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Male Child

Siandi’s mother passed away while giving birth to her.

Siandi’s father remarried but didn’t get any other child and in his desperation to have a male child who would retain his family name, he arranged with a man to put his daughter in a family way.

She became heavy at seventeen. He was happy and prayed non-stop for everything to go well but while giving birth to a female child, Siandi gave up the ghost.

In certain culture, every child is important but to retain the family name as well as to retain or inherit the family property, a male child is needed.

In such culture, a woman without a male child is regarded as a stranger in her husband’s home and is standing on one leg‘ and has no right over the husbands properties once the husband kicks the bucket while the one with a male child is regarded as a part and parcel of the family and is sitting as the queen with her male children as the heirs. She and her children have the right over the husband’s properties.

This particular tradition has been looked at as wrong but no one has been coauragious enough to fight against it even though there have been many deliberations and debates over it.

Some powerful women have tried in the past to fight this bad tradition and to rebuff it but then, what is written is written. Nothing much could be achieved.

As long as there is no male child, the inheritance is shared among the man’s brothers. If he had no brothers, a male relations would take over.

I have a friend with nine female children who can’t stop having children because she must have a male child so as to sit as the queen.

I think this tradition must stop. A child is a child and every child wether male or female should be given equal right to family inheritance and I think this name retaining thing doesn’t make much sense since no one knows what happens after they’re gone.




8 thoughts on “Male Child Leave a comment

  1. More like a committed African writer.

    This is what I call trends and issues in an African world.

    But as a person my kind will strive to narrow the all cost.just that,some ladies too needs to be educated to help in quenching such undesirable inferno.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Henry🙂Youre right, education plays a part. I think our culture plays even greater part – if female gender is given equal right over family inheritance, the stigma attached to not having a male child would cease to be.


  2. I salute your your ability to aptly portray such a harsh reality in a short piece. Reading through this story, the travails of Nnu Ego in Buchi Emecheta’s “Joys of Motherhood”. It’s sad that people still place value on a particular gender at the expense of the other. It’s even more pathetic that women are always at the receiving end. I know of a family where the mother gave birth to 8 children (all females) just because of the ‘quest’ for a male child. I think it’s the impoverishment of the mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you lbk. It’s the bitter reality and as you rightly said, women are at the receiving end. Men are ridiculed too for not being man enough to have male children by his fellow men especially by fellow kingsmen in meetings. You can imagine that. I feel for such people. In my area, what such family do is to keep one of the girls from getting married so she could have children in her fathers house as in the case of the story above, focusing on having male children. This is bad for the girl. Very bad.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh how I hate this tradition. My husband is the only male child of his parents and I have only 2 girls, and some people still tell me I need to have a male child to retain the family name. My in-laws ain’t complaining thank God they are open minded people and they don’t have that type of tradition. The ugly part is that those that tell me this are not even our relatives🙄. My husband tries to shun them when they say it and he tells them ” a child is a child” Children are blessings from God, who cares about the gender.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank God you have a supportive husband. And good to know his family is supportive too. You’re really blessed. In this modern society, it baffles me how this tradition can still exist. I have a friend whose husband’s family got a wife for her husband because she didn’t get a male child but she’s blessed with a sweet husband just like you who said no to them. Those sweet girls of your will do you both proud. ❤


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