eateries hijacked it from us. So, the secondary school mates should not goad my son into all these modern tools.
As God would have it one day, one of the bullies, a girl, came to buy frozen fish in a shop beside my house along Matogun NO ROAD, Oke-Aro (Politicians have been using the road as part of their campaign promises before democracy started in America). Anyway, immediately the girl sighted my son, she asked “Is this your house?’ And he replied ‘Yes’. Then, she said sarcastically “Eh, so your house has no fence”. My son cried inside, that the following day, he would be ridiculed at school because his daddy’s house has no fence.
I told him, ‘There is need to cry. Where do you expect me, a journalist to get money to fence a house? When you get to the school tomorrow, call the other bullies and give the first jab, saying, “Come o, I saw this girl yesterday at their family ‘s Shoprite’. Stress it very well and once it hits the bully, she would keep quite.
Never tolerate bullies, young or old. Develop a fighting spirit. May the LORD give us all inner strength.
*Ayodele Ale is a journalist, lawyer and public affairs analyst