The older generations mostly from West Africa know that these traditional practices to be put forward may be ridiculous but the absolute truth. Nevertheless, for ‘thy’ ego sake, I am ready to dove my hat and say ‘Sorry oo Ogga, I no see am’ to your candid reactions from down below.
But hey! No hard feelings, we all know that this upside down practices are no longer effectual in this part of the world. I mean Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria or anywhere else in Africa though some few …very few remote areas may still be practicing one or two of such traditions.
The good and other side of it is that, like the renowned columnist Ade Sawyerr opined, culture and traditions are two mixed up words to a lot of people though they are different. So after some research, here’s the simple breakdown of the two words.
Culture is the lifestyle of a group of people usually from a geographical location at one point in time or another. Traditions on the other hand are an aspect of culture that seeks to maintain some peculiar tenets of a practice and preserves it for generations.
Now back to the point; if you truly are from somewhere around the sub Saharan Africa, and the age that I am thinking you are, then you definitely would have a vivid picture of the era I am talking about. The hilarious but painful traditions the older generations don’t want to remember…
1. Do you recall when you had to wait endless hours for adults (Mum, Dad, Uncle, Auntie etc) in the home to finish eating before you were served; and Dad got the biggest fish! I bet you were crying an unheard cry so they did not hear you…
Sorry, perhaps if you had cried out and scattered their table…they would remember you were close by but honestly, a child from that era would not dare do that.
2. Walking barefooted to school. Shoes were a luxury and you only got to wear it on very special days as against the countless days of walking on ‘hot coals’ in the scorching sun! And if you were lucky to have one, they were over the size of your feet so that your feet would grow to fit in it as the years went by. You therefore had no choice but to stuff it in the front with something; maybe papers lol… but those days are long gone.
3. When you had no choice but to hone your weeding skills. At the time, the main source of income was farming; otherwise your parents would be some kind of artisan (blacksmith, cobbler, basket weaver etc) but basically every family had their own farm. After a long day of weeding, you carried a big basket of foodstuffs from the farm over miles to your village. How you wish you would grow up to be daddy at the sight of him throwing his arms by his side behind you and mum. Don’t worry, he was just watching your back for danger. Now how cool is that.
4. When your mistakes were met with painful spanking when you were so sure you didn’t break the pot (earthen ware pot) out of mischief. But for obey before complain, you would have received some cool knocks and spanks before explaining by pointing that bruise on your toe from stumbling amidst your sobbing. Then mum will go like oh sorry but you should have said so…lol
5. Finally, I bet it is graphically clear on your mind when it was obligatory to go out and hawk some of the things mummy sold at the market after school before you returned to eat supper. But you know, sometimes you made some tips which you would use for ‘Allewa black and white!’ African Lollipop.
After all is said and done, I know you are seriously racking your brains – Don’t guess my age by what you are reading now because you might get it 99.9% wrong! Lol.
Have fun reading!5 Comments