Men in the last days


I enjoy spending time with the older male gender who are experienced in all facets of life to learn and see through their eyes of knowledge and wisdom.

Over time I have always worked in a men-dominated environment, which I feel comfortable with in my work delivery. This had somewhat come to play in my personal life such that I am interested in knowing what goes on with every man around me to ensure that they are living the comfortable, fulfilled life they wish to live.

In my relationship with the few men I have been friends with, I have seen their pains, joy, happiness and love.

Yes, pains; the rich also cry. Men also go through pain for different reasons at different periods of their lives. While many men have been able to cover this up as some die in silence, others who care less about the judgmental society take the bull by the horn by finding happiness instead of wallowing in pain.

I do not want to bore you with my parables but let me hit the nail on the head. It is no news that many married men are abandoned by their wives and children in their old age.

This trend is gathering momentum by the day. It is mind-blowing to realize that this is the handiwork of some of our mothers whom we praise to the high heavens that they endured all the challenges in marriage to ensure that their children turn out successful.

Recently, I was discussing with one of my elderly male acquittances, a retiree in the health sector. He had once discussed with me how to assist in getting his pension paid by the State Government. We discussed life and any related topic.

Upon retirement, he opened a Pharmacy where he sells drugs, when not, he is in the school where he lectures. It was one of those days I visited to chat and get a few things from his store, and we got talking. He told me about his wife travelling out of the country to see some of their children. I was happy as I asked if he would not miss Mummy too much, and he said they talked on the phone.

I discussed this with him a few months later, and he mentioned that his wife had returned. I was so happy for him and told him he would feel relieved, but my joy was short-lived when he told me his wife did not arrive at their home. He then gave me a story I had never bargained for.

He narrated that; his wife never told him she was travelling out initially and that she only told him she was going to Lagos to see one of their sons. He said he never knew they had planned that she was travelling abroad to the United States to spend time with his other children.

He told me that she got there before he was informed. According to him, “I was shocked, but I just took it as one of those things, and this is a woman that is so religious; attends church, committed to God’s things. In fact, she made me commit to church activities. While she was away, she kept calling to ask if I had gone to the weekly service and all the meetings.

I was disappointed, but I just acted strong. When my wife returned, she refused to come back home. Still, she stayed back in Lagos and suggested that we relocate to Ibadan as she is no more interested in staying in Osogbo again. I later discovered that they had gotten her a well-furnished apartment. At the same time, she planned with the children that I would relocate, leaving the house we built and my business to stay with her doing nothing.

“I just cannot understand all her change in attitude; the children keep supporting her every move. I told them I was not leaving my house and my business. If worse comes to worst, I will get another companion.”

I cut in at that point to say don’t you think she will call all the church leaders to intervene and see you as the wrong person here? He does not care anymore; all he wanted was to be happy.

I forgot to mention that he has been going around with his dog named (Jackson) he said they come from home to the store together.

I felt his pain, especially when he said, “These are the people I suffered to take care of. I had the opportunity to travel abroad when we were young. Still, I dropped the offer because our children are all boys, and I realised they needed a father figure, so I decided to stay back for us to take proper care of them.”

A few days after our discussion I saw Mr Adeniyi with a jeep. As I drove home, when I inquired about the jeep, he told me it was the car the children got for his wife. She finally came home after a family meeting in Ibadan, Oyo State.

He explained that he travelled to Ibadan for a family meeting as they had reported him to some elders in the family.

He said he told them his mind, and they begged him, and he only told them he had heard to avoid rancour. Still, he will only find time to visit once in a while, but he is not relocating anywhere except he decides to travel out of the country on his own terms. When I asked why he did not allow his children to assist him, he said he did not want anyone’s assistance in travelling.

Mr Adeniyi now lives like a bachelor after many years of marriage with grown-up kids.

The crux of my story is that many men are treated like outcasts as they get older. From my observations, most of these men are those who practised monogamy. My bother is, why would a man stick to one woman for many years of toiling and suffering to ensure his family has the best out of life after God had blessed them with long life, at the age he expected to relax and enjoy the fruit of his labour his so-called heartthrob will then rob him of all his entitlement.

It is harrowing and disheartening. Such attitude has made many young men consider polygamy as a failsafe. Some even consider not giving their all to their partners as a way of securing their old age.

My elderly friend Mr Adeniyi is lucky to have some things to do as he can still fend for himself. What about many old men abandoned at the mercy of neighbours and community members? They are also regular customers of “Mama Put”. At the same time, their wives expect Papa to wait for them until they return fresh from their children.

This is a terrible fate that awaits some men. If it continues, some men will lose confidence in monogamy or shirk in their full responsibility as the man of the house.

This reminds me of a family friend we had growing up; Mr Olasupo was an educationist while his wife was a Primary School teacher. They have beautiful and brilliant children, but Mr Olasupo only pays the school fees and leaves other responsibilities to his wife. He even beats his wife at will. His children were afraid of him until they got to the University. They became bold, began challenging their Dad and warned him against beating their Mum.

On one of those days my siblings and I were gisting with our parents, my younger siblings told my parents about the situation in Olasupos’ family. My Dad was surprised; he got a suitable time to speak to Mr and Mrs Olasupo. My parents were shocked at Mr Olasupos’ response. In his words, “nobody recognises the father of the Doctor or Lawyer, but everybody acknowledges and appreciates their mothers. In essence, his wife should suffer for what she will enjoy. A sad reason to give, but that is the reality. Our society has given so much credence to the mother forgetting the father. It is not proper; both parents are responsible for their children’s upbringing and should be appreciated equally, and the mothers should learn to express themselves. Communication is key; wives should learn to forgive their husbands and communicate, not wait till they are old before they decide to take revenge by abandoning them and turning their kids against them. You are only digging an untimely grave for your children because both Books of God, the Bible and the Quran, require that we respect and obey our parents to enjoy a long life.

If you are sure you will abandon your husband in old age, allow him to get another partner that will stay with him for the rest of his life because companionship is essential in old age.