Yesterday, I remembered a particular song we literally murdered as kids when we sang it back in the day.
Wanderfool miracool Chiso
Let us walk wit i
Now it may interest you to know that this is what we were actually singing:
Wonderful miracle Jesus
Let us walk with Him
Who cared what the real pronunciation of the words in the song was then? No one. All we cared about was singing our hearts out and wowing our audience.
This was many years ago, when I was a member of “YP” (Young Presbyterians), a group for mostly elementary-aged students in the Presbyterian church in Cameroon. My younger brother was a conductor in that group. This means he was supposed to use his hands to direct how we sing. What he did was totally different as he instead rolled his hands like someone signing the song “running over”. After each ‘hand roll’, he opened his palms wide as though he was trying to sign shine. This he did over and over again while we sang and murdered the lyrics of our song. It was fun.
Now many years later, I’m reminiscing and missing my YP days plus many other things from the past.
Things like inviting a few kids for a birthday party and then having your house full to beyond capacity for the party when you in fact only invited a handful of kids. Because you know, the word-of-mouth mode of spreading information works like magic in Africa. And people often invite themselves to party. I was surprised to find so many well-dressed-and-ready kids at my first daughter’s second birthday party. I had no idea who they were or who their parents where. But they heard we were having a party and they came.
I miss things like shopping at the market and dipping my feet into mud not because I want to but because it rained and it is so muddy. It is not the mushiness that I miss but that constant natural touch with nature.
I miss things like waking up on Easter morning to go ‘look for the risen Jesus’. And singing songs like “the women went to the tomb but they couldn’t find Chiso.”
I miss genuine smiles, being served food over and over by neighbours and “good mornings” that fly by every morning from one door step to another.
I miss seeing women with babies latched onto their backs, going about their business, day-in day-out.
I miss my home and all the goodies that make me love that place.