There was a lot of sharing of clothes for functions. These were also used as bargaining chips for future favours. The brands were broken down into two segments, equipment and apparel. Whoever owned the branded equipment made the rules and you had to dance to their tune. Play was easily stopped cos the owner of the bat was out and all of a sudden he needed to go home. The basketball community were the most generous and as the ball basically belonged to the community. You would just go and borrow it even if the owner was not at home.
Brands = Wilson, Head, Prince
Tennis was the elitist sport in Dangamvura reserved for the few who could afford racquets and those who were part of the successful Tennis academy run by Mrs Martins, who was responsible for identifying and nurturing stars like Genius Chidzikwe, Blessing Bvunzawabaya, Pfungwa Mahefu and more.
Brands = Spalding, Wilson
Leather and rubber. The boss dude was the one with the pig skin leather ball
Soccer balls & Boots
When not available we would make our own soccer balls from 5kg Ngwerewere plastics. We would buy tubes from Kingstons and put them in there as well. The same soccer boots I used for rugby
DF, SS, GM, Slazenger, Grey Nichols
Bats had to be English Willow. I had a second hand no name bat I got from Mac’s Second Hand, and loved it until it broke! Now Nike, MRF, and all sorts of bats are out there
Brands = Nike, FILA, Reebok, Ewings, British Knights
I didn’t really like basketball and only started playing it in form 2 during ZJC swot leave. But it was still trendy to be seen wearing a pair of sneakers. When we did get a pair of these brand sneakers they would certainly not see the light of day on the tarred basketball courts. They were for going to gigs and just looking cool in the hood!
Brands = Starter, Champion,
Sports apparel was worn as casual gear, Champion, Starter, NBA gear be it vests, caps, jackets. Regardless of which NBA team you supported. It was a matter of what you could get your hands on. I remember I had a Charlotte Hornets cap, a Bulls jacket and a Pacers jacket. Bulls was my team but I loved my pacers jacket.
Brands = Karl Kani, Pelle Pelle, Fubu, Wu Wear,
Hip Hop Gear
Then along came Hip hop with a host of brands to keep that Hip Hop look and to look as gangster as possible. There were the mandatory hoodies, sagging jeans and the odd head band or bandana, caps, and hats, and beanies. In the days before RocaWear there was Karl Kani, I remember rumours that a pair would go for $1000! Eventually there were rip offs at the flea markets of which you really couldnt tell the difference. Pacco Rabanne. Hip Hop videos played a large part in pointing out which brands rocked. Channel O was the station for rap videos
Brand clothing was very important on how you were perceived and received. What I am grateful is that the pressure was not as much as it is today amongst the youth and people didn’t really go to great lengths and sacrifices to get brand clothing.