Ah boys seemed to be very aggressive back then – lakini pia wasichana. Who was it that tokead with the “ngoto”- that thing where you scrape at someone’s kisogo with your knuckles, so someone would just be sitting at their desk and they’d get a ngoto. Then there was the “flare”, where guys used to flick at each other with their ties – ties zinaseem harmless enough until someone flicks at you with one. What about that thing called Green Mamba? where you’d wring someone’s arms kama kukamua nguo mpaka they had marks like a nyoka.

Who kumbukas the name of that weapon which involved an empty biro pen, bits of tissue (rolled into small balls with spit!), then you’d blow the ball through the biro and those things were ouch yenyewe. Hata on the ceiling there were bits of tissue stuck from that, aah disgusting kabisa. Then there were paper planes, which were used as weapons also – weeh! They had sharp corners which could cause injury.

Halafu kulikuwa na craze ya kukick someone’s butt when they weren’t looking (“Kadenge na mpira shooti goal”) mpaka people started standing with their backs to the wall just in case. There was also that craze of pushing people in the swimming pool – deep end or no deep end (hakukuwa concerns za Health & Safety). The influence of Kungu Fu/ Karate/ Taekwondo etc was also heavy. Kids would go “haaaiiiyyaaa!” (as in those Karate screams) accompanied by sijui a “chopstick” (that thing where you aim with the side of your hands). Wengine walijaribu kickboxing lakini no one could really ruka like that. When a Ninja film was shown on TV the next day kids would wear a ninja-style mask and say “prepare to exhale for the rast” in a Chinese accent.

When a fight broke out everyone would kimbia from their haos to witness it. If it was in chuo we had to keep our voices down or else a teachay would notice, so like one time a chick and a dude were fighting (zile za she knees his balls, he pinches her matiti) and it was more comedy than action, so we were half-falling over, half-applauding in whispers.

Lakini, na sio bias, chicks could maliza a dude ‘cause girls used to mature physically quicker than boys. There was this chick in our Esto who was a Muislamu and all the teenies used to mwaga mate at the sight of her. Heh-heh one teenie let it be known to her that he liked her. Wacha! When the chick heard that she banged on his gate and she was like “weeh! Unanikosea heshima!” then she pigad him many ngumi. Woiye, what a crime to be pigiwad for. Lakini that chick was later married off by her paros before she hit twenty.

When two people ajirianad a fight but one of them could clearly foresee that they would be maliziwad, they would ask their housie to standby for backup. Heh! Some housies were mbaya, yani they would fight for their hao’s kiddos bila any restraint whatsoever. One of the provocations for a fight was pointing at someone. Ai hiyo tu? Also if there was haramu in a game a fight would tokea. Another provocation was accusing someone of having a crush on someone. Wehseh! Even if it was true it was still a case for “tutafight.”

There used to be a hierarchy in our Esto of who had the most nguvu and who had the least – but, weirdly, some people had the reputation of being formidable fighters lakini hakukuwa na any living memory of them actually fighting (hao walitengeneza public relations). One day there was a blackout, and it was after dark (yani in Nai the sun would go down at sijui 6pm sharp). A fight broke out between two “quoros” and you could only see silhouettes fighting and punching. Baada ya lights returned each side claimed to have won lakini yote iliremain a mystery.

Lakini nowadays it’s not ngotos and flares, it’s visu and risasi. Back in the day the only weapons we used were sticks and stones and bare knuckles (Rocky style) lakini nowadays kiddos might go too far ‘cause weapons are more kawa. Back then, after two people or two quoros fought, after a few weeks or months you’d see them talking and laughing like no one could kumbuka any prior disagreement. Aggression is a part of growing up lakini kids shouldn’t take it to the level of visu and risasi. Hata in fact most fights were verbal – thus arose The Mchongoano.

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At 5:49 pm, Blogger nick said...

oh yes agression was a way of life!

