Kids who visited Apapa Amusement Park on Children’s Day last week, had fun as they played assorted games and fraternised, writes Godbless Eduviere
On Friday, May 27, all roads led to Apapa Amusement Park. Kids were seen as early as 8am being escorted by their parents and teachers to the Amusement Park tucked inside a quiet ambience in the port city.
The event, which was sponsored by Pepsi, was fun-packed as the Amusement Park which was demolished and rebuilt has now been transformed into “Heaven on Earth” of sorts where fun seekers besiege on a daily basis.
There were powerful toys and modern games like the Carousel, Soft Play, Mini Tea Cup, Junier Jet, Noah’s Ark, Swing Twenty and many more which contributed to the day being a colourful one for the kids.
Those who spoke to THISDAY on Children’s Day celebration gave reasons why children should be celebrated.
Mr. Umeji John, the Head of Alpha School said, “Children’s Day comes once in a year and it’s a day dedicated for children to celebrate and have fun. They need to come out and have fun.” He also added that the fun during his time was quite different from what it is now. “We were not privileged to go to beautiful places like Amusement Park, then we were taken to other schools’ field where we would play and compete with other schools on a march past or other form of exercise.
The Park is indeed a beautiful site for kids and the fun continued to get more interesting as the hours fade with time. Many had planned the Children’s Day for a long time and one Mr. John Etaobuko, who happens to be the Head of Hillcrest School, Lagos, said “I promised my students that I would bring them here and now I feel great seeing them happy and enjoying themselves. We are just coming here for the first time in years since the Park was renovated. Though, we have heard that the Amusement Park has taken a new beautiful look and that is why we decided to come and have our fun here. This Park is a place to take kids to for fun,” he added.
A test for the level of excitement was vindicated when a Primary six pupil, Chidi-duru Chukwado in sugared mood expressed his Joy to THISDAY saying that the Park is the best place to celebrate the Children’s Day. “It’s our first time to be here and I love the toys I see and I know other kids would love them too,”10-year- old Chukwado said.
Indeed, the Amusement Park spiced up the Children’s Day celebration with its spacious arena and modern games for kids. The principal of De Royal Nursery and Primary School, Mrs. Adeyemi Aderunke, excitingly shared her views with THISDAY.
She said she is excited because it is a day that is set aside for kids to celebrate and have fun. “Though the kids have not eaten but they are very happy because they are having fun and happiness is very good for them”, she said adding that “everything in life is not just about school but parents should also spend time with their kids and take them to beautiful places such as the Apapa Amusement Park as it’s educative and create opportunities for them to meet students from other schools.
“With what we have seen here today, I think we would love to be using this place for our excursions,” Aderunke said.
Miss. Adama Oluwasheyi, the Head of Teacher at De Royal Nursery and Primary School said, “We are happy seeing these children having fun on a day like this and the Apapa Amusement Park is the best place for them. It’s reserved, neat and the security is okay, so the children are having fun and enjoying themselves.
A very smart and excited Primary four pupil of the school, Adekoya Ayomide have this to say, “I feel great today and am saying happy Children’s Day to my mates and have a good day.”
The colourful moment grew to be more fascinating as an interesting movie as THISDAY discovered caring and loving parents who sacrificed their time in order to be with the children and celebrate with them. Mrs. Rita Ayah said, “I am very happy to be celebrating with my three kids on a day that is so special to them. Taking my kids out on children’s day is fun.”
Newton Ayah, an 11-year-old boy and eldest child of Mrs. Rita Ayah said he’s having fun. “I am a J.S.S two pupil of Dorcas Memorial College and I am very happy to meet people here. This is a fun place to be and I will encourage students to take this place as a place of fun.”
It was indeed a ‘wow moment’ for the kids as there was so much fun-activity which made it a colourful day such as dancing competition between parents, teachers and students from different schools, football games and as well as gifts and prices for winners.
Thus, outings are not necessarily only for fun sake, but also as an avenue to meet with other people. Miss Ijeoma Richard who is an assistant class teacher at the Field Green Hall School, said “We are having fun and seeing some of our friends here even makes it more interesting for us and I think no kid would come here and not be happy.”
The children so much loved the moment that they would run from one game to another within a twinkling of an eye. Feranmi Olubowale, a Basic two pupil of the Field Green Hall School, in already excited mood also expressed her feelings to THISDAY. The seven-year-old Feranmi said, “I love this place, I love the toys and I like to come here next Children’s Day too”.
THISDAY discovered that some Nigerians do not only make it a responsibility to celebrate with their kids alone, but also use it as a medium to make it a lovely moment for others as well. A member of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) Mr. Sawyer Saheed Ojora, who came with eight kids to celebrate the children’s day at the Apapa Amusement Park said, “I feel happy and that is why I came with two of my kids, three of my neighbour’s and three of my younger brother’s because it’s a special day for them and they need to have fun.”
Two of the kids, Rebecca Ojora Sawyer who is 10 years old and her sister Dorcas Ojora Sawyer who is nine, are both students of the Awodiora Primary School. Dorcas said, “I feel very happy to be here today and I love to play around today.” Rebecca also expressed her joy as well.
One of the marketing clerks of Pepsi Company, Mr. Pandang Dimas, he said, “the idea was to celebrate the kids as they are the country’s future leaders and to give them the best fun and gifts as well as well in order to celebrate them.”
It is delightful and it gives fulfillment to parents because it is a day that means so much to children. Thus, Children’s Day is one moment that awakens certain good and lovely memories of parents, especially women as it’s the joy of every mother to see their children happy at all times.
Obviously, only a unique moment such as one that celebrates the future generation of nation would make an aged woman to merry and dance like a vibrant teenager. Mrs. Maureen Omeili, who delights in the happiness of her grandchildren, was so excited that her smiles were as expensive as priceless jewels. Dancing and engaging in all other fun-activity with other parents, teachers and the kids. “We are celebrating Children’s Day and you know children are gifts from God. The world celebrates and make it a day for them and that is why I have come to have fun with my three grandchildren here,” she added.
On the issue of fun for kids, Omeili urged parents to always take their kids out to places like the Apapa Amusement Park once a while as it’s a place for fun. “Parents should try and minimise their outings to other places and try to create more time for their kids as its very good for them and it will help them also,” she said.
The fun which was at its peak has always been a best meal and as well as medicine to humans, most especially kids. It contributes to wellbeing and happiness of man, a powerful medicine that can heal a broken and depressed heart, sorrowful mind, mental illness and others. Kids all over the world love fun as it makes them very happy but when deprived, could result to depression and many more.
According to a clinical psychologist and counselor, Dr. ken Condrell, he said, “Children should be happy, vibrant individuals who explore their world-learning, playing and having fun. But no child can expect to enjoy a fulfilling life if his or her days are overwhelmed with fear, anger, frustration, resentment or other powerful emotion that turn what should be a special time of life into one gloomy sadness.”