The Sweet Memories Of My Childhood Days

Categories Lifestyle

It is unbelievable that we made it
Those of us who were kids in the fifties, sixties, seventies and even the early eighties
We probably should not have survived
So says today’s regulators and health workers.

How could we survive
When we had no baby cribs
When as infants, we would be laid under some tree shade while our parents tilled the land
We had no child-proof lids or locks on medicine bottles, pesticide cans, doors or cabinets
We rode our dad’s bikes without wearing helmets
The bikes were for adults but we still rode them, with the help of some gymnastics here and there.

How could we survive
When we would leave home in the morning and get back just before dusk
We would spend the whole day playing as we grazed our livestock
Barefoot amongst the thorns and the snakes
We drank water from the river and not from a bottle
We ate sugar cane, raw sweet potatoes, mangoes and wild fruits
Directly from the plants or off the ground.

How could we survive
When we drank milk directly from the udders of the livestock we grazed
No one was able to reach us all day
We did not have cell phones
No play stations, television, laptops or tablets
Facebook was an actual face and an actual book
We had real friends and when we needed them
We just went outside and found them.

How could we survive
When both boys and girls played hide and seek in the bushes
In the fields we played bladder
And ‘bano’ (played using marbles),
And ‘mbanya’ (basically a local version of the western game dodge ball)
The ball would hurt sometimes
We made up games with sticks and maize cobs
And although we were told to it could happen
We did not rip out anybody’s eyes.

How could we survive
When we played ‘slide’
Which involved boys and girls sliding down a steep hill while seated
A genius idea that landed us all in trouble
When we got back home with our tiny buttocks popping out of the torn shorts
The sliding was rough and painful
But wetting the ground using water or by urinating in turns
Made the slide slightly smoother.

How could we survive
When both boys and girls would swim stark naked in any available water body
Even in muddy ponds and quarries
When we fell out of trees, got cuts and broke bones and teeth
The evidence of which are the big scars that we carry on our bodies to this day
When we had fights and punched each other and got all kinds of bruises
And yet we learned to get over it.

How could we survive
When we could freely eat in friends’ homes
When some of us weren’t as smart as others in class
So we failed the class and were held back
To repeat the same class the following year
Tests were never adjusted for any reason
We had to learn to deal with disappointment
Our actions were our own
Consequences were expected.

How could we survive
When parents would never bail us out if we got in trouble in school
They actually sided with the school.

But at the end
This generation has survived
It has produced some of the best risk takers, problem solvers and inventors ever
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility
And we learned how to deal with it
If you’ve related to anything above
You are one of them

I am an epic introvert, who quickly becomes an open book when I pen what’s in my significantly fertile mind; fertile as a result of bombardment by realities that are continuously captured by my inquisitive eyes, ears which are constantly rubbing the ground, through constant reading, and through dreaming too.

Writing provides an opportunity to ‘say’ what my unapologetic quiet mouth will not say; which not only soothes me, but also bequeaths to me a relief, a release, and a hope that the written words will change the world, even if only one person at a time.

And so should you seek, that’s where to find me; deeply tucked inside the blankets of reading, seeing, listening, dreaming, and then writing.

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