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Life Hacks With Toby: Back in Those Days



dreamstime_l_2069202Not too long ago, I went to the bank to make some transactions. After that I crossed the road and decided to help myself in one of those outlets where they sell Beans and plantain just opposite the bank. If you know me well, you go know say no be today I start to dey chop fast food.

While eating, I started a discussion with an elderly man who also came there to help himself. Our chat went from the price of dollar to the price of cement. Before I knew it, the man started telling me about how great things were ‘back in those days’.

According to him, he bought his first car, a Peugeot pickup van at #4000. Few years later, he bought his second car, a brand new Peugeot 504 car at #5000. From there he proceeded to tell me how he used to buy cement at #5 per bag, and how he built his first house with about #10, 000.

Come see as I dey look the man like mumu. In my mind I was like, “So this 5k wey I just send somebody now na wetin you use buy tear rubber car in those days? Chai”.

It’s well o.

If you are like me, then you must have heard similar stories of how good things used to be back in those days. In fact, I don hear am tire!

My father is one of those people who sabi tell the ‘back in those days’ stories very well. One of his favourites is how easy it was for them to be students back in those days. I used to look at him like he was telling me ‘Tales by Moonlight’ stories each time he starts recounting all those stuff.

Can you imagine getting a scholarship without stress? And the scholarship wasn’t just to cover tuition, but it equally covered books, accommodation and feeding? And by feeding, I don’t mean the kind of stuff we get these days in our boarding schools o. I mean correct balanced diet with boiled egg and even chicken at times. And not the everyday-beans diet many boarding schools serve these days.

That one no even pain me reach.

The one wey really really really pain me be this fuel mata. That one pain me reach belle because unlike the other cases, I equally had my own share of the ‘back in those days’ experience of fuel. I was in primary school for instance when they used to sell fuel for about #18 a litre. I vividly remember when it climbed to around #36 during Obasanjo’s time.

So imagine how I feel knowing that this same fuel I buy for #150 a litre used to be sold for less than #20. And no, I didn’t just hear about it, I experienced it.

All these ‘back in those days’ stories don dey vex me sef. In fact the only story I want to hear now is how I can have at least 18-out-of-24-hours regular power supply. You may not understand.

Oya let me explain why. You see, I experienced a blackout in my area for three complete calendar months earlier this year. I mean, we literally stayed without a blink of light for about 100 days. That meant that for those 100 days, I solely relied on petrol to generate power to work.

Omoh, no be small thing o. My pocket felt it, especially that period that they sold petrol for more than #200 per litre.

I asked a friend of mine if Nigeria ever used to have stable power supply back in those days, and he said never. Chai, I really pity the minister of power. He has a task to solve a problem that nobody has ever been able to solve since this country came into existence. Eiyaa. Oya bow down your heads, let’s pray for him…

In other words, the task he has at hand is as tasking as what the oyibo scientists are facing trying to discover the cure of Cancer, HIV/AIDS, and Ebola. No be small thing o.

As a primary school student back in those days, my dad used to give me #20 every day, after I must have been dropped off in school. That was in the late nineties. With that money, I was one of the ‘big boys’ in school. I could afford to go to the staff canteen and buy Goldspot or Limca mineral with meat-pie. (Eh, I know it’s not a big deal now, but back in those days, it was.)

And did I mention that back in those days, my mom used to take my sister and I to school with a taxi at the cost of #5? Imagine am: Taxi, #5! Okay that was too long ago. But I still remember the experience.

Back in those days, we used to buy things with #5 and expect to receive change. If you were born in the late nineties, then I am sure you don’t know about the red and yellow coloured sugary ‘ice cream’ that was usually sold for #1. I am equally sure you never had the ‘privilege’ of buying Jenka chewing gum with just 50 kobo.

I could go on, but so many things have changed in the past 20 years. You see, just as those born in the sixties and seventies have ‘back in those days’ stories to tell, we wey grow up in the nineties equally have ours to tell. And soon, even those born in 2010 will be telling theirs to the 2030 generation.

I guess at this point you are probably wondering why I wrote this article. Well, I am wondering the same thing too. I mean, I am not trying to prove a point or anything. This is just a ramble for you to enjoy your weekend with. But do me a favour, and migrate to the comment section so we can just reminisce on how things used to be back in those days.

Goodbye to the first half of the year.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Toby Nwazor is a free lance writer and motivational speaker who believes that life is meant to be lived and not just existed in. He is equally an entrepreneur with a lot of hands-on experience in business start-ups, marketing, and customer service. He passionately writes every Monday and Wednesday on about helping entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs build successful start-ups


  1. C'est Moi

    July 1, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Toby, I enjoyed your “ramble”. It made me laugh. Thank you.

    • Toby Nwazor

      July 1, 2016 at 6:17 pm

      Thanks C’est Moi. God win

  2. "changing moniker"

    July 1, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Back in the day……..
    I was an ajebo kid, now my eyes haff open…
    i remember struggling to learn Suwe for years (still not very good at it, but i can fumble my way around) because no one in my area knew how to play it….
    what’s the point of my comment you might ask….haha me and Toby are in the same boat with regards to that o….we just wanted to write, so we wrote 🙂

    On a more serious note, back in the day, primary school lunch time were a lot more fun..and crushing on a boy was really cute (and innocent) …now if my 10yrs old brother says he has a crush, i’ll be bothered cos i don’t trust children of nowadays

  3. Call Me Gorgeous...

    July 1, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Back in those days..bus fare was N3naira or N5naira from school to my house when my parents couldnt come to pick us from school…
    Back in those days, suya of N200 was sufficient to feed for us for dinner…
    Back in those days, a family man earning a monthly salary of N50k could conveniently feed a family of 6, pay school fees and live a decent life…
    In fact ehn…back in those days…i think petrol was sold for N9naira at some point….
    Back in those days, it was easier to live a decent life…

    • Toby Nwazor

      July 1, 2016 at 6:27 pm

      50K a month? You are a Don! As in Don. lwkm

    • Tosin

      July 2, 2016 at 3:20 am

      i remember one speech in which abacha increased the pump price per liter to: ilebun nera.

