Sweet Memories of Christmas in Africa as a Child
by Joel Savage
African children are happy in every condition.
Christmas is a joyous season full of love. As an occasion which symbolizes peace, giving and sharing, adults love it.
So guess what it is like for a child when it is Christmas time in Africa?
As a child growing up in Africa, the approaching of Christmas every year is considered a special occasion.
At the end of the year, my father’s hard work could provide at least two chickens for delicious meal for the entire family, my mother, five brothers and three sisters.
My father wasn't rich but he tried to make his children very happy. Part of his education as a journalist in Europe, had influenced him and therefore used fork and knife to eat all his meals.
It was the laying of his table and the fork and knife issue I suffered every day. I always forget to put the fork at the right place.
My big head received a hard knock each time I made a mistake. I nearly told my father please you are not a white man eat with your hand. But I held my peace, because I would have received the biggest punishment I hadn't requested for.
It’s rare to find television those days in the sixties and early seventies. Only few had them.
My father had one after his journalism course sponsored by Frederich Ebert Foundation in West Germany, before the fall of the iron curtain in 1989.
Technology wasn’t yet ripe. When the valves of the television get heated, the picture freezes and the screen becomes blurred.
We hate it when watching interesting programs and such things happen. ‘Open and close’ was the system of how we watched our television for years.
On Christmas Eve, my father comes home with small round biscuits in a tin called Piccadilly biscuits.
With happiness we open our palms to get ours. The biscuit was meant to be eaten but everyone is scared to eat his or hers because when it’s finished you can’t get any more till the next day.
With our plastic cups, my father shares two bottles of Fanta equally, making us the happiest children in the whole world.
He was a great father who loves his children in a special way.
“Where are all the flowers gone?” I would ask. It’s great to be a child. I missed those special days but they aren’t coming back again. At times I sit behind a full bottle of Fanta,(not sharing with any one) but feel miserable like a church mouse, when two bottles of the same drink made us the happiest children in the whole world. Life is beautiful and wonderful.
We should try and give that special love we had from our parents to our children. Wishing everyone a safe happy Christmas and prosperous New Year in advance.
Published Author and Journalist