Apart from Christmas and New Year’s, one holiday that excited me as a child was Children’s Day. Listen, it was a thing at home and in school. My mum made it a point to take us out, there was always a special activity or two in school, and a party for kids in our estate. 

As an adult, it’s safe to say all that excitement has gone with the wind. Children’s Day is four days away, and I really couldn’t give a rat’s ass about it. It doesn’t help that it falls on capitalism’s favourite day of the week, Monday. But I recently caught a friend’s WhatsApp status and she seemed pretty giddy about it, and for a moment, I envied her. I missed that little boy who used to love this holiday and all other childish things. 

Curiosity made me slide into her DM and find six other Nigerians to share how they keep their inner child alive. 

Demola*, 31

I indulge on those things that seemed elusive as a child because of money. Like buying ₦20k suya that I can’t finish, buying stupid gadgets I never use, withdrawing money just to stare at it, binge-watching anime and cartoons and anonymously commenting things that’ll sound stupid to any adult online.

Nofisat*, 28

I’m the only child of my parents, so I’ll always be the baby of the house. When adulthood comes with all its wahala, I just pack my bag and go back home to spend time with my parents. There’s a way they dote on me that makes me feel childlike. I can’t explain it, and I also don’t know if it’s the “only child” factor. My room has stayed the same for as long as I remember. So it still gives me that nostalgia of my little self getting prepped to go to school in the morning. 

Aishat*, 29

I try to keep doing the things I enjoy even if there’s no one to tag along. I attend a lot of events that are themed around adults having fun like children, like fun fairs. I also surround myself with people who enjoy the same things, and it helps me stay in touch with my inner child. 

Bolanle*, 40

Toys were my thing as a child. Think of all the superhero figures, barbie sets, Legos, stuffed teddies, I had them all. On every birthday, I was always so excited about the new toys I’d add to my collection. At some point, I started saving up to buy the toys. As an adult, this love for toys has translated into a love for gadgets. Kitchen, home, office, bathroom and accessories, I’m always curious about all these things, so I end up buying them. It always makes me feel like I just got a new toy.

Dotun*, 37

I spend an obscene amount of time watching cartoons, and I’m a complete irritant while at it. You’ll see me laughing loudly and even pausing to mimic some of the characters. I remember an ex-girlfriend said, “I’m too old to be acting a fool for cartoons.” We had a fight afterwards. Life is hard enough and these cartoons help me forget I’m a man with bills to pay and other adulthood troubles to deal with.

Kenny*, 30

I eat a lot of junk food. This was a big part of my childhood. It was a thing with my mum because she used to get us biscuits, sweets and all sorts whenever we were shopping for school resumption. She didn’t just buy what she thought we would like, she took us along and we got to pick the stuff we liked. As an adult, that’s something that makes me feel like a child all over again, whether it’s when I’m eating or shopping for junk. I always have a special budget for it when I shop for groceries. Some of the traders assume I’m shopping for kids. I don’t even bother to tell them that I’m the big baby that needs spoiling.

James*, 25

I like playing a lot. I’m the uncle kids love to have around because they know I’ll roll in the dirt with them if they want me to. I’m the uncle who’ll sit down to play with their toys, play hide and seek and watch cartoons with them. I remember attending this house party with some new friends and when they asked for game suggestions I mentioned “boju boju”. Everybody had this “Guy, really?” expression on their face. If only they knew I was dead serious. 

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