Monkey See, Monkey Do

Produced for WinnFM 2008

(Usual disclaimer – I don’t do poetry!)

From the moment your baby is born from perfect planning or tragic strife,

One pain ends, but another begins, they are our responsibility for life

We are pulling our hair as a nation as many young have gone astray

But we must point our fingers inwards for the answer to the moral decay.

We cannot give lip service and expect our children to follow

We have to instill in them love and respect, they are our future, our tomorrow

We have to lead by example, because our children absorb all they view,

Our lives must be exemplorary, ‘cause monkey see, monkey do.


In their eyes we are the heroes, looming large and strong

They will follow where we lead them, whether right or wrong

If they solve their problems with their fists, no matter what we say?

We have to look at how we deal with them and others day to day.

They see us lose our tempers for the slightest infraction.

It looks cool to be the ba’ jun, the first to pull a knife or gun.

But, if we parents, teachers, leaders use diplomacy, it’s true

Our children will mind our example, Monkey see … monkey do.


You wonder why they lie and curse although you wash their mouth

And why they won’t pick up a book no matter how you shout?

They don’t say please and thank you; and sorry? Never heard

Consider how you talk to them, think of what they have observed.

You have to handle children firmly, but don’t be afraid to apologise.

Curl up with a book with them, help them to be wise.

Speak to them the way you want them to speak, give them a positive cue.

Then look on at them with pride and think … Monkey see, monkey do.


This will be the last verse, for I’ve taken enough of your time

And I really have to admit, it’s a struggle for me to rhyme.

I’m not talking just to parents, but to the community at large.

We are all responsible for our children’s future, we all have to take charge.

Pastors, teachers, professionals, political leaders, our children are watching you.

So when you see them misbehave? Remember, Monkey see, monkey do.

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