THOUGHTS OF OPETENTUM: Counting the numbers!


Mami kɛ papa’, ‘Tuumatu’, ‘Aligoto’, ‘Gbo-ni-mawo’, ‘Kpitinŋɛ’ and ‘Stay’ were but a few of several games I engaged in as a child. Which was your favourite?

Any way, one of such games I fairly liked was what we called ‘7-7 CALO'(help me out with the right name smile emoticon

It ideally takes two persons to play it out. Each person takes keen interest in identifying a recurring digit on car number plates. The one who sees the digits and mentions them first to the hearing of the other wins that particular round and thus, gets the mandate to beat the other at the back of the palm the number of times of the digits. It’s at this moment that one hears, ‘2-2 Calo’ & ‘6-6 8-8 calo’.

I remember one time i had to play the game with a female friend i ‘secretly’ admired. My beatings were almost always gentle on her anytime I won but I felt hers in the marrow when she had her turn. How I wish I could turn back the hands of time to let her have an equal measure of the ‘beatings’.

Generally though, It was an interesting game as each player was vigilant and determined to win many rounds as possible. There was a mutual understanding too; where each party ought to give in to be ‘beaten’ in case the other sees the digits on the car number plate first.

Have you ever had this same experience before? When was the last time, and do children of today even know rules to the game?

I’ve been wondering and still wondering.

Gabriel Obodai Torgbot-Ashong