AFRICA : STORIES FROM HOME (DAY 11)
Dear African Parent
Hi, I hope I find you well. My name is Nobuhle and I am just another African child who needs you to hear me out.
Depression is not a curse, so if your child comes forth and says they are depressed it is not a joke. They are not just seeking attention, they need help. Whilst it is ok to say a prayer for them it is also a need for you to listen and understand what they are feeling. If you are a terrible listener please find a therapist to help them, these are not white people solutions these are solutions for the depressed. Do not take us to sangomas for cleansing, do not drench us in goat blood, just stop and listen to us.
The results of you ignoring your children when they try to open up to you is losing them. We have lost too many young people to suicide.For so long you have dressed depression up as a curse and blamed it on the devil yet you had a chance to save your child. Please take time out to sit down with your children and understand them, know who they are, what they like and what they want in life. Stop forcing your dreams on them and giving them so much unnecessary pressure. You say you serve a faithful God yet you do not trust Him enough to bless your child in the talent that He gave them, how sway.
How could your child’s friend be the one to give the real testimonial on a child you birthed? Their friend be the one to tell people who they really were, what they wanted and what bothered them the most. Why they found it a solution to end their life instead of fight and continue to live. Imagine getting answers from a stranger about your own offspring. I bet you twitter knows your offspring better than you, I bet!
I do not know where this idea of your children fearing you being the best way of parenting, if I knew would head there and uproot it because its ugly and ineffective. YOU ARE NOT A GOOD PARENT IF YOUR CHILDREN RUN FROM YOU!!! You are absolutely terrible at parenting, respect and fear are two different things. I imagine that in your heads it makes sense for us not to come with our fears, sorrows and what you would call nonsense because that is respect. That is us not having a friend in our parents and slowly dying on the inside, the light in our tunnels fade and we lose hope for this bright future you say you see for us. Once we don’t see it, thats it. If we don’t take our own lives something else will, drugs, alcohol, something! And do not get it twisted, sometimes its not you, sometimes its the people around us driving us to depression, sometimes it’s fear of failure. All we are asking for is an open door from you so we know we have someone to run to when our walls are tumbling down.
We get that you want the best for us, trust that we get it. We just do not get why the best is what you imagined and not what God planned. Why God fits everywhere else other than in our lives and our careers. Why our opinions are rude and uncalled for. Why we do not know what we like and need for a happier tomorrow. Why we must run away from our parents from fear and confide in strangers. Why strangers understand us and you just have us at the bottom of the list. We do not understand why you inflict fear in us and turn around and tell your friends we respect you. We don’t, we are just scared humans living under your rule and forced to act happy.
I for one am tired of talking to young people who are doing degrees and jobs they hate because their parents said they must. I am tired of suicide notes that read the same. I am tired of parents burying their children. So please, just stop and listen to your children. Find a balance, we are burying jewels day after day. Help us save generations!