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Monday 24 June 2019

Have You Seen My Childhood?

It was the King of Pop, Michael Jackson (of blessed memory), who sang that beautiful song titled “Have you seen my childhood?”

In the song, he told the sad story of his upbringing. Part of the lyrics goes thus:
Before you judge me, try hard to love me,
Look within your heart then ask,
Have you seen my Childhood?

People say I'm strange that way
'Cause I love such elementary things,
It's been my fate to compensate,
for the Childhood I've never known...
 Michael Jackson was deprived of his childhood by his father who happened to be the creator as well as manager of his childhood band The Jackson 5

His father, Joe Jackson, recognized the talent in his children and pushed them toward a musical career. He was so fixated on producing a successful band that he would go to extreme lengths to ensure it. Joe Jackson would beat his children if they missed a step, missed a note, or were simply not performing well

Therefore Michael was insulated from other children his age, and spent his formative years either in the spotlight or rehearsing for it, not indulging in the regular activities of an everyday kid.

Michael never recovered from the imbalance in his childhood. It eventually played a critical role in shaping Michael's adult life. He grew up to be a man who craved children's things and children! 
Any wonder the saying that "morning shows the day as childhood shows the man."

I have memories of my childhood too, fond memories!  Though I was not born with a silver spoon, I was however born with some sort of spoon, maybe wooden or even clay!

I was brought up in a middle-class home. And even though we weren’t rich, we were comfortable.  My dad was a lawyer and my mom a banker. That was until she resigned her appointment to become a full-time home keeper because of us, her children.
We lived in an estate, were chauffeur-driven to school, our primary school. And when there was no chauffeur, we joined other children in the general school bus. 

At school, we studied hard and played equally as hard.  I remember playing games like Monkey post and Police and Thief with other children in school. In retrospect now, I remember always wanting to be the Police officer that would be saddled with the responsibility of catching all the ‘thieves’! Ha! Childhood days!!!!

How can I forget the children rhymes which we murdered with reckless abandon back in the day?! Please join me if you remember any of these :

"Iya ni wura biye biye, 
ti a kole fowo ra"
(meaning 'a mother is as priceless as gold')

"Jangorova Epo moto"
(Jingle over like a motor)
A girl playing on a swing
Girl on 'Jangorova'

"Sandalili, Sandalili…."
(Standard living, Standard living)

"Wherever you go, gogo gon go...
Whatever you see, sisi eko
Do not say 'yes' when you mean to say 'no'"

"Hulk Hogan show me your power, ghen!
Another one, ghen!!
It’s a miracle ghen! ghen!!,  ghen!!!"

But perhaps what evokes my fondest memories was the content on television then. 

There was no satellite TV as we have it now. We used analogue black and white television, but we didn’t even notice.  It was the array of TV content that kept us glued to the television, which by the way started airing by 4 pm every afternoon. 

The broadcast started by singing the Nigerian national anthem together with the National Pledge. The children belt then started with programs like Sesame Street, Super Ted, Thunder Sub, Voltron (one of my all-time favourites), Pidgeon Street, Bird Man, Terrahawks etc.

Voltron - Defender of the Universe
Credits: Voltron.com

The cartoon segment gave way to more children programming like Storyland, Tales by Moonlight and then adult based soaps like Fortunes, Cock Crows at Dawn, Village Head Master, The New Masquerade (featuring Chief Zebrudaya alias 4:30pm) and the award-winning Things Fall Apart an adaptation of the novel written by the renowned writer Chinua Achebe.

We also had good advertorials showcasing some of the best brands available then, some of which are still waxing strong today.

Kai! Extremely fond memories. I'm pretty sure that you must be laughing by now as you reminiscence over your childhood.  Sometimes I wish I could unwind the hands of the clock! But please tell me, I pray, "where did all the time go to?"

We were all so eager to grow up; we didn’t like the toga of being called little children, we wanted to big boys, And when we grew to become big boys, the term 'boy' became offensive, we wanted to be known as Men, young men. We would blurt out vehemently, 'I'm not a boy, I'm a young man'. 

Some of us may have had excellent childhoods which evoke a lot of fond memories like mine. Others may not have been that privileged and never want to remember the pains and horrors of their childhood. Even though we cannot undo the past, we can, however, choose to create a future of our dreams. Like Michael Jackson, we can choose to be a source of inspiration, joy and hope to millions around the world. in spite of our childhood.

The post is in memory of the late Michael Jackson who put smiles on millions of faces through his music. Ten years after his demise, his works live on and are still inspiring millions of people!  

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  1. Ok...so I felt a wave of nostalgia reading tru dis..... thanks P.O.

    1. Nostalgic moments indeed! Thank you for your comment.

  2. Thanks P. O... How this has helped me reflect on beautiful childhood days.. especially the morals and values i.e kneeling to greet elders, etc ..the children of this days I wonder the values they are teaching them.. Today I wake up to say my parents didn't fail me, may I never fail my children in instilling morals and values in them..

    1. Many thanks for this comment.

      This is the entire essence of the post. That the discipline (or lack of it), training and values received whilst growing up play a critical role in shaping who we become as adults.

      Amen! May we not fail our children in instilling the right values and discipline into them.

  3. Yes oo.. This also reminder me of tales by moon ligth ever sunday 6pm with myblack and white cupboard television thst Dad normaly lockI with key.. There is on advert i will may never forget.. ST soap and laide perfurm jelly.. I remember also putting Lucosede nylon on the televison screen to make it coloured .. So many memories to share expecaily the youruba children .. Like
    Oba ni ka dawo jo
    Oba ni ka fa gun....

    Hot Eba dey born person..

    Kele gbe.. This is one of my favorite game because kele gbe men i size your thing ... And the one thing you can yiur to get ur self out is having a broom stick with u.. Very very intressting ame and past memory.. Woo let me stop here.. Before i write more tHen the writer... Stsy bless


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