The Art of Spanking Kids - The Yoruba Way

Growing up as a kid in Naija is one heck of an adventure - that is if you're not some spoiled rich brat who passes through life in Naija without Naija life passing through you. The best times I always have with my 5 other siblings whenever we meet, are the times when we recount our past experiences living together as kids in a Yoruba household.

The harsh life and struggle to survive may not only have brought out the best in most Yoruba kids but also sometimes the worst in our younger years. Getting spanked or smacked for an offence the Yoruba way is somewhat an undocumented culture.

It is the characteristics of the ranges of spankings or slaps our mothers give us through our growing years. Most ‘Ajepako’ (Naija pidgin lingo for ‘born without the silver spoon’) kids that ever lived in the ghetto would be familiar with these ranges of beatings meted out by our hard-core parents for any misdemeanor we committed. But don’t be surprised, some ‘Ajebutter’ (born with silver spoon) kids have equally gone through it too; probably due to their parents’ background.

Yoruba mums are known to produce the best range of slaps or beatings namely the Igbati, Ifoti, Igbaju, Igbarun, Iforun, Ifakun , Ibadi and Abara.

These slaps will make you think you were adopted.

They are meted out with precision. Our mothers are skilled marksmen in dishing them out. You receive the stinging justice when you least expect; sometimes it happens so fast you are caught off balance.

The Igbati is that stinging slap that will make you correct your wrong immediately. It is the corrective slap that serves as a physical ‘autocorrect’ to return your faulty senses to its default settings of a well behaved state

The beauty of Ifoti is that you will be inspired to instantly confess your sins on the spot. This one is most effective for making lying kids spit out the truth.

The Igbarun, Igbaju and Iforun will make you snitch on all those who committed the crime with you without hesitation. This was probably adopted by Naija Police to coerce criminals to snitch on their apprentices.  

Iladi will make you pee in your pants! In fact I have a ‘testimony’ to a powerful Iladi that was given to a one-time schoolmate of mine. The beating was so hot; my guy literarily shat his pants.

Finally, Abara is the last and the worst...The best way to describe this one is that it will make you do all of the above at once!

No wonder foundations of home training for many Naija families are hard to destroy.
I’m a living example and a graduate of this spanking culture. And trust me; it wasn’t a piece of cake for me back then; especially with my Mum being an Air Force Military Officer.  

*Inspired by a circulated WhatsApp message.

5 Screamer(s):

Avictomama said...

I read this note with fearful nostalgia and I can perfectly relate with it. As far as the disciplinary battle is concerned, my mom was a warrior...

Miss Mawee said...

Nice piece. Hilarous but true. I didn't grow up in a yoruba household but I did "enjoy" all these except the Iladi-I'd've probably died! I remember my mom gave my younger brother the "abara" once & he coughed so hard, my dad panicked...long story short, my mom never gave any of us the abara ever again!

Growing up as a non-ajebutter was quite an adventure though!

CherryWine said...

As am I. I am a proud graduate of the school of literal hard knocks. I did an entire post on it called abara toh behd! An ode to my mother whose precision skills in doling out revolutionary abaras, shaped me to be the young woman I am today. I have told my children yet unborn to watch out for me, cos I learnt at the feet of the Master, ie my mother.

Clarion said...

Hehehe....many memories of growing up in lagos. But spanking is not restricted to Yoruba homes only. I can testify to that, being an ajepako ibo girl. My Father's favorite was a hard knock on the head, popularly known as a "konk". Then there was the "ndowa nti" which involved the offender being lifted off the floor by his/her two ears.....scary, I tell you. I got an "abara" once sha.....*shudders* :)

Afronuts said...

@Avicto....Hahaha! Mum was a warrior? wow...I can imagine!

@Miss, those days were something, really. sometimes the spankings get a bit extreme..but they get sorted. would have loved to read that post. The school of 'hard knocks' - I like that term. I wish I had used it in this write up.

@Clarion...hmmm...I seriously must do a research on spanking in different The konk is another dreaded even cuts across the tribes.