Me and my phone


The price of a phone with a radio has been one of the most stable items on economic lists in Uganda since they came to our dusty streets. Probably the only change conceivable would be upward but for the rules of engagement with URA and the standards people. I don’t know.

Radio has been brought closer to you. It is very close in fact; right in your pocket. You don’t have to listen to anorexic music seeping from the speakers up above in your office. You can just crank up your beats and voila, you have escaped.

And it is real escapism. Have you seen a dude with wrap around shades sitting in the back seat of the taxi with his knees up in that all-too-familiar pose that says, “man, there’s enough space for you to pass on your way to the ‘kiyungu?” That’s kitchen for all you who don’t know what the national language. (What you gon’ do when they come for you?). In most cases, dude has a pair of phones in his ears, bumping music.

This is the picture of a person who has looked reality in the eye and they just don’t want to look anymore. Like looking into the eye of Sauron, they have seen what they are headed for. Bad idea.

The guy in back probably comes from a broken family, like so many such people in the country. If he is sitting in a taxi at Wandegeya, chances are that he is coming from a class at campus. He’s going back to his one room in Ntinda.

Dog tired and stressing about this month’s rent since the old lady has not been doing so good of late and asking her to help out this month just doesn’t cut it. Have to find kyeyo very soon.

No one will understand. Not the driver up front chewing kibaba and screaming at women drivers to “va mu kkubo, musiru ggwe!” or his equally demented conductor who’s bent on cheating the bald headed man that just got off at Bidandi’s stage of his change of kikumi.

It is Bidandi himself but this young man can’t be bothered to know things like that. What is it to him if he is messing around with potentially his next president? For people like this things like Brokeback Mountain and National security are the same in that it doesn’t make any damn sense to them. and seriously, some of these terms Yuppies immerse themselve in are complete hogwash.

Any way, our hero has seen it all a thousand time and he stopped caring long ago. That’s why through it all, since the day began, he’s been hooked to Bob FM. Blissfully unaware of the chaos, bra.

Radio is not for sad people only though. I have seen some of the coolest people I know going around with them phones.So you see, we are becoming more and more impersonal with each one retreating into their own world of Jay Z and Freshly Ground. (Good thing, bad thing?)

Blessings to the radio phone.



About Steven

It wasn't me; arrest the voices. It was the voices in my head. Sike! I am Ugandan first. I care for development in my country. I am a curious observer second and I care to know what you think.
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7 Responses to Me and my phone

  1. jasmine says:

    the whole world and her neighbors have earphones plugged into their ears these days. the whole thing’s too provincial.

  2. Freshly Ground, woo! 🙂
    Kumbe I am starved of that music badly.

    I’m not a radio guy. Even though I live in what is the world’s most radio-mad country. (Well-written post, by the way.)

  3. Iwaya says:

    you just made me resolve to get a phone with a radio again! the only chance i ever have to listen to radio is in a taxi!

  4. DeTamble says:

    Last time I listened to a radio was 2005. Cause I own an iPod.

  5. duksey says:

    I have just been thinking of hooking maself up with such a phone now i want to even more.To hell with being antisocial

  6. antipop says:

    is this post about me phantom? becuase if it is#$%&*^*()(%%&&**. but seriously, radio phones/ iPods/ watches/ mp3players/ watever else plays music, are the best invention from japan. it is so therapeutic especially at the end of the day to plug those phones into your ear and just shut the world out

  7. i bless the lord for making those asians so inventive. whatever would i do without my phone/radio/walkman. would be a taxi blowing maniac without it. God bless Sony and Ericsson.

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