My father had a bit of a temper and was not to spare the rod; he would use it to instil correction, speeches were out of the question, once you make a mistake, you know you are getting it hard. My father’s first real canes were a masterpiece, designed special for my body I choose to think. The twins, I choose to recall them as because they were so similar, inseparable in the corner of my dad’s room, flexible, shiny, thin and long, shaped to perfection to deliver the perfect pain to any part of the body they touched. I remember the day he sent my aunt to buy them as the news came to light that I had ‘taken’ some money and instead of coming home straight from school, I went and spent it all at a game-house, came home quite late and lied about it before the whistle was blown on me by my neighbour. Now this man gave me the beating of my life that day; I saw a white light by the time he was done. It was not just the regular bring-out-your-hand kind of flogging, I practically jumped from chair to chair in my house and that did not stop him as he lashed me like Django with the whip. That event still stands in my mind because it is my first recollection of my first serious beating and the reason why I dread game-houses to this day; I stepped into one or two later on but I was never a frequent customer, just a random passer-by.
My mum’s style of beating was a little different from my dad; my mother would throw caution to wind when she wanted to beat you. My father would leave the room open and even try to chase after you when you run but my mother would lock you in a room, put on a shirt and shorts and at that point, you had better start praying to God that you would survive that event because she would come at you like a wounded lion. She called the cane Doctor Do-Good and boy did she use it to do me some good. She only beat me twice in my life but I have never forgotten those two since. I remember running, jumping, screaming and even defying gravity because there was a moment I flew to avoid a stroke from my mother. That blow was like a fatality in Mortal Kombat and I knew that if that one had hit me, I would have lost far worse than my voice that day.
My next serious beating was a result of my naivety in my search for porn. I forgot to clear the history from my dad’s laptop one evening and I was awoken from my sleep that night by a sharp pain in my backside. It stung me like the flames in hell-fire and I didn’t need a soothsayer to know I was paying the price for my sins. I was questioned and flogged at the same time and by the time they were done, I knew it was going to be very difficult to have my bath and it did not die there because I was still called back for a session of prayers and moral instructions. There are certain questions I would like to throw to the general public because I certainly was not the only one that shared in this glorious tradition. Have you ever been slapped so hard that you started spilling out all your secrets and exposing your cohorts in the process? Have you ever been in the car and your parents promise you a good beating when you get home? Trust me, it would be the longest drive you have experience. The thoughts that would go through your mind could leave you on the brink of insanity? Have your parents ever been so mad that they scream and scream, then suddenly become calm and say, “Okay!!! We shall see.” There was a time I was scared of my parents because they never told me what punishment I was going to get; I only got an okay. Have you ever been made to choose the cane you were going to get? It is like being caught between a rock and a hard place, you are never going to win. These were the many scenarios you would find in a typical African house; the fun never ends
The many torrents of beatings made my parents seem like Indiana Jones to me, masters of whip, my father could whip out a slap like it was a quick draw in a cowboys’ face-off; it seemed like they hated me, like they had training sessions on better ways to inflict pain on me. They punished at times, leaving flogging for another time but it was nothing compared to the day when I was going to receive my beating. But now, in the later part of my life, I have come to realise that those things were necessary for correction. I look at some of my friends and think, “Hey, I’m better off than this person morally because I got all those beatings that wouldn’t make of a fool of myself like this person does.” They were all done for my good because my imagination runs wild and I would probably ended up a far worse person than I already am if not for the thought of those weals that ran across my back each time I was caned. I already have my future planned out, I will beat my children when they mess up.
But, at the end of the whole thing, too much of everything is bad, even flogging. Abuse is the abnormal use of something, taking something to the extreme. It is the bad side of a good thing. No parent should ever hit their child to a point where that child suffers from mental injury. No child should ever be deprived from their essential needs in life. Correction is good but abuse makes a mess of everything. Every child deserves to have a story to tell; don’t over-flog the child but let him have a story to tell when his friends are telling their cane stories. Whip em, lash em, flog em. Beat them like a wrecking ball!!!!