By Vera Chidi-Maha
Our Father in heaven, I thank you for giving us the knowledge of scientific research. I thank you because these days, there are ways to ascertain whether a child belongs to the parents; I thank you because there are ways daddies can now know whether a child is theirs or not.
Dearest Father ; I thank you for DNA and Lord; I must not forget to thank you for helping women to find their voices in their homes and the society at large.
I thank you that concerning the ‘Oyibo’ child that was once delivered to a Nigerian couple, the lady will not be put to shame; I believe you Lord that you will have a good explanation for any child that has no physical resemblance, whether light skinned or dark so that at the end, most women will be vindicated and you will take the glory and honour.
A few years back, a lovely white baby was born to the family of Ben and Angela Ihegboro a Nigerian couple based in United Kingdom. Of course it is rare; in fact it is unusual; and I am aware that as we continue to debate it, scientific researchers are at work.
Unusual it is; but is it unfortunate? I do not think so. I have followed the ceaseless debates some men have put up; heaping the entire blame on the women.
“It is only a woman that knows who the father of a child is, the men will say.” “Really?” I asked. “So, a man sows a seed into a woman, she gets pregnant, why won’t you know you have sown a seed; eh? Why?” You guys sometimes get me really upset by this” the child must look like the father thing.”
I recall a cousin in-law of mine; who dumped his three-year old child because a friend visited him and commented that his son did not look like him. Eventually a DNA showed that the child was without doubt his son. Light skinned men want to have light skinned babies why dark guys wants to have same .
what happens when child look like paternal uncle, aunty, or even grandparents? Of course I know it is wrong for a child to look like her father’s friend or neighbour or worst still the landlord! No; that will indeed be criminal and the lady will have to explain.
But seriously, I have seen very short couple give birth to very tall children. I have equally seen tall parents that have kids of average height. How does one explain that? Gene? Please think about it. I recall another ugly incident that occurred in the home of an uncle.
His job required regular travels. So, when his pretty wife became pregnant with their fourth baby; his reaction was odd. He told all who cared to listen that he was not responsible for the pregnancy.
Naturally, his wife became really upset; in fact to further express her annoyance, she picked up the other three kids and moved straight to her parents’ home. It was shocking to the father because the baby was a replica of its father.
You can then imagine how embarrassed the father felt after he had persistently denied the pregnancy claiming that due to his busy schedule he touched his wife only once. Please, tell me; is once not more than enough to impregnate a woman?
In fact “touching” a woman once can even result in a set of triplets! So, figure it out for yourself. Anyway, the most painful part of this child-parents look alike thing is that women are the guiltiest.
Check this out, a woman gives birth to a healthy baby and you pay her a visit; you pick the baby up and make a comment like ‘the child looks exactly like his father and immediately her face lightens up; she smiles and very quickly agrees with you.
The other comment you could make that will sink her morale is when you say something like “eh, this child looks just like you and not the father. For what it’s worth; comments like that would not only make her face drop but could ruin her mood.
Worse still, if she is the rude type, she could make you eat your words by saying, “really, that’s strange you are the only person that thinks like that; every other person says the baby looks like my husband”.
So here is the thing; when you visit a new mummy; be sure to say the baby looks just like the father even when it might not be so.
As for Nmachi, the miraculous white baby; she is no doubt a blessing that has come in a white package. And until the DNA result is released let us try to stop putting the blame of a child’s look on the women except you want me to sing you guys Akon’s song,
Even though the blame is on you
I will take the blame from you;
So you can put the blame on me’
Yes, if it makes you feel better; go right ahead, put the blame on us!