Tag Archives: Children

Another Form of Child Abuse?

Standard

I saw something interesting today. My occasional bus ride to work when I want to beat certain traffic and not get stopped on the way for it, yields me delight every time! Today I had mixed feelings and this is why.

After I got into the vehicle, followed by two other ladies, the last occupant was a girl-child with her school bag, carrying her brother with his school bag behind him and they sat by the door! I could hear the mother’s plea to the Conductor not to leave the door open. But we know in Lagos, it is style to leave the door open, hang on the door or behind the vehicle answering calls as the driver speeds on as if chased by a demon! STYLE!

What the Conductor did was to block where the children sat with his body (his head was in and derriere jutting out for stability) as he collected his charge and gave change. Being concerned for the child, I kept asking him to shut the door, he politely ignored me, at some point the lady beside the girl-child took the brother and positioned him in front of her and it felt a little safe. When a passenger got down by the next stop, the Conductor moved her into a better location. Phew!

Before that move, we saw her brother collect money from her and tried bending down from his tight spot but the lady held him up. He tried it again, this time his sister did the same too. We noticed that they were sticking their balance (apparently for lunch or snack or transport back) into their socks, to prevent it from being stolen! Hmmm. LOL. See wisdom.

Why am I saddened?

She fell asleep during this trip after her relocation to a better seat. I started imagining what time she woke up to prepare for school. I imagined the long trip to school. I imagined how she will ‘drag’ aka ‘compete’ with other bus users (who are going home tired and not in a pleasant mood to allow a child get on the bus before them) for a space on the bus home pulling her brother with her (and their bags). I wondered, why they had to travel this distance to attend a public school unaccompanied, when they had other public schools near their home they could attend.

You might argue that this one is cheaper. But by the time you add the cost of transportation to and fro, the different hazards on the road, you will agree their parents should have a re-think.

Guess what, He is 3 years old and she is 9!

ChildAbuse

Pix credit: Child Abuse

©2017. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.

WHEN I GROW UP

Standard

“How old are you, Mummy?”

Pretending not to hear, I ignored his question.

“Mum!” I said, “How old are you?”

“Sorry, I can’t tell you.”

“But Daddy told me his age”, he informs me

“And you told everyone in your class” his sister interjected.

“I won’t tell anyone”, he defended himself, giving her the eye.

Years from now, will he remember this conversation? Maybe not. Will my age matter to him? I think so, because he told me, “I don’t want you to grow old”. So the idea is he will keep growing to meet up with me and make Ofe his girlfriend (she used to be in his class/school), but I’m banned from getting old.

Someone or something he saw must have told him that when people grow old, they die. Sadly, these days it is not so. I don’t want to fill his head with the intrigues and business of death, so I’ll enjoy every today and tomorrow we have.

“No, I won’t tell you my age, it’s safer that way.” The conversation ended.

©2017. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

Fresh wind delight

Standard

I missed out on this challenge last week but decided to attempt it all the same.
My second haiku is in appreciation of my daughter Imani Naomi. Naomi means “pleasant, beautiful, delightful”
https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2016/06/13/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-101-freshwind/

Swinging Leaves

With more than a tease

The soft wind swings fresh leaves to

And fro, oh! Such bliss

You are…

A breath of fresh air

Delightsome, showing you care

My sweet Imani!

IMG-20160608-WA016

Picture Sources: http://www.tianxinqi.com/news/Fresh-Leaves10peqvjmgy

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

#FreedomFriday – Happy Innocence Day

Standard

When I was a child, Innocence used to live in my community

Yes, they were bullies, but also mothers that stood up to resist

And fathers that sent you back to school to return with a trophy

There were mothers who could leave their children for the market

And return to meet them alive and in one piece.

Fathers who taught boys how to be men and not celebrate the beast in them

Fathers who knew to be proud of their legacy, wealthy or not!

Back then, it felt good to be a child, as my short baby dress wasn’t an invitation

But a girl beautifully dressed with ribbons and matching socks…

Trusting fingers clinging to out-stretched adult hands

Giggling as my feet left the ground; above an uncle’s shoulder…

When Innocence was a child like me!

Now Innocence is grown in more ways than she should

The quick movement of retreating eyes tell sordid tales

Of several forms of abuse, unspoken and unreached hurts

Innocence wears a gown not her size, trying desperately to hide

Yet searching ‘Hawks’ snatch her fresh before Momma turns to defend

Making a woman of her, laden with a child. Yet, she herself is one!

I don’t know if Innocence will return…

But I seek all who will her cause defend and Hawks prevent

Will you join me? So we truly have a Happy Children’s day.

*Both male and female gender suffer different forms of abuse and need to be cared for, defended, loved and made to enjoy their innocence. Let’s be the voice of the new-born,  3-month baby who can’t form words yet or the one whose truth is disbelieved.
**We still have parents that believe in family values and uphold them at every given opportunity.

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

My Prof is 2!

Standard

King-Earl calls him “My mummy’s Prof”, His birth name is Eno-Itoro (meaning Gift of Praise) and so many other names. A miracle baby born in the midst of so many unseen battles, but he pulled through and came out smiling.
He showed up on April 1st
The fool’s day they call it
But the joke is on you
Cause a wise man came through
Bringing joy and beauty to all he meets
His laugh is so contagious
You forget about being religious!
He loves water, food is not spared
When it comes to daddy and cars, he just has to be heard!
Eno-Itoro, today we celebrate another year
It feels like you are 3 my dear
As you behave like one wiser beyond his age
For me, it is befitting for unwritten pages!

May all who see you grow be amazed
May the joy that comes natural to you affect them all
May you remain a gift for which praises will ascend
Daily to God for His goodness to your family and all
Happy 2nd birthday my Prof
In you I see God’s love proven

And even when you don’t give me fist bump anymore, I yob you so!

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

 

In Shower To Play

Standard

One of my look-forward-to-on-Mondays is Ronovan’s Weekly Haiku challenge. Yesterday’s was on https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-89-showerplay/

So today I’m back to my weekly two-in-one poetry. Let’s hear what you think.

A girl takes a bath beside her mother along a street in Manila. Reuters

Shower Time

Questions pour like rain

Why this? Why that? Mom! Pray tell

Giggles, wince, soap’s out!

A Time to Blossom

Sprinkles from the hose

In response, the flowers spread

Spring calls all to play

Picture Source: http://www.firstpost.com/world/1800-children-worldwide-die-daily-due-to-unsafe-water-un-report-671648.html
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/529243393680953701/

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved