Life for those of us born before the 1980s was different to Kids born today. We survived without a lot of kids stuff that parents think they cannot do without today. We were much stronger and could do a lot at a very young age. I could do house work at an early age of 6, not that we didnt have a house help but its how we were trained, but now am different I cannot imagine my child moving anywhere near a stove or cooker even at 10 thinking she will get burnt.
Read more of what life of most Kenyan children was like in those days from this email I received:
This is dedicated to Those Born - 1930-1979!
(TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the
1930's 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's !!)
First, we survived being born to mothers took aspirin and didn't get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies on a mattress on the floor not baby cribs covered with bright colored leso. To be put to sleep you were carried on the back tied with a leso and not put on rocking baby cribs or wheeled around on baby cycles till one got dizzy and opted to sleep.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets. When we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took climbing walls, trees and posts.
As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags. The matatus those days were the seven aside type (pick ups) so riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from anywhere; from the river, lake, rainwater that collected on the ndoo; the garden hose, directly from the tap whatever tap- outside the shamba, in the toilet, on the street, in the kitchen sink and NOT from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle; or shared a sweet (puru) with four friends- and NO ONE actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, goody goody, ice cream, white bread (Elliot's) and blue band, but we weren't overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the sun went down.
No one was able to reach us all day.
And we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our toys, mungaringari, out of scraps and tins of blue band, kimbo, and cowboy tins or out of omo boxes and empty jik bottles. I remember of a friend who desperately wanted a jik bottle to make a toy car that he went and emptied jik from a full bottle into his small brother's napkins that had been kept on a basin for washing. I guess you know what the consequences were: remember then ride down the hill, only to find out the bike has no brakes. And mind you this small bike is carrying 4 guys- After running into the bushes and sewage trenches a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We made up games- after watching Black Ninja or Bud Spencer movie at our friend, peter, they were the only ones with a video tape player- we went out a started playing Ninja with sticks and through Ninja bombs (tennis balls, stones etc) and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We did not have Play stations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound, CD's or I pods, no cell phones!, no personal computers , no Internet or chat rooms....... WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.
We ate worms and mud food made from dirt (when playing cha baba na cha mama), and the worms did not live in us forever.
We were given Big G for our 10th birthdays, but the most common bought cloths for our birthdays from the first to ???? , bought the same on Christmas and other important occasions. In case you did well in school a pat in the back will do and a stun warning not to fail otherwise you will see, for the lucky ones a new school bag or uniforms would do.
We simply walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law (in this case talking of school) was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! Imagine they even had the nerve to take the cane from the teacher (law enforcer) and unleash it on you!!!!!!
These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!
If YOU are one of them . . CONGRATULATIONS!
You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the TV, lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good
And while you are at it, forward it to younger kids so they will know how brave (and lucky) their parents were.
I am one of them.