  4. Kcee

    July 1, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Toby, you are so talented in writing and yes I enjoyed the ramble….lolz
    Back in the days, we bought condense for 1 or 5 k and licked it all the way home
    Back in the days, we played koso , e ba mi fadu etc… hahahahahahaha
    My head is going planked….. Laughing so hard right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Toby Nwazor

      July 1, 2016 at 6:29 pm

      Hmmm. Thanks Kcee. You are right. I follow lick that milk then o. In fact I still love licking milk up till now. God help me. Lwkm

  5. Tosin

    July 1, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    see all dese 90s pikins o.
    What do you know about half kobo? One uselessly big coin like that 🙂
    Kiddies balling on 5k and 10k endowments in those days
    when k stood for kobo not for thousand naira 😀

    • Tosin

      July 1, 2016 at 2:51 pm

      to be honest, can’t remember how they looked anymore.

  6. Bodunade

    July 1, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Hilarious article, Toby you Sabi gist abeg.
    I remember stealing 20naira from my mum in the mid 90s, must have been in primary 2. I was tired of spending less than 5naira during lunch. The plan was to have a ball for a week. I got caught, I was beaten(Back in the days beating was something else). To this day, I still suffer flashbacks lol . I also remember buying guguru and epa for 25k after school.
    Heck, a few years ago, when I was in junior school, 20naira was more than sufficient during break, One puff, one pie and one zobo.
    What can a child buy now with hundred naira? One meat pie is at least 50bucks.

    • Bodunade

      July 1, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      Haa. Back in the day, when gala had something in the middle. Thick red sausage, what we have now is just color, even Indomie is no longer spicy 😀

    • Toby Nwazor

      July 1, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      Hahahaha. Gbam. I used to reserve that red part for last. Now I don’t even notice it again. Isorait

  7. OJ

    July 1, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    back in the days, when teachers go on strike, the kids are all excited to go back home, watch a bit of voltron, superted, danger mouse, Gforce etc and head to the untarred street bear footed to play street football… was so much fun back then and at the end come back homa again and sit down with black and white TV watching ”mr biggs is a millionaire and so is danddy”

  8. Olu

    July 1, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Back in the days (when there was no computer keyboard), my handwriting was beautiful

  9. Old geh

    July 1, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Oh my days. this post makes me feel so old. I was born in the eighties (the last sane generation 🙂 )
    and how things have changed. I remember playing ten-ten, suwe and i-call-upon in the compound with neighbors children and kids from the other street. oh before i was old enough to play ten-ten, i remember peeing in the sand and building mud houses. gross, i know! Kids these days don’t have fun. I see 9 year olds with social media accounts, worrying about the number of likes their pictures get on instagram and I’m like, WHAT IS HAPPENING?
    In junior secondary school, transport was 10naira, and i remember we would ‘lap’ so we could save some extra money to spend during break or afterschool . Sometimes, an older passenger in the cab would see us all crammed in the back seat and offer to pay our t-fares. People are not that nice these days, or perhaps are too preoccupied with their personal burdens.
    I remember buying baba dudu, sisi pelebe, ekana gowon (who came up with all these names). Chocomilo, Eclairs, Goody-goody were treats for the special days. And please, that thing they sell now in traffic is def not chocomilo. I remember buying Robot ‘chewing’ gum and reading out the questions on the wrapper, which no one seemed to get right. Oh, the days of Okin shortcake biscuit. I remember buying solo coke for 10naira, and 35cl for N15.
    Back in the days, we had a jolly good time. Things are definitely not the same anymore

  10. o

    July 1, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    I enjoyed this Toby

    • Toby Nwazor

      July 2, 2016 at 2:31 am

      thanks O

  11. BIBIE

    July 1, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    LOLZ. Please who is this Bodunade fellow? gala and Indomie ke? Clearly you are a nineties pikin. Do you remember Oyakaka, Supreme youghurt and when I went to Mr biggs. it was I finally landed in America! Hmm, Eyin alangba and kokoro where our only snack. ANd our treast where baba dudu not chocolate. hmm Now I hear it is Pizza and Shawarma. Even being an Aunty is a capital intensive project. Taking my nieces and nephews out requires serious budgeting months before the salary even comes. Oga o!

  12. Sai sai

    July 1, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    Back in the dayz I remember when small coke was sold for 5N and when the round plastic underneath the bottle cover was opened to win a free drink..I remember running after these big Coca cola trucks with my bottle cover to collect my free drink, and yes I remember entering pickup lorry with my mum and sitting on wooden seats, it was 5N I feel old???

    • Toby Nwazor

      July 2, 2016 at 2:32 am

      Yeah yeah. I remember the free drinks. That was before coke started doing that their hamper promo. Lol.

  13. Tina

    July 1, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    Back in those days… so memorable. Do you remember already that came in different colours, the ice cream that was in a stick? I loved Okin biscuits. They were so thick and quite filling. Our food vendor sold moimoi in milk tins. What about bazooka chewing gum, googy-goody? Tales by Moonlight nko? My mother would not dare send me on errand else she wouldn’t see me till the end of the program, because I would enter a neighboit’s house and watch it till the end. That was in the 80s when people lived and not merely existed. Hmmm…

  14. Sai sai

    July 1, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    Lordy! I miss goody-

    • Kosi

      July 2, 2016 at 6:42 pm

      I can still remember the commercial song sef ” goody goody, chewy chewy “.

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