Observing My Dad Showed Me That People Express Affection Differently — Man Like Moboluwaduro

March 21, 2021

What does it mean to be a man? Surely, it’s not one thing. It’s a series of little moments that add up.

“Man Like” is a weekly Zikoko series documenting these moments to see how it adds up. It’s a series for men by men, talking about men’s issues. We try to understand what it means to “be a man” from the perspective of the subject of the week.


The subject of today’s “Man Like” is Moboluwaduro, a doctor. He talks to us about his plans to spoil his mum and struggling to pay his first house rent. Additionally, he tells us how observing his dad showed him that people express affection differently.

When did you get your “Man now” moment?

I feel like I’ve generally been privileged because I wasn’t rushed into becoming “a man”. When I finished my first degree in Basic medical science, I went back to medical school. In a way, I kept asking myself if I was going to medical school because I wanted to be a doctor or if I wanted to be shielded a little more from growing up. 

The first time I got hit with the reality of being a man was when I finished housemanship — a compulsory one year service medical graduates undergo in the hospital. I suddenly went from having a well-paying job and a hospital-provided apartment to hustling for a job and trying to figure out how to pay rent. 

That’s when the bubble burst. 

For the duration of my housemanship, I’d saved up ₦500,000 to rent an apartment in Lagos. After going around for two to three weeks, it dawned on me that I had fucked up. As someone who’s always prepared for anything, I was rudely shocked when I realised that my one-year savings couldn’t pay rent. 

When my eyes cleared, I SOSed my mum and was like, “Mummy, send help.” Through the efforts of my mum, combined with a loan from a friend is how I eventually paid the rent of my first apartment.

Damn. 

I didn’t have money for furnishing after I moved in, so my sitting room was empty. Thankfully, I got a job. An aunt here came through, another friend here came through, and I was finally able to set up the house. It took me nine months to find my feet. The post housemanship phase was a life-changing event that showed me “real life.”

I’m sorry.

Nah, it’s fine. I’ve come a long way from then, and while I’m not a pro at this adulting business, I remind myself that I’m not doing badly. At least I stay in my own apartment and I now pay my rent without any assistance. LMAO. 

LOL. What did you learn from your house-hunting experience? 

House-hunting in Lagos teaches you how challenging it is to be a young adult in Nigeria. How can it be legal for landlords to expect you to have almost a million naira to pay rent for like two years? When you compare other countries where rent is monthly versus our lump-sum system, you start to see how cruel the system is on young people trying to find their feet. 

I also learnt that there’s mad corruption in this country. If a professional who’s supposed to be relatively comfortable is struggling, it shows that cost of living doesn’t match income levels. I suspect that illegal money in the possession of a select few has inflated housing costs and made life more difficult for honest earners. 

The whole house hunting experience made me feel poor and helpless. I kept asking, “How do people who don’t earn as much as doctors fare?”

Bro! Does this reality scare you? 

Yes, it does. There’s the worry that people may come for you because they feel you’re better off than them. 

I’m actually scared of being outside my house past 7 p.m. I grew up in the relatively sleepy town of Ijebu-Ode where 7:30 p.m. counted as getting home late. And I also grew up hearing about how unsafe Lagos was. Add low income and high cost of living to my fears, and suddenly, my anxiety makes sense. 

I feel you. Do you have any other fears?

I’m scared of my mum dying before I have enough time to do big man things for her. I do things for her in my own little way, but I want to really spoil her; I want her to ask for x amount while I send her 3x the amount. 

Energy oh. 

Lool. My mum has been there for me every step of the way and has supported me through everything I’ve done in life. No one can want good for you more than your parents. There’s nothing I’ve asked my mum for that she didn’t find a way to provide. 

If my mother saved all the money she spent on her children, she’d probably be a multimillionaire by now. That’s why I won’t feel accomplished until I can properly spoil her. 

Love it. Do you feel the same way about your dad?

My dad is reserved and a man of few words. Also, he was constantly shuttling between Ijebu-Ode and Lagos for work, so this made conversations sparse. I guess it’s easier to gush about my mum because we spent a lot of our formative years with her. 

Overall, I’m not worried because my mum takes care of my dad. Taking care of her guarantees I’m also taking care of my dad. 