-flare game:add some water or water and mud and u had it made
-chobo ngoto and chobo mob..damn chobo mob was so violent all that was missing was paraffin and a light)of course and a tyre)
-remember every one had 1st bodi in there class.the strongest mongrel who was either a bully or putty inside
-green mamba? we called it chinese bangle
-there was this instance where this guy pulled a chicks bra in form one. from behind...she turns around and sees her bra distended...and the boy giggles and lets go...and wham!!! the bra slaps her back. and in return she turns around and slaps him good!!!
-empty bic pen,piece of wire, orange peels?? shoot to kill

At 9:23 pm, Anonymous Memoire said...

Great recollections Nicholas. I read your Jan archives and u'd already written about games! wow Did we go to the same chuo ama? I think u should have a column in the papers like movie reviews - have u thought about it?

At 10:14 pm, Anonymous Mama JunkYard said...

Memoire, how do you remember all these things? Ati kadenge na mpira LMAO!! I haven't heard that in ages.

@Nick..talk about being everywhere.

At 7:36 am, Blogger nick said...

i actually have memoire but its so hard to get in to start writin

@mama-jacinta...u just hatin cause i beat u here

At 12:14 pm, Anonymous Memoire said...

heh-heh that Kadenge na mpira thing was one of those sayings which were constant back then.

Nick u should piga more kelele maze I look at the mags in the Kenyan papers and think they could do with more talent. On the Kenyan Blogs there are so many talented people lakini it's sad that real talent gets ignored in Kenya.

At 12:34 pm, Anonymous Mama JunkYard said...

@memoire...I was going to agree with you re Nick and writing but he just called me Jacinta! Of all names! (I really hope your name is not Jacinta...just incase..Jacinta is a lovely name)

on a serious note - the two of you should combine your skills and write for one of our papers. It would be good to have both a male and female perspective on the past.

At 2:48 pm, Blogger nick said...

@mama j...u came back for more?

@memoire: yeah maybe we could write together..i posted an article on 1995 i'd like to see ur feedback!

At 1:11 pm, Anonymous mshairi said...

Tsk, tsk, children, children (I mean you, Mama Jacinta and Nick), why do you come to fight on another person's blog:-)

I was a very quiet and timid child but I remember knocking the seven bells out a boy who had bullied me to the point of no return when I was about 10 in the place we lived in Eldoret. I became really scared when blood started showing on his teeth although he may just have had bad teeth:-) That was the first and last physical fight I ever got involved in.

As always, thanks for the memories, memoire:-)

At 3:39 pm, Blogger Kenyan Pundit said...

Ditto on the thank you... your memory is something else (pia wewe Nick G.). I agree with you about all the talent on the blog, I just wish it was more accessible to people in Kenya.

At 9:37 pm, Anonymous Memoire said...

I think kidogo marketing would do the trick - those ones of making sure the Kenyan Blogs link is all over Kenyan sites.

At 4:00 am, Blogger Medusa said...

Man that was funny.Still have tears in my eyes, I can just imagine those fight scenes..Yes, haramu haifai!!

At 10:29 am, Blogger M said...

That chobo mob must be why Kenyans are so violent! Sometimes the "safety" was unattainable -- ati if u get a chobo touch the headmaster's head!

At 6:03 pm, Blogger Wanjru said...

He he! hilarious stuff. I almost forgot about backinthe day stuff .Made my friday afternoon!

At 10:00 pm, Blogger Naya said...

haha, those were the days when aggression was not used to destroy but to sort out things between kids. i remember being wekead 'wanted' by some boys from a neighboring esto and boy was i living in fear? but the first-body of our esto went and sorted out one of those boys and told him if anyone messes with me, they'll see.

and who didn't play 'shake'? talk about a fun game. esto kids would play in teams and those boxes in shake were so small and then they're packed with kiddos that some poor ones had to be eliminated immediately they entered. and round-us? kenyan baseball for sure


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