All that jazz and the Precious Child

Victory worth commendation for Nigerian parents, they fought really hard last week to stop the show I am Jazz from airing on Nigeria tv. The show was cancelled from cable network because parents were afraid of the negative influence it will bring to their children. Nigeria is an anti gay country and anything in-between is equally outlawed.

I am Jazz is a reality tv show featuring the life of a transgender teenage boy transitioning to female. The brief I read online gives a bit of insight to the show – longing for acceptance in this wild world and sharing of experiences with the hope to educate the world more and probably help others along the line.

It is incredible to see how much can be achieved when people work in unity to pitch in their opinion on issues they believed are critical.

I will address this case differently, likely to skip the channel or put a parental control if I am too squeamish by other people living their lives. However, I am aware that many people have strong opinion about things that are different from the norm, that is okay too, sometimes majority wins even when it is not in their best interest.

What I learned from this incidence is that Nigerians can indeed work together on a just cause but what is stopping us from extending this spirit to further show how much we care about our children?

If learning about a teenager struggling with societal acceptance is such a bad thing for Nigerian children, what do we say about a recommended textbook that glorifies rape in our schools? Should we not pull head together to ban that too after all it is all about protecting the children.

I came across this the other day, The Precious Child by Queen Okweshine as national recommended textbook for first year secondary school students JSS1  (normally 11+ but 9+ very common). I checked my niece’s school website to confirm, and wallah, this book is listed.

In the book was a scene where a girl’s drink was spiked followed by rape. All written with nothing left for imagination. Below is a scanned page from a good Naija Man twitter feed who was equally shocked this book can be an official textbook for schools.

In Nigeria today, almost everyday rape case is reported on newspapers, people are used to it that they don’t even see it anymore, they deliberately  didn’t see it until it happens to them or their family. No united voice to fight is out yet.

On the textbook, at nine years old, most children will have no idea what rape is except if it happened around them. So reading this textbook many teenagers will rightly get curious, checking their dictionary for key words. They already know that drinks can be spiked, all they had to do is to visit a corner shop chemist and make a purchase.

I am sure there are enough well-educated fellows in charge of choosing the right books for school children, but one wonders what they were thinking to have approved this book.

Where is our priority? If we were to choose a cause between alienating fellow human beings and choosing the right book for children at school, which one should we be united to fight for?

Categories: Education, Family, Nigeria

Tags: , , , ,

14 replies

  1. Ma the book the precious child is impossible to download on the website,i have gone through rigorous efforts to read the summary and them. All my efforts proved abortive. Old do you have a summary of the book. Will be highly grateful with assistance from you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sir, I think the best place to get it will be our local bookshops, very likely that they still stock it especially in small towns. I know my niece said she read the book but I am not at home so difficult to get it off her.

      Fingers crossed for you.


  2. I love your angle my president, but there are even crazier books in circulation Zumji and Uchenna by Pierre Meunier and The Boy in the dress by David Williams and being used in schools. They should get them all out of circulation. We should battle with crazy cartoons that are no longer cartoons and not having the children read these in school.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So I heard. Those in charge of reviewing school books need to bear in mind local culture as well as age appropriate texts.

      I din’t read Zumji and Uchenna, I hope is not as explicit as TPC.

      On the Boy in the dress, here is why I think local culture is important – in the UK dress up parties is very common, there is always an excuse for school kids to dress up, they love it and children for the most part read no meanings to it at all. The boy in the dress was DW first book, before this, he was already well known on tv soap as a cross dresser.

      This book to my understanding is not a recommended text in the UK schools, my girls’ school library stock it but there is no obligation whatsoever to pick this particular one, as you know, UK itself though a lot more openminded when it comes to sexual tolerance than Nigeria but it has its share of very strong outspoken group of people against this sort of thing, so their opinion too has to be respected.

      I have listened to the audio of The Boy in a Dress, I think it’s hilarious, all DW books are quite funny.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The nation has many issues to contend with and it’s better to keep certain things out of the mix

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good point, Fola, rape is never acceptable.

    Liked by 1 person

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