It’s time for a throw back!! *moonwalks into post* It’s been 5 days since I splashed my crazy on the World Wide Web ..5 days; wow. I was meant to make this post on Wednsday.. but I was robbed of my time at gunpoint by this thief Procrastination. Anyway its Thursday..Throwback theme… I am here now and let’s go back in time, shall we?
Remember a time when we had VCRs not Blu Ray and VCDs that had part A and B,and cassettes were rewinded using Biro pens? You remember? If you don’t, you are too young son! I saw a picture on someone’s Instagram that made me so nostalgic of these simple times and I decided to go through these memories. Plus the news about the launch of kid’s condoms in Kenya , really broke my heart . Kids’ condoms, what an oxymoron.
If you were like me and lived in the middle class suburbs, you probably attended a nursery school with some wooden seats painted in different bright colors and afternoons were spent sleeping on a small worn out mattress that may or may not have a distant urine smell. You carried your ‘break’ in these little bear shaped bottles and plastic boxes
That used to be so hot ! My mum hang it on my neck every morning because if put in the bag, it would pour tea all over my books. Going to school with second degree burns on my chest was a normal affair for me.
Then I went to a public school in class one and we moved to an estate in Milimani.. That is where my child hood got turned up! I remember my mum cutting my pencil in two so I don’t loose it all or waste it. Then there were some white erasers that would not survive erasing the word ‘acknowledgement’ because it broke or just disappeared mid-word. It was normal to even rub with your finger when times got tough.
I cannot speak for those who grew up in the leafy suburbs in Karen or in the upcountry.. But in my ‘hood’ there was the walk after school that was basically ingesting Salmonella and E. coli. The starter was the shop outside the school. You either buy a tonne of ball gums that will have faded into an artwork of colors by the time you got home or a queen cake that you would smash in a paper then make a hole at the corner and suck till it’s done. Don’t look at me like that, you know you did that too! Then you would move to the Bhajia lady.. This woman was always so unhygienic! Unshaven arm pits, unkempt hair, cooking on the road side where all cars, humans and once in a while; Maasai with cattle would pass and still, I had never tasted anything more divine! These bhajias were just a shilling each so if you were lucky enough to have 20 shillings after school, you felt like an Arabian Prince when world oil prices go up. Next dish on the buffet, sour mangoes with pilipili (chilli) . Oh heavens, these were my favorite! If you liked, you could get the roasted maize with chilli instead. What is a Hilton?! 5 course menu. This is the stage where you would shed tears because your mango was so covered in chilli but who are you to even twitch!? Life is too short to have dry eyes 24/7 right?
After crying, we would cool ourselves off with the iceman. I think these were the blunts of our days. This ice came in papers or sticks and the concentration of food colour was some high grade maneno . Don’t even get me started on the sugar levels. One hit of that icicle, get the 3 in 1 offer: flu, diabetes and high blood pressure. Yippee! I am still shocked that I lived to write this post. On good days, when there was an influx of money the you could spend, you would treat yourself to Bibo, which was this juice in a small tetra pack or a packet of chevda to snack as you walked home. Ratchet behavior. org. lol
After being forced to take a bath and have a snack despite having had your royal daily buffet walk,it was time to play. Game time!!!
Okay rich 90 kids, marbles. *rolls eyes* There was such a large variety of games to choose from. If you are a young one, I know you have already started imagining FIFA and Teken… But we didn’t have these things. Pads were our feet and the flat screen was called… outside. When we were younger, we played cha mama / kalongo.. stealing your mother’s rice and cereal and cooking it with leaves or cake made of mud. Even inventing your own language that you yourselves didn’t understand. Lol. Good times. Anyone remember hide and seek, police and robber or stuck in the mud? These games were the 50 Shades of Grey those days. You hide with your crush and show each other your parts.. Stuck in the mud was bondage. The winner had to rescue you by passing between your legs. See what I am talking about? Straight up BDSM right there. The older we got, the more violent these games got. Especially for tomboys like me who preferred hanging with the guys. I remember a game called Chobo-Ua. This game must have been invented by the devil’s spawn. It was a type of street football (okay rich kids, soccer *rolls eyes vigorously * ) The rules were, if the ball passes between your legs, the whole team had to beat you up until you completed a certain task. So basically, it was glorified mob justice. Yes, I told you, I cannot believe I survived to write this post! Then there was kiss, command or promise,shake,this odd behavior of tying grass in the field so that other kids would fall flat on their faces while running during P.E (okay, recess, damn it rich kids..) and a series of other really violent games that came towards 2005. All in all, we played as a unit. We kept healthy by running around every evening and sharpened our social skills by playing with children from different homes and back grounds.
Technology started to creep in and we started watching movies. And man, were they amazing movies! Not these frozen type of kids movies. Just let it go, let it gooooooo..
From Mr. Bean, which I think was my first official TV series, to Home Alone , which was shown every Christmas season since I was born!, to the Lion King franchise that was so amazing because they spoke Swahili, two words but who cares… And Shrek, my first love story (if The Bold and The Beautiful doesn’t count) Babies’ Day Out, Baby Geniuses, The God’s must be crazy, Yankee Zulu, Sarafina etc They came in offers of 20 movies in one CD. Take that Torrent! Ha!
