The pulsating rhythm of “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” by Gloria Estefan filled the gym as I worked out this morning, and instantly, I was transported back to the carefree days of my childhood in Nigeria during the late ’80s. This song, more than just a workout anthem, became a time machine that whisked me away to summers filled with laughter, music, and brotherly camaraderie.

It was the summer break when I returned from boarding school to the staffing quarters where my mother worked in Warri. The contrast between the structured, quiet life of boarding school and the vibrant, music-filled environment at home was stark. I hadn’t heard music or seen a TV for months, and the sudden reintroduction to these joys was almost overwhelming.

One vivid memory stands out: my brother Ayo, a young and promising DJ, was meticulously recording hit songs from the radio. “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” by Gloria Estefan (her bio here) was one of those cherished tracks. Ayo had a knack for capturing the hottest songs, and his collection was a treasure trove of the era’s greatest hits. He recorded everything from Michael Jackson’s electrifying beats to the smooth sounds of Phil Collins, the soulful melodies of Whitney Houston, and the pop charm of New Edition.

One afternoon, fresh from school and still adjusting to the sensory overload of home, I watched Michael Jackson’s “Moonwalker” for the first time. The sheer brilliance of the visuals and the music was mind-blowing. It was a moment of awe that solidified my love for music and entertainment.

Our house was always alive with the sounds of Ayo’s latest recordings. Songs by MC Hammer, Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant, Mariah Carey, and Atlantic Starr filled the air, creating a backdrop to our childhood adventures. We spent countless hours dancing, laughing, and just enjoying being together. Music was the bond that brought us closer, a universal language that spoke to each of us in different ways.

The smell of French toast wafting from the kitchen is another sensory trigger that takes me back to those days. It’s funny how a song can evoke not just memories but also smells and tastes. Mornings with the delicious aroma of French toast cooking, combined with the soundtrack of our favorite hits, were pure magic. Each bite was a reminder of the simple, beautiful times we shared.

Those summers were also marked by great times with childhood friends, especially the late Olasunkanmi Olayemi, who lived next door. Olasunkanmi and I shared countless adventures. He went to FGC Ilorin, while I went to FGC Ogbomosho for boarding school. Despite attending different schools, our bond remained strong, and our time together during breaks was always special.

Much love, respect, and adoration go to Gloria Estefan and the many artists whose music became the soundtrack of our lives. Their songs are more than just melodies; they are the keys to a treasure chest of memories. Every beat, every lyric is a thread in the tapestry of our childhood.

Reflecting on these moments with my brothers Ayo, Yinka, and Tolu, and remembering friends like Olasunkanmi, I am filled with a profound sense of nostalgia and joy. Those summers in Nigeria were more than just breaks from school; they were the golden days of our youth, marked by music, love, friendship, and the unbreakable bond of brotherhood. As life moves forward, these memories remain a cherished part of my heart, a reminder of the timeless magic of music and the irreplaceable value of family and friends.