We grew up in the 90’s!

Being a 90’s kid was great. It felt good to be alive, to be a boy (i don’t how girls feel so i will leave that to my dear Caroline!) and to be told that we would be the leaders of tomorrow. Well, a friend of mine thought that the last part was all a lie meant to restrict us to economic slavery and subservience. Am of a different opinion; i think we became leaders, each in our own right. Being a leader does not necessarily mean holding a political or high corporate post. The mere fact that you have a family dependent on you should be encouragement enough that you are a leader.

I really miss the 90’s. I mean, there was no facebook, twitter, instagram and the rest. Honestly, these tools that fall under the description of ‘social media’ are anything but social. You may have 1,000 friends on your favourite social media platform but nothing beats real face to face socializing.

That’s how we grew up. Face to face socializing. You meet a chic and you launch your manifesto mara hio hio as she is busy drawing maps on the ground. Goodness, whatever happened to women doing this? Nowadays they shut us up with that Z thing they draw in the air…..i hate it!!

Chics in the 90’s never used to do that thing that Nigerian actresses do, i don’t even know what it’s called. Si you know the way ladies roll their eyes and do that nasty sound that’s more like an angry French kiss!

Well, i remember we had penpals back then but either way it never outdid face to face meetings. My mum once encouraged me to have penpals but i figured it was useless; i already had Betsy who i only expressed my love for her in my dreams!

Nowadays i walk around the estates and the playgrounds are literally empty. Ok, there are cows and goats so they are not entirely empty! All kids are indoors playing on their xbox and playstations and PCs and watching TV.

Back then, grass never grew on the playgrounds coz all the kids in the neighbourhood would be doing a 9 to 5 kinda thing especially on weekends and holidays.

I grew up in two places and in each we took playing very seriously, to us playing was a calling. The first of such was in Getrude’s Hospital where mum was a nurse. There was a playground where a whole bunch of kids used to play; morning to late after sunset. At times we would still be playing late under the huge lights while mum was working night shift.

The second place was in Zimmerman; the entire estate was our playground, we ruled the estate, knew every bit of it and i don’t think there is a place we never set foot in, all in the name of play.

It was quite simple, wake up, have breakfast, go play, go back home for lunch, back to play till around 4-ish when we would all disperse at once to watch 4 O’Clock cartoons.

Housegirls were under instructions from their employers (our mummies and daddies) to make sure there was tea and bread (kenblest, 500gms) with a generous spread of Margarine waiting for us after play as we watched cartoons. In better days we would have peanut butter as well!

The TV stations used to open at 4 PM and close at midnight with the national anthem. Kids who were unfortunate not to have a TV set would either follow others who did or just hang around the playground totally deflated. Going to the mathree stage was also an option to cheer at the newest and coolest mats……that was around the time of KAB and KAC’s!

TV used to be fun, we had programs like William Tell and Border Town. We loved the Wild West movies and the following day we would all be making bows and arrows. Soap operas too were cool, am talking about the likes of ‘No One but you’ and ‘Santa Babra’.

Of course the soaps would also contain some kissy kissy scenes. That’s the point when parents used to send us away to sleep or just switch off the telly. Right from the beginning we were taught what was right and wrong. Kissing was definitely wrong and when the moment chanced upon us later to try it out……mmmh mmmh…felt like a freaking million dollar moment to be forever immortalized in glowing verse and prose!

When we were young and living in Zimmerman, my bro and i decided to try out smoking. I mean, we thought it was cool, especially the way cowboys on telly did it with one eye closed, cigarette hanging from the side of the mouth. We picked up several left over stubs outside a guest house, lit and started smoking. Our neighbour, a certain mama mboga saw us coughing our lungs out as we puffed.

Goodness, she pulled our ears and smacked our butts and promised to tell our mum when she got back from work. We pleaded with her not to, we had a loving mother but she usually turned into a monster when it came to instilling discipline on us; very understandable considering she had to play dad’s part too, dude went AWOL when i was born!

Up to the time mum got home none of us was speaking; we didn’t even enjoy the tea and bread at four, the cartoons even. Our mboch knew we would be murdered that day.

Goodness, mum came into the house breathing a double portion of fire and brimstones. Kumbe mama mboga had pre empted her on the way.

First assault mum executed was throwing the packed sukuma wiki at my bro. He ducked. Serious mistake, he shouldn’t have ducked. That infuriated her. She pulled my ear and i swear to God i knew she would yank it out like kabisa. My bro made a run for the door; woi woi, another fatal mistake. Six quick slaps with a blue pata pata slipper on his back, pa pa pa and he was pulled back to the sitting room.

Goodness, she whipped us like there was no tomorrow. I was pretty sure the pata pata would leave indelible marks on our butts…crapping would never be the same again!

Believe me, i never ever tried smoking again. I almost did when i was 18, i remembered the beating and i stopped.
What i know is that growing up in the 90’s made us responsible and very respectful. That’s why we are who we are today.

If a kid misbehaved back then, the entire community would participate in setting him right.

I miss the 90’s.


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