Friday, 17 December 2010

Nostalgia Rules - My 70s and 80s

Christmas is 7 days away!

I have been sooo busy preparing for Christmas that I have actually envied my children - whose only response to my feverish preparation is 'Mum, I cant wait for Christmas because I'm going to get lottttts of presents!'.........My reaction to this statement is to panic because I know this is far from the truth....LOL

Anyway,  being a dreamer, I went down the nostalgia path and started thinking about my childhood. I was born in the 70s and my favourite/ strongest memories come from the 70s and 80s because life seemed simpler then. Here are a few of my memories from this time:

..........My 70s and 80s memories.........
(1) Food:
The custard cream biscuits were delicious and as a greedy child, I wanted more and more....

Very addictive and yummy! Believe me, my dentist can confirm the damage these have done to my teeth! LOL

These bicycles were positioned outside school at closing time. I believe they tempted me to steal money just so I could buy ice cream after school. This was because the ability to buy ice cream was a huge status symbol that
                        you were 'happening'! *sigh*

Chewing gum was banned in my house, but we looked for every opportunity to chew some in hiding. Bazooka chewing gum was a favourite because each gum came with a joke and that was an extra treat! 

My dad said children should not drink fizzy drinks so we had this most of the time......So, whenever we got the chance i.e. on Christmas day, we hid bottles of fizzy drinks - coke, fanta, sprite - and OD'd (overdosed) on fizzy drinks behind my father's back! LOL

(2) Malaria
I know Malaria is a terrible thing - especially as you had to take nasty Chloroquine or Nivaquine ! However, being ill was great because this was the only time you were able to avoid doing any chores in my house! It was also the only time you could get my father to ease up on the 'discipline-mode' - so the illness was definitely worth it. Apart from this it also allowed us enjoy these:
Just seeing this bottle made us better *smile*

My dad would squeeze lots of grapefruits to get us fresh juice. Whenever I am ill now, I just have to have  grapefruit juice

This came with the Lucozade from the chemist and was very welcome because it was a rare guest in our house *smile*

A whole pot of peppersoup devoted to me! Blissss......!
Whenever I got the plate of peppersoup and I couldnt eat the meat, my mother would say -'You are really ill! (because I was a big eater)
So whenever I was getting better, I would try to pretend - and not eat all the meat (so I could avoid doing chores for a few days longer).
However, glutton that I am,  this plan only lasted for about 2 hours and I would start scoffing all the food placed in front of me!
24 hours later, I had resumed my regular chores. *sigh*

(3) Books/ Publications:

These were really good! Are they still around?

This was the bane of my life as I hated Maths then. The book was not child-friendly at all - no diagrams or colour. Just seeing the book's green cover made me cry!

I discovered these in secondary school and I loved them. I even used to dream that a rich prince would descend from nowhere and propose to me because I was soooo 'beautiful and delicate' *LOL*. Considering I was chubby - and a tomboy also, I now realise I was seriously deluded *sigh*

If my parents ever knew I read this, they would have 'whooped' my behind thoroughly!
However, I use to jump on this magazine whenever I could lay my hands on it because the jokes were really funny  and the characters were fab.
Looking back, part of the thrill that came from reading this must have been that it was forbidden material for a 'well brought up girl' If you can remember Boy Alinco, Ikebe Super, Pepeiye and Papa Ajasco, you'll know what I mean! *cheeky smile*

(4) Trends:
As I was in school during these two decades, my hair was usually done up in traditional African hairstyles.

This was a bitter sweet experience as I loved the hairstyles, but I hated the process of getting my haid done. This was because we usually went to an elderly woman who lived closeby.

This lady was merciless when she combed out your tangled hair and worst of all......if she was braiding your hair, you had to sit in front of her - on the floor and in between her legs!

This was sheer TORTURE when she was braiding certain areas i.e. back towards front. I had to hold my breath as my head was pushed downwards - towards her crotch!!! Needless to say, whenever I attempted to move my head away, it was pushed down again!  TORTURE!!!! ......I usually went home traumatised.....but happy that my hair was looking fly! LOL


This period for me was as all about Platform  Shoes, Maxi dresses, Flared Trousers and Floppy Hats.

