The Nigerian Blackberry Adventure - An Interesting Phenomenon
I ran into an old friend...
'Izu, what's your PIN?'
'Oh, you're a BB user-- I don't have one.'
'Are you for real? idikwa backward!'
This happened about a year ago, and despite that I was using a mobile which cost three times my friend's Blackberry, he did insult me blithely 'You are quite backward!'
It hit me frontally: I had been caught up in the Android-iOS-?Symbian war that I had failed to notice the recent and rapid bourgeoning of RIM's Blackberry all around me; now I had to hear from an old friend that not having a Blackberry meant being backward. This puzzled me greatly, and so whetted my research. I became more attentive in the bus, in the park, in the bank.
Three Beautiful Girls with Blackberrys
I was getting back from the University one evening in a taxi with three young girls. Midway through, there is a beep and they all reach for their mobiles. One announces 'Kee BB'm? Ejirom BB'm! Echefum BB'm! Driver kwusi m, echefum BB'm'(Where's my BB? I don't have my BB! I forgot my BB! Driver stop me here, I forgot my BB!) I thought to myself, 'don't you just love to say BB?' The taxi pulled up, she whispered something to her friends and hurriedly got down. I thought to myself, my reserach in view 'I see...'
Blackberry has stolen the Nigerian phones market without much pomp or ceremony. I watched as the girls clutched their Blackberry which beeped every so often, and they had to type up a message--they seemed to be really having fun.
...I met a new friend on Yahoo! Chat
Blackberry is not just a mobile phone to the Nigerian. Yes, there's the sensationalism that comes with pinging--the only utility in so far as I can objectively assess-- but there is more. The Blackberry user expects that you be filled with respect, awe, even adulation when they announce they have a Blackberry--whether it has BIS or not seems irrelevant in the Nigerian situation. Even the monochrome screen versions are Blackberrys nonetheless and require no less respect. By now, my reasearch had taken a decidely other turn, the original research seemed humdrum and pointless now. The real reasearch was: 'Are Nigerians vain people?' The average Nigerian maintains we are not, but the facts remain that we are. We love attention, we love 'useless' little phones that cost big money, we love to 'spend money we don't have to annoy people we don't like'. While I'm typing this article, I'm on Yahoo! Chat. There's a beep:
'36qrt56p. What's yours?'
'Oh BB...I don't have one'
'emoticon: 'shocked' Izu you really need to get a life!'