Why WhatsApp Broadcasts Are So Popular With Nigerian Parents

whatsapp broadcasts

Almost every young Nigerian gets WhatsApp broadcasts from their parents. Some of these broadcasts are so ridiculous that it’s difficult to understand how anybody can believe their contents. Yet trying to stop your parents from reading and sharing these messages is a waste of time. I know, I’ve tried.

My first experience with strange WhatsApp broadcasts was about two years ago when an older relative sent me a list of Nigerian politicians whose corruptly-acquired assets had supposedly been unveiled. I told her to  stop spreading the broadcast because it was obviously false and could get her in trouble. That was the last time she sent me a broadcast. 

Whatsapp broadcasts

A few days ago however, while spending time with her, she kept making reference to WhatsApp messages that had been sent to her and I found them very disturbing. I’ve also been detained by aunts and uncles who felt the need to share scary information they’d gotten through their much loved WhatsApp broadcasts. So I just had to ask myself, why are these terrible broadcast messages such a hit with older Nigerians? I have one answer and it perfectly explains it all.

WhatsApp broadcasts are popular with Nigerian parents because they mostly spread fear, and the average Nigerian parent is a chronic fearmonger. That’s their number one parenting tactic. They tell you not to look at a boy because just making eye contact will get you pregnant. They flog you to high heavens because God forbid you disgrace them by not making it in life. 

Why do they compare you to other people’s children and even your own siblings? Because they are afraid you’ll fall behind. Why do they insist you hand wash clothes even when there’s a washing machine? Because they are afraid your father’s people will say you don’t have home training. Why do they want you to marry anything that moves and breathes? Because they are afraid of being unable to speak out among their friends who are already grandparents. 

whatsapp broadcasts

Most Nigerian children were raised in an atmosphere of fear. You were afraid of mummy’s whip which could be drawn out at the slightest provocation. And even when the whip was far away, you could count on mummy to use a kitchen utensil or her slippers to make sure your fear quotient never dropped. And Daddy? That was the lion of the tribe of your house. Daddy must not be woken from his slumber or he would roar at you and beat you like only a daddy could. 

Fear is the greatest power that Nigerian parents have wielded over their children and WhatsApp broadcasts have given them a way to continue to instill this fear. Our parents don’t mean any harm so this is not an attempt to criticize them. They probably don’t understand why they’re so addicted to sending these messages. 

whatsapp broadcasts

However, if you’re a young person and you’re trying to jump on the train of sending inane WhatsApp broadcasts, please don’t. Before you send out that broadcast, make sure it contains valuable information and is not just an attempt to cause panic. The last thing this country needs is more people spreading fake news. You are not your parents. You know better, so do better.

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