In 1989, 7-year-old Nii Moi lost his father to a gory car accident on the Accra-Kumasi highway. His dad was all he had as he lost his mother at childbirth
“I remember playing football with my friends when I saw my aunt wailing in the kitchen. I approached and she told me dad is not coming home again. I knew, there and then, he was gone. I wept uncontrollably, with my arms crossed over my shoulders.
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As I sobbed, I heard heavy footsteps approaching – it was my uncle. He spanked me, telling me to wipe my tears. “Men don’t cry,” he yelled. It’s been decades and now as an adult, no sad thing breaks me up into tears, he revealed.
It is a Ghanaian culture not to see a man cry. In fact, the Patriarchal social system of traditional societies makes this more ingrained in all sub cultures of Ghana and the rest of Africa.
Unlike the foreign movies we watch of men crying on the shoulders of women or even getting so emotional on issues bothering their minds, men in our parts of the world perceive these emotions as feminine.
These are the reasons why most men we date in various African cultures rarely show emotions. They box up their emotions and rarely talk.
You can’t blame them the most especially when – just like Nii Moi – they had their emotions tortured and boxed by the very uncles, brothers and fathers who scorned them for showing too much emotions in their childhood.
Famous African-American Pastor, Bishop TD Jakes, in his sermon - “Hemotions” – showed us how the boxed up emotions of many men of African descent continues to ruin relationships, marriages and life engagements.
With 90 percent of suicide cases being men, there is more to the understanding that men are not just emotional beings but also victims of a cultural system that inflicts brute machoism on their pure being.