When I see my old pictures, I have to laugh because I looked really funny - just imagine a chubby black child in a maxi dress, little platforms, hat, little pot belly and a shiny face -  from having too much vaseline rubbed on my face!

However, even then I could recognise the uncles who were 'fly' because they wore the baddest platforms, had the biggest afro and always had an Afro pick-comb in their back pocket! LOL

As for the 'fly' chicks, these were the aunties who wore the highest platforms and tightest jumpsuits. Come to think of it, they were usually unmarried....but had loads of 'male friends' I realise they were up to no good!

This period was all about shoulder pads - the bigger the better and I did my best to maintain my 'street-cred' as a fashionista - by using two shoulder pads at once. *smile*

Leggings were also in vogue. If you could get leg-warmers also, you were a real babe! Can you imagine this get-up in Naija heat?! I bet many 'babes' were dying with sweaty crotches! LOL

One of the most magical places for me has to Bar Beach in Lagos. We ended up here most Sunday afternoons (after church)

The vastness of the ocean always amazed me and I just loved the whole experience of eating outside and having the golden sand under my bare feet. *wondrous sigh*........All this beauty was before white garment Christains took over the place and soiled the place........!! *frown*

(5) TV:

My faves were:
 * Village Headmaster - I loved Eleyimi's shuffle
 * Cock Crow at Dawn - Even the theme music by Bongos Ikwe was magic
* Tales by Moonlight - Essential viewing for children then
* Icheoku - The translator - Icheoku was toooo funny!
* NTA news - I admired Peter Enahoro and Julie Coker's delivery
* Masquerade - Loved this. Watch here and here to know why!

 My faves were
* Jackson Five - Michael why????!!!! You were so beautiful *sigh*
* Some Mothers Do 'Ave Them - from UK
* Dynasty - The fashion was to die for
*Starksky and Hutch - I loved Starksky
*Soul Train - Don Cornelius' was the original godfather!
My hubby confessed that this programme was the main reason he told his parents he wanted to leave Naija for the USA! *laugh* Who no go, no go know.......! (meaning you really have to travel to know that home is not all that bad)

(6) African/ Naija Music
I loved the old Highlife music. This was fantastic music and it was great to listen to and my dad always played records by Victor Olaiya, Osita Osadebe, Orlando Owoh and Uwaifo........
However, my fave artistes from 70s and 80s are:
   *Bobby Benson (Taxi Driver)     
   *Victor Uwaifo (Joromi)
   *Bongos Ikwe (Still Searching)
   *Onyeka (Ekwe)
   *Sunny Ade (70s hits)
   *Ebenezer Obey (70s hits)
   *Prince Nico Mbarga (Sweet Mother)
   *Fela 'the great' Kuti  and......
   *Miriam Makeba (Ipi Tombi)

(7) Current Affairs
I was a very inquisitive child and I was constantly reading - anything!
 One of my favourite reads was TIME magazine. It was from this I got to know about the Cold War, Israel vs the Arab world, Iran vs Iraq, Ayatollah Khomeini, Jimmy Carter, Anwar Sadat. Ronald Reagan, Menachem Begin etc etc

While I loved current affairs and loved discussing politics, all this information meant I had nightmares that USSR (Russia) would drop their atomic bomb anytime! I even dreamt of running away from home to volunteer my services - to work for the CIA - eventually becoming the youngest ever spy (who would eventually end the Cold War)! LOL

As a bonafide tomboy, I listened in rapture as my dad and uncles around me discussed boxing and football. I adored Muhammad Ali - because he was black, cute, strong and mouthy. I was too young to recall his 74 'Rumble in the Jungle' with Frazier but I heard about this fight over and over. Needless to say, I was devastated when he lost to Spinks in '78. ALI FOREVER!!!!!!

In Nigeria, I remember Nigeria winning the African Nations Cup in 1980. This was sweet and I really envied the players when the government gave each of the players - including  Henry Nwosu the hero - brand new Peugeot 504 cars.

Another sweet memory was when Peter Konyegwachie won Nigeria's first Olympics Silver medal in boxing. We thought he was robbed - but of course, we were biased! Magical though !!!

Unfortunately, this was a period of upheaval in Nigeria as we had one coup after another. My earliest memory of a coup was when Dimka killed Murtala Muhammed in an attempted coup.

