You were 6 years old when you first heard the phrase, “men don’t cry”. Your mum had told you this when Bilikisu; your neighbor’s daughter beat the hell out of you in a street fight. You burst out in tears and ran to your mother.

She welcomed you with two thunderous slaps. “Are you insane? You let a girl beat you?”, your mum said. “But Bilikisu attends karate class”, you said in your defense. “Karate or no Karate. Men don’t cry”, she answered.

It stuck in your head and even though you have cried a lot of times over the years, nobody has ever seen you cry.

You were 26 when you met Chioma. You loved her and she loved you. That day when you both sat at the mall, she held your hands and looked into your eyes; “Kayode, I want you to know that you can be vulnerable with me. I’ll like to go through every phase of life with you”, she said.
You were glad you finally found the woman that would never yell at you.

A few years later, when you came home in tears, your jacket in one hand and a sack letter in the other, you expected Chioma to draw you into a warm embrace, pat your head and make you lie on her bosom as long as you’d want.

“Kayode, you better shake it off. Another job will come. Stop crying like a woman”, Chioma said.

That night, Chioma wore her favorite lingerie and paced the bedroom, you knew what she wanted but you were in no mood to approach it. She came on you and you had to succumb. Understandably, you couldn’t last two minutes in bed. She got upset and called you a weakling.

In shame, you dragged your naked self into the bathroom. You were in the bathtub for one hour, bathing in your own tears.

Now, you have a male child, you just walked in on him staring at his dead mother’s picture – your wife. She died at childbirth.

Obviously, he has been crying. “Bolarin, you need to stop crying. You have to man up”, you said.

Same language.
Different generations.
The cycle continues.


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