How I got (and lost) my first phone


Inspired by my Facebook friends Bish Roland and Arinaitwe Otim Rugyendo, I hereby share my first phone experience.

The year was 2005. A family friend bought for my mum a phone. It was a Motorola C333 — silver in colour; curved edges and rubber buttons. It had green lights on the rubber buttons.


My first phone Motorolla C-333 (INTERNET PHOTO)

Unknown to him, mummy already had her cherished Nokia 3310 she had bought in 2003 after saving per diem on a trip to Malawi. So she had to naturally give this extra phone away.


Mummy’s cherished Nokia 3310. She used it for 9 years (2003-2012)

My elder brother was in a vocational institute so our school calendars were different.n At that crucial moment, I was on holiday while he was a school. Certainly, all the odds were against him. I took advantage of his absence and pitched my business idea to mum. I convinced her that whereas phones were illegal in MM College Wairaka (I was in S.6 then), I could stealthily use it in the night and charge students who wanted to speak to their families (by then a minute was 300shs and I would charge them 500shs). She bought the idea and even gave me some capital (20k UTL airtime — I think it was called Mango then).

On reporting day, I successfully beat the school check points and smuggled my phone inside. This is where it started. You all know in the first two or three weeks of the term, kids have money so business was booming. Guys would come wanting to talk to thir chics and friends. I even called my mum and assured her she didn’t have to worry about pocket money for me.

About four weeks later, a friend (he was the Entertainment Prefect) borrowed my phone to speak to his girlfriend. Since as a prefect he was living in a cubicle, I deemed it safe to give him. Yes, he was safe because nobody could spy in his room or even steal the phone. But his safety had limits too.

The next morning, he left the phone on his bed and came to the verandah to wash his legs (guys never used to shower in the morning those days). Unknown to him, the teacher on duty, a one Mr Kirya was doing his routine morning rounds. He reached the door and entered the room before my friend could dash in. He came to break the news to me.

“Man Ochom, Mr Kirya grabbed the phone” he muttered to me. I almost died!!!

My world literally came to an end. I was summoned to Mr Kirya’s office. I didn’t deny the charges (of course I wouldn’t disown my phone!). Fortunately, he was a cool guy. He made an offer that he keeps the phone and hands over to me when the term closes. The other option was to report the matter to the authorities (obviously to the no nonsense Deputy Headteacher Mr Okabo) and this would definitely earn me a much more serious punishment including suspension or dismissal. I weighed my options and let the phone stay with him.

When my brother visited me at school, I approached Mr Kirya to hand over the phone to him but he refused arguing that he can only give to a “serious person”.

True to his word, he handed over the gadget at the end of the term and I immediately gave it over to my brother upon reaching home. That was the end of the story!

I got my next phone in the second semester of my first year at Law School. It was a Nokia 1600 — black one with glass/plastic buttons and an alleged coloured screen. I saved 89,000/= during my holidays and sent my friend Eric Akol (who was more experienced with phones since he had a Nokia phone with a flap) to buy for me in town.


The second phone I owned Nokia 1600 (INTERNET PHOTO)

I didn’t sleep for two nights. The first one, I was anxiously waiting to deliver. He did so late in the evening. The other, I spent time adding phone numbers and “advertising” my number to whoever cared. After all, the phone came with some pre-loaded airtime.

I had cruised my first semester without a phone and lacked swagg completely.

No wonder I didn’t hook a campus chic then.

What was your experience with your first phone? How did you get it? Where is it now?


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