Parents Aren’t Deities: How Ozzy Etomi’s Tweet Started a Much Needed Conversation among Nigerians

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A friend of mine recently said, “All Ozzy Etomi has to do is breath, and Nigerians will go crazy” and to be honest I don’t see any lies there.

The writer, communication strategist and feminist icon is almost always a topic of discussion on twitter. From conversations surrounding payments for stay at home mothers to orgasms, Ozzy always has a way of triggering Nigerian men and the unfortunate pick me committee.

While most people believe she tweets to gain attention, true or false, you can’t deny the fact that Ozzy’s tweets and opinions about life, tend to push for us to have conversations that would normally be swept under the rug, or deemed irrelevant.

Giving us a blast before we headed into the weekend, Ozzy’s timeline must have been in shambles on Friday, after her tweet about her dad summoning her and her siblings with a less than 24 hour notice, was slammed for being rude, and made the topic of the day.

Almost every Nigerian is family oriented, and has a close bond with their parents whether its forced or not.  I remember foreign movies growing up, and finding it weird that for some reason, someone could be estranged from their parents, the concept just seemed alien to a Nigerian boy.

Taking this into consideration, it came as no surprise that the internet descended on Ozzy for coming for the one thing they hold sacred after religion, their parents.

However several points seemed to elude them during the entire process, starting with the fact that her tweet was about HER family, and not THEIRS.

The weird belief that our parents are infallible has helped breed this worship culture that needs to be curbed. My parents aren’t gods and neither are yours, and while we may love them, the famous saying still stands, “respect is reciprocal”.

Parents also need to understand that their children must at some point grow up to lead lives completely independent of them, which doesn’t automatically mean their love or regard has diminished.

Ozzy later gave the full story behind the tweet (which she didn’t owe anyone by the way) which revealed further that she and her siblings didn’t out rightly decline the meeting, they actually asked for it to be rescheduled, and let’s not forget the part where her dad invited her through her husband, as though she needed his permission to attend (story for another day).

Another weird part of this story, was the constant projection from a ton of twitter users who turned her post into an “O Jewa Ka Eng: My Father is Dead Edition”. The replies bordering on the mortality of her father, was highly unnecessary and selfish. While most people look at Twitter as just basic banter, there’s so much I’ve learnt from that app about equality and individuality, most of them from Ozzy herself. It’s imperative to look for teachable moments even in the most mundane events like scrolling through social media.

We need to take our parents off the godly pedestal we’ve put them on, and this goes beyond Ozzy’s tweet. It’s more about coming to terms with their humanity, which will I believe will help foster a stronger relationship with them.

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