The Sarah Adekoya
2 min readMar 25, 2021


Photo credit: Pinterest.

Before i proceed into this topic, I’d like to share a poem of mine on depression.

What is depression?

I’m okay (False Self assurance)

Don’t worry about it (Negligence of prioritization)

I just want to be alone (Allergy to social communion)

I feel numb (Wide awake but dead inside)

My chest hurts(Buried emotions unexpressed)

On the Outside it’s sunshine and gleeful physiognomies

Behind those concrete boundaries

And earthquaked cheeks

lies hogweeds grown from dried crimson tears

Often times a tower house am I

Projecting in times of danger

Yet I’m not the blinded one, they are

Reality becomes subjective

To you,

She’s happy

He’s happy

But they’re a broken vase that needs the gentle hands of a potter

Help — in one word.

What is depression? You may ask.

But, I can’t limit something so great to single classification, but I call it a grave.

Not everyone gets there, but some do.

In this article, I’m going to be talking about two specific problems that contribute to depression amongst African youths and its glaring effects which are: Culture and Gender.

As we know, culture differs in different countries but according to research it has shown that they all influence people’s mental health somewhat the same. In most cases, it is gauged as a weakness, a thing of shame.

Quite crazy, don’t you think?

As a result of the institutional denial and negligence of a demographic, minds have been tweaked to believe in specific restrictions of expression in regards to how to feel and what to feel, therefore birthing dysfunctional personalities ranging from: communication, behavioral display, ideologies and perspectives.

It is believed that a “man” should be firm at heart and mind, whereas emotional vulnerability is never an option and in other words, emotions are bottled up. And we all know what happens when something gets filled to the brim. Some men then resort to violence — Often times physical assault, unnecessary outrage, inferiority complex within expressed as “superiority”, timidity, etc. Strength automatically becomes affiliated with oppression, display of physical power and the ability to do it all “alone”. Egoistical indulgences.

Which is why we often see phrases like:

“I’m a man, that’s why.”

“Am i not a man”

“Men don’t cry”

Thus, this has proven that the African society needs to be more emotionally intelligent.

For the height at which doctrinal ways of life attached to gender display has ruined the lives of a lot of people and families is alarming. The society should see “humans” rather than “male and female” in terms of emotions, sensitivity and equity. That way, no one would feel left out.

So Dear men,

It’s okay to cry. You’re not weak if you show emotions. Having depression doesn’t make you fragile. It’s okay to feel insecure. You are human, allow yourself to be human.