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Nairobians and their weird phone habits

Everyone worth their ‘Nairobian’ tag owns a mobile phone. And we don’t just own phones, we own high-end phones. We own phones worth three times our rent and half our salaries.

If you don’t own an iphone, Blackberry, a high-end Nokia or a Samsung with an ‘S’ prefix (S3, S4), then you are considered an outcast.

If you don’t own a phone that can tweet, Facebook, take pictures and WhatsApp at the same time, then your ‘Nairobian’ card is revoked. You are an outsider and don’t deserve to be in the city or even entertain the thought that you are a Nairobian.

It is only in Nairobi that we use the tag-lines ‘sent from my Blackberry’ or ‘sent from my iphone’ in our e-mails to make a statement. We judge people not on the basis of their characters and personalities, but their phones.

Fun times

A dude with an iphone 5 is considered ‘dating material’. A lady with an S3 will painfully date a guy with a Nokia 3310, but jump at one with an S4.

After all, don’t they belong to the same class? We no longer impress people with knowledge from our careers, but with phone reviews. “Oh…my iphone 4 is much better than the S3. Blah blah blah”

Nairobians, I included, are married to their phones. We are closer to our phones than our spouses, children, people we are dating. During social meetings, we are glued to our phones, smiling sheepishly and chuckling coyly.

We love to text. Sorry. Sext. For those who’ve been living under a rock, a sext is a raunchy text message exchanged between two adults. In most cases, it has sexual connotations. It is usually accompanied by equally scandalous pictures and videos.


We, Nairobians, eat, drink, and sleep sexting. It is who we’ve become. We sext while working, reading for exams, in class, weddings, funerals, and pitifully, in church. Hobbies stopped being swimming and playing squash. We have a common hobby, sexting.

We can barely have a conversation for a straight 30 minutes without glancing at our phones to check if the sext we sent on WhatApp has been replied to, or a message we sent to somebody we barely know on Facebook has been delivered.

We can barely do homework with our children or sit through a two-hour date without our minds wandering to our phones, debating whether to make a quick glance to see if a photo we sent has been delivered.

Before WhatsApp, sexts and Facebook, twitter, road trips were fun times with friends. Sightseeing, taking pictures, stopping for a pee in the bush, singing off-key to the blaring music and glancing through the window to check out the other driver’s girlfriend was fun but its not anymore.

You plan a road trip but your friends might as well not show up because they are glued to their Andriod phones, punching their thumbs away.