Childhood Memories; The Mango Raids

It was a very hot afternoon and the kids were feeling restless. They were on vacation and they were so much bored with staying in the house. School was to reopen in two weeks. They wanted the days to move quickly so that they can go back to school and have more fun. Staying in the house was boring for them. Their parents were also at their work places and they always left early in the morning and came back late in the evening. Before they left they made sure that their breakfast and lunch have been prepared. The lunch was always in the fridge, the children had to rely on Kofi who was the eldest to heat the food for them in the afternoon. The long vacation always coincided with the harvesting of mangoes. Thus, the mango season was here and the children decided to organize a series of raids into people’s farms for mangoes. They therefore sent three of the boys around to survey the area and map out all the mango trees.

It was now left with how to execute these plans. They first had to tackle the mango trees in the Ghana Water Company yard. They picked four gallons and entered the yard under the pretext of going to fetch water. Kwame hid behind the wall with a sack whiles Kwadwo, Kwabena and Kofi entered the yard with the gallons. Kofi climbed the mango tree and started plucking the ripe mangoes. He then threw them to Kwame who was a very good catcher and it went into the sack. In about ten minutes the sack was half full. Two of the gallons filled with water were then taken out of the yard by the two boys leaving Kofi on the tree. Kwadwo and Kwabena went back into the yard and Kofi then climbed down from the tree. Kwame was gone with the sack of mangoes by the time the boys were finally leaving the yard. This raid was successful as it was carefully planned and executed with so much dexterity and precision. The boys could not hide their joy when they got home and started enjoying the mangoes. They could imagine the look on the faces of the security man and some of the workers during their lunch break. They will be amazed as to how the ripe mangoes vanished from the tree. Thus the boys have found an activity to while away the remaining days of this boring vacation. Whose mango tree was next? Agya Owusu’s farm was next.

There were rumors in the neighborhood of Agya Owusu’s extreme wickedness. Thus he meted instant justice to anyone who was caught stealing from his farm. There were three big mango trees on his farm and no one dare climb any of the trees to pluck the mangoes. The boys decided to raid his farm and they were ready to face the consequences. As usual, they sent two of the boys to do some reconnaissance of the farm. They came back with the information that the man was not on the farm. Another boy was posted at the entrance of the man’s house and he was to run towards the farm and shout the moment he saw the man heading towards his farm. The sacks were secured and the boys entered the farm, climbed the trees. One person was left to stand under the tree to fill the sack. The raid was going on well until the sentry posted at Agya Owusu’s house failed to notice that there was a backdoor to the house. The man decided to pass through the backdoor on his way to the farm only for him to get there and see some children harvesting his mangoes. He shouted and the one with the sack picked up the sack and bolted like lightening. The other two on the tree decided to pluck the hard unripe mangoes and pelted Agya Owusu with them. Since he could not defend himself from the mango attack, he also ran back to the house with his face swollen. The boys then got down from the tree and also ran back to their house. When the boys got home, they started laughing and at that same moment the sentry showed up breathing heavily.  He had to run for his dear life when he saw Agya Owusu running towards his house. Meanwhile another person’s mango tree was being targeted. They decided to be extra vigilant this time around and also take every precautionary measure to protect and defend themselves during the raids. They also mapped out several escape routes and always had a plan B in case their plan failed. Thus these are some of the childhood memories. I hope a lot of people can relate. In fact, the mangoes raided from people’s farms were more enjoyable than those sold at the market.

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Let Us Protect The Children

Image Once again the deaths of two children who went to play in their father’s parked car was reported by the various Ghanaian media houses. These children died through suffocation when they got trapped in the car whiles their father was having a family meeting in the house. This tragic incident happened on the 11th January, 2014 at a suburb of Accra known as Asofa. 

Anytime i hear such news involving children, my heart bleeds. There are so many safety measures that should be done to protect our children from harm, but it seems parents and guardians have failed woefully in this aspect of parenting. Why place a bottle of kerosene or dangerous chemical at a place in the house where the child can easily mistake it for water or any drinkable liquid? Some parents leave knives, blades and other sharp implements in the open where children easily get access to them and eventually hurt themselves. Some children are also left alone to go to school on their own without the supervision of their parents or guardians. The unexpected happens when they try crossing the road and it brings a lot of grief and sorrow to the family.  Why would a parent be driving and his child be standing in the car? I see that everyday and the police also fail to point it out to them. Poisonous substances should not be left in the open for children to get access to. I think, there is no education on child safety in Ghana. All the past governments have failed in this aspect. It is high time a policy framework specifically modeled on child safety be advocated for.

Laws should be enacted to protect our children from harm or death caused by the negligence of their parents or guardians.  We should try our very best as a country to protect the children, since they are the future leaders. May the souls of all children who have died due to the negligence of their parents or guardians rest in the bosom of God Almighty. These are just the thoughts of a concerned citizen who is so passionate about children. Your comments are welcome. God bless all children and their responsible parents and guardians.