Today is Saturday. Like every other time, Awele’s mummy is dressing her up. They will be attending a party in the neighbourhood. Awele is standing with pride in her killer heels, giggling, watching mummy do what she knows how to do best. Mummy is ripping off her shorts with a blade. Awele will soon be…
Today is Saturday. Like every other time, Awele’s mummy is dressing her up. They will be attending a party in the neighbourhood. Awele is standing with pride in her killer heels, giggling, watching mummy do what she knows how to do best. Mummy is ripping off her shorts with a blade. Awele will soon be looking like her favourite Hollywood actress. “Awele, my sexy.” Her mummy teases. “Dope baby.”
She runs pink lipstick on Awele’s thin lips, sketches supposedly perfect brows in place of her child’s shaved ones. Awele’s eyelids beam pink headlamps at each blink. Mummy is smiling. Her daughter is looking like her model. Awele catwalks for mummy to see, her earrings dangling along. They both giggle. “Awele, shake that bum really hard today.” Her mummy instructs. “There will be lots of prizes, you know.”
Other mums are peeking through their windows, watching mum and daughter wriggle like snakes, displaying acrobatic dance steps in the balcony. They are wondering why a child is being robbed of her childhood. Wondering why kids are made to grow up too quickly.
Awele will be shaking her bum at the party today, for all those prying teenage boys to see, for all those retarded paedophiles to lust over her young, fair body.
Awele steps out in style, like a prima donna. She meets other pre-teen girls in the estate, priding her self before them like a brazen peacock. “You girls still wear those.” She tells them, sizing them up and down with her eyes. “Anyways, you’ll are kids.” She says with a shrug. The gullible ones are depressed, wishing their mums could let them have a taste of the sugar Awele enjoys.
The other mums are still peeking through their windows. Still wondering. Wondering why this ridiculous pressure is put on kids. Wondering why the girl-child’s clothing is becoming tighter and shorter. Wondering why mums are setting up their daughters as bait for predators. Wondering whether their own mums raised them the same way.
Awele’s mum will post Awele’s picture on a social network. Awele will get 33 likes from people Mummy knows and 1,000 likes from people Mummy does not even know. And for Mummy, it will be progress. She will caption it: “My hottie pie.”
Really, childhood is fleeting. Let kids be kids. There is this inexplicable thing about phases of life and the memories they create. Let kids enjoy their right to childhood memories. Real childhood memories. If kids do all the adult stuff now, there won’t be much left for adulthood.