“I will send you back to Africa;” Why diasporas parents should not use it to discipline their kids

For the new Pan-African generation and the entire Black community to achieve an absolute change of narrative concerning Africa, its people and culture, we must identify possible contributory factors and deal with them appropriately.  

The issue of African parents in the diaspora constantly threatening to “send their children back to African” any time they go wrong is a major concern that must be addressed for the collective good. This statement, which has been adopted by African parents and used in the sense of “punishment” or “deterrence” is a very destructive tool which has been normalized. 

To these parents, it is normal but the psychological effect on the children is grievous. They grow up forming negative thoughts about the continent hence, refusing to visit or have anything doing with Africa.  

EYEGAMBIA had an interview with Samuel, an African immigrant living in the US about the issue. Back in Africa, Samuel grew up in a middle-class family, a beautiful suburban neighborhood . His family home has five bedrooms with a swimming pool and a hoop court. However, he also use the same phrase as a disciplinary threat to his kids who has never been to Africa.

“Well, It is a common phrase often used by some African diasporas and it works like magic, so I decided to adopt it too. However, I stopped using it when I realized that it is instilling fear in my kids about Africa. Besides, the good life my parents provided me is way better than what I am currently providing to my kids. Over here I am raising them in a tiny apartment that is smaller than even my family boy’s quarter. Back home, my family has two housemaids – a nanny and a cook. We cook fresh food everyday and buy fresh groceries on a daily basis – the fish and meat are always fresh. I recently told my kids who are now teenagers about my childhood story and they couldn’t believe me thus started laughing at me. I planned on taking them to Africa when the travelling restriction is a bit relaxed”

 Samuel for instance has learnt his lessons but how many parents out there are aware of this? We must have an open conversation to educate our black parents in the diaspora to understand the extent of generational damage they are causing with this seemingly normal but self-destructive statement. We need to have a complete change of mindset.

Apart from malicious and negative narrative ridden media agendas against Africa by detractors, the effects of this particular statement from our own backyard is undoubtedly another silent contributor to how black kids perceive or behave towards Africa. In addition, it communicates a certain message to others as well.  

The continent has been dealt a great blow already; our duty as a people is to try as much as possible to defuse these already existing negative narratives and the list to attempt now is to allow ourselves to be used as vehicles to drive home these set agendas

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