The week before last, on the Tuesday and Wednesday, in Nigeria we observed the much awaited public holidays marking Ramadan Kareem. Lots of people had anticipated the break especially corporate workers and many are already counting down to the next national public holidays. After work resumed, I caught up with someone and in the course of our chat she asked me "how did you spend your holiday?" I answered casually that I was indoors because the first day I needed to rest and the second day I hoped to go out but the rains started early in the morning and lasted till late evening, so I couldn’t go anywhere. But then, the question struck me in a way. It brought back some childhood memories.
When I was in primary school in the early 90s, it was a common home work in the English Language subject to write a short essay on how you spent your holidays. It always came up at the beginning of the term or after the midterm breaks. Most of us dreaded that assignment because we didn't understand what exactly we were expected to write. Were we supposed to give an every single day account? But that would take a whole exercise book. Were we expected to pick just one single day and give a detailed account of all that happened that day? But that would be just one day and not the whole holiday. So we all wrote whatever our young brains could put together as how we spent the holiday.
Most often it read thus:
Does this essay ring a bell? Some of us even kept our best copy of it and used it every beginning of term. How time flies. I don’t know if primary school children still write such essays now and how their own stories are told but I expect it to be better than ours.
If you are a Nigerian, you got your primary education in Nigeria and at one point or the other you wrote such an essay say “aye”, if you didn’t say “nay”.