One day my father came home and I remember being the happiest boy on earth. He brought me and my siz *drum rolls please*
A BRICK GAME!! Yes, the original Candy Crush, the mother of Angry Birds, the fore father of the Kim Kardashian game. Who is a Call of Duty?! I think I didn’t look up from this game for a good month. Sigh. Until one day, I borrowed this Nigerian movie from my next door neighbor. Witches. This movie is still by far the most scary thing I have ever watched in my entire life. I still get the creeps just thinking about it. There was a period where Nigerian movies were the main source of entertainment and every new one was more frightening than the last! Till this day, I still believe that wasn’t acting because the bight mares they could give you! The horror. Let Netty remember some titles. Suicide Mission, Scores To Settle, The Price … I am writing this post at night so I think I better stop there on this sub topic. *picks up bible*
Having a crush was the hardest thing I ever had to deal with when I was a teenager. First of all, you had to keep it on the hush because there was always that one snitch who would out you two in a ‘list’ that might become a school sagga. Second, if you had a crush on a popular / cute boy / girl, you were probably competing with a bunch of other kids at school including that one girl who was so beautiful and had breasts in Class 4! Who has breasts at the age of 10!? In my class it was Cynthia Wairimu. These light skin girls.
Anyhu, your crushes would be confessed only to your best friend or to your victim through a note in the middle of his/her exercise book placed carefully when they were out for lunch. Or if you were geeky and awkward like me.. You would take it to your grave.
I here by take this opportunity to confess mine.. June Mulama, you were my Channing Tatum. In class 5 when you became my desk mate, I used to come early from break so I would have to talk to you while asking me to move for you to pass. Oh and when you did the blow out with gel on your hair in class 7 and the Math teacher beat your ass up so bad but you didn’t cry * faints * so bad ass!
Where was I again?? Oh timeline, right. * fans self * Crushes in high school were a bit more simple. Or maybe it’s ’cause my beards had finally decided to kick in? I don’t know. For security purposes, I will not mention names. Lol . I had the cutest girlfriend ever, so sweet and her voice! God damn it! I was so convinced she was the one to the point where my Facebook name had her last name! But of course like most of other high school love, it ended. Relationships were 95% cute writing pads, hand writing, graffiti and stamps, 2% phone calls through your mum’s phone,1% meeting on holidays, 1% trying to get a chance to go for funkies to meet each other and 1% Facebook. Struggles. Until Yu lines and club 20 by Zain came and saved us from the monopoly of Safaricom and their 5sh-a-text type of charges. If you don’t know what I am talking about then I am so sorry. You missed out on a huge part of life. Phones were so large, your father had to hang it on his belt! And texts were so expensive that there was a social class requirement to demand attention. ie to text you all day, bae had to be a recess kid, us PE kids had to have trust. Insecurity was for the rich because there was no way I would call you constantly!
I had a Nokia 3310 as my first phone in 2011 and I could walk among the Illuminati.. Wottis!? Lol.
Finally ,, I have to talk about our fashion throw backs. There has really been an evolution of dressing from the 90s to date. I started off my early years in boy clothes. It was not uncommon to be dressed like your siblings those days and if you were unlucky to be an only boy among sisters like me, high waist jeans, Reebok shoes and T-shirts were the order of the day, EVERYDAY. When I was 6 years old or so, my auntie did me the biggest favor in life. She asked my mum if I could be a flower boy at her wedding. Naturally, she agreed and it suddenly hit my parents that I was a boy. This was the weights fashion era. All materials were heavy;the jeans, the sweaters, the jackets, even the shoes had such a thick sole. As I grew older, I started dressing myself.
Garissa Lodge was the our Deacons stores and every December was a guaranteed new outfit head to toe. The problem is, if your mother was like mine, she had to buy you over sized clothes and shoes claiming that you should grow into them. The first time you wore your new clothes, you sort of looked like the rapture was happening and you were about to leave your clothes behind. Then came the Sean John fashion for boys and the durags. Lol. This was so ridiculous.. Damn that redsan! Misleading poor boys into thinking they were cool. Okay, we all wore a few things that we aren’t so proud of but they will forever rule over these skinny jeans and snap backs boys are wearing these days. Can brains and snap backs exist in one place?
Best part of being a 90’s kid however, is the the fact that we didn’t have iPads or iPhones.. We just had iMagination. And instead of tagging each other in pictures in a virtual world, we would invite our friends in the real world and show them our volumes of photo albums. I liked that. That is the essence of being a child, riding your bike till you get scars and getting sick from all the dirt you ate,it made us real people. Real people who ran, if not for fun, it saved us from morbid obesity and arteriosclerosis. Kids these days should experience some of these things. Okay, maybe when we get rid of pedophiles and global warming.
If I have forgotten anything, please remind me!!! I hope you can relate to a thing or two in this post. Don’t forget to share. Until next time…