By Oluoch Bendaftone

Bottomline: This is the game that laid a strong foundation for the now vibrant team, Team Mafisi.

I wonder what comes to your mind when you think of Eastlands. I guess not some leafy estates with well-trimmed hedges and clean spacious parking lot.

Growing up in Huruma; H-town as it is commonly referred to by the locals was not easy but the experience I had with my age mates made life super easy. Nothing was more fun than meeting up with your buddies till odd hours of the night with no fear of being abducted like it is common in the leafy suburbs.


children playing bano


Swimming AKA Dufo Mpararo

I recall when we had to collect and sell used timbers for a packet of chips. Who in the so called posh estates would come up with these sizzling business ideas at such a tender age? Who from Eastlands can fail to remember how they could go round the estate collecting scrap metals and used beverage bottles so as to get some coins to watch ‘COMANDO’ or ‘CHUCK NORRIS’ in the video dens within the estates?

If you never engaged in the silly estate brawls, then you were not serious about growing up. They would start in some muddy pool, dufo mpararo just because someone used your oil, and would go on to the dusty football grounds. They only ended when you got tired or someone was seriously injured

Kalongolongo was that one game nobody wanted to miss, some of us got to have our first boyfriends and girlfriends. This is the game that laid a strong foundation for the now vibrant team, Team Mafisi. In those days, they would turn down the role of the watchman or the most dreaded one that of the dog and they would pose for the uncle position who only visited after the father had gone to work

Before pizza and hot dogs, there was one phenomenon that was only found on the eastern part of the capital before it was exported to other parts of the country. A mutura outing was the only time when your parents would not patronise you for ‘loitering’. It was the only kebab you could get a piece for a shilling.

If you never played bano, then you are not an authentic Eastlander. If you never had a toss-full of bano then you are an amateur of the game .The whole process of playing bano still fascinates me, from kuchimba pill to bonyox not forgetting cracky no payie.

Interestingly the marbles had been name. I remember milky and spider that only the rich kids of eastlands could afford. Let me not even talk of cracky no pay, these are words all Eastlanders are familiar to.

Forgetting to write how we rode mfara will be an abomination. s
In the long run, we all learnt some surviving skills in the name of playing. Let us observe a minute of silence as a sign of respect to our roots.

The writer is a first year Public Relations student


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