Are Mobile Phones in Kenya a Blessing or a Nuisance?


Mobile Phones in Kenya are quickly becoming the gadget of choice for many, Its the secret weapon, what with its mega pixels for immortalizing images of choice, recording secret conversation, listening to current news and turning it into a juke box at your convenience, and do not forget it can land you behind bars!

Communication is vital in any setting or organization. For effective communication there has to be an initiator and responder who should give the expected response. A two way process

Mobile phones in Kenya have made it possible for communication to be efficient, quick and effective. What with the Mobile phones, emails, social sites (twitter, face book etc)? days of splinting across the rift valley to deliver a message are long gone.

To talk with the big Boss of a company you do not need to go through the grilling process of passing through the secretary. Just sending an email or calling direct on the mobile is sure to get you a feedback instantly.

Mobile Phones in KenyaDilemma of Mobile Phones in Kenya

However even with the advent of Mobile Phones in Kenya some people still leave me baffled. Their only use of the mobile phone is storing people’s numbers waiting to be called. It is often when you meet with an old friend (let’s call her Jane) and she goes something like “Wow it’s been ages, we should hook up sometime and talk”, you then excitedly change phone numbers, or emails or whatever is convenient. After a week or two, you meet accidentally again and Jane is not happy with you. “How come you have not called me?” she will ask sullenly.  Okay! First it was her idea that you should meet up, secondly didn’t she take your number as well? Honestly it is often tempting to strangle someone.

While some hardly ever pick their phones to make social calls, there are those who cannot keep away from their phones; calling or texting every time, speaking loudly, disrupting the conversation you were having. The other day I was sitting in the bus almost at the back going home. I was tired and had just dozed off when I was rudely disturbed by this guy who kept on asking “ Is there lain in Amelica” ( Is there rain in America) “How is Amelica, tell mzee I will call him at midnight”. First I was irritated by the loud disturbance, and as I craned my neck to see the source I could not help noticing the amused expressions on people’s faces.

Everyone had stopped talking and was listening to the guy with Amelican relatives. After every two words he mentioned “Amelica” and asked about the ‘lain’. It was hilarious. I tell you; passengers now had something else to discuss. One man wondered loudly if they guy was actually talking to anyone or didn’t he (the caller) know that even when people travelled to America they still remembered their mother tongue? Worse still, why would you want to call USA at midnight? Correct me if am wrong but at midnight in Kenya, most Americans are busy building the nation. Well come to the Mobile Phones in Kenya age.

Are Mobile Phones in Kenya helping in promoting social sites?

What about face book and Twitter? True they are social sites and people update each other on several issues. But does everyone need to know what you ate last night? Or what happened in your bedroom thereafter? Others have resorted to name calling and insults. Just because they broke up or something went wrong with friendship. Instead of resolving issues they exchange words where everyone or their social friends is privy. Some issues are better left private or discussed by the affected parties. People break up and make up every time.

Some people even give gossip a bad name; no one wants to know that your neighbors have been fighting a lot lately, or that they are getting kids every year, or you suspect they are about to divorce. How do you expect people who do not know your neighbors to respond to that?

Beware! with the advent of Mobile Phones in Kenya landing in prison has become that much easier, next time you have an issue to settle with a foe do not reach for your mobile phone to settle scores, texting. Texting of one abusive message is all you nee to land in a Kenyan prison.

What about its use in churches and other social gatherings, and the various ear deafening ring tones, well  i will leave that for another day!

Read more in Best of  Kenya

Utilize the Mobile Phones in Kenya Well

We should all try to use this gadget of choice diligently. The modern 3G mobile phones like Nokia, Samsung and many others should be utilized accordingly, use the vibrator facility where necessary, and tone the crazy shrills you call ringtones to a manageable level and sound.

That will be constructive as the Mobile Phones in Kenya are here to stay.