Opinion: The miracle of the modern telephone in Nigeria

by Dapo Egunjobi

A farmer uses his mobile phone to check information on crop diseases

I remember where I grew up; only three flats out of twelve flats had land phones at that time. When these phones ring, we could hear loud and clear from our various homes. They all share a common ringtone. 

 The world has really moved forward. The system of communication is now much better than in the past. It is now less complicated. We no longer use telephone with wires and poles again. Things are now computerized. Gone are the days when you have to be at home only to receive your calls and whenever you are outside your home, that is not possible.

People now use less complicated phones in terms of size and density. In the past, you couldn’t pocket your phone. It’s not even possible. You can’t even have a grasp of it in your hand; you have to carry it with your two hands.

I remember where I grew up; only three flats out of twelve flats had land phones at that time. When these phones ring, we could hear loud and clear from our various homes. They all share a common ringtone. Our next door neighbour had two of their children abroad that called in to one of these three homes. The children of the owner of the land phone shouted their names to quickly come downstairs to speak on the telephone with their children. Sometimes, they would have to cut the call and ask them to call back immediately so that they can save some time.

The people that had land phones were respected. It added to the beauty of their living rooms. They were the only ones who could contribute on television and radio programmes. The most common telephone was the analogue telephone with a round plastic ring consisting of small holes and a telephone box with curly wires attached to it. As a fearful young boy, I was always scared of touching the phone let alone press any part of it. It was like the whole credit would burn out. I felt so special one Sunday afternoon when I was called to come and speak with my in-law on the phone. I’m not so sure if that was my first time but I still remember that day.

Nowadays, things have changed. I remember when mum first got her Motorola walkie-talkie with a green screen and a short antenna, it was like a breakthrough. I felt like it was my property even though I had nobody’s phone number.

It was the turn of my sister. She got a Nokia 3310. Nobody dared touch the phone, you can only watch from a distance. This phone I also wished was my property but thanks to luck, I later got it. My sister gave it to me when she left the country.

Before we knew it in Nigeria, many people started getting connected to each other and people could pass information a lot easier than what use to be in the past when you have to go to a cybercafé to check your mails. That is if you have one.

The saying that the world is a global village now started to make sense to me. Apart from calls, I could send text messages to my friends. This was not possible on the analogue phone. Now, we can receive calls outside our homes and the phones are handy. No doubt nowadays you can do a lot with your phone. The modern phone is smaller, lighter, well packaged and has a lot of functions. It can vibrate if you wish to put it on silent mode. Most even come with multimedia. It is now like a replica of one’s life. Almost all the information you need to get going in life can be accessed from your small phone as most of them are internet enabled. You can check your mails without having to visit the café, relate with your friends via the social networks, read news and blogs and watch events around the world and the most fascinating of all, see your caller thousands of miles away.

Life keeps getting better. The unimaginable device is on its way.

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Comments (5)

  1. I'm fine sister. I hope this article rings a bell. we both witnessed it. 🙂

  2. Hello sister, I’m fine. This my story should ring a bell. We witnessed this together. 🙂

  3. The world is now a global village. Nigeria is not left out.

  4. The world is now a global village. Nigeria is not left out. 🙂

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