Kenyan Madness Abroad

Will this turn out to be the elusive outlet for me to unleash my creative genius on an unsuspecting world? Or is it destined to be nothing more than a hi-tech pen and pad chronicling the ramblings of a delusional mind? You be the judge ... Just so ya know there's a disclaimer: This blog contains strong language and some adult situations. Viewer discretion is advised.

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Cultural, expressive, thoughtful dude. It's not all good though coz I am also an internet addict, and a sometime stalker too. But I am happy to say I am in therapy for the internet thing :)

Sunday, February 17

Them Days

How many of ya'll grew up in the 80s? Those were the days I tell you; I dont think there ever will be another generation coming up that will experience the same potent mixture of innocence and reckless abandon that we did. Yet despite those risks, you rarely heard of anyone getting seriously hurt ama God-forbid, killed. We all did the same things. Wore the same clothes. Played the same games. Spoke the same way. You could have been transferred from one shule to another and by lunchtime you would have fitted in like a glove. Let me give my nostalgia a test drive ...

Remember going for birthday parties? This one time I blew out my cousin's candles and made him cry. Later on he grew up into a tough guy and went on to play rudge for the school team so he would kill me if he found out I wrote that about him. Do kiddos still have those birthday parties where soda, crisps, and popcorn was all that there was but it was heaven on earth? Lakini show up early and you are made to help blow up balloons and ole wako if it was those little ones that almost needed a bicycle pump to get them filled up.

Halafu the birthday kids received nice presents that you would never have dreamed of getting in a million years. This neighbor of mine called Wachira got a battery powered race track with remote control cars that would speed around a winding course. Imagine? That was the greatest thing my young eyes had ever seen. Once I shikad one of those remotes no one else could play. When I went home I cried that I wanted the same toy. Guess what I got instead? Those little matchbox cars that you push bana. Why lie, was everyone's paroz broke back in dem days ama they just dint wanna spoil us?

Remember TV shows? Turning on the telly and seeing those vertical lines and listening to seriously boring music before they showed Kufungua Kituo. Back when KBC used to be VoK, TV dint start until something like saa kumi na moja jioni. What boredom if you were sick and had to stay home. No television all day, just the radio and the mboch had it on some dry station that had some show that started off with "I'm Harry the laughing hyena, I'm laughing all day long" and the song ended with the hyena laughing hysterically for a full minute. Damn. So when TV finally came on at 5:05pm you even stood at attention singing the anthem with tears of joy in you eyes. No matter what they brought you sat and watched - from He Man to Sheera to Pingu to Button Moon to Scooby Doo to Danger Mouse. Everything. You felt katsiwad when they brought Dunia Wiki Hii, then Press Conference, then news with Moi featuring for the first 15 minutes.

Usiku used to be my time. Being the only son, I would be allowed to stay up and watch the late shows like Dallas, Bionic Woman, Gemini Man, Inspector Derrick, Midweek movie etc while my sisters had to go to bed haha. My best of all time was Six Million Dollar Man acted by Lee Majors. “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better…stronger…faster.” Woi ngai I don't think I used to blink for the whole hour. Kumbuka when he fought with Big Foot? For those two episodes our whole family sat and watched. Afterwards when it was time to go to bed and I was pandaring the stairs I looked back down and my mom was coming up with her afro combed out. I almost shit in my pajamas coz I thought it was that sasquatch monster that had just fought with Sixi!

Remember Remington Steele? Moonlighting? The Rolf Harris Show? Ring Us Up (at Christmas time)? "Ring Us Up, Ring Us Up, Ring Us on the telephone, We want your money, count your pennies, dont tell us that you haven't got any...". Wtf? Show some decency please when begging for our money, why dont you? What about ABC Wide World of Sports? "The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat" and then they show a guy wiping out on his skis. Did anyone else used to sing "a cheetah, a cheetah, a cheetah ..." along with the opening song ama it was just me? What about Telematch? Two German towns used to compete in different obstacle courses with the players wearing costumes and I guess the payoff for the winning team was nothing more than bragging rights until the next week.

Who seriously used to watch Mke Nyumbani? Thanks to her I hate setting foot in a kitchen to this day. "Na sasa tutaweka vitungu na nyanya, halafu tutakoroga .... tunakoroga bado ..." argh! Joy Bringers planted the seeds for us okokaring in High School. I used to chora a picture at least once a month but they never displayed them in the show. What about Junior Quiz? And Children's Debate? "I urge you to cross the floor over to my side and agree with me that school children should go to school in uniform" ama in swa "Vuka sakafu, kwa mwendo wa aste aste ..."

This is the era that also brought us classic black sitcoms like Sanford and Son (Dummy!, you old fish-eyed fool, esther - this is the big one, am coming to join you honey!), Diff'rent Strokes (whatchu talking 'bout Willis?), Good Times (Kid Dy-no-mite!) The Jeffersons (Weeeeeeeeeezay!) and Webster (the other midget kid).

