Growing up in Ghana back in the day was not as easy as it is today.
Children these days get to have things on a silver platter. Even children from poor homes get to eat fried rice and chicken on a normal day, back in the day, you only get to eat that kind of food during festive seasons.
We’ve come a long way, no doubt but there are many other things we saw as struggle growing up, here are a few of them.
1. Yommo – Hair Dye
By the time you hit the age of 10, you would have gone through a lot of hair dye processes. The popular stone known as “Yommo” was grinded and used as hair-dye to dye our hair. We didn’t know what our parents were trying to prevent or whether it was some kind of fashion, we had no option than to go through the process.
Most Ghanaian children growing up back in the 70’s and 80’s had to battle the dreaded disease popularly known as “Gyemerekutu”. It affects your ears, extending to your cheeks which gets swollen. Besides the pain you have to go through, the mockery from your colleagues in school who sing a special song for your ailment is enough to bring you to tears.
3. Hair Lice
Hair lice seems to be a thing of the past but back in the day, we had to battle it everyday. The situation worsens when you live in a compound house. When one person gets it, every child in the house will be faced with the struggle because it was very contagious.
Just like the hair lice, we had to battle with apollo almost everyday because it was air borne. But these days, we hardly see Apollo.
Back in the day, going on errands were way harder than it is today because most children seems to be living in self-contained houses which makes it hard for others to send them on errands. Back in the day, because we were living in compound houses, errands were rampant and just anyone older than you can send you on an errand, not just your parents or older siblings.
6. Rice And Chicken Only On Festive Seasons
Rice and chicken is so common in Ghana these days. At every corner there seems to be a fried rice joint which is affordable. It wasn’t the same growing up back in the day. Rice and chicken were specially reserved for festive seasons, mostly Christmas. The struggle was very real
Photo Credit: OABPhotography/500px
7. New Attire Only On Christmas
You only get to see a new dress or attire only during Christmas. We wait till it’s Christmas before we ask for our christmas gifts which is usually a political suit with some shoes for the boys and a popularly dress nicknamed “three sisters” for the girls.
8. 6:00 pm Curfew
Growing up in Ghana back in the day, you couldn’t stay out long, it was mandatory to be home before your father returns from work. If he’s home before you, just expect some lashes.
The almighty “Kakawerewere” has had it’s toll on Ghanaian kids. Most children were faced with this kind of skin disease that eats some parts of your hair which forces you to shave your head clean earning you the nickname, “Sakora”.
Kwashiakor has also had it’s time in Ghana, it’s not very common these days. It was so popular even when you eat and you are too satisfied and harbor a big belly, you’re referred to as Kwashiakor.