Heredity isn’t only physical. Sometimes, we pick up behavioural traits from our parents, even when we don’t want to.
These Nigerian men share the most obvious traits they’ve picked from their fathers.
“It’s Gulder. Specifically Gulder”
— Danny, 23
Growing up, my dad was the biggest Gulder fan ever. He’s a very responsible man, please. I’m saying that because I know Gulder has a bad rep out in the streets. Anyways, Gulder was his favourite beer. I tried it a few times when I was younger and it tasted horrible. I legit thought that would be the end of it.
Look at me now. Whenever I’m buying beer, I’m reaching for the bottle of Gulder. Crazy shit, you know.
“I’m fighting to fix it so bad”
— Salem, 28
My dad always had a problem showing emotion to anyone, including his wife and children. It got so bad that it bordered on him being unpleasant. It even got to the point where we would all be gisting, but when we hear him coming, we’d run off. The funny thing is that he knew we pulled away from him because of it, and he hated it. It’s almost like he wanted to change but couldn’t override his lifelong programming.
I told myself I wouldn’t become like that, but I’ve noticed the behaviour is slowly starting to rear its head in recent times. I’m fighting it sha.
“You either die a hero or live long enough to become your Nigerian father”
— Ken, 27
In the past few years, my life model has become, “There’s always rice at home”. I’m always looking to cut costs wherever I can. I hate waste. And I got it from my dad.
I’m also becoming very antisocial; I’m always working. I used to say I’d never become like my dad who was always either working or staying home, but here I am, home, working and antisocial. It also shows in my extreme diligence. Before I used to be casual about work but omo, now I’m focused. Again, like my dad.
Also, health challenges like constant running stomach are beginning to show up.
So I guess you either die a hero or live long enough to become your Nigerian father.
“It used to be anger, but I’m better now”
— Babatunde, 27
One that I caught early was anger. I used to have a really bad temper like my father. Thankfully, I curbed it early, and now, I think I even smile too much.
Then, there’s spending. I spend like my father. If ₦20k would sort out a small issue right now and I have it on me, I’d spend it without blinking. My mother doesn’t like that he does that though. But I think it’s a good trait because I’m also willing to help people quickly — sometimes, to my detriment, so I’m trying to do better.
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“Belle don dey show”
— Kelechi, 21
I’m becoming more financially intelligent. Like my dad, I plan well and look for secure investments to increase my income. I’m becoming like him body-wise too. I’m starting to have a “dad bod”.
“I absolutely hate waste”
— Joseph, 23
My dad gets angry easily, and I’m becoming like him. But I don’t like that version of him so I’m trying to get better. Interestingly, my anger reflects most on something he gets angry about — waste. If I see people wasting food, electricity or anything I worked hard to get, I get super super pissed. My dad was like that growing up. I hated it. Now, I’m like that.
“You guessed it, unfaithfulness”
— Shege, 30
I watched my parents’ marriage crumble because my dad had been cheating for years. It broke me. I hated him for it, cursed him and other men who cheat. It just never made any sense to me. Now, I struggle to stay faithful in my relationship. There’s absolutely no reason for me to cheat, but I just constantly feel like doing it. Why? I don’t know.
“I hated how defensive my dad was, but now, I’m so defensive”
— Jonathan, 25
Omo, it’s plenty things. First, there’s impulsiveness, indecision and inconsistency. I’d start a project or a relationship on a whim, and once there’s a slight issue, I run away. Related to this is laziness in execution. Like my dad, I always want to delegate. I never want to do anything by myself. If I want to do something and I don’t have someone to delegate it to, I probably will end up not doing it.
Next, there’s the feeling of being attacked all the damn time. I’ve always hated how defensive my dad is, but now, I’m Sergio Ramos. It leads to a lot of arguments between us. I think I’m better than him because I studied psychology and that’s made me more emotionally aware. But it’s definitely a trait I got from him.
Then there’s also the love for praise and the hatred for criticism, no matter how constructive. My dad LOVES being praised for every little achievement. If you don’t praise him, he’ll call you out. “Can’t you see I did x and x?” But if you criticise him, he’ll take it as an attack. Even if you’re trying to better the things he’s done, he takes it as an attack. I’m like that too. But I’ve gotten so much better over the years.
The good thing I picked from him is finding it hard to keep grudges. We let things go easily.
“We’re both super cool dudes”
— Dipo, 20
My dad is the coolest, calmest guy ever. He doesn’t shout; he doesn’t fuss. He’s just cool. If he has an issue, he’ll discuss it calmly and let it go. He did scold, beat and punish me, but not out of rage. I always understood him when he did these things.
Also, my dad is a creative and that’s what I am too.