Nimbe: An advocacy of the respect of the rights of African children
One of the observed challenges of parenthood is the tendency to overlook the emotional needs of children. This is a flaw in the process of parenting which can take the forms of belittling the thoughts of children too often, displaying unmitigated indifference to their moods, and habitually dismissing their yearnings as merely childish.
In addition, in extreme cases of parental disregard, the sensibilities of children are constantly and severely hurt, and their hopes of parental attention, care, love and respect are dashed, especially when in dire need of them.
This monumental lapse of parentcraft can be caused by certain perceived factors. Overburdening or acutely frustrating personal or/and family commitments as well as other overwhelming attention-grabbers, including perfectionistic endeavours, can press parents to care less about the mental wants of their offspring. Also, an inherent nature to be grossly overbearing or negligent reduces parents to “known strangers” who attach little or no importance to the feelings of their broods.
When parentdom is perverted, affected voiceless children will be unfairly raised, constituting a fatal risk to their mental hygiene. Besides, indubitably, parental inattention can perpetuate childhood dissatisfaction, distraction, depression, juvenile delinquency, mental disorder, and suicide. Indeed, distraught children suffer dissatisfaction and helplessness.
Many of them are shattered by the storm at the end of the day. In some inauspicious situations, chronic feelings of disappointment can degenerate to depression, and a resultant mental disorder or an eventual suicide if not detected and corrected in time. In other unfortunate circumstances, flustered children can succumb to all sorts of dirty distractions such as peer pressure, vices like drug abuse or/and crime, and can become threats to humanity.
And sadly, most times, these identified grave fallouts are massively reported, criticised, but the necessity to trace and tackle their primary cause so as to reduce or stall their recurrence is ignored by most readings. However, it is important to admit that the spotted root has attracted the concern of the Nigerian Senate which, accordingly, endorses Nimbe, a Nollywood’s 2019 film set in Nigeria, and its storyline crafted in a manner that exposes many ills of bad parenting.
Nimbe focuses on drug abuse and, specifically, subtly establishes the sub-themes that substantiate how culpable parents deny their children the attention and love they need to thrive and how the denial can destroy their lives.
Nimbe as a tragedy features a male character after who it is named, Oluwanimbe, a final year senior secondary school student who suffers psychological warfare and emotional blackmail in the hands of an overbearing father, Bayo Oguntade, alongside his mother, Uduak Oguntade.
The parentally challenged protagonist gets relief from the therapeutic action of art at a quiet spot each time the cruelty of his father plunges him into a worst mood.
Drawing on paper with his pencil during one of his moments at the regular spot, Nimbe is approached by a bad and officious peer, Ralph, whose wealthy parents are too busy to have time for him. He is influenced to take to drug abuse which distracts him completely from his studies by Ralph.
When the crisis in the family of Nimbe reaches its climax, its bond suffers a total breakdown. He gets refuge in the den of a notorious drug dealer, AK, after he and his mother are thrown out by his father. Unfortunately, AK corrupts him absolutely.
Regrettably, Bayo realises his foolishness at a time too late for his only child, Nimbe, to be redeemed and reintegrated into their home.
In the end, Nimbe gets a life jail term for committing murder and his friend, Ralph develops a drug-induced liver problem.
Nimbe is written by Moshood Yakubu Olawale and Ronke Gbede, produced by Folarin Laosun and Oluwaseun Dania, and directed by Tope Alake assisted by Gbenga Ojerinde. Nimbe is proudly supported by thoughtful corporate organisations, including ND Western and Tradefada. Nimbe casts the highly talented Chimezie Imo (Nimbe); “Alakada Reloaded” superstar, Toyin Abraham (Uduak Oguntade); “The Vendor” megastar, Odunlade Adekola (Bayo Oguntade); Molawa Davies (Ralph), Kelechi Udegbe (AK), Sani Musa Danja (AK’s partner), popular comedian, Shaggi (One of AK’s accomplices); Ojewole Timilehin (Benji) and others.
In conclusion, children are future leaders. Either from a poor or rich background, they deserve a best childhood experience. Maybe we can rewrite the story of every child suffering from similar parental neglect in Nigeria and by extension, Africa, by watching, drawing critical lessons from, and collectively addressing the realities illustrated in the satirical film Nimbe.
These should be done, minding the fact that parentship should be as great as an opportunity to give children a progressive transition to adulthood. I wish Nigeria a Happy 60th Independence Anniversary and better anniversaries ahead.