Diaspoman: Gone are the days of Tango, Golf and hotel

As an employed person in Kigali, I am enjoying free facilities such as unlimited internet. While executing my Kiraka at this busy ICT-related company, I find myself enjoying the free services of Facebook, twitter and Skype. 

As an employed person in Kigali, I am enjoying free facilities such as unlimited internet. While executing my Kiraka at this busy ICT-related company, I find myself enjoying the free services of Facebook, twitter and Skype. 

I am also given a free mobile phone so that I can be in touch with the officers in the field. These officers would be in the field trouble shooting for our clients. So, one of my duties is to check whether they are doing the right things.

 

Way back in the mid-90s, such technology was nowhere to be seen. In fact, the cousins of mobile phones were in form of walkie-talkies. We used these gadgets, commonly referred to as Ibyombo, in order to communicate with colleagues in the field. 

 

Being employees of an NGO, Aggrey and I were equipped with these walkie-talkies to keep monitoring operations within Kigali. Well, those ibyombos, were quite tasty for us because not only did they make work easier, but we also took advantage to pose around the streets as if we were top army officers indeed!

 

Even our NGO Jeeps were mounted with heavy communication equipment to allow us exchange communication via walkie-talkies. So, Aggrey and I would be seen cruising around in the huge jeeps as young chicks screamed out our names in ecstasy. 

Indeed, whenever we felt like having fun, we would each select some cool Jeeps and cruise around Kigali. Any lady who had the slightest chance to step into the Jeep was considered to be very attractive and lucky. 

In order to have a lasting impression on the new catch, Aggrey and I would fake serious communication from one vehicle to another. He would start by calling me through the walkie-talkies “Calling Delta one Roger.” 

Once I picked this message, I would pretend to my companion by asking her to keep in total silence. I would tell her that this message was coming in from the headquarters in Geneva. I would then respond “Tango, Golf, Hotel copied. Roger.” 

Then Aggrey would engage into some verbal artillery in a language which seemed to be a mixture of Greek and Portuguese. He would spell out complicated codes such as Alpha, Whisky, Oscar, Bravo and Foxtrot. In turn, I would reply in our secret language by punctuating in tough jargons like Echo, Yankee, Zulu, Kilo, Lima and Romeo. Phew! Such exchange of verbal bombs usually left a lasting impression on the chicks. 

That is why they always hunted for us on Friday evenings in search for yet another splendid weekend.

Having stopped at the main Post Office to exchange some dollars, we would roll down to the famous Kiyovu Hotel for rounds of booze and roasted meat. We would make sure that the whole world knew that we had arrived. 

Just press the accelerators thrice to produce a resounding effect before slamming the doors closed. Then, with our arms akimbo and the waistline heavily decorated by noisy walkie-talkies, we would storm the counter in a manner to suggest that we were from the wide Wild West itself! That is how we usually closed our superb weekends!

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