Recall as kids, in naija of course, when we did something wrong or were made to believe we did something wrong and then mum or dad says “oya go inside” then you walk in front of them or behind them (walking behind was better as the tension was more when you walked in front) all the while trying to imagine how your ordeal would begin?
We used to try and envision the coming event. We often thought about what would happen first: Will i get my ear twisted first? Will I first receive a knock or two on the head? Will there first be one or a series of heavy abara (thumps) on my back? How will my pain session begin?
This period of anticipation helped to heighten the pressure of the little blood we had.
Indeed we knew that these regular beatings helped keep us in line and was ultimately good for us, but during this sessions we often wished we could hold the cane, whip, belt, wire or crowbar, whatever it was we were being moulded with and turn the punisher into the punished.
It was worse for some children. The ones who had to be attentive as the beating sessions took place. You know, some parents talk to their kids while beating them, even asking questions. And if you’re asked a question whilst being beaten and you don’t give a correct answer, well, your beaten just took a turn for the worst.
I only just remembered those times. There were times when we were like: I’m not going to cry. I’m just going to put my hand up, receive all the thrashing at once before I put my hand down. It didn’t always happen that way though. There were the kids who got their beatings on the butt, naked or otherwise. These ones too said to themselves just before the session began: I will just stand there and chest it till it finish. Usually though, the second or third stroke got both hands grabbing the butt unconsciously.
Those were the times.