By Ogorchukwu Onyinye
Front doors could be left open at night. Children could be left in the hands of neighbours when you travel for an uncertain duration of time.
A parent could stay throughout a day without so much worry about the whereabouts of his or her child. Children would come home by themselves from schools in another town without fear of not getting home.
These were the cases during the times I grew up, my grandma said.
I am not quite sure I witnessed those days. I didn’t even go to a friend’s place for a sleepover or visitation. I was always confined within the four walls of my parent’s space, church, the front gate of the house and school.
I remember being called a prisoner.
But I saw on television — different children played together, yelled at each other, laughed and cried together, ran together.
I would close my eyes and run with them in my mind.
I understand now though. Not everyone who played outside returned home. Not everyone who slept over at a friend’s place was fine.
I was upset but not anymore. I learnt that I was protected by people who loved me.
How many children grew up feeling like prisoners? Wanting something that is not found within these four walls made me ask myself: Would I also make my children feel like prisoners due to the fear of what society has to offer?
Then, I wish we still had the old days where freedom could be felt. Because the stories I have heard, and the ones embedded in my memory are the beauty of days that I don’t remember.