I saw this young boy who was having a time of his life on his makeshift seesaw amidst loud singing. I fell in love with the sight immediately so I pulled out my camera and took a shot of him. As I looked at the picture again, I had an admiration for the boy for his creativity. He places a wooden slab on a stretch of block between those iron rods to make a perfect seesaw for himself. A second thought however tickled me. Why would this boy go to that length to have fun? It is very easy for him to get injured . But does he have a choice? Maybe he had to resort to that because that is the only means of fun for him.
We have a dangerous situation arising in Ghana and we seem to downplay its effects. A child who is denied his childhood which is full of fun is likely to grow into an adult yearning for his childhood. Most schools when I was young had nice playgrounds for kids. Even this limited opportunity is vanishing quickly from the system. Kids now have no other choice than to create their own playgrounds and create their own playthings as well.
Kweku, as I choose to call the kid in the picture, represents millions of kids in Ghana and around the world who are being denied the spaces and materials they need to have fun and enjoy their childhood to the fullest. For Kweku, his community elders are more concerned about selling lands ,building hostels and other high-rising buildings. Kweku and his colleagues have been totally ignored. The big men in Kweku’s community I am sure have forgotten that all work and no play makes Kweku not only a dull boy but will make him a dangerous or damaged adult .
It is time extensive awareness is created on the near extinction of playgrounds and fun parks for kids and the need for the revival and provision of these facilities especially in our schools. Kweku and his colleagues should not be made to put their lives in peril in their quest for fun.