Faith or Folly? YOU tell me....

I was looking through a page I found last year on Instagram called humansofny- it's a very interesting page that features regular people around Newyork and their "stories"- whatever it was they wanted to share/talk about really. There are some really interesting stories in there and I've read some with a lot of interest and skipped others in disinterest. It is quite an enlightening page to follow. 

So this screenshot above pertained to a woman with what you'd term "meagre means" (she earned $500 a week) who had four kids and an ailing mother to take care of. She had been struggling and was approached by a Colombian lady who said she could "help her" and pay her a huge sum of money: bottomline was that she had to transport cocaine and that was why she was now in jail, telling her story to the Humansofny. 

Reading through the comments, the comment by boristhe_blade made me smile and think, "Mr man, you must not know any Nigerians ba?". It also made me think about something I've really always mused about: why people who were living from hand to mouth or cheque to cheque, still went ahead to birth more than two kids.

In our Nigerian context, it is quite common practice for members of a family to "marry a wife" for the male child who had still, at a certain "ripe" age, not attained financial stability/independence but who they believed should have already begun a family. Everyone comes together to "put firewood under the pot" i.e to enable him, to give him the push and support- financial and moral- required to take this necessary step. When fears about the future of this seemingly financially unstable unit of a family are brought up, it is shut down by the all-knowing parents who say, "Eh, their financially stable siblings will help. When we get to the bridge, we will cross it". And for the next decade and some, this young family would depend on their extended family for almost everything and the financially stable siblings would either try to empower their sibling by starting a business for him or sponsoring him to learn a trade or the wife is empowered.

I'm sure a lot of Nigerians can relate to this situation, indeed, a lot are living it as I write. It is also quite interesting that a lot of these "shaky" starters go on ahead to have from four to ten kids ( or more), this is where I often wonder what the drive is- Faith or Foolishness? I think that in the Nigerian context, it is seen as Faith and I'll explain why. It is believed that whilst the shaky parents start out in faith like that and give birth to their brood in quick succession, they then "grew up" with and struggled to take care of this brood- of course with the help of members of the extended family. It is believed that things would eventually stabilize for the family- which often is the case, especially if the husband or wife (or both) turn out to be people with good heads for business; the family suddenly stabilizes and are then able to stand independently in terms of finances. It is believed that this is a better way to get the family started and rolling as opposed to waiting for a man who at, say, thirty-two to thirty-five, (in some Igbo homes, the age of thirty for a man is even considered late in terms of settling down, especially if he is an only son or a first son) had yet to earn a penny or who didn't seem to be making any progress; it is believed that waiting for him to find his feet first before settling down was a waste of valuable years.

Also, in the event that this family never quite got stabilized, the extended family continued to help out one way or the other until the children by this sibling got a university education and were then able to go out and get jobs for themselves and eventually start their own families. I reckon that is the rationale behind having a lot of kids despite being financially unstable, the belief that these same kids would basically bail you out and enrich your life by eventually bringing great value to it- not necessarily monetarily- in the future after the tough and rough beginning, afterall, children are wealth, so then, it is really faith in what the future held, no? Is this any justification, in these recent times and with the enlightenment people now have, to birth more kids than you know yourself financially capable of taking care of?

In the light of the above, do you think I have answered Mr Boris' question? Is this reason a good one or do you agree with Mr Boris? Is birthing more kids than you can financially take care of an act of faith or folly? How many kids would you say is "enough", which if exceeded would be considered "too many" for a family who are struggling financially? YOU tell me as I'm eager to read your thoughts....

Love Always,

Ps: I know it's not always the case that people intentionally go ahead to birth more kids than they can financially take care of. Some people either fall into hard times, debt or lose a partner but my question is really about young people who start a family with no apparent means of sustainable livelihood but go on ahead to birth one, two, three, four, five....... Like, ????

P.s 2: Have a great week ahead! :) :) :)


  1. To me it's foolishness to not consider your capabilities and reality before procreating. One shouldn't just rely on faith of what tomorrow would bring and then have so many kids. People should always think of how they can adequately provide equally for all their children. To me if I can't give a child of mine the same opportunities I gave to her sibling, then that's just cruel of me. So have the number your pocket now can adequately cater to, not the future pocket. ---UGO

    1. Lol@ not the "future" pocket Ugo, lol. I agree 100% but I'd really like to hear a dissenting opinion and to understand why..... I personally find it quite baffling.....

  2. In this day and age, its serious folly to birth more than you can handle.

    1. I agree 100% dear. You've been scarce o, nne, whatagwan? X

    2. Nothing oh, just limiting my social media presence so I can focus with less distractions. The thing has been eating seriously into time that could have been used for more productive things. I still hover around oh and I check here often. I dey no fear.

    3. Nothing oh, just limiting my social media presence so I can focus with less distractions. The thing has been eating seriously into time that could have been used for more productive things. I still hover around oh and I check here often. I dey no fear.

  3. I think times have changed. People are getting wiser and no more doing that "plenty children to fill my yard" thing. People's eyes are red.