Where Are The Children?
“Aunty Abby, I think I’m in love” Bridget, six.
“I know, marriage is about making babies” Sylvia, seven.
“when you like a girl, you take her to ‘faaji’(party), then kiss her, then sleep with her and she has a pregnancy for you” Rilwan, seven.
(pointing to his organ)”my mummy bought it for me, it’s for wee-wee, and also for sleeping with women” Sukanmi, five.
The names are made up, but the ages and statements are real. One was said to me, while the rest were said to friends and people I know. The individuals making these statements, though tender in years, obviously know more than they should as kids. My question then is, what is happening to our children? Are they growing up too fast?
When I was a child, I confess, I didn’t know most of the things the children of these days take for granted. I watched less television, read more books, and generally knew more facts. Kids today sadly do no such ; they have the internet, 24-hour television, and less reading paper. In the nigh thirty years of my life, a lot has changed. Only last week, I was with a friend, and his ten year old nephew was loudly protesting at being called a kid. With hands on hips, the little man railed, “I’m not a kid! I’m ten! I can take care of myself!” and this is in Nigeria, in Africa, which is said to be a backward continent! Sadly, I don’t know if we can do anything to reverse this trend, and this is just the beginning. If the current trend continues, in a few short years, all we will have are young and old adults, and the vital societal quantity known as the child will become, like the dodo and the sabre tooth tiger, a thing of the past, and a mere figure in the history books.
This is dedicated to the special ones that call me uncle:
Jolayemi Olajide, Sebioba Olajide , Oluwajenyo ‘chairmo’ Olajide, Enoubong ‘Zara’ Okon, Priceless Omoyeni Stephen,Somto David Ubong-Okon, Eliora Olanike Stephen, and all the others to follow after them.
Happy Children’s Day.