Without a doubt, much of modern African society remains steeped in a system of patriarchy, a social system where males primarily hold the power and monopolize the roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege, and the control of property.
However, much of this hardline stance confining women to second-class status and demanding that a man must be succeeded by a male child is fast changing with the times.
Dr. Uja Tor Uja is an example of a progressive shift in the value system within Africa. The executive secretary of the Nigerian Christians Pilgrims Commission, Dr. Uja is a trained journalist, seasoned administrator, and a successful man by many standards.
He is also the proud Father of five daughters.
Dr. Uja has been married to his wife, Berry Uja, for more than 35 years, and together they have Nguemo, Wanter, Nguter, N
The youngest of them was called to the Nigerian bar on 14 July, and in Nigeria, as with anywhere else, it takes a lot of resources to train a lawyer.
Therefore, it is no small task that the Ujas ensured that all five of his daughters are lawyers, particularly with a value system that does not value girl child education.
An elated Dr. Uja recently took to his social media page, writing about his experience in third person:
“And now, the story I was waiting for. Tor & Berry met about 35 years ago, and they decided to dedicate their lives to God… for a while it seemed like God was just minding his business and ignoring them.
“He gave them 5 children, 5 girls… and we all know Nigeria; they don’t think much of the girl child. Anyway, fast forward a few years and God decided to shut everyone up!!!!! Ladies and gents I’d like to introduce you to the first parents in Nigeria (I stand corrected) who have 5 KIDS, All GIRLS, All LAWYERS!!!
Internationally, U.S. President Barack Obama, who is the proud Father of two daughters, has also made it cool to be African, successful, and sonless.
Where Men Rule
In traditional patrilineal societies, property and title can be inherited only by the male lineage and descent is acknowledged exclusively through the male line.
Consequently, in Africa, it is all too common to find a dissatisfied Father of several daughters who is bitter at his wife simply because she bore him no male child, even though medical evidence proves that men are solely responsible for determining the sex of their offspring.
Typically the more successful a man becomes, the more pressure he feels to have a son or go in search of a male heir. Often this would mean marrying an additional wife or wives.
But it looks as though times are definitely changing.