There are a lot of shady studies online that claim many Nigerian fathers are fathering kids who are not theirs.
Maybe Kanye West is a genius after all. On his 2005 hit single, Gold Digger featuring Jamie Foxx, he talked about failed paternity tests, as he rapped, “18 years, 18 years and on the 18th birthday he finds out he wasn’t his…” It's called paternity fraud.
Paternity fraud can easily be defined as when a father cares for a child he wrongly thinks is his own. Within the last couple of years, paternity fraud has been a hot topic on social media in Nigeria.
It has started conversations on fidelity in Nigerian marriages. The topic popped up on timelines again on Monday, September 17, 2018, when a certain @sarletlee on Twitter posted a a picture from a presentation.
In the presentation was a slide which claimed that Jamaica had the highest rate of paternity fraud in the world 34.6%, followed by Nigeria with 30%. Canada, the UK and France are on the list with 2.8%, 1.6% and 1.4% respectively. To say the statistic is worrying would be an understatement. It actually makes one shudder in disbelief.
There is no data or research online to back this claim but the tweet went viral and once again had people talking about men raising kids that aren't theirs.
In 2015, Dr Oyinwola Oni who claims to be a DNA expert reportedly told City People that "40% of men do not know that they are not the biological fathers of their first child."
This statement echoes widely reported similar statements from a 'DNA expert' in 2012 that claimed "at least three of them eventually found that they are not the fathers of the children they call their own."
These debatable stats are tucked in between the infamous Durex survey that crowned Nigerian women the most unfaithful in the world.
"The survey revealed that the top two countries with cheating women are Nigeria, with 62 percent, and Thailand, 59 percent" according to Channels TV website. This survey is likely more the stuff of an imaginative mind than the result of hard data. Despite a solid proof of authenticity, it has refused to die.
Paternity fraud is a grey matter in Nigerian culture with shady stats thrown around. However in 2015 article by Ventures Africa, an employee of Paternity Nigeria Ayodele Ayodeji said, “I will say that one out of four paternity tests turns out negative.”
Fact. Fiction. Myth. Or the manifestations of a patriarchal society trying to switch the narrative of cheating and infidelity to women? With little concrete proof it is hard to come up with an answer.