Neat. Did your dad’s reserved attitude have any impact on the type of man you grew up to become?

As reserved as my dad is, I know he’ll give me a kidney if I need one. I remember that every Sunday, my dad would put us on his laps and cut our fingernails and toenails. He’d also never finish his food without giving the kids meat from his plate. I came to understand that he wasn’t cold, but just affectionate in his own way. I mean it’d have been nicer if he was more expressive with his emotions, but I understand that he’s a product of his upbringing. 

I like to think that I’m an antithesis of my dad because I wear my emotions on my sleeves. 

Observing my father showed me that the fact that someone doesn’t express themselves the way you want doesn’t necessarily mean they’re cold. It just means that they show love differently. 

How does wearing your emotions on your sleeves play out for you?

It’s going quite well. Being myself has allowed me to attract like-minded people. With my friends — both male and female — I try to be vocal about my feelings. I don’t want to die and my friends are unsure about how I feel about them. I understand this behaviour is definitely not what society expects of me as a man, but I’m an open book. I’m now 30+, it’s too late to fight who I am. 

Do people tell you to act like a man/man up?

I used to hear it a lot while I was growing up. One of the beauties of adulthood is that growing older gives you a tougher skin and the words people say have less power to hurt you. 

You have to be unapologetically who you are. You must not allow someone’s opinion or definition of who you are hold you back. 

Mum, Dad, I hope you’re reading this?

Lol.

How do you define your masculinity?

I don’t. I like to believe that I’m self-aware enough to be my own person. This knowledge is why I don’t subscribe to certain notions of masculinity. 

I cry when I get frustrated. Some people see crying as a sign of weakness, but I’ve found that crying helps me relieve frustrations. Crying doesn’t stop me from pursuing my goals because as I’m crying, I’m still putting one leg in front of the other. 

I feel like I’m a complete person, so I don’t bother putting labels and expectations on masculinity. 

Interesting. What do you think is different about being a man in Nigeria?

Your recognition as a man is tied to your ability to provide. If you can’t do that, you’re not counted as a man. If you have money, your experience as a man in Nigeria is 70% easier because everyone respects and treats you differently. I think this is the reason why men spiral when they get into situations where they can no longer provide. They understand, subconsciously, what’s at stake. 

I’m curious about your role models for what it means to be a man.

Weirdly enough, I don’t think I have anyone. All in all, I always want to be a nicer and better model of my previous self.  I know the things I want and I’m always open to change, so I don’t put any one person on a pedestal. I add and remove from people’s traits as I find them useful to me.

To be honest, the only “role model” I want to be is to be successful. After all, people say that money is the bicycle of the gospel. 


Check back every Sunday by 12 pm for new stories in the “Man Like” series. If you’d like to be featured or you know anyone that would be perfect for this, kindly send an email.

Zikoko Donation Banner

Help Zikoko keep making the content you love

More than ever, people are turning to Zikoko for stories that matter and content they love. But still, we, like many media organisations, are feeling the financial heat of these times. If you find us valuable, please make a contribution to help keep Zikoko zikoko-ing.

Thank you for your support.

We are also cool with Crypto.

Donation Close
Zikoko Logo

Complete Your Commitment

Donation confirm

Your Contribution is confirmed! Amount

Hassan Yahaya

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

April 26, 2021

I am personally very curious about what the lives of men whose realities are underrepresented look like. Over the weekend, I had a conversation with a friend about his brother who was a single dad and it made me wonder about what it is like being a single dad as a Nigerian man living in […]

November 25, 2020

If you’re a Nigerian woman living abroad, chances are that you’ve run into one or more of these types of Nigerian men. 1) Mr. qualifications Before you say anything, they’ll remind you about all their degrees – MBA, PHD, WAP, MD. 2) Green card gang In your first conversation, they want to know your status […]

September 8, 2020

Internet scammers, popularly known as yahoo boys, are a long-battled menace to society. As if this isn’t enough, our police double our woes by profiling every other young Nigerian male as yahoo boys.  If you’re a Nigerian man in Nigeria, chances are you’ve been accosted by men of our beloved Nigerian Police Force. The funds-starved […]

August 26, 2020

Many people seem to have different ideas of what it means to be a man. Here’s our own addition to that list: 1) If you can’t fight off armed robbers. Without any weapon. 2) If you can’t kill a snake. Using only your hands. 3) If you can’t cheat quietly. Why must you always confess […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

June 19, 2021

The subject of this week’s Sex Life is a 27-year-old heterosexual woman who rarely has sex. She talks about almost getting married to an ex boyfriend who betrayed her trust by cheating on her multiple times and how this experience shaped her interest in sex.

