Reminiscences of my childhood days comes with mixed feelings often nostalgic, sometimes euphoric and other times contrary. No room is left for regrets as I know life never came with an instruction manual which necessitates mistakes as an inevitable phenomenon. A part of me desires to relive those days especially the times of cherished events. I grew up in the hoods, where the number of years you’d spend on earth is determined by how you live. If you do anyhow, you go see anyhow. So far, I have lived most of my life in the Northern part of Nigeria. Being a Westerner, schooling and living in the Northern part of a country –where before you are asked if you’ve eaten today, you’d sure be questioned where you are from –was quite challenging.
Like I rightly heard once, “to survive here, you have to be street-smart.” I could go on to add that aside being street smart, you need to learn from the experiences of people, else you wouldn’t be alive to have a better experience. You need to listen attentively to the long sermons before each new school session that ends with “…remember the son of whom you are.” You need to be smart enough to pick up good lessons the way you sight –from afar –a ripe and juicy fruit hanging on a tree in the middle of someone else’s compound.
There’s also need to make mistakes, stand up firm, and write out the experiences. Cautiously treading on the good paths of those who went on before you is paramount. You need to be down to earth and most of all, you need good motivation. This is what this book promises to offer you.
Growing up with the Aishas and Abubakars, I learnt creativity at its zenith. What I called akara they called kose, when I say airport they said airfort. Despite divergences in language, accent, religion, and worldview, we felt free to blend all spheres of life harmoniously and of course, it was a sweet-sweet experience. Looking back, it is only easier to apply this free principle. Today, “MA-DA” is a harmonious blend of Ma (Mother) and Dad (Father).
Whatever lesson learnt growing up was a sum total of their collective efforts. In this book, I chose to focus majorly on what I learnt from them. It is imperative to note that these lessons were drawn from keen observance of their way of life as well the sitz im leben surrounding my upbringing. Some stories have been slotted in to make your reading an Alice-in-Wonderland experience. They are not for mere grammatical aesthetics but embodies in them timeless lessons which serves as a compass for an adventurous sojourn.