Introducing Japa stories!!!

When Chioma left Nigeria 10 years ago, it was a bittersweet experience. As she approached the airport, she reminisced and thought of the friends and family she was leaving behind, as the driver slowly approached the parking lot, the reality dawned on her and the only consolation she had was that she was leaving home to feed home, and, that made her feel better.

She had traveled alongside her newly married husband, they got married a month before their trip. 

A few years down the line, they got their Permanent residency and could do a few things as residents.

As the years went by,

Chioma’s mom was invited in to help with omugwo,(Omugwo is the traditional after-birth care amongst the Igbo people of South-Eastern Nigeria.) Chioma just had her third child and she needed extra hands because her husband had traveled for a business trip. 

Mama’s visa application was approved and her journey to the UK started. On the day she was scheduled to travel, there was this joy that serenaded mama because this would be mama’s first time traveling outside the shores of Nigeria.

Mama got on board the flight and after what seemed like an eternity, they arrived at the Heathrow international airport after she was picked up at the airport, she got to the house and the family said a word of prayer. After the prayers, mama took a warm bath and then settled into to the plate of Banga and starch which Chioma had prepared earlier.

Mama had been in the UK for a period of two weeks and on a fateful day, their eldest child who was roughly 8 years old was left with mama as soon as she went to sleep, she was woken by a noise in the kitchen and, on getting there, she discovered that the child had messed up the kitchen, infuriated by this action, mama beat him and told him she would ensure his home training like she did his mother many years ago back home in Nigeria.

Three days after this incident, Chioma got a call from Chinedu’s school, on getting there, she got to know that her son had made a complaint to his teacher about his grandmother who had manhandled him. To say she was shocked would be an understatement because she had explained to the boy why mama had to smack him and asked him to nip it in the mud only to be called for this interrogation.

An investigation under Section 47 for child protection was started by social services. Chioma explained why mama had to flog Chinedu and that she was a visitor who didn’t know what was obtained here in the UK

Chioma pleaded that the smacking was a bit reasonable but her entire plea fell on deaf ears. After spending a few days at the police, she was later released with a stern warning that the UK was not  Africa. Mama was flaggerbasted by the entire scenery and this shortened her stay as she left the United Kingdom exactly a month later.

Going by the provisions of section 58 Children Act 2004, it is illegal for parents or carers to smack children except where the smacking is reasonable and, reasonable is only defined by the surrounding circumstances and events which led to the smacking and also the child’s age.

Whether a ‘smack’ amounts to reasonable punishment will depend on the circumstances of each case, taking into consideration factors like the age of the child and the nature of the smack. As an immigrant, in other to be on the right side of the law, desist from smacking your child as the defense of reasonable smacking might not be justified.

It is also worthy of note that going by the provisions of sections 18 and 20 Offences against the Person Act 1861 a parent can be charged for criminal offenses bothering grievous bodily harm.

As an international student/immigrant, the least you’d want to do is get into a criminal case because you smacked your child. Be careful and explore other means of correction, such as showing love, correcting, and being their role model.

Are you still considering your Japa processes, this is the right time to get right at it.
Applications are currently ongoing for the Sept 2023 admissions, this can be your year of Japa. Send us a DM and let us help you get started with your Japa dreams.

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