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An oldie is one who is valued for his wisdom and hairs of responsibility. One of greater age than you are. They are known as “old school”. Someone who leads by example and inspire changes in his society. Even the one who is a day old? They are channels of information, knowledge and ideas.  In them flows rivers of moral values, our cultures and tradition.
There is a Yoruba proverb that says a young man can have many clothes as an elderly person, but cannot have the same amount of rags as one.
Nigerian oldies seem to know what is right and what is wrong, but never admit to their wrongdoings. Remember our oldies are self-sacrificing as they have devoted their ounce of energy developing us, saving the world and building the country. They have done so much for us, so they feel entitled to all that they demand. There are many of such things. Here are a few of them : Respect: It is true that respect is earned. No matter your culture one thing is prevalent, respect your elders. Elders simply expect respect. Offering Advice: They have a right to offer you bits of advice even if you feel they are not wanted. Every moment they assume you are going off route, you hear their words ringing in your heart… or ears. Control: Most elderly ones want to control every aspect of everyone’s lives. If it is not going the way they expect, they turn on the control button. You just have to be at their beck and call. Oh yes, the remote control is a personal property. Convenience: You live for their convenience. Do not expect to have what they want. Have you ever wondered why someone would ask you to get something two steps away from them? You have to jump at orders relayed at you. Companionship: Sometimes, what you assume to be disturbance is just a way of seeking for a companion. They are in need of someone to talk with. So when next you hear stories of past glories, do not plug your ears just be calm and listen, talk and share. Consultation: Before we take any momentous decision, they want us to take consultations from them. They want to stay in touch with our lives and the decision we make. While this can seem overbearing, their advice are most times invaluable. Inequality: For those who say “age is but a number”, or “who age epp” Check again. On the ride home, the bus queues, the bank queues, Nigerian oldies have the privilege to be attended to before any able bodied youth. Monitor your dress sense: whether they are your family members or not, you are not permitted to dress waywardly around them. Even on the bus, you will hear things like “ and this one has a parent that saw her before  leaving home.” Your Friend on Social Media Platforms: You are lucky if your old ones have not figured how to use the virtual space. For the computer savvy older generation, they know they are entitled to view, comment online and offline about your photos and profiles. MEAT in the POT: Just know that the fatest meat in the pot is theirs. Don’t even try touching it. Remember in our culture, a child is trained by everyone around. It does not matter if you are related or not. Na so!

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This article was first published on 2nd August 2017


Adepeju Adenuga is a writer (considering where you are reading this, makes perfect sense). She holds a Masters Degree in Literature in English from the University of Lagos.

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