Last week, Nigeria’s Vanguard released five behaviors of mobile phone users in “Oga land” and we were wondering if they apply to us in Uganda or any other nation for that matter. We look at each and every mannerism and determine if the advent of mobile phone services changed the face of technology. Am sure you have always wondered if the mobile phones cultures, habits, language and traditions in different African nations is universal. Well dive into the comparisons below.
Multiple lines, multiple phones
According to Vangaurd the major reason why people carry around those dual SIM phones or have more than one Carrier’s SIM is due to poor telecom services. But it has more to do with new styles and tastes that technology has ushered in. 63 % of Nigerian phone users have more than one line. We have previously discussed at length about why it’s currently impossible to have mobile number portability in Uganda — a service that would let subscribers move from one network to another irrespective of their line code. As in a 078/077 (MTN) line can be used on an Airtel network. So, such behavior of having multiple lines is somewhat acceptable here in Uganda unlike in Nigeria, where they already have the mobile number portability.
Flashing aka Beeping
For sure this is universal and not only to Nigerians, no matter how wealthy, people are ever on the lookout for cheaper ways to do things and they seem to love flashing or beeping. To put things in perspective flashing is the art of beeping a receiver with the aim of getting them to call you back. Apparently some users have grasped the art of flashing, in that it is impossible for any receiver to pick their calls even for a microsecond. So what does a “beep” mean after all? Depending on the situation, a flash could mean: “call me back, I don’t have credit,” “wake up, it’s time to go,” “I just wanted to say hi” etc. But nowadays with carriers, giving services like free call me back text messages, I really don’t see any excuse to beep in Uganda. But you can’t break an old habit.
Mr. Fix it
Question. Have you ever done any of the following?
- Taken the battery out and reboot your phone after it freezes
- Turn your phone to the back after your speaker gets faulty
- Keypad is faulty or loose phone back cover, and you tie with cellotape or rubber-band
If you have done any of the above, consider yourself a Nigerian self-appointed engineer.
Show offs and trend setters
When phone manufacturers make a low end phone, it’s automatically assumed that its for emerging markets like Africa, Asia etc. I guess they have to think again. Has the Galaxy s5 been released? Trust me, you will find it in the hands of Africans even before some Americans or Europeans get their hands on it. Forget third world, people spend on mobile technology just like in the so called developed economies. And it doesn’t stop there, next is that part of showing off your latest hot piece of gadgetry; to our friends, enemies, strangers and to everyone else. Even if they can’t afford to loading credit on that expensive phone, we’d set the trend and get the gadget. Am sure that speaks more to the corporate chaps here when it comes to bandwagon purchasing of Smartphones.
How we pick International calls
Now this one got me cracking, apparently a typical Nigerian has two standard behaviors when they are about to receive an international call with “unknown” status. Initially they will make sure that the person on the other end of the line speak before they can respond. Of course due to massive conning in that region, it’s safer that way. Once the person is sure that the coast is clear, they change their accent immediately to suit the caller’s. Well am very sure that applies to us Ugandans cause I have witnessed it myself first hand.
Do you think there are other awkward phone mannerism that seem to be habitual among Ugandans? Leave us a comment in the section below.