Some weeks back, I was in the crib dulling on a Saturday evening. HITV as usual was showing nada, and I couldn’t be bothered to waste the next 120 minutes of my life trying to maneuver through the gridlocked labyrinth that is Ajah-Lekki traffic, all in the name of “hanging out” somewhere. I decided to go for a walk in a park near where I lived to get rid of some couch potato calories.

As I was returning, sweat dripping and all, I noticed a car parked outside the crib….a nice silver colored Audi SUV. I peeped inside as I passed and saw my neighbor’s teenage daughter chatting with some twenty-something year old dude. “Dude” had his hand on her thighs too. A’ight then! After I had showered, I came downstairs to tell the mai-guard to help me go and buy N200 Glo recharge card and N50 gra-nut, and saw the teenage gyal sitting on the dude’s laps on some plastic chairs inside the crib. Oh, word? I wanted to call teenage gyal and have a quick word, but then on second thoughts…I was like why should I bother? What she eats doesn’t make me poo.

 It got me thinking though: how times have changed. I don’t mean to sound like a granddad, but in the 90s, when I was growing up, fellas didn’t have the gall to enter a girl’s crib. If you wanted to go see a “han”(old school Kings College slang for girl), you had to be ready to go through her mum, dad, elder brother, cousin and mai-guard and give them 112 reasons why they shouldn’t beat nonsense out of you for your effrontery. There was this girl I used to go see in Surulere; cute dime piece like that. I befriended her gateman by buying gala and choco-milo, and waiting outside in his shed for my honey to come out and walk down the street. Spending money on Gala in a bid to see Carla!? Granted, this scheme was blown open the day he noticed that the gala and choco-milo were not my first love. I didn’t like the way he was sharpening his suya knife, the next time I stopped by for “gala’. So, it was bye-bye Carla.

There was another cutie who I was trying to get with. She lived on a really quiet street, one of those really highbrow areas where palm-trees lined the streets, and the gate-man wore a uniform. This was in the era before GSM, so I used to let her know I was waiting outside by yanking my horn three times in quick succession. It worked like a dream, until one day after horning incessantly, her mum came down to the car wielding and swinging a huge bread rolling pin and Jaguar slippers! My beat-up Datsun did 0 to 120 kilometers per hour in 5 seconds! My thought process took me to the days of way back. I am talking about circa 92-95, an era where your folks locked (yes locked with a big Yeti pad lock) the house phone, and you learnt to dial using the tone-button. Since there were no mobile phones, you ran up your house phone bill calling gyal (girls with a Jamaican accent). Then your folks angrily unhooked the phone box itself, and took it with them when they were going out.

Days when boys will be looking for ways to sell game Super Nintendo game cartridges and eso (gold) so as to get money for CHS (car hire) to crash a party where there more boys outside than in. Bouncers back then had names like Torino, Mistake, I-go-daze-you, Nimrod and Back-hand. An era when rappers and singers had names like AL –B-Sure, Whitehead Brothers, Color Me Badd and Wrekks N Effects. When Hammer and Vanilla Ice used to rock Arabian baggy pants, and most rappers could dance (think Fresh Prince, Kid N Play).

I can remember when Kris-Kross first came out with their hit single “Jump”. My pops looked up from his newspaper, and sighed “There’s no way you’re leaving this house dressed like a ragamuffin”, as I tried to sneak past him in baggy jeans turned to the back.

Remember times when those that couldn’t or didn’t travel to Jand or Yanks for summer, went to summer “lesson”. These summer schools weren’t just places to study for Jamb, they were places to jam. Everyone made sure they turned out in their flyest gear. The flyest gear were not skinny jeans, epaulette shirts, wayfarer sunglasses or polos with the Big Horse (eshin). For chaps, those meant Chicago Bulls face-caps, metal-shoes, brogues, LA Gears, Reebok Pumps, British Knights and Fila hightops, hooded tops, anything with Ninja Turtles on it, red jeans, green jeans, brown jeans (jeans by Lee, Jordache, and Levis). Imagine how ridiculous we looked then in top fades and over-alls. How dungarees ever became a wardrobe staple is beyond me. Teddy Riley was the 90s Timberland; Notorious BIG was today’s Rick Ross; there was nobody like Justin Beiber though.

Naija hip-hop was almost non-existent, though Junior N Pretty released what is in my opinion, the best rap album ever made in Nigeria, the 5 mic opus “Fufu Flavour” which spurned the hit “Monica”. Despite his undoubted song-writing and performing genius, Blacky, one of Nigeria’s biggest reggae stars of the 90s (think Sean Paul) threw his top into a UNILAG crowd while performing, and had the top thrown straight back at him on stage; today’s stars have it so easy – female have even been known to ogle D’Banj to sign on their bits.

 My thoughts were interrupted when I looked up and saw teenage girl coming out of her house in the shortest mini-dress you could imagine. You know the type some people call “Cross No Gutter”. She had an overnight bag and was getting into grinning dude’s car, with her mum watching and literally holding the car door open. Oh well…..


“…this aint back in the days/ But you don’t hear me though/”

 Notorious B.I.G (Things done changed, 1994)

5 responses

    • GREAT piece, Esco! sooo true! man u really took me back! Chivago Bulls face caps, hooded tops and dungarees (BBD’s fault). lol@ Blacky’s shirt… nice one.

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