Tuesday, August 02, 2011


Farewell elders

In recent weeks the village where I grew up has lost several of its senior members. Referred as "salt of the earth" by one of my relatives these people were simple, hardworking folks who mainly made their living off the land. Yet they carried with them an aura of dignity that commanded respect.

As children and young adults we accepted their reprimands with grace because it was unthinkable to answer back. In fact most of us felt we had let them down with our bad behaviour. To complain to your household was futile since your relatives seemed to have complete trust in the disciplinary methods of Miss Mattie and company.However, they were not only disciplinarians but gave willingly from choice fruits, to remedies for aches and pains to just plain advice for healthy living. "Study your book" was drummed incessantly in our ears which meant that our academic successes in particular were met with great pleasure.

These people were of a generation who understood that it took the whole village to raise a child; a concept they wholeheartedly embraced. Nowadays, sadly the village's role in child raising is fast disappearing. Nevertheless, I would like to salute the stalwart men and women who impacted on our lives during our formative years. Our lives were enriched by knowing them, by their genuine concern and love.

You know it J
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