Childhood Memories

Posted: October 12, 2010 in Lifestyle
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By Yandiswa Vokwana

My primary school was not far from my home, so every day I remember how I used to bunk school during break time and my class teacher would always send someone to come and get me. I guess that one day I will have to go back to her and thank her for being so patient with me, because I really hated school and she was also not one of my favourite people. I remember my first day at school. I never graduated from pre-school; I just went to primary school because all of my friends were there.  Our pre-school uniform was the same as the primary school uniform, and the buildings were only separated by a small fence. Unfortunately for me, I was sent back to pre-school. I bet they didn’t know just how persistent I was. 

For the whole week, they kept on chasing me away and in the second week, they finally told me to come with my mother and I was accepted. On the first real day though, I wished I could go back to pre-school. They made Nomahamle (a monster from a tale my grandmother used to tell me) my class teacher. She was very big – big nose, big feet, big hands – and she was forever sweaty, even when it was cold. Surprisingly enough, by the end of the year I was labelled as a teacher’s pet. I guess it was because I learnt how to write my name sooner than the others, so she had nothing to complain about.

I have noticed that whenever I ask someone about their childhood memories, they immediately think of something that makes them laugh. According to clinical physchologist Dr Sinebhongo Funeka, nothing is more powerful than the memories created by a child’s experiences. The child’s memories fashion the adult’s life. Every day of adult life is touched by the memories of childhood experiences. Our greatest adult fears were created by childhood memories. Our greatest adult anxieties were produced by childhood memories. Our most negative adult views of ourselves are the product of childhood memories. Our most important adult goals have their roots in childhood memories. Our most powerful adult drives have their roots in childhood memories. Our adult attitudes, adult perspectives, adult expectations, and adult view of life are all powerfully influenced by our childhood experiences and memories.

I always tell people that there are two things in life that I would never do and that is getting married and drinking. I was raised by my grandparents, because my mother had to finish school since she had me when she was only 17 years old. Every day, I had to watch my grandfather coming home drunk and beating my grandmother. I was never able to witness marriage as a beautiful thing, and so I would not like to go through what my granny had to go through every day. 

As much as some childhood memories can be depressing, some can also help you to relax. I remember the first day that I learned that money could be used for buying sweets. At home, no one ever talked about money in front of us. Money was for grown people, until one day when my aunt from Cape Town came to visit with my two cousins. She gave each of us 50c to spend, but because I didn’t know how to use it, I gave mine to my grandmother. Later that day when we went to the shops and my cousins bought tattoos with Pokemon characters, I was so frustrated. I also wanted a Pokemon tattoo, and from that day on, I would wake up every day and ask my grandmother for 20c. Life can become very hectic when you have grown up. You lose touch of the things you used to love because you never seem to have the time.

At least when one is in varsity, one gets vacations four times a year, but when one starts working, it becomes very difficult to have breaks and just enjoy the things you used to enjoy as a child. Sakhumzi Majila*, who works for an insurance company in Port Elizabeth, admits that even though he is 24 years old and has an 8-4 job, he always makes time to watch his favourite childhood cartoon, Dragon Ball Z. “I know some people might consider it very childish for a man my age to be watching Dragon Ball Z, but every time I watch Dragon Ball Z, I feel like I have unleashed the boy in me and it sorts of relaxes me”, says Sakhumzi.  Television programmes were very interesting back then.  There was Kideo which was presented by Natasha Sutherland and Mr Chinwag (the horse), and they both taught children how to behave in the right manner. The show also featured Timothy Traddle, Molly Metronome and Pedro the music man. I used to love Timothy Traddle the Tortoise and Pedro the music man. I remember how I used to stop whatever it was that I was doing, just to come along and sing with them. There was also Galooby the Dragon, Teletubbies, and Timon and Pumbaa.

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose. 
~ From the television show The Wonder Years ~

  We all need time to just go back to look for that child in us.



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