Poetry, Tale Africa

Childhood memories, then and now…

By Hilda Gloria Ndiwabeene, Uganda:

 

I was young, I was free, I was happy

Homesteads had no electric gated fences

I knew someone in every home close to ours

I called all the elders aunties and uncles

They referred to me as daughter

I felt loved

 

I walked and played miles away from home

I was safe and not worried

I ate at any neighbour's home

They all welcomed me as a daughter

I was loved

 

I gathered many children home

We played till their mamas called

They ate at our home

They were welcome any time

We loved them

 

Today, children know no one in their neighbourhood

They only eat and play at home, it's dangerous otherwise

They don't talk to “strangers”, these are rapists and kidnappers

They have timed “play time”, they have to do tones of homework

Their favourite toys are guns and knives, other games are boring

 

I know they are young, but are they free and happy?

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