Saturday, January 22, 2022

Wire toy cars, a pride for the underprivileged African children

Playtime is regarded as one of the most important aspects for the development of children.

Experts say toys are vital tools that help cultivate the mental, physical, emotional and social development of children. They instill fun and stimulate the fantasy, development and creativity of children.

For years, toys have been the hub of fun for children and have always been the most valuable assets for them. A lot of people agree that at one point in their lives during their childhood they played with toys, be it made toys or ones bought from stores.

Like everywhere else, children in Botswana’s rural and urban areas play with worn out old car tires, which were simple and fun.

The privileged children would afford to buy toys from shops and show off to other not so privileged kids.

Creativity came in place and children would normally resort to making toys using the simplicity of materials such as mud, sticks and wires.

Wires were used to craft and simulate toy vehicles or imaginary creatures that kept the lights of fun burning in children. Different models of cars were imitated, be it trucks, cars, motorbikes and even machinery by merely using wire strips.

“I remember growing up in Tsamaya Village, where we used to steal wires from fields and invent our own wire cars; life was fun then and now those things have gone due to modernization,” Thatayaone Samson said.

Stern parents would always punish their children for vandalizing their property, especially in the fields and home fences, in search for wire strips to make the toys, but the children would always stop at nothing to vandalize again.

Indeed, the toys contributed to the welfare and fun for the children.

Babatshi Stephen, from Shashe Bridge Village, also recalls how he was once beaten by his mother for destroying the fence in their garden as he built the wire toy cars to sell at a mere 50 thebe. He points out that nowadays the culture of making toys for oneself is dying due to many parents affording to buy toys for their children.

“I sometimes recall those years and wish I could go back to my childhood years,” he says.
Although toys may appear to be of little significance to the mature and the older generation, they do have a critical bearing in nurturing the growth of younger ones.

Batswana and many other children, especially in Africa, found meaning in the usage of simple materials such as wire strips to invent their own toys and add colour to their childhood life.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper