Reminiscing on my early years on the streets of Ibadan with acquaintances has brought with it fond memories and moments to forget which are necessary reality checks as life do not run on a steady strip.
If you were born around the mid-eighties and early nineties then you can relate well with this piece as you can flow with the twist and turns in this piece. Having lived towards the end of a century and the beginning of a new century marked an epoch which ushered in rapid technological advancements which has altered lifestyle. It is more or less like growing up into a new phase annually.
The feeling is like having lived in two worlds and all within the early and teenage years.
There are certain basic necessities which were luxuries back in the days. One of such is owning a Personal Computer or better put a desktop computer. I can remember the anticipation and struggle to enter the computer room every Wednesday to learn and also play games away from the prying eyes of the computer instructor. I could remember the joy of owning a 5MB diskette brings, if only we could pry ten or fifteen years into the future to know that was probably going to be the size of a song and a one terabyte hard disk drive won’t probably contain all the data and other information we generate.
Telling or listening to tales by moonlight looks like a distant memory now but the wisdom from those tales which came from our grannies are evergreen.
As a game aficionado, I basically grew up upgrading to every latest game starting from water game to Brick game,Gameboy, FamilyCom, Sega, Play Station 1 and eventually Play Station 2 which later became the basic standard for gamers
Gadgets were basic and the king of them all while in the boarding house was a Walkman with the discman coming in to displace it later and MP3 player much more later. Photography wasn’t as sophisticated as it is now as earlier cameras used films which had to be developed in a laboratory.
Almost every individual now have an online presence and can call any location in the world. I remember the heydays of NITEL (Nigerian Telecommunication Company) and their landlines. I can also recollect their phone booths located at strategic locations at Eleyele, Dugbe, Molete, Oke –Ado amongst other locations around Ibadan metropolis. Making calls in the booth required the use of a prepaid card which has been preloaded with units.
My fellow countrymen would always come up with novel ways to game any system and the NITEL units could be refilled minimally upon exhaustion by keeping it in the freezer for a while. The question that comes to mind is who discovered this trick? And how?
Communication in this period under review was basically through phone calls from landlines, letters or messages relayed via a third party.
I can remember writing letters to my folks back home while in a boarding house to request cash for upkeep. This gradually changed with the advent of GSM as I could now contact them from a business centre and struggle not to spend beyond a minute in order not to pay more.
Society has pretty much moved on from the point it was in the 90’s and early 2000’s as it is now organized and woven around technological advancements which have made inter-personal awkward and the capacity to invent with materials around to imitate much sophisticated inventions may have been on the wane
On the whole, I would call my generation lucky having lived through the evolutionary phase of modern society which was brought about by revolution in ICT as we have lived in the analogue and digital world. This makes us custodians of history in our own right as we can relate with both worlds, a luxury teens of these days may not appreciate as they do not know the struggle it takes to accomplish seemingly simple tasks of today in yesteryears.
My lucky generation is young yet so old.