Old is Gold: 1970 youth still rock

Dressed in an extremely skimpy black skirt, a perfect afro on her head and platform shoes, to crown it all, my mum looks perfect in her black and white portrait. It delivers thousands of messages to anyone’s mind. I read happiness, satisfaction, style and pride on looking the photo. Though it was in the 1970’s, surely, mama stood out, she was such a beautiful girl.

Dressed in an extremely skimpy black skirt, a perfect afro on her head and platform shoes, to crown it all, my mum looks perfect in her black and white portrait.

It delivers thousands of messages to anyone’s mind. I read happiness, satisfaction, style and pride on looking the photo. Though it was in the 1970’s, surely, mama stood out, she was such a beautiful girl.

“How come you were dressed in an awfully short skirt yet you prohibit us from indecent dressing?” I ask.
Her answer is simple and precise. “Then teens were not perverted like today’s.”

When mama speaks of ‘their days’, you can’t help admiring 1970 youth.

Old is gold. With the rate at which 1970 trends are resurrecting, the saying is not far fetched. The mini skirts, old school music, afro hair …..almost all styles that teens yearn for today are as old as 1970.

As many teens flood the nearest mall to buy themselves skinny pants, our parents had their share. Speak of max {extremely long} skirts, which we call ‘Isabelle’ skirts today, the 1970 teens were the first to embrace the style.
Just like today, being a teen in 1970 was like being on top of the world. Discos didn’t surface yesterday, our parents enjoyed it all.

A Ugandan song, by 57 year old Halima says it all. She mentions the night life during the 70’s.

“We used to dress in minis and rock club Suzana,”she mentions in the song. Then HIP Hop and R n B was not the thing, live bands made them dance the night away.
With guys dressed up officially, not in jeans, they enjoyed kalipso, twist and break dancing.

With their cotton trousers ironed, with sharp outstanding folds, they treated the ladies to maximum fun. All I keep wondering is why boys had to put that line in their big hair!
As the Land cruiser, freelander and Benze rock today, in 1970 Selica was the car. A rich and representable guy was one with a Celica. Girls would barely take a lift from a different type.

Talk of dating, 1970 was the best time ever. Even the single sex secondary schools would host social parties where boys danced with the girls, all night long. Picking a mate was random; their shoes would be displayed for the boys to choose. Whichever shoe one took, the owner was the date to be.

Contrarily, today teens risk escaping from school or home, to flood discos.

In many cases, dancing goes hand in hand with dating. 2000, teens are advised to use condoms, just in case. In 1970, dating was mainly done in discipline, extreme discipline.

The activities couples did then were totally weird if I may say! Imagine, a speechless outing with a beloved one?  What many considered secret time with their boy/girlfriends was taking a silent walk, each on the different side of the road.

“We would talk about where to end the journey,” says Anita Kamariza, 59.

In this dot com generation, communication has never been a problem. The internet, mobiles, facebook….name it. As for our parents, it was through letters. They would express love, sorrow or happiness through writing.

That was the origin of “I will love you until Lake Kivu dries up,” how else would they describe their feelings?

With the black and white photos, at least the 1970 teens got what to show to their siblings. Indeed life was and is still fun.

lillianean@yahoo.com

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