From the desk of Niro Bertram

Location: Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Subject: The Evolution of Discipline in African Homes, A case study of Nigeria (1995 – 2013)


This is purely experimental ™ and is not directed at any person or group of persons. Any likeness to persons living or dead is not intentional

I really don’t know why I am writing this, but all the same I feel a strong urge to highlight the rapid changes I have noticed in the Nigerian society recently.

From my introduction you would think I am someone that saw England lift the 1966 World Cup trophy, well I am not. Simply put, if I was a footballer, I would be at the peak of my career. Figure that.

I was born at a time in Nigeria when GSM phones were not in existence and the only trace of mobile communication technology was the was the Walkie Talkie my brother who work in the oil industry brought back home when he visited, although I never touched it.

Fast forward to 2013, somewhere in Port Harcourt; my nephew is crying and screaming that someone took away his phone from him. At the age of 3, he already knows how to use “Paint” and can play Chess and “Purble Palace”. Wonders they say, shall never end.

As a kid growing up, my first encounter with a computer was my elder sister’s desktop PC that ran Windows 98 and later on in Primary school during computer classes at Port Harcourt primary school when my then computer “uncle”, Mr Charles had the whole 40 of us scramble for a viewing space in front of his HP computer.

Fast-forward to the present times, kids now have their own PCs, own multiple accounts on social media from Friendster; toMyspace; to Digg; to Facebook; Instagram; Keek; Vine and the center of football transfer news; Twitter, to mention but a few. While you may see this as “technological advancement”, I do not agree 100%. I might not know all the bad examples, but we’ve seen people rain abuses on people old enough to be their dads or uncles all in the name of “Freedom of Speech”; people have been murdered in the name of fraternizing with people on social media. That is not to say that there are no positive outcomes from social media. What this paragraph has tried to explain is that, kids are jumping the gun! What happened to the days when children played “suwe” after classes or the days when kids used rubber bands as a means of legal tender or when some increased their “stocks” by soaking the rubber bands into Kerosene? Where are the good old days?

Some people say that Nigeria’s movie industry aka Nollywooddoes not produce films that enlighten the people that watch it. To them I say, Where were you when Ijele was the film that trended? Where were you when the likes of Vuga, Isakabba and many more I cannot remember were the toast of the “Video clubs”? Now fast forward to 2013, Cinemas have replaced video clubs; Isakkaba has been replaced by Pacific Rim, Avengers and so on. I would not totally blame them though; the Nigerian movie industry has made us look like “mumus” with Hollywood movie spoofs being the order of the day… Originality has died off.

If you were born in the era when the VW beetle was the equivalent of a Camry 2.2; the Mercedes 230E “flatboot” or the Mercedes “Room and Parlour” were the symbol of affluence, then you will certainly feel my pain when a 16 year old would wreck a six month old BMW because he was driving drunk. Gone are the days when our parents issued out stern warnings about sitting on the drivers’ sit – as a matter of fact that was the one seat you had to make sure you cleaned properly when you were sent to wash the car. Now send a 17 year old to wash your car and your GPS would locate your car at a bar. God help us.

Gone are the days when kids played “spoke and wheel”, enter the days in which you are judged cool by the number of girls you’ve had sex with before your 18th birthday; or the number of men – aristos, old enough to be your father that you’ve slept with in exchange for all the expensive gadgets. No longer is the term, “black is beautiful” a hip term, it is now the season to bleach till you turn Caucasian – nobody wants to be the subject of black jokes, but then we forget that were born this way.

Until next time, keep winning.


Walkie Talkie – A two way radio that is used for communication between short distances.

Nollywood – The given name of films produced in Nigeria. The film industry in Nigeria.

Friendster;Keek;Facebook; twitter; Myspace – Social networking sites/tools… the last of which is almost in extinction.

VW Beetle – An automobile resembling a beetle produced by the Volkswagen Corporation. Popular in Nigeria during the 90’s.

Aristo- A Nigerian slang for a man that sleeps with younger girls in exchange for money/reward.

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