Diaspoman: When we became Jamaicans without dreadlocks!

The Mobile phone companies in Rwanda are really giving us the best offers anyone can think about! The prices are so competitive and that is why we are now enjoying placing telephone calls at anytime! I really think that cell phones have changed our life!

The Mobile phone companies in Rwanda are really giving us the best offers anyone can think about!

The prices are so competitive and that is why we are now enjoying placing telephone calls at anytime! I really think that cell phones have changed our life!

There are sometimes when I look back and wonder how we used to cope with life before the advent of cell phones?

Just close your eyes and imagine what life was like during those days. The best that one could do was to contact someone who had a landline at his home or workplace.

Otherwise one had to rely on luck if one intended to visit someone without really knowing whether that person was there or not.  

The other day when I closed my eyes and tried to imagine life without cell phones, certain memories came flooding back. My mind raced back to the mid 90s, when I had just crossed over to our dear motherland.

By now, you know how I met up with my long time friend called Aggrey. This is the person with whom I share lots and lots of memories.

We also share the same height, size and age. The only thing that we no longer share is the size of our pockets. Whereas Aggrey’s pocket is bulging with a cocktail of currencies, mine happens to be gaping in real shameful hunger.  

Anyways, during the mid 90s, Aggrey and I would have benefited a lot from cell phones. In particular when calamity befell us one late evening at the heart of Kigali.

It was during those wacky days when a certain crazy friend of ours happened to come into our lives. This friend of ours was none other than Afande Niko himself.

You may recall that Afande Niko earned his name by referring to anyone around him as Niko. He used the word so much that people decided to baptize him Afande Niko.
  Niko was a jolly good fellow.

Whenever he’d come visiting from his base in Gisenyi, he would drop by our house for a few cold ones. Then he would bundle us into his jeep and give us a ride around the city. We would stop at several drinking holes punishing booze along the way.

By the time we took a glance at our watches, it would be approaching dawn. He would then drive us back to our poor section of Kiyovu where we would dash for a nap before heading for office.

As for Afande Niko, he would drive away to Gisenyi after promising us even more fun next weekend.
 So on that fateful “next” weekend, Afande Niko returned to Kigali with a bang!

This time he was loaded with three young ladies, whom he had promised heaven on earth. He had told them that Aggrey and I were expatriates from Jamaica who never really believed in dreadlocks.

These ladies knew that we were never scared of spending cash. In fact they were told by Niko that our problem was not cash; instead our problem was that we never knew what to do with that cash.  

With this in mind, the three little lady musketeers started to consume some salt in preparation for real booze. In their minds, they knew that these two Jamaican fellows were going to dish out cash like no man’s business.

That is why they looked at Afande Niko in a strange manner when he suggested that we have a drink in Nyamijos. Was he mad? You want to take these expatriates to Nyamirambo?

No way, let us instead go to Hotel Kiyovu! Since Afande Niko had assured the ladies that Aggrey and I were real Jamaicans without dreadlocks, he succumbed.

When we arrived at Hotel Kiyovu, Afande Niko led us to the most expensive wing where people with real money went for their outings. With our new girls, we settled down in our seats and ordered for eats and drinks.

We had no fear whatsoever since Afande Niko was around. Then Niko excused himself as he wanted to visit the gent’s room. In the meantime, we started crushing the delicious food with little mercy.

By the time we were through with our meals, there was one plate that was still untouched. It belonged to Afande Niko!  

Had he developed complications with his tummy? Why was he taking so long in the gents? As we were still in this wondering mood, the Hotel Kiyovu bill arrived. I swear the amount indicated on the bill could have been enough to feed a dozen people at a Nyamijos joint.

But since we were “Jamaicans without dreads” we had to dance to the Hotel Kiyovu tunes! Where was Afande Niko? Had it been today, we would have borrowed a cell phone and called someone for help.

Since there was no MTN and TIGO during the mid 90s, Aggrey and I had to end up answering tough questions at the Muhima Brigade.

diaspoman@yahoo.com 

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