Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Why do the poorest people (on average) have the most children?

On my way to work today, I saw a woman on the overhead bridge around Ikeja Along. She was shabbily dressed, and it was evident she had not slept on a proper bed in weeks. To make matters worse, she was carrying two identical twins - shabbily dressed as she was, obviously in need of urgent medical attention. She displayed the twins in an entreating manner, begging people for alms.

In that instant, I was again struck by a question that has plagued me for years. Why do the poorest people have the most children (at least on average)? And alongside that question, two others that derive from it: what fate singled out those children to be born to that woman in particular? This woman in particular knew she could not take care of herself, why then did she add two children? Are they not disadvantaged from the start?

I know bank managers who have only two kids, and I know a mechanic who has EIGHT from two women! I know big-time entrepreneurs with three children, and I know bus drivers (at least three of them) with FIVE kids!!! Why? Why should you have five children if you cannot guarantee even one a good life? Why marry two wives when you cannot guarantee one a good life? Why should you give birth to children you know you have no means to fend for? Why?

21 questions, right?

1. This definitely does not apply to the Duggars. They seem to have turned their 19-children-strong family into a money making machine. :)

2. This would also not apply to Tu Face Idibia...who has all of 6 children. However, my mom once taught me that ladies could be quite skilled at tying down men they want with children - and I think that was the case in this matter.


  1. I'll tell u why, they have plenty time on their hands for baby making..;)

  2. I spoke on this subject sometime ago and I will like to share my hypothesis. The truth is that the poor man's only way of relaxation is his partner! For the stable and wealthy, you take vacations, visit amusement parks, have the benefit of education and child spacing, you can afford a generator or even an AC to cooooool you down. But for the poor, having worked all day in the sun, to come home in a room apartment where there is no fan blowing and he needs proper relaxation. What does he do. He simply does not have to reach out to her as she is managing their student size mattress with him whilke the kids lie on the mat on the floor. This will never end

    1. Funny. True! Yes, you do have a valid point - one I cannot argue with. However, would that imply that they are not aware of the innovation called 'condoms'? If sex must be an everyday affair, must they make babies?

      It is evident the Nigerian government isn't putting any plans in place for a future population boom, yet - such a boom is inevitable, given the current state of affairs. When will we learn?