Just when i was about opening the bedroom gate to step out, I was greeted by an unusual occurrence. A sudden soft and piercing voice proclaimed, "OB, please hold on I'm here!!!". Before i could even understand what was being said, I had already opened the gate.
All I saw thereafter was a lady, who appeared to be naked, jumping from the bathroom gate area into the second bedroom like a kangaroo in danger does. I was quite confused, so I stood there for a minute not knowing what exactly to do next.
The lady was Naa Atswei, daughter of a family friend. Fair with a 'slenderous' stature, Atswei has been here since early April to spend the Easter vacation with us.
Following that incident, she appears to be shy of me or perhaps, a sign of inconvenience. She now locks the 'Jerusalem gate' of our bathroom anytime she's about to take her bath. When she's done, you'd see a cloth around her.
Interestingly, not a single elderly lady in the house, from what i've been told before, locks the bathhouse door whilst bathing. So what at all has Atswei to hide?
What even beats my imagination about all these is that Atswei is a 'Ghana @ 50' + 1 lady, that is, 8years of age.
When I were of this same age, my cohorts and I, including girls, bathed together in public. All our 'valuables' were in full glare of everyone. Our favorite game was "Mami K3 Papa" of which we were sometimes naughty. But even with that, the necessity of being conscious of our true romantic feelings, and being typically concerned of the opposite sex wasn't really there, at least for me.
But today, just like Atswei, many 'tiny tiny little girls' in my former neighborhood at La, where Atswei stays, act like mature ladies in their 20s & 30s. These girls, with pride, would mention the names and 'manly' strength of their so called (teenage) husbands.
Some of these little ones are already either pregnant or teenage mothers. With a few others, the least said the better.
In all these though, I wonder if my 'tiny tiny little girls' are entirely to blame. In the neighborhood, competition at giving birth early, leading to a plush "AAJIEKPO" is the order of the day. Nothing like sex education, nothing like a positive role model to look up to.
Today, Atswei will be leaving us for La. I haven't been able to ask her why she becomes uncomfortable anytime I'm around. Well, it could be she's even scared of me and not necessarily shy. Whatever opinion Naa Atswei may have about me, I believe she needs proper guidance. I'd take the trouble to talk to her mother. If that fails, I'd just hope not to see Atswei as the latest mother in town the next time we meet each other.
Until then, my simple question is, are children of today, the same as those of yesterday in terms of character? And how best can they be brought up? I've been wondering.
By Gabriel Obodai Torgbor-Ashong.
MTN-One Young World Ambassador.