16 December 2013

MANHOOD: BEYOND PENIS ENVY (Featured in Court Weekly)

(Image credit: stock-illustration)
Isn't youth and boyhood a memory to keep like a genteel does his manners, and manhood an endless train whose every carriage one must appear in, even if one may never get to come off? Yet with the remorsefulness of one who is in the habit of boiling water to dryness, the transition to manhood hasn't been given the big gun, and most times, a male child--outside the few and sometimes imposing influence of a man-figure while he was growing--is left to do his growing personally. To put it more acutely; it's lonely growing into a man. And the journey goes way back; from around those times in your 'primaries' when you, pined over the pretty little girl whose sit is far right of the classroom; avoiding and picking little fights with her was the only way you know how to express your puerile crave. Then that exact morning in your teen when you woke up just to find--for the first time--your boxers wet with semen, clinging annoyingly to your crotch. Yet, no one comprehends how you went through it all, or perhaps, they did comprehend but none of it mattered--how alone, you nursed the frustrations of your early infatuations and swabbed your first ejaculation dry. But sadly, now that you are a man, these things don't qualify as a fond memory for you.

Every man with a good memory and who isn't engrossed in undoing his childhood will remember it --however hazy--in all its hilarity. But whoever is able to look back now and still can give a frail smile at everything and all the quirkiness of becoming a man, had most definitely made his transition in triumph. However, still, as the story advance for a man, the plot of his apprehensions thicken. In his manhood he begins to quietly miss the 'care-free-ness' of being an infant, and mildly wishes he could still keep his youthful look- flat belly, biceps, trimmed figure, and being able to keep an afro and still get away with it. Not the doctor's rants about how the loss in his muscle mass and cells conduced to his adding weight, carrying a growing pot belly and going around with flabby arms. And when his little boy tosses a ball at him, he either toss it back nonchalantly or plays it with the vestige of a dwindling youthful strength. It is from such that young ones need to learn that there's no point wanting to grow up so fast; that their youthfulness ought to be enjoyed in its fullness first, to enjoy adulthood.

Perhaps my little trick of swatting the nail with a swing so far has proven futile , it might be consoling to state clearly that the world picks its order at the feet of our human fathers, men whose growth was as personal and important as their very phallus. This explains why it may appear needless and quite humiliating to tell a man how be a man, and I wouldn't be tempted to do that, as manhood is not a magical experience that can be conjured with a wave of Harry Potter's wand, nor is it merely a shack that has, leading to it, numerous boulevards with signposts bearing the pleasures and the unpleasantness of infancy.

Being a man is a process that sums up to having a heart good enough to handle responsibilities; it goes beyond the things you did for independence as a youth, to a higher level of interdependence. Beyond being able to seed ovaries and make kids, rather than a forbearance to nurture those kids in his arms and plunge his affection for them deep in his heart. To shield them, understand them and prepare them for life. It's not about how much your ego is fed, but being able to let life and order make it's start from you and then flow out to permeate your proteges with a pungent influence, and remaining a man that still stands as a valued father to fall back on even when all an Asa and a Prince Nico Mbarga--alongside the rest of the world--sings is an eulogy of their mothers.

Chris Tilewa is a young Nigerian who writes, and still only dreams about his first book. He lives presently within the boarders between Lagos and Ogun state. Connect with him on twitter @krislucid


  1. I say this is a wonderful write that mirrors an essential truth, and I have to say it answered the question of what manhood should be to a very satiable extent! well done team

  2. Wow! You captured so well the transition from boyhood to manhood and its emotions.

  3. Both sexes struggle with the loneliness of going through it all alone because we lack sex education that would have prepared us for the emotional changes that comes with the transition.