Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Childhood Memories of Nigeria

No matter how fleeting one's childhood is, the memories, particularly the wonderful ones are permanently etched in my psyche. Despite negative perceptions that Nigeria as well as African countries are accustomed to receiving in the foreign press, nothing can dim the happiness that radiates in the lives of its citizens. I for one lived such an idyllic life in Nigeria. Carefree was the word to sum up my childhood back home. No time for worries, the only time that was planned was how to play with my mates till the late hours. NEPA hassled us with their constant interruption of electricity, but our creativity in keeping ourselves entertained existed in the outdoors where my siblings and some friends would gather around to amuse each other. The red gate in my compound, or what may be referred to as a cul-de-sac was a deterrent to thieves that rarely ventured into the compound. I still remember sitting on top of the fence with my elder brother, tying a piece of paper, to resemble a snake, to scare away pedestrians.
But each year marked an ascent into my teen years. At 10, I was squired into the boarding house at Lutheran High school, Obot Idim where I would spend 6 years. Another memory that taught me how to survive without the help of mom and dad. Petty stealing and punishment were common. I knew how to manage my pocket money given to me by my doting parents and relatives and to escape punishment from Senior students. I enjoyed bathing in the stream in Afaha village, very close to my high school. I led a spartan life, like most students, but I took it in stride. But at the end of six years, I took my SSCE exams, passed it and got into college.
I led a free life in college. Now, there wasnt anybody to keep track of my movements if I missed a class. I lived off campus and majored in Communication Arts in college. I truly enjoyed my days in college, because of the freedom that I had. There was no punishments, except for the periodic strike embarked on by lecturers to advocate for fringe benefits/higher salary.

During that time, tragedies hit my home. My beloved grandmother died, followed by my dad. And a year later, I departed to America, where pangs of homesickness hit me. Throughout the years, I have had my share of sorrows like the death of my parents and a younger sibling. Death is all too common in our life, and what I have noticed in life is that the world is full of joys and sorrows. What we choose to make of them is part of what shapes our character.



This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?