For starters, I want to use this opportunity to express how deeply ‘sorry‘ I am to every Nigerian who missed out on playing Nigerian childhood games growing up.
Describing Nigerian childhood games as just ‘awesome‘ would be spitting on the entire history of Nigerian childhood games because these games, over made sense die.
However, truthfully, any Nigerian would say some of these games were played without the knowledge of their Nigerian parents. A major reason is that some of these games got pretty intense and often caused fights(and etc) among kids back then.
Do not be fooled, however, despite the intensity and silliness of some of these games, they somewhat shaped us into the people we are today: awesome and creative people.
After reading this piece, you may want to shock your Nigerian parents by revealing some of the silly jeuxs you played as a child. Be warned though that you are never too old enough to receive an abara from your Nigerian parent.
Mummy and Daddy
This game was so popular among millennials. It would usually involve a boy and a girl playing husband and wife. The game of Mummy and Daddy usually had a particular narrative unique to the kids playing. The universal rule remained that each child would take up and play the role of a family member.
The mother was expected to cook. An activity she’d carry out diligently, making a nice dinner or lunch with sand and weed mostly.
Kids were expected to play the roles of kids. Go to school, play with their playmates, help the mother out with the chores and etc.
The father was expected to go to work, fend for the house and do general daddy duties like leaving instructions for the kids and wife.
Usually, the highlight of this game was night time(in game time), when the kids playing mummy and daddy could share a bed together and maybe share an awkward kiss. Boys were quick the girl they were crushing on to play mummy.
Ah. Imagine your Nigerian parent watching you play mummy and daddy. Imagine the kind of family meeting that would be called if your Nigerian parent saw you smiling sheepishly at your crush. Who may be your game husband or wife. Tut, tut, tut.
As simple as rubber bands seem now, these items were gold back then. Millennial Nigerian kids were crazy over these bands. Any kid sporting a lot of bands was automatically dubbed ‘cool’.
An essential for many games (especially among boys), rubberband collection was a lit hobby for 90 kids.
Sometimes, boys were mean to their female counterparts. They would use this bands to create tiny slings that could shoot papers at girls in class. The pain from getting shot was so hurtful and dreaded. You can imagine how intense a rubber band shooting game could get especially when there were a lot of kids playing.
I bet N100 your Nigerian parents would flip if they saw the game of Suwe played. This jumping game was simple yet tasking. Each player owned houses (boxes drawn on the sand) and had to jump these boxes, avoiding the boxes with pebbles.
The intensity and concentration required to play this game effortlessly would throw a Nigerian parent off. Especially if you were supposed to be reading or attending to a chore.
An equivalent for Hide and Seek. Players were required to answer to the call of the tagged person. Answering while hiding made it easier for the tagged player to find others.
Depending on the players, Boju Boju could get really serious. Some players were so good at hiding that it could take a tagged person, minutes to tag another player.
Trust me, your Nigerian parent would flip if you told them where you used to hide during the Boju Boju game. Your Nigerian mother might even take her shock up a notch by screaming, ‘Jesus Christ! This child will not kill me o.’
Popular among girls, clapping games were so popular and engaging that an average Nigerian female millennial played them. As cute and sweet it was playing clapping games, what might shock your Nigerian parent were the songs accompanying these games.
A popular song was Mr Macaroni. Thinking about it now, you’d agree with me it seems pretty weird a certain man named Macaroni rode a bicycle who never seemed to arrive at his destination. To make matters worse, you asked this weird Macaroni man if he wanted to marry you. Sigh.
Another game popular among female kids. Ten Ten was the queen and mother of games for female millennial kids. So intense was this game that some kids were crowned masters by popular opinion.
The game of Ten Ten involved basically, two players facing each other, and kicking forward their legs. Each partner would try to get which leg their opportunity would be going for. Scoring was done either in multiples of tens, twos, hundreds and so on to the advantage of the winning player.
Your Nigerian mother would shake her head if she ever saw you playing Ten Ten and who could blame her? Think about it, watching your child going berserk, thundering clapping and shouting at the top of their voice all the while doing a weird dance.
Trust me, if you were your Nigerian mother, you’d drag yourself home by the ears too.
Poultry Podcast anchors, question the level of Nigerian females in the midst of the global shake by women fighting gender pay-gaps, sexual misconduct against them and equality:
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