Lagos was thrown into chaos as soldiers searched for Dimka who went into hiding. Looking back, I recall dancing when they eventually captured Dimka - I didnt know why, but I danced.......*puzzled smile*

Well........Looking back has been great because it has made me realise certain things:

On a personal level, I recall periods of prosperity and hardship at home. This has made me acknowledge that any challenge I am going through now (as an adult and parent) is nothing new - and will surely pass!

With regards to world politics, it is even more ovbious that the Middle East turmoil is nothing new. *sigh*

With regards to Nigeria, I have to say that we have regressed when it comes to basic amenities. This is beacuse I recall a time when tap water was the norm and people actually complained when NEPA (now PHCN) 'took light' (interrupted power supply) for even 2 hours! Yes ....only 2 hours!  *angry, perplexed look*

Do let me know your favourite/ strongest childhood memories.......!


  1. NaijaMum!!!! U went hard on this one o!! goody goody....bliss...peppersoup bliss bliss bliss....

  2. Wow...what a wonderful trip down memory lane! I remember bazooka gum also!!!...I loved reading the jokes but it would get hard after a short while!

    *sigh* I'm an 80s baby...and life seemed soooooo much easier back then! I remember rocking those shoulder pads too o!!! Lol....chai, I hated them tho...cuz my uncle would sew us (my siblings, cousins, & I) some ugly native attire with EXTRA high shoulder pads!...very ugly sumthin!
    And I also used to get my hair braided by numerous aunties with the head between their legs technic...I became a master at holding my breathe and tuning out! Lol

    Loved this post!!!

  3. @Honeydame:
    LOL @'went hard' ....abi!
    I started remembering stuff and it all came tumbling back!!
    I'm actually making peppersoup today! yum!

    LOL@Bazooka, shoulderpads and LMAO @'master at holding my breath and tuning out'.
    That was not a pleasant experience at all, at all!

  4. Oh wow! I don't know where to start from. LOL...We share some of the same memories, not the pepper soup though and my parents preferred the powdered Lucozade to this one, we children loved them all. And then Ice cream, I confess too that I took money to get those things. Our school had a truck with that familiar tune and I never could resist that lure, even now.:)

    I could go on and on but I remember a serious discussion we had one time, I was around ten or so, the US and Russia were finally about to go to war, and we were wondering where the bombs will fall first. Africa was supposed to be the landing zone. I was so scared!

    I watch the TV lineup now and shake my head. I do wish I was a fly on the wall of pri/sec schools to see what children are talking about, the programming is so tepid. Those were surely the days jare...

  5. Wow!!
    clap for yourself *pa pa, pa pa pa, pa!* :)
    welldone! where did you find all these pictures???

    you make me proud to be a 70's girl joor..I loved bazooka! and VIP and Fanice and SAMCO... I didn't know jack about politics oh..spent all my spare time either watching voltron or messing with plastercine and paper marche or climbing up the guava tree... I used to like falling sick too..
    Thanks dear xxx

  6. ah, that was some serious trip down memory lane..being an 80 baby, i can totally connect with you on some issues...oh, the icecream truck!!! you were truly the reason for school to close each

    nasco bicuits and bazooka gum..ah, sweet memories..the best part of growing for me would be that people were more trusting, the world wasn't in panic mood then as it is now as regards everybody being a witch and on standby to kill or maim your child etc..

    also, like u said, most people like us didn't have much but at least tap water and light were a given!

  7. @Myne:
    I'm glad this brought back some good memories.
    I'm shocked you also fell for the lure of the ice cream truck LOL. I'm sure they knew they were pushing us kids into stealing ?? *smile*
    Totally agree re: 'the TV lineup now and shake my head' I think we've moved away from investing in quality indigenous drama from excellent directors like Peter Igho - and we now accept sub-standard productions from half-baked directors! sad

    LOL@ 'clap for yourself'
    I'm glad this brought back great memories.
    SAMCO! SAMCO! I forgot about this! Thanks for reminding me. Ohhh...the good old days!

  8. @Bet:
    LOL @ 'the icecream truck!!! you were truly the reason for school to close each day'
    I know.... I dont think we even listened to anything the teacher said when it was close to closing time! LOL
    Totally agree that things were sooo much simpler then...especially considering the average household had light and water *sigh*

  9. Wow...
    I also remember Walls Ice cream, Okin biscuit (round and square shaped), Nasco waffers.

    TV didnt start until 4pm and so before then, we did our homework and played ten-ten or catcher (hide and seek).

