My friend Detter has the ugliest phone I have ever seen, it is a Motorola, this tiny black one that I call “viazi” because of its shape. It has very hard buttons that you have to bite just to dial a number. Its an embarrassment when someone calls her and we are around people,considering I’m with her most of the time, that happens a lot of times. I have asked, pleaded, cajoled and even threatened her, just to get her to buy a new phone to no avail. She is an old guard, holding on to her old phone with such tenacity its surprising. I mean it does nothing apart from text and receive a call, it does not even have the most basic of things like a radio, or a torch. A Motorola C113 in this age and time is like your dad insisting on bell-bottom trousers. Funny, but it leaves you questioning his sanity. Now that phone in the hands of a girl, is a disaster, a catastrophe, a sign of the end of times.
People usually stereotype other people using there phones. A techno phone shows a loud mouth, what with the blaring music, and most of the time Rose Muhando’s nibebe as ringtone. A Samsung pocket, is a clear indicator of a calm and rational person, (a friend of a friend, Flavian has one, and she takes Bsc. Mathematics; who in the world would want to do maths for four years?) A Nokia phone , that is Nokia Asha 311 ,shows an extrovert with introvert tendencies – a person who goes crazy during the weekend but is a total bookworm the rest of the week. Then there is the Nokia “Mulika Mwizi”, the favorite of M-PESA agents, house maids and shamba boys. Speaking of, does Nokia specifically market such phones to M-PESA agents? Concerned parties want to know.
There are others like, Black Berry and LG, for the show offs, those who like spending daddy’s money, yet they don’t know how to make a shilling. But when it comes to Detter she doesn’t care,her phone is fine by her, as long as she can call her mom, and text her guy, life is as good as it gets.
So this Friday, we are hanging out with my friends, movie night, you know one of those girls night in kind of weekends. With a good chick flick, in this case Hart of Dixie, when somewhere in the middle of the movie, Linda starts complaining about her laptop and I cant suppress a groan. We all have God given talents and Linda’s so happens to be complaining. She can go on and on for hours like a DVD of a broken marriage stuck on replay. She has made complaining an art, a piece of bad poetry you are stuck listening to because you paid 500 bob at the entrance and you were promised a kick ass show, only to get someone saying a rhyme about rats and cats and cure for baldness. Its plain boring, but your stuck with it.
“Have you tried OLX? “ Millie,our fountain of intelligence asked her.I gave her a very huge smile it was blinding. The kind that you give to a super hero, for saving the day.
“I’m not sure you can sell a human being on OLX” Detter said with a snicker.
“Who do you want to sell?” Linda looked so innocent, it broke my heart.
Millie, Detter and I burst out laughing like we had shared a joke telepathically.
“Detter was already counting the cash we would get from selling you” I explained to Linda.
“I don’t see how that’s funny” she scowled. “But seriously guys, my laptop..”
“Yea, yea we get it, you were clumsy enough to drop it and crack the screen and your dad will kill you, did I miss anything? “ Detter questioned.
“Yes, the part where you have a fossil for a phone, ”
“Now, now Linda, don’t be rude..” I tried to intervene.
“My phone is not a fossil, even if it was at least it is still intact, !” Deter cut me off, all her senses on battle station.
“At least I can own a laptop, you just go around calling me clumsy and you are too stingy to get yourself a phone, at least I’m trying”
“Ok! Ladies, relax…as I was saying OLX …” Millie tried to cool their tempers.
“Stay out of this! “They both shouted.
I sat there looking from one to the other. If someone would have walked in right then, they wouldn’t have believed we were friends. We had our little tiffs sometimes (okay pretty much always) but you could not find more faithful friends.
“Guys! Watching a movie here!” I waved my hands to get their attention, and they all stared at me, murderous.
“What Millie meant to say is, you can get second hand laptops from OLX. At really manageable prices, so unless your dad knows your laptop model, which I don’t think he does, you are home free.”
“That, does not in any way change the fact that Linda called my phone a fossil” said Detter
“Detter, let’s face it, your phone, in phone years is nothing short of a fossil ” I said.
“Who’s side are you on?” She asked, a fake hurt look on her face.
I rolled my eyed at her and she giggled.
“You know, maybe we can get cave woman here a phone also” I could actually see the light bulb on top of Linda’s head.
“Okay, let’s try it now” Millie suggested, getting her modem. Giving Linda the ‘you -just-had-to-say-that’ look.
We went to the OLX website. And I was surprised at the many options they had. whoa you can get animals and pets on OLX? Even I did not know that.
“Oh, look Linda your section! ” Detter gasped, pointing at the animals and pets option.
Linda looked ready to strangle her.
Millie clicked on the mobile phone – tablets, and we all oohed, and ahhed at the phones on offer.
We finally settled on a sexy number, a black Sonny Xperia – ,full touch and with almost every application available in an android phone. Detter was ecstatic, like a bar man when a drunk forgets his change. She took the seller’s number and promised to call. OLX made a lot of things affordable. Next, we went through the laptops available. None caught Linda’s fancy and she promised to try again some other time.
Deter came to class on Monday, smiling like someone who knew a secret that the rest of us did not.
“What? ” I asked, eyebrow raised.
She took out her phone, smiling. ”We started from the bottom now we here.”
And that’s how she was able to upgrade via OLX