I am writing this piece with no clear direction but deep in my writing mind, I think I know what it is that I want to say and I hope I can successfully convey my thoughts to you.
Couple of nights back, I was having a midnight “extra cool” chat with a very dear friend and somehow we found ourselves talking about growing up, parents and all the tiny stuff we went through as children.
Growing up was filled with “ups” and “downs”, the “Ups” representing the good periods and the “Downs” representing the not-so-good periods but more importantly growing up was so much fun.
As a child, life was not so hard and there was little or nothing to worry about.We woke up on Saturdays with only “Street games” on our minds even though not ALL of these street games were approved by our parents.
We rolled “bicycle wheels” and “car tyres” from one street to another (From Okigwe road-Ugorji-Owerri road and back to Okigwe road).
By the way this game had levels (smiling). To get to rolling “car tyres”, first, you had to roll “plate covers” then move up to “bicycle wheels” before moving up to the last level “car tyres”. While a straightened metal cloth hanger was used to “drive” the wheel or plate, a stick was used to “drive” tyre but both required a certain type of skill. Sometimes we conducted “street racing competition” and winners were seen as demi gods. Some of us named our “wheels” and “tyres” and they had special parking spaces under the staircase.
If you think “rolling the wheel” was fun, then I’m telling you that playing table soccer was the sheeeet. The table soccer was played with crown corks “minerals cover or cantas” as the players, “folded papers” as the goal post and “buttons” as the football.
Just life in normal football game, you put together a team of 11 with some people as reserve players. You either played with “Biro cover” or your thumb and first finger placed together. The “crown cork goalkeeper” is usually padded to withstand shots and I can tell you for free that PS3’s FIFA football game has got nothing on the table soccer. To make your team look “chassis” cars were constructed with St Louis sugar packets and then used to convey the players to the games.
With time football moved from the table to actual fields and we were competing with neighboring streets. Contributions (50k, N1.00, N20.00) were put together for jerseys, leather football and glucose. We all played to win a cup constructed with a bottle wrapped with cigarette foil (Gold foils for Golden cup and Silver foils for the Silver cup).
Life was more or less one huge play station with meal times in between. I didn’t know how my school fees were paid and I wasn’t really bothered. I only wanted all the good things of life.
I don’t know if any of these games are still played today by kids but I can tell you there was no better way of becoming street wise in those days than participating in these games.
I’m really sorry if you cannot identify with any of the above; just know that I can still dust your ass in any PS or Xbox game and if we go for table soccer….that’s a piece of cake. (Now signing Genral Pype’s champion).
Now when we talk about childhood days, one thing is clear, childhood memories most certainly defers from one person to another.
Please leave a testimony if you can relate or share your childhood memories.