You were whipped. The lashes caused you many pains. So you opened your mouth to cry. Suddenly there comes a harsh rebuke.Shut up”….”You want to cry? Are you a girl? If I hear pim”…..

My young mind, got confused. I can feel the pain, therefore, I should naturally cry. I am a boy, and not a man yet. Why can’t I cry…….?

Welcome to the world I grew up in.

Let’s have the Poem.

Every day I bottle up my tensions in the assembly plant of my heart

Emotions and frictions left unattended and locked down

Stacked on disorganized pallets in the thought room

They said I could handle it because “I am a man“.

I am tired of sucking it up when I feel like crying out

“Get a hold of your self“, years of training keeps reminding me

“When do I get to be my real self “I queried

” Your real self is to be what society expects a man to be”.

Equivocating and pontificating to escape from saying the truth

Sinking but saying I am floating

I get to laugh all my laughs

But I am not permitted to cry all my cries.


Open and read from the pages of bygone days

Ask the blowing winds to play like a phonograph

The music of my hidden weaknesses shall you hear

But I daily wake up and have to play the man.

It’s no use telling a fallen upturned turtle to man-up and get up.

It needs to be helped up.

I am upturned and battered from all sides

Help me or let me be as I am tired of playing the man for you.

So many died young old men at 47years

Their backs bent from carrying the unattended burdens of their troubled hearts

Living the life but not living the person

Immolate the cocoon and the real man would emerge like a butterfly out of the caterpillar.


To read another Poem Charmed by the sky

Is it wrong for a man to cry?

Does crying take away anything from manliness? What were your experiences like growing up in this regard? Let’s talk in the comments section.


Ovis · March 28, 2020 at 6:02 am

It’s true i can relate to this. Especially in our nigerian society men are not allowed to cry. It’s as if because we have testosterone we’re not allowed to express our feelings. I can understand situations where Men have to be strong because of the people around them. But men are allowed to cry, everybody feels pain.

    Ovyay · March 28, 2020 at 6:52 am

    True talk man. 👍👍

KG · March 28, 2020 at 6:07 am

Men will be more compassionate if allowed to express their emotions as little boys. We were raised with “Men don’t cry”. Our generation raised our boys with “men don’t cry”. That was wrong and I hope it’s corrected. So that we can raise stronger, better and more compassionate men.

    Ovyay · March 28, 2020 at 6:52 am

    Yes o. Straight to the point 🙏🙏

Bunmi · March 28, 2020 at 6:38 am

I don’t really know where it all generated from, I grew up hearing people telling a boy don’t cry you are a man.
I must confess I do that too, my 8 years son asked me one day mummy, am I a man or a boy.
That was a big question that should be answered carefully, so I asked him why do you ask, and he replied that you always tell me not cry that I am a man and daddy always tells me to take care of you and my sister because.
So I told him that he can always when he wants to but he shouldn’t cry like a baby and he needs to take his place as man when daddy is not around.
Yes, men do cry because they feel pain too, but most times they hold themselves. They cry when they are helpless.

    Ovyay · March 28, 2020 at 6:54 am

    Wao, that child is an intelligent fellow. He put you on the spot 😂😂. Good thing you sat him down and explained things to him. 👏👏👏

Tunde Akinseye · March 28, 2020 at 11:44 am

It is a norm in Nigeria for a man to bottle up his emotions. Expressing your emotions in this clime makes you look weak.

    Ovyay · March 28, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    Na so o

Akin · March 30, 2020 at 5:30 am

True. What is the origin of this? Is it African or worldwide? Years ago I had a transaction with a foreign trade partner he apparently made a mistake to my favour but he had to man up. He said ‘my word my bond and a man is a man’ I wondered.

Who knows if that is a stabilizer to a balanced world?

Maybe, we should delve into the origins of how we came about it and in the light of the present state of things.

    Ovyay · March 30, 2020 at 5:53 am

    Truth there is a balance to this. There is need to go into howw this came about I agree with you. Thanks for commenting

Promise Uche · April 2, 2020 at 5:52 pm

Yes,’ don’t cry, you are a man’ has been one of the norms in society. But it is wrong. A man need to pour out his emotions when he is hurt or helpless so that he can be comforted. We all need attention sir.

    Ovyay · April 3, 2020 at 10:17 am

    Truth well spoken.

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