Dear Mr. Martins,

So, I saw the last email you sent to me and my wife and I won’t lie to you, you’re an idiot for sending it to me. What, in my God’s good name, gives you the right to tell me what to do with my child? And that’s the important thing here, this is my child. Nobody else’s, and I know what is best for him. God will safe me from the Nigeria of today. So what, you think because you’re my child’s teacher, you can send all sorts of nonsense to me? Stupid statistics made by those westerners saying rubbish, that beating your children can lead to them being violent and unstable. So, when that Efosa boy is misbehaving, breaking my television, I should look at him and smile? I should say, ‘Oh, my good son, thank you for breaking my expensive television. I love you, my boy, come and have ice cream.”

I specifically ordered my wife not to reply to the email she got too, I told her that I’m the man of the house and I alone will respond to this insult on my family. Because let me just tell you, Mr Martins, I come from a family of survivors and strong people and an insult on the Uwaifo name will not stand. We know what we’re doing in my family. My grandmother, for instance, smoked for 50 years and lived to the grand old age of 62, and she turned out alright. My father’s father used to beat him with a door handle that he broke off the door when he was throwing a tantrum one day, and when the door handle became blunt, he bought a new one! My father grew up to be a successful businessman, heading over 5 companies in his lifetime and when it came time to raise me, he beat me with the same door handle and look at us now, we both turned out fine. We are okay, we’re not mad. As you can see, those statistics are wrong, just completely wrong.

See, Mr Martins, maybe you don’t have children, but let me just tell you that with children, you have to raise them right, or else, well, they’ll turn sour. Don’t you read your bible or go to church? In Proverbs 23:13–14. It says: “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Punish them with the rod and save them from death.” Yes, I beat Efosa with the door handle and yes, he may have a black eye and I think I saw one of his teeth behind the sofa yesterday, but he didn’t die, and now he knows not to ever in his life play football in my house. I even told him this as he was crying that day, begging me to stop. I told him, “See, Efosa, this is the only and best way to correct you. I have to beat you unless you’ll never learn and then you’ll become one of those cultists that I’ve been seeing on the television doing music video. See, I’m just trying to help you, now bring out your back! Don’t waste my time, you know that the Man U match is on.”

Well, I think I’ve said all I can say and now, I’ll tell my wife that maybe we should send Efosa to a new school since this one he’s in is just making him foolish and is fun by foolish teachers who go around insulting parents — parents, who, by the way, pay you people’s salaries. That’s right, you should be very careful the way you email me, Mr Martins. But don’t worry, you’ll see me in that school tomorrow.

Regards,

Clement Uwaifo PhD psychology.

Dear Mr Clement,

I just saw your email and it’s strange that you thought it was directed at you. It’s a part of our school’s monthly newsletter to send parents news headlines and statistics to bring them the newest information on child upbringing, that’s why your wife also got an email. Along with every other parent in the school.

Regards,

Mr Martins.

Anthony Azekwoh is a Nigerian-based author and artist. He has written five books so far, and is now working on the sequel to his fourth book Ṣàngó, Oya.