By Tabitha Makumi,
I remember when my old man bought his first phone. A humongous Nokia 3310. We were ecstatic and everyone in the neighbourhood knew about it. Probably because my siblings and I kept shouting “Simu ya daddy inalia!” at the top of our lungs. And when the snooping neighbours asked us which model it was we would give our best haughty smiles and say “Ni ya Safaricom” It was either that or Kencell and we didn’t know shit between a network and a model.
We were kids and we thought this little gadget (although there’s nothing little about Nokia 3310) made us the ish in the neighbourhood. Hell, we thought we were the “Ndio Kusema” kind of family. Darn, were we naïve or what!
Flash forward to the year of our lord 2016 and sadly some of us treat our smartphones as the epitome of success. It’s rather facetious that the only way to let people know you’ve ‘made’ it in life is by
flashing that iPhone 6s every chance you get. “Oh look at me and bow at me you poor earthlings….”
Don’t get me wrong, an iPhone 6s is nothing to scoff at although I am a Huawei P8 kind of girl (cough) but can you in the name of all that’s holy give us a break. We know you didn’t invent that shit. You just bought it, any idiot can do that (brilliant line from the comical ‘Shit my Dad Says’)
You know who I respect? People who own phones whose price would put down a deposit for a two bedroomed house in Kinoo and still pay a five months’ rent. But these cool folks don’t throw that in your face. They don’t try to make you feel a lesser being for owning a godforsaken Chinese phone your seller swore was the real deal.
I don’t know if you’ve ever sat next to someone in a matatu, church or wherever and there was something about the way they held their phones as they scrolled through Snap chat or Twitter and you could almost swear they wanted you to notice what kind of phone they are rocking. No? C’mon now. Wouldn’t it be impressive if they turned to you and said, “Hey, I invented this. Cool, huh?”
Sometimes I am in my head for more than I should be. So I thought I was reading too much into this phone mania and decided to weigh in some opinions on this. “Does your phone define you?”
“It depends…” responded one lad. Let’s call him Mr HTC
“On what exactly?”
“Aaah, the make and the price. If it’s pricy, it means that person has class.”
“So does it mean if I own a Kabambe I am as cheap as they come?”
“Hahahahaha…I didn’t mean it like that,”
“What did you mean?”
But that was the end of that. Pricy to Mr HTC meant class and cheap meant you are cheap as hell.
Another haughty mess weighed in on this. Let’s baptize him Mr Sony Xperia
“It’s like comparing a Bugatti Chiron to a Toyota Prius,”
“A Chi…. what?” I asked
“Bugatti Chiron. The most powerful and fastest super sports car EVER,” he answered with an arched brow as if he was the dealing with the world’s biggest idiot.
Of course I know what a Chiron is. I frequent BBC’s Auto page every now and then but I like to play dumb sometimes.
Here is the end of it: I understand where the haughtiness comes from. Just like we were stuck-up about my dad’s Nokia 3310 and told everyone who would care to listen about this awesome thingamajig so are this folks who love shoving their phones down our throat.