Ugezu Jideofor Ugezu, a Nigerian actor and filmmaker, popularly known as Ugezu, has explained why DNA paternity test is un-African.
In a post the actor shared on his Instagram page, he explained DNA testing was not common in the African man’s home once upon a time, and the older generations enjoyed peace of mind.
He said a child born to an African man is that mama child, adding that DNA testing only serves to destroy homes and innocent children.
“This DNA thing is not really an African thing. A child born to an African man is the African man’s child. Our fathers held this belief and enjoyed peace of mind”
“This DNA stuff is tearing many homes apart and destroying many innocent children.”
He took an example from author Chinua Achebe’s 1958 novel ‘Things Fall Apart’, a novel that follows the life of the protagonist, Okonkwo, who is a local wrestling champion.
Ugezu stated that Okonkwo dies at the hands of ‘Mother Nature’ in the novel because he (Okonkwo) killed the child that called him a father.
That part reads “In THINGS FALL APART, the Mother Earth rose against Okonkwo for killing the child who called him father”
“A child who calls an African man father is an African man’s child. Period.”
The actor received a number of reactions for his position on DNA tests, with the majority of responses reminding him of the evolution of society in general.
Okon Lagos, in the comments, stated that globalization has caused a lot of change, and even though there was a time when infidelity was considered sacrilegious, that is not the norm presently.
He added that DNA testing was not needed at the time because there were grave consequences for infidelity in the past. But things have changed.
His response “Things have changed. Globalization has had the better of us as a people. The world including Africa has evolved. In today’s Africa, the values of chastity and fidelity with respect to the married woman has been eroded.”
“Those were times where it was actually sacrilegious and very unimaginable for a woman to be married to a man as non-virgin, let alone have extra marital affair(s) to the extent of bearing a child outside her marital home.”
“DNA was not needed because infidelity had very grave deterring consequences. This gave room for more paternal certainty than is the case now.”
Another Instagram user, a Nigerian psychologist and mental health advocate whose name is Victoria Inyama also added that everything has changed.
She made mention of mud houses that were created to keep the heat at bay and also of clay pots to help with cooling drinking water, stating that these things are not as effective as they once were and for that reason, DNA testing is just as important as ‘mmàyì àjùjù’ (questionnaire drink: an Igbo marriage tradition where the bride and the father of the bride drink an oath swearing concoction while they are asked questions).
Victoria Inyama wrote “Dède mù @ugezujugezu This is 2022….mud houses are not as cooling as before…..We don’t drink from clay pots….we are still suffering atrocities that our ancestors committed…DNA is very important just like mmàyì àjùjù in Traditional marriage. Ndewooooo”