I’ll be doing a series on past events of my life that I remember with glee. You can join me on this journey. This is the first in the series…
HOLIDAY IS COMING… This was the most inspiring song I ever learnt in my school days as a kid. If you schooled in Nigeria, then you should know this song. It was always sung at the end of the term ushering in the holidays. May be I should sing the song in case you’ve forgotten.
Holiday is coming(2ce)
No more teacher’s cane
No more morning bells…
Teaching in a school as part of my NYSC service provided me with an opportunity to hear the song again and I felt so nostalgic… You should have seen us then when we sang this song, we did it with so much enthusiasm, vibrancy and joy. Who didn’t want to be free from the teachers cane? It was
the most dreadful instrument of correction in those days; six or twelve strokes and you are in another realm – a realm of pain. I feared those bodily inflictions caused by the cane but I was somehow spared from it, for I had no flesh covering my bones where harm or pain could be inflicted on. I saw this as a liability but my friends thought it was an asset. Well, whether asset or liability, I was painfully thin, …so thin that I could be compared with a toothpick.
And that bell…, My God! That bell was another ‘dumb’ instrument of domination. It had the power to gather and disperse us with one ‘ding’ from its ‘dong’ and God help you if you did not hear the sound, the cane was always there to remind you. These two evils always moved together, it was always cane – bell or bell – cane. Our lives were so ordered in school that we longed for the holidays… and anytime it came, we savoured it like freshly wedded couples!
But the joy and excitement of the holidays did not always last long. We never really got what we expected to get from it and most times, we would long to return school just a week into the holidays. One of the reasons for this was the cane. It seemed the cane and its brutality followed us wherever we went. While we were happy that we would be free from the teachers cane for a while, we forgot that mama’s cane was waiting. Mama’s cane was always more painful cos unlike our teachers, she had the authority to flog us on any part of our bodies she deemed fit; afterall, ‘na she born us’.
Well, there was no bell at home but during the holidays, we wished they were, for we missed the school gatherings and play times with friends which was supervised and directed by the bell. The holidays which we initially savoured like freshly wedded couples we later detested like hurriedly wedded couples.
As a young man now, I guess that even if I have to go on holidays (weekends), this song would no more feature except I sing it quietly in my office… Sometimes, I sit back and wonder about these events. What was it we really wanted? – was it school or holidays? I feel that if i don’t answer this question, I might, in the future, have to go through the same dilemma- shout TGIF (thank God it’s Friday) and begin to long for the office before the weekend runs out. I know that there would be no teacher or mama’s cane, but an autocratic boss and nagging wife at home could inflict more injuries than the teacher or mama’s cane. I cant say for sure what we really wanted as kids, I just know that we wanted to just play and have fun without being interrupted by cane and bells…