A few months before my father died, his phone got stolen. A thief picked it from the car seat at a parking spot, when he had left it in his car to buy something at a nearby shop. You’d think that my mum, sisters and I were sorry for him, but we celebrated and here is why. The phone was a Nokia flip phone. Yeah, my father was still using a flip phone in bloody 2017. We all hated it because it was back dated and had an annoying ringtone. Probably the most annoying ringtone in the world or close. But my dad was a simple guy, he adored that phone. It could receive phones calls and text and that was enough for him.
Losing his phone made dad decide to upgrade. I could tell that he was afraid of the new technology, but I convinced him to take a leap of faith. After all, what was so scary about a smart phone? It doesn’t bite. A lot of convincing from mum and I later, the old man agreed to buy one but only if it was bought from a Safaricom shop and had an easy user interface. Plus he wanted to use his bonga points so that he could brag to his buddies over happy hour “I didn’t even spend a dime getting this phone, my daughter showed me how to use bonga points and voila! I got this new baby.” Dad never understood the hype of spending so much money on a phone anyway.
So off we went to the Safaricom shop along Kenyatta Avenue, we didn’t manage to use the bonga points but we got a Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016). Now I am not an expert on phones, but I thought that the this one was popping. It had great features, a decent and expandable storage, a cool screen, nice colour. I don’t know it was a pretty cool phone and my old man liked it.
The new phone came the need to show paps how the phone worked, nothing had prepared me to be a teacher. I installed the necessary apps and showed him how to maneuver his way around the new device. My father was a teacher and being a student for those first few weeks was not easy for him, but the day he understood how WhatsApp worked teren!! Dad became a WhatsApp addict and I lost count of the frantic calls that I received from him when whenever his WhatsApp failed. At this time, I was also handling emails for his construction consultancy firm too so I was basically his tech person. In short, I was the only person entrusted to handle his phone, some people can’t live with this fact *mum*ahem* inauma lakini itabidi uzoee.
Around that time, sharing memes was slowly becoming a thing. I can proudly say that my father was a respected meme distributor. He was the meme plug in the various WhatsApp groups that he was in. I think I got my love for memes from him. Our WhatsApp conversations were lit, I tell you. Most times he would share memes, gossip his wife or tell me stories of situations where he emerged a hero. That old man loved to brag. When he died, I deleted our chats because they made cry a lot. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t done so.
Last week, I narrated the story of how I lost my phone here. After the ordeal, my kind mother gave me dad’s Samsung. She has kept safe since dad passed on and the phone came with strict conditions wueh! Lakini maskini hachagui ama namna gani my frens? Using it reminds me of my father…. A lot. Its picture gallery still has the photos of his building projects (like the one on the featured image, dad was a budding photographer hihihi!), his sisters’ selfies, photos of his wife and daughters, pictures of him with his brothers and tons of memes and funny videos. Its case has a flap cover which I really hate because it makes me feel old. Plus the hustle of opening and closing the flap before receiving a phone call. If I were president, I would ban those flap phone cases (mum stop rolling your eyes).
The phone’s ringtone is a Country song that mum carefully chosen when she became its owner. It refuses to connect to my beloved Bluetooth LED bulb, which I mentioned here so I can’t use it to listen to Scar Mkadinali in the morning. Due to its limited storage, its notification bar perennially has a running out of storage warning so stop sending me memes (Edu and Nyangi), I don’t have storage guys. It also can’t take screenshots so udaku battalion gotta wait. I also can’t access most of my favourite social media apps because once again, storage. So I have been spending less time on my phone of late. Which is kind of cool because I get to read more, sleep earlier and even listen more. Plus I get to Netflix and chill a lot more (never thought I would admit this but some of those Naija films on Netflix are lit). I do miss my old phone. Had planned to replace it sooner but I am kind of loving this new arrangement so I might hang on to this phone a little longer. Sorry mum I won’t be returning you beloved husband’s phone in two weeks as you wanted.
We gon’ be alrightPharell Williams
Hao watu walikutenda?
But on the bright side, it made you write such a good piece.????
May he continue resting in eternal peace