Kiní And The Myth Of The Future -By Kehinde Oluwatosin Babatunde

Filed under: Forgotten Dairies |

One of the most engaging banter exchanges between myself and my mother occurs when my mother reiterate the fact that my Dad was not a rich man when she married him, but she chose to marry him amidst her many suitors (My mother was a fine girl) because he saw a future or to simply put in Nigerian parlance “He has a future.” My mother’s line often goes thus “Bàbá e o lówó ńígbà timo fe, kòdè tú fine, sùgbòn óní future.”


Kehinde Oluwatosin Babatunde


Every time my mother reiterate this line, I look at her with my chin suspended on my palm and give her a dose of my own banter thus “Mummy, sé ní tori future lese duró àbí nítorí kiní?” “Kiní” in Yoruba colloquial exchanges is a lexicon that has the quality of neutrality – it doesn’t belong to anyone but to everyone.

Kiní in the context of our conversation was my own way of telling my mother she did not stay because of my father’s future but because of the pleasure under the sheet. Every time I respond with that line to my mother’s banter, her response is often ambivalent -switching between approval and bewilderment.

Years after my mother married because of future, several women have also married because of the same reason. African conservative culture has also made the imperative of future as a virtue compelling as many women don’t want to be stereotyped as loving a man because of his wealth,however given the intangibility of the future, its reality is difficult to measure.

What do you call future? Why is future in Africa’s male dominated enclaves always have to do with lack of money? Is having a future and a present that Is also attractive to a woman mutually exclusive? These are questions that flaws the idea of loving based on future especially when the unpredictability of the future is considered.

It is the unpredictability of the future that also permits randy men to mask their reality and sell the myth of having a future to the women. Have you ever asked “What if the future does not happen.

Kehinde Oluwatosin Babatunde is a prolific writer and public speaker based in Lagos.