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I remember the day as if it were yesterday. The pain I endured that weekend was unbearable. However, the pain yielded good fruits – the pain hit a reset button in my brain and I was transformed. “Spare the rod and spoil the child” was the basis for trashing I received that weekend. My mother held fast to this verse of the Holy Book and never spared me. Whenever I was spared the trashing was usually doubled. I wonder if the Europeans and Americans ever came across this verse in the Holy Book.


Thinking about it now, I believe I was destined to be flogged throughout that weekend – it was inevitable. On that fateful Friday, I arrived home at 4pm but to my surprise the whole house was empty. Joy surged through me. Immediately, I ascended into my phase of 5 minutes ‘euphoria’ (everybody has one).


I forgot to lock the front door properly but didn’t realize it until much later, instead of taking a shower, I decided to do things I now consider silly. I decided to slot in Hercules (the cartoon)  into the VCR but didn’t watch. I left the TV on and decided to make a couple of calls.


Back then we had two telephone boxes. One was situated in the living room and the other in my mother’s room. But still acting within my 5 minute phase, I decided to make use of the phone in my mother’s room. I called a couple of people (feeling like a boss) but I was still in my dirty uniform on her neatly laid bed. All of a sudden, I heard the front door close. Immediately, I snapped of out my 5 minute phase, I raced to the living room to switch off the TV and pick up my school bag.


By the time I was done with my ‘operation tidy the living room’, she was calling out to me but I was still in my dirty uniform. Reading her facial expression, I knew she was pissed. She first knocked me on the head for not closing the front door properly, and then asked why I was still in my dirty uniform. Before I could proffer her with an answer, the standby indicator of the VCR caught her eye.


The next thing I heard was ‘What were you watching?’ I said ‘Nothing’. She then pressed the eject button, lo and behold she had the Hercules cassette in her hand. She was livid but instead of saying anything she went straight to her room. Then I knew it was over ‘cos I forgot to lay her bed. ‘Abi, you’re in serious trouble’ was the next thing I heard.


Immediately, I started to sweat. She used to handle the cane like a martial arts master. During these trashing sessions she was everywhere, I could never escape her. She asked me what I was doing in her room, engulfed with fear I told her the truth (don’t blame me o), that sealed my fate for trashing that very hour. She then brought out the ‘pankere’ and told me to lie down on the centre table. She told me she was only going to give me 12 strokes of the cane but if I stood up she’ll start again.


When the first stroke made impact with my back I stood up instantly, then I started to beg her but she started from number one again. The second time she flogged me, I screamed but I had to stand up. She then ditched the rule and trashed me seriously by the time she was done I’d lost count already. She then told me to take a shower. In the room, I asked my brother how many times the cane made contact with my body. He said he counted 72 strokes.

However, when I was in the bathroom something told me it wasn’t over. Immediately I stepped out of the bathroom, the first thing to hit me was the cane. Round 2 started with me unprepared and wet all over. Throughout the beating I couldn’t cry I was still shocked when she was done with me all I could do was sleep.


The next morning I woke up with parts of my body swollen (I couldn’t blame anyone but me). I took my bath early and started with my house chores. Everything was going on fine until she received a call from a teacher in my school. All I heard was “What! Five over twenty…thank you very much sir”. There and then I knew yesterday’s trashing was gonna be nothing compared to what was about to befall me that morning.


This time she decided to flog me in my room but she didn’t close the door, she left me an escape route. There was certainly no time for the ‘lie down’ chat or anything, all I heard was “Spare the rod and spoil the child” before the trashing commenced. All I could do at that point was scream for help, I called for the neighbours to save me. I kept shouting till one of the neighbors decided to come to my rescue. On getting to our front door it was locked, my younger ones couldn’t open it in time and when they eventually did the trashing was over. I was lying on the floor and all I that was ringing loudly in head was “SPARE THE ROD AND SPARE THE CHILD”.




The 6 o"clock man.


  1. Omo see beating! Sorry oooo….
    Yeah I believe in spare the rod and spoil the child and not ‘use the rod, and pestle and blade and raw pepper till the child lapses into coma’. Some parents just take it too far. I don’t even believe a child needs to be flogged for every wrongdoing, sometimes talking goes a long way IMO.

  2. @Nosa LWKMD no b only pestle,blade and raw pepper
    @Abido..this reminded me of the beating I gat frm ma Pa wen I was 16th(yea! I stopped chopping cane @17).I got home some mmins after 6pm. I swear the soles of ma feet were so raw,they looked like my intestines.I have scars allover as proof of my dada’s tyranny.Its all in d past nw, but I doubt if I’ll flog ma kids like dat…Mba o!

  3. I couldn’t stop lauging while I was reading this piece..nice write up though it reminds me of my helpless days..chaaai my papa beat me no be small infact,he had a p.hd in flogging.

  4. nice one….i’m still laughing…..i believe in that saying as well…parents should use the rod once in a while.My parents gave me enough beating when i was growing up but it made me very stubborn cos i got it everytime i was wrong…i got used to it.i didnt bother telling the truth anymore cos i’d get beaten anyway so i stuck with the lies.like @Nosa said…talking helps cos u’ll never forget certain things you’re told.I still remember one memorable slap my mum gave me sha …just one o…i didnt cry but i started hearing music before i fell asleep.

  5. Back don peel,ow cum she beats u so bad?but nwadays such beatin don’t take place again oo.children don wise.

  6. lol yeah i really do believe our parents took it too far. i can not imagine beating ma kids with the kind of belt ma father used on me or the special cane my mum used hell no.

  7. got so floggd dt i developd a devil may care attitude. Its plaguing me ryt now cos i dont know how 2 fear anybody! My ex never understands dt

  8. well my own experience was back in secondary skl,i stole money from my dad’s table back then and left for skl,only for my mom to show up later to ask me if i took it in the calmest of voices and i admitted,one wk passed,2 wks passed and my dad did nt do anything,only for him to call me one saturday morning to flog the hell out of me,he 1st stripped me naked and even used pepper and just because my younger bro had the tendency of doing the same thing in future,he was not spared,after the flogging he made us sign and agreement that we would never steal anybody’s money and that he was going to show me the agreement paper when i turn 30.I am waiting patiently to give any of my kids in future the same treatment if they go astray.It works wonders!!

  9. this just reminded me of how much they beat me when i was young. like i feel like crying again now. momsi beat me wella! i still don’t think it was good to receive all that beating and since am older now i told her she should go for therapy for abusing me as a child .

  10. I was raised in the US and my mom is American and trust me, we know the phrase very well here lol. Good/stern parenting is nature not culture.
    Anyhow, i believe in the idea but i don’t believe in abuse and beating children for minor offences. There’s a huge difference between mindless flogging/canning/beating/etc and discipline. You don’t have to scramble your child’s brain to discipline them and likewise beating doesn’t always lead to discipline and good behavior.

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