The double standards of African families or why I am like Capt Ahab in Moby Dick

It’s been a while since an update and for that I apologise. I heard last week was Moby Dick’s 161st anniversary. I seriously empathise with one of the lead characters, Capt Ahab who is chasing the whale who is his arch-nemesis. I feel like I am chasing my dreams of NOT LIVING AT HOME and they are just not coming to fruition as soon as I would like. Not because I am not trying but because there are obstacles in my way. Case in point, there are dividends that I receive as part of shares my parents got me when I was younger. I cashed those in this year, hoping to have some money available to move out and buy a car, and start planning a London holiday.

My mum really hates that I went against the grain and started my own business. Some of my siblings do as they are told, almost by military order by my mum but I really wanted to try and entrepreneurial thing and see if I could make it work. She does not understand me and never will – she doesn’t understand that giving me a European education should help me immensely in trying to make this business work but instead she wants me to get a bog standard job where I might not even make a £1,000 per month in Tanzanian shillings.

I know, mind boggling.

Last week, there was drama as usual where she was trying to force me to leave my business, my office and get a job. Not going to happen. So then she tries to impose limits on me financially – she took my dividend money for some project she is doing in her village, she took 25% of it and now she claims that her paying for my Masters education was a loan and she wants it paid back. (All £22K of it).

Paying back the Masters education even though I was never told it was a loan = whatever, I will do whatever to get her off my back.

But how can she take dividend money that is mine? It is in my name, and it’s mine. I know what it is about, and I have heard about other horror stories about how some African parents use money as this way to control their children or family members and I can tell my mum does exactly that. She uses money as a way to keep people down, not to build them up so they can be happy. Coincidentally, my older sister didn’t get any dividend money taken away I heard on the grapevine because she has a child…

There is a possibility that my family might see this blog since there are snitches everywhere in Tanzania who get involves in things which do not concern them. I am kind of passed caring; I feel so harassed by her that I am never at home anyway and I am always at the office, or drinking with friends in bars or going for walks around Dar-es-Salaam taking pictures.

Couple the stress of this family situation with the guy I am dating, it has been a really stressful 2 week period. I am just not happy at home and I am being made to pay so much for the house when I barely get any use out of the house, which again cripples me from being able to move out.

African families use money as a crutch to keep children and other family members from being able to be individuals – this is why that collective mentality thrives because money tends to be centralised like a bank.

No one knows my entire financial situation at home and it’s better that way because when I move out, I am never going back.


3 thoughts on “The double standards of African families or why I am like Capt Ahab in Moby Dick

  1. Hi dear,
    Its been ages since i visited your site and there it goes today i remember charcoal ink.Though im a family friend but i have to say something as i actually understand you completely.Parents are always protective and its always hard for them to see their children grow, most of the times its the dads but in your case its mom.I know she means well.But you need to prove to her that you are strong and can stand on your own feet no matter how hard it is.No matter what she does i’m sure its part of her training you.If you are weak you will give up but if you are strong you will fight and be the last man standing.You have a dream and a clear picture of what exactly you want to achieve,do whatever it takes, work hard at it and believe me when your company will produce profit and growth your parent will be the first one to tell you how proud she is.When i had my son at 21 my dad said my life was over.I still remember how i fought the drama to find my path and beleive me i didnt get any support even when i took my first loan at bank then when i bought my first car suddenly my dad realised that i was a grown up when i started to seriously earn my own living and not asking for a penny i earned my respect and in the end i became the bread winner of the house.
    Try your best to avoid arguements with your mom and be very patient with her.Just always tell her kindly that you have your own path besides no one becomes great in one night.She won’t understand you now but eventually believ me she will.Focus and be smart as you already are.Love her more and show her the love and reverse the phycology.


      • I didn’t misunderstand, my reply was very general its not about money its about control.Just take it easy,accept the bumps on they way no matter how unfair they are, those obstacles should only be an energizer to move forward.

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