    I really loved the Paceseeter books... BTW did u read Eze goes to school?

    Those hairstyles are not complete... where are the ones with thread?

    My dad forced us to watch NTA network news, i obliged only because i loved the way those ladies spoke the english language.

    Gosh... those days

  10. @P.E.T
    Yup, I remember Wow...Okin biscuit and Nasco waffers also
    Re: 'TV didnt start until 4pm' - I actually think that was a good thing because 24 hrs TV is a huge distraction for kids this day.
    Yes, I read 'Eze goes to School' *smile*
    HAIR WITH THREAD!!! LOL..yes, I omitted that!
    I actually preffered thread because it was sooo much easier to undo!
    Re: 'My dad forced us to watch NTA network news'....same here and even then, I found the content quite biased - government, government only!
    *sigh*....good ol' days

  11. Reading this really excited me.
    Though born in he early '80s, I do remember some of the stuff you've posted.
    Bazooka was the chewing gum my granpa gave in return for being good.
    Who would forget boy alinko,miss pepeye and the other papa ajasco characters?!
    Lucozade with the orange wrapper!!! oh my!
    NOEC (the english version of Larcombe's).
    And yes, Nasco biscuit quality goodness... (forgotten how the gingle went)
    Fan Ice: it's lost atleast half the quality now. Surprising how u mentioned being tempted to steal. Once, I used my offering to buy one after church thinking that was why I was given the money lol
    Good memories.
    See how many decades you have passed through! More things to be thankful for.

    Love loads

  12. Wow i loved( still love) Nasco & Okin Biscuit.
    I remember i preferred the Rectangular one.
    I Remeber tales by moonlight, I remember all the coloured lines on TV when it was finally four and about to start.
    We weren't allowed to go out and play till it was 5pm and we had to be back ny 6.30pm.
    Peppersoup and salads were delicacies for the Atlanta '96 days.
    Growing up in the north, we ate more "sweet rubbish"
    Alewa, Ridi, Dabino, Kankara(I dont even know the english names of some of those things)
    And as for hair styles my sisters and i carried thread alot! (Some-gaps) made by my Mum. She usually ended up gving us PCM.
    Thank You for making me remember childhood.

  13. @NotMad:
    I'm soo glad you loved this.
    LOL @'Bazooka was the chewing gum my granpa gave in return for being good'.....that's such a lovely gesture!
    I really dont remember 'NOEC' - must have come out later?
    I agree re: Fan Ice - Like most things we grew up with; standards have fallen. abi?
    LOL @ using your offering to buy ice cream. I guess God understood..!
    Yup, sooo much to be thankful for. (I guess that's why its good to look back once in a while)
    Thank you soo much for taking the time to comment.

  14. @Amira:
    Oh my!!! re:...'I remember all the coloured lines on TV when it was finally four and about to start' That brings back soo much memories.
    For example, we used to rush through all our chores and homework so we would be ready for when those coloured lines came up! LOL
    Re: 'sweet rubbish'.....that's one thing I noticed when I went up north for my youth service. I wasnt really used to this and I even found dates tooo sweet.
    I wonder how northerners manage to remain slim?
    *puzzled look*
    ...Re: hairstyles: what is PCM?
    Thanks a mill for taking the time to comment. It feels so good to reminisce with others. *smile*

  15. PCM-Paracetamol The way she pulled our hair with the thread, we were bound to end up with Headache!

  16. @Amira:
    Ahhhh! LOL @PCM being paracetamol. I spent soo much time trying to work that out!
    I bet you guys couldnt even complain when your mum pulled and tugged at your hair...LOL!
    Thanks for explaining xoxoxoxo

  17. oh sister! made me cry out of pure joy!...oh! the days of yore!....BAZOOKA chew gum?....m-e-h-n!'s being longg!...tree-top & ikebe super?...smh in wonder....i really missed

  18. @Nitty:
    I hope this has made you smile.
    Life was sooo simple back then abi?

