YOU know you’re getting old when you quit chasing women, not because you can’t catch them, you just can’t remember what you would do with them if you did. No doubt no human desires to get old; most of us would give anything to stay young.
But when the clothes you put away many years ago come back in style or you find yourself recurrently telling people what a loaf of bread or a bottle of soda ‘used’ to cost. Then it’s time to ask for the price of a rocking chair.
Last weekend I found myself telling youngsters the Genesis of Discos, and of how back then we used to dance to South African music, Congolese, and some from Kenya
Lucky Dube you mean? They asked, No way, I said, we used to dance to Miria Makeba (RIP), Pat Shange, from South Africa, Franko Luwambo Makiyadi and Kanda Bongoman from Congo. ‘Simba wanyika’ from Kenya, no one could resist their Guitar-driven melodies with their gentle rhythms and blend of rock and older rumba, with warm vocals. So sad that most of those musicians have already gone to meet their creator!
I closed my eyes and drifted back a bundle of years back, I recalled how me and my siblings would wake up on a Sunday morning and find breakfast ready, TipTop or Hot loaf bread, the aroma of Garden Tea would awaken the appetite. We would eat, and then prepare to go to the cathedral; throw on a pair of Bata shoes, a pair of shorts, Yamato shirts and hop into Dad’s VW beetle car.
We would stop at Agip, Caltex or Esso petrol station to refill the Mini van before hitting Christ the King church. Coming back, we would find a well prepared meal fried with Cowboy or Kimbo cooking oil and of course a cold glass of Tree Top juice or Pepsi-Cola would be waiting. The adults would go for Bell lager or Pilsner, miraculously both brands are still in existence.
We would take a bath, bath tubs or showers were unheard of, so the metallic basins would do the trick with lifebuoy or imperial leather soap to complete the picture.
Going for a little rest, Banco beds were there, comfortable like a mother’s bosom, their frames were metallic with springs to hold the mattress; they were manufactured by GM Tumpeco.
On a good day, dad would compress us on a Vespa scooter and speed off to the National Theatre, Theatre Excelsior or Bat valley to catch a play, or decide to stay home with us glued in front of our black and white TV set and watch Inspector Derrick.
That was a long time ago when the Dead Sea was only sick. In a not far away land.