Friday 22 April 2011

Childhood: Some things I said

Calling to attention

Chatting to my dad yesterday evening had us reminiscing about times long past reminding me of some things that still stick in the minds of others who ask after me every once in a while.

They all know my name but I seem to be remembered for much else that sounds so funny when talked about today.

I was only 5 when I addressed people as – Ladies and Gentlemen – as so, just over a week ago some visitors calling on my father referred to me with that greeting; laughter followed and then some talk about me and how long ago seen they had seen me.

Learning about chaos

When we returned to Nigeria there was so much that I appeared to notice around me, we were on our way to our village by public transport and I noticed that everyone seemed to talking at once.

So, I said aloud something along the lines of everyone behaving like a barbarian and how could anyone hear the other if they were all talking at once.

Apparently, I had seriously annoyed a soldier who was also a passenger had gone for his belt but would not have dared when everyone warned him to behave sparing my hide.

Can’t see myself

However, after we got to the village, the heavens opened and I was carried on the shoulders of my uncle as the fanfare of welcome continued through the day.

As night fell it got so dark that the only light came from oil and kerosene lamps but there was a point that I said, “It is so dark, how do you see yourselves? I can’t even see myself.”

I suppose that was my cry to Light Up Nigeria some 40 years ago as I remonstrated to my dad that I did not think I was that much a precocious kid feigning a rather unconvincing innocence.

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