  19. I don't think I met:
    -Baooka chewing gum in the 90's
    -M&B, I don't think I can even recognise any, despite that people talk a lot about them

    Hairstyle: kolese, patewo,are more like it for me :)

    lol! @shoulder pads: I remember seeing a lot of this even till the late 90's (I have an aunt who's a tailor... by the way, do people still use shoulderpads?)

    of all your fave Naija TV programmes, I only met/watched Tales by Moonlight...

    I think I saw a few old/tattered Ikebe Super editions at home (must have been among my aunts' pack of books... I was always rummaging through their bags of used books for new/interesting information... as a child I was just loved books & new information I could, at least, brag about...

    Mhen, I agree with you on the Lucozade boost... That nylon was often used to cover/disguise our small black & white TV just to make the people 'in the TV' look more fabulous... Nuff said, for now! :)

  20. @GBENGA:
    So you did not meet Bazooka, M&B and most of my programmes...?
    Chei!!! I feel sooooo old *smile*

    LOL at hairstyles and shoulder pads. Yes! shoulder pads are back in fashion. I guess there's nothing new in this world!

    Re: books.....You see all that reading was not wasted. That's why you're so eloquent. I am always buying books for my kids and rewarding whoever reads the most! LOL

    LOLLLLL @ Lucozade disguising TV. Abeg, whatever works. I'm sure your imagination was in black and white TV was no hindrance to enjoying the programmes. *smile*

    Thanks for your comments!

  21. i liked the peppersoup and the pacesetters...

  22. Chei, I don old no be small. Bazooka!!, shoulder pad!!, Lucozade (they still wrap it na)!! Helen Ovbiagele (remember her column in vanguard?), Ikebe super, I even read worse (lolly)(blame it on my snr brothers), my sister could make hair so i never went to a commercial hair making place.
    Thanks for these memories Naija Mum.

  23. Do you remember Magazines like - Classic, Vintage, MEE (May Mofe Damijo).

  24. And to think all these joys were 'made in Nigeria'?

    ehen, MEE's mag was called 'Quality'.

  25. @Tisha
    Thanks for dropping by
    Hope all is well.

    LOL @'I don old no be small.....' You cracked me up.
    You read Lolly...mmmm....I did too. Dauda the sexy guy was too much :))))

    Yes, I remember May Mofe Damijo. I recall she was RMD's first wife. She was one classy lady. Sad loss.

    I know re 'to think all these joys were 'made in Nigeria'....That's what makes me sad when people say Nigeria is doing well. 'Well' is relative considering what we were producing before. For example, I recall a time when we all drank tap water!

    Thanks sooooo much for your comments. I really appreciate this

  26. OMG! pacesetters! "the worshippers" was scary but i luved it. "the black temple", "director", "felicia", "sisi", "Naira power" oh mehn.

    Checkmate, behind the clounds (Nosa), ripples, voltron, super ted, "suwe", chocomilo... gawd! that was just the best of times.

    @Gbenga, u missed mehn.

  27. Yes....I remember the worshippers. That was really, really scary.
    Felicia, the Temple...chai, you have a really good memory! are a real daughter of the soil *high-five*

    Yes o...Gbenga missed big time. You can tell he's a sweet sixteen LOL
    Thanks for dropping a comment here. This happens to be the post with the highest no of readers. i guess old times were great. Thanks again

  28. Dear NIL, I stumbled across your blog earlier this morning, and lets just say it was love at first sight! I could totally relate to this post (although I am from Cameroon, and I was born in the 80s) as it brought back tons of memories from my childhood especial the Nasco biscuits! Oh, and dont get me started on the Pacesetters. I plan on purchasing the entire collection someday. But I definitely will be visiting your blog from now on! Love it!

  29. This is great! I was just reminiscing myself. Brought on by Raleigh Chopper bikes being in the news. I grew up in a little town in England but I find that our memories overlap in several places: Lucozade, bazooka Joe etc.

    I also spent some years in Nigeria in the 90s so that started off another trip down memory lane.

    mmmm Peppersoup.

    Great post!

  30. Memory you remember Hi-Time squash? The jingle went 'Hi-Time any time, the drink you take with your life' or words to that effect. Great post.

  31. What great memories, it's as if we live d together because all your list appeared to be such a per day match of what I cherish d most about my growing up as a child in Nigeria.
    Good old days of uncle Ben's rice, chocomilo, etc.
    I salute your reflection.. anks for such a sparkle!

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