One difference from these days is kids really used to play outside alot. Foota, kati, bladder, shake, tip, British bulldog, hide and seek, rounders, bano, and that game of "Paa!" where you blow the tu-white things in soda bottle tops. I would just watch in wonder as some of my classmates would blow 20 of those things over. I maxed out at kindu 10. If you had a bike back in the day you were a ka-celeb. It dint matter if it was a BMX, Chopper, or a nameless one ... just as long as it wasn't a BlackMamba coz those were for askaris and the jamaas sharpening knives and nunuaring old newspapers in the esto. We also used to make our own toys; footballs out of juala, cars out of wire and bladder, running with a tire with two sticks for steering, flattening a nyota and making a hole in the center for a string to make a weird rotating toy. We even used to be entertained for hours by seeds that had fallen from some trees that we would spin with a click of the thumb and middle finger.

Don't let me forget about wakorinos running on roads on Sunday beating drums. All of them had turbans; men, women and children - no one was spared. If someone called you a mkorino that was an insult kabisa and was cause for bouting. Lakini come to think of it, after they had finished running on the road where did they go? Did they remove their turbans and become kawa Kenyans? I never saw one in shule ama shopping in Uchumi ama hanging in Carni ama anywhere else except jogging on Sundays. Strange.

Then breakdance came out and took Nai by storm. Everyone was into it and even people that couldnt dance for shit were there forcing ati burn out. I have to admit that I wasnt the greatest breakdancer myself lakini I had this one floor move (was it called the turtle?) where you balance on your elbows and walk on your palms. I used to pop and lock as quickly as I could so I could get on the floor before anybody keenly watching noticed I wasnt that good. A funny joke them days was Shamba ya Doo na Mboga ya Shrimp. Only tru old cats jua it referred to the main characters in the Breakin' movies - Shaba Doo and Boogaloo Shrimp. There was a rumor that one of them died when he jumped from a chair and broke his neck trying to land on his head. That was as tragic to me as when the price of a loaf of bread rukad overnight from Ksh 7 to 20 bob (however this wasnt until the early 90s and requires an entire blog of its own).

Talking about movies, who saw E.T.? I saw it two or three times in the theatre but I cant remember it much. I kumbuka he was hiding in a closet and had a big flat head and a crooked long finger. Oh and he sat in the basket of a bicycle as they rode by the moon. There was a movie called 'The Champ' that gave me a waru in my throat. It was that kiddo from the sitcom Silver Spoons. In the movie, his budda was a boxer. The closing scene where the budda is lying on a table after a fight and that toi is wailing is enough to get the toughest guy to borrow a hanky. And don't be the only one at school who dint watch the latest James Bond movie on the first weekend it comes out! It will be the topic of Monday and Tuesday and you will float like a dead fish with wide open eyes and mouth agape for those two days while your classmates are talking about "Octopussy" and that time you have nothing to contribute except "Wawawa that's cool meeen", "Ehe?", "And then what?".

Teachers were weird. After exams they would display everyones marks on the blackboard from number 1 to number last. Seriously they did not think about what psychological effects this would have on the number last person? And why would they send us to get our own sticks to be chapwad with? Either you go to the class next door to borrow ama to the bushes to find one. And you had better be back before the bell rings! Imagine now the neighboring class juas you were tandikwad and at breaktime they come to uliza you "What did you do? Let me see" ati now they want to see the whip marks on your shorts. Oh the shame.

If you had beef with anyone when was it sorted out? Closing Day of course! Do school kids still go in home clothes? Some chiles used to come dressed as fairy princesses ama like they were going for a prom. I don't kumbuka jamaas looking funny except maybe in their color coordination. Those were the days of Ngomas and Sandaks. Powers. Windbreakers. Paros were fashion culprits too. They wore Platforms. Tweed. Polyester. Viscose. Thin ties. Flairs. Cordoroys. Cordoroys are back but if you see someone wearing any of the other clothes, tell them the 70s and 80s called and want their fashions back.





4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to do the archives first and this post had me LOL till my head hurts. Jeez dude. Yes I love ET and have watched it a few (read: Loads) times. Ati he had a flathead - isnt he the most adorable creature?

I have to go read the rest - when I stop dying here.

6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lol!!! That was surely down memory lane - yaani you even kumbusha names of proggys that had turned vague kwa akili - yaani you just kumbushad me the exact names kabisa,kweli una stellar memory! That "harry the laughing hyena"I remember too well lol and that kanyimbo ka taifa that used to come on before every lunch time news on radio heh heh. 80's WERE THE BEST I am just passing out with laughter here. Aki thanks much.

6:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was the funniest post ever man you made me go back in time. Damn the 80s were a good time to grow up yenyewe there'll never be a better generation than ours.

3:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

remember "sports days" and the parents vs teachers race! that was a show to die for! esp when somebody's mother or father literally "bit the dust" and rolled (instead of ran) across the finish line... *memories*

2:13 AM  

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