June 19, 2021

There are friends you’ve had for years and those you have had for a short while, but how old is your longest friendship? Let’s find out: Relationships can be hard, and sometimes you just need someone to give you a bit of advice. Ask Ozzy is our new advice column where you send Zikoko the […]

Recommended Quizzes

how much of an ajebutter
February 12, 2020

Are you an ajebutter or not? Well, if you’ve gone through life blissfully unaware of its harshness, then you probably are. Now, we want to know just how high you rank on that ajebutter scale, using your food preferences as a (very accurate) measure. Take to find out:

November 28, 2019

There are so many talented and stunning Nollywood actors that make it hard not to fall in love with them. So, while we all know the likelihood of us ending up with any of them is super low, it’s still fun to imagine a world where we actually stood a chance, and that’s why this […]

November 7, 2019

These days, everyone is always talking about how much sex they’re getting, or how little sex they’re getting, or how disgusting sex is etc. There’s just so much talk about sex, it’s almost impossible to know who’s lying and who’s telling the truth. In anticipation of our new series about the sex lives of young […]

December 11, 2019

In the past month, we’ve made quizzes that guessed the last time you had sex, how many people you’ve slept with, and just how good you are in bed. For our latest attempt, we will use your taste in Nigerian music from the 2010s to ascertain what you’re like in bed. Take to find out:

November 25, 2019

We already guessed how many people you’ve slept with, and y’all were out here denying the truth. Anyway, we won’t hold that against you. This time, however, we’ve created a quiz that predicts who you’ll sleep with next — so you can either prepare or try (unsuccessfully) to prevent it. So, take and see:

More from Man Dem

June 17, 2021

Everyone has those small, seemingly minor things that turn them off people, commonly called an “ick”. We spoke to seven men about what their unforgivable, weirdest ick is and they had some hilarious answers. Dave People who are too eager are my biggest icks. Maybe it’s my fear of commitment, but the more someone makes […]

June 13, 2021

What does it mean to be a man? Surely, it’s not one thing. It’s a series of little moments that add up. Man Like is a weekly Zikoko series documenting these moments to see how it adds up. It’s a series for men by men, talking about men’s issues. We try to understand what it means to […]

June 10, 2021

The story of the 10 Plagues of Egypt you read in the Bible was scary but it didn’t tell of all the plagues. There was one more it failed to mention. No, it’s not COVID-19. It’s women coming to your house and stealing your clothes. The reason why your money is running out is because […]

June 9, 2021

If you’re a Nigerian man, you probably grew up hearing that there are things you shouldn’t talk about because men don’t talk about things like that. Well, we’re here to tell you that they lied. These are six things you should never be afraid to talk about. 1. Our failures Here’s the thing: Everybody fails […]

June 9, 2021

The Twitter ban has affected a lot of people and businesses in different ways. We tend to overlook the impact Twitter has had in various aspects of our lives. One of such aspects is relationships. I spoke to 6 Nigerian men who found love on Twitter. They had such interesting stories. Tosin We had been […]

June 2, 2021

Fat people in Nigeria go through a lot of abuse and degradation from society at large. It seems they get no respite from the constant passive aggression and fatphobia. The male perspective on this topic isn’t often heard, so we talked to 5 men about what it was like to be fat in Nigeria. Tolu […]

June 2, 2021

We don’t hear enough stories about men being heartbroken or dumped even though we all know it happens. Today, we spoke to four Nigerian men on the worst ways they’ve been dumped. Tokunbo, 24. I had this lady, we had been dating for about a year or so. I was still in uni then and […]

May 31, 2021

When most Nigerians hear ‘submissive’ in the context of a relationship, they envision a woman. However, this isn’t always the case. Many men are subs in the bedroom and many have embraced that and are living very happy sex lives. Over the past few weeks, I have spoken to several people I knew who were […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X