The contest was on! Stories after stories poured in. Claps, jeers, sighs, tears followed. We barely had time to digest one before the next tale was delivered to the mark. Its owner hoped to be acclaimed winner
During that period of six months, each day longer than the previous; we honed our story telling skills without meaning to. The night carried our voices afar. Darkness descended on darkness while we stayed put on the wooden benches. Sometimes the moon gave us a motherly caress.
Every contest was ended by a call from mother or from auntie, or from an elder brother anxious to show off his recently broken voice. ‘Come inside the house’ echoed them all.
On that day when the transformer blew, the contest unofficially began. As we hoped against hope for the officials, the newly born child began to mature. He called ‘pa pa’ and laughed lustily. His attempts to crawl were a sight to behold. Until we could not but come together. Tend to this babe, we must
‘Atikana, tikana, tikana, gbish. Atikana, bon, bon, bon gbish. Hurray!!!’ my head swayed to the rhythm of Osci’s song as he related the fight between Atikana and the giant. Who won? Now I can’t remember. Forever that song rests in my head.
After months of shuffling papers and dragging feet, power eventually crept back into our homes. Slowly but surely, each returned to his television. The video games recovered their places of honour. Our babe now mature was left to fend for itself. I am proud to say that it survived the years so far.