Hannah O. Ajayi
Dr. Hannah O. Ajayi is a Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Education, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife, Nigeria. She is an Early Childhood Education specialist with research interests in child development, play and children as well as literacy development in children. She has published several articles in those areas in refereed Journals both nationally and internationally. She has presented her research activities at national and international conferences. She teaches from undergraduate to postgraduate levels and supervised up to ten Master and four Ph.D theses. She is a member of many professional bodies such as ECAN, OMEP, SRDC, NAEYC to mention a few.
Africanized or Europeanized Play: Resolving the Emerging Conflict in Nigerian
Early Childhood Leisure Activities using Reversal Theory
British colonies in Africa took identical picture of British education.Anglo-phone nations like Nigeria invariably imbibed foreign educational ideologies at the detriment of their indigenous ideologies including play. Introduction of western education is linked to modern leisure activities that gradually through technological advancement made children’s play to metamophorsize into sophisticated westernized game such as the use of toy gun, toy arrow, shooting exercises, dangerous children leisure pursuit, watching of blue films, introduction to gambling on computer to mention a few. As a result, Africa nations experienced endangered traditional leisure activities earlier enjoyed before the advent of European education. A gap in children cultural leisure adventure has therefore been established, thereby crippling the rich African child’s psycho social stimulation practices derived from the indigenous play. There has been established a strong link with the development of abnormal behavior among children as a result of their exposure to these sophisticated westernized games. It must be emphasized that prior the advent of the Europeans, African children enjoyed indigenous play starting from toddlerhood.The traditional assistive wooden device in form of “walker” aids toddler’s psycho-motor movement. The moon light games and plays such as ‘Bookoo –bookoo’, ‘Kini nleje’, ‘Boju-boju’ and some other ones come on regular basis. All these have significant physical, intellectual, social, psychological and health
values for the African child as against what entails in westernized/ Europeanized play. This paper therefore adopts a reversal theoretical approach.