Ignorance is expensive, and other life lessons.

About one or two months ago, I noticed that the back camera of my phone was no longer taking sensible pictures. The pictures were now coming out blurry in the bottom left corner (see featured image). This, as you can imagine, wasn’t a desirable situation.

See, one of the many hats I put on is that of social media kafulu, and as anyone in the social media business will tell you, you need to take many pictures. Visual stuff garners more views. You don’t even have to be a kafulu to know this. ..scroll through your timeline for a bit and you’ll understand how important the back camera is.

The people I lamented to blamed me for being enough of an idiot to put my phone and keys in the same pocket. I jam to allow the idiocy though. I’ve read and watched enough about Steve Jobs to know that one of the considerations they had in mind when making these smartphones was their ability to live in peaceful conditions with other contents of the pockets.

I dropped by my guy via Mutasa Kafero and asked him to have a look at the camera and let me know how much damage to my pocket the repairs would cost. Chap gave it a one over, glanced at his colleague, looked back at me and said 40k. I was like, Eh, nedda boss, me I have 20.

This is bargaining 101 for those that might not be in the know. Whatever price you are given, say you have half the amount or less. But this was my guy so I went with just half coz I figured he was using guy guy prices.

Eventually, we settled on 25k and he pulled out a box of apparatus, ready to embark on the task of sorting out my camera. Naye I had 25k sharp on me so I told the guy to calm down, I’d return soon when my pockets were healthier to get the job done.

2 months later and I hadn’t yet gone back. There were alway more important things to spend the 25k on…and besides, I have managed to survive without the camera somehow thanks to blue tooth, whatsapp and all those other image sharing services. Basically what I’ve been doing is asking friends and colleagues at events to take pictures and send them to me via any of the above mediums. Granted, it’s made me less efficient at my duties, but I’ve managed and the world hasn’t ended so I kept on avoiding the trip back to Mutasa Kafeero.

Now, lean in…this is the part where the whole point to this story is revealed. You don’t want to miss this…masso ku’lutimbe!

Kati, over the last two or so days, I’ve been unable to make calls. I could receive calls, send and receive texts. ..but I just couldn’t call. After testing my simcard in another phone and successfully calling, I concluded the problem was with my phone. I dropped by an MTN center and asked them if they had encountered this phenomenon before and if they had a quick fix.

Yes, said they, we’ve witnessed this before.

Anha, responded I, which buttons do I press so my problems can go away?

25k, assured me did they, 25k and we shall do things to your phone that will make this problem go away.

Eh, exclaimed I, what kind of solution is this that costs 25k.

Backup and rest, responded them.

Mssschheewww, mschewed I, accompanied by a 75 degrees side eye.

At this juncture, I stomped out of the building before they proceeded to further insult my intelligence and pockets. Backup and reset….mschew…this kamanyilo was for the pope. As if their gonya hadn’t already eaten enough of my dime. As if my parents didn’t pay school fees. As if I go around being known as one of those IT chaps for nothing. Kale they survived I decided to walk out. Singa I was one of those fighting bakiga, they would have seen.

Henewe, I reached neutral grounds and proceeded to do the backup and reset myself. As I was doing this, I noticed the glass of my back camera was peeling off.

Banange, thought I, this is what I get for ignoring the malaria my phone has for too long…now it has worsened to celebral malaria.

I pulled a magnifying glass out of my pocket to take a closer look. Okay okay…I don’t have a magnifying glass just lying around in my pockets. But maybe I should, it sounds like a fun idea.

Imagine, you meet one of those annoying people who talk a lot but their output contains little substantial matter. Imagine you then pull out your magnifying glass and proceed to intensely examine the area around their mouth. When they inevitably ask you what you are doing, you tell them with all the seriousness you can master, Gundi, I’m trying to find the point you are trying you are trying to make. Boom! While they are still trying to remember how to use their mandibles, coz their brain has frozen from trying to process the north and south pole of your insult, you hit them with a left hook by standing up, putting the magnifying glass away and declaring that, Nope, they have zero point, no, scratch that, negative point, and even a collabo of John Speke, Christopher Colombus, Stanley and all the other great explorers would also fail epically at trying to find their point. Imagine you then walk away in slow motion while Bittersweet Symphony plays as the soundtrack of that moment and the wind blows your kaweke around easy easy. Just imagine how nice walking around with a magnifying glass can be. Shoot, that was one long sentence up there!

But guys, was, Shut your mandibles! as big an insult in your schools while growing up as it was in mine? Sigh, the simpler days.

The reaction after, Shut your mandibles, is unleashed!
The reaction after, Shut your mandibles, is unleashed!

So, yes, in the absence of a jobless magnifying glass hanging around in my pocket, I brought the phone closer to my eye to inspect the diseased camera.

Eureka, screamed I.

The closer inspection had revealed that no, my camera wasn’t peeling away as earlier feared. Instead, it was just the protective polythene, that’s put their by the manufacturer, which was trying to retire from active duties. Wait now, if this was indeed a protective polythene, this probably meant the camera itself might be alright.

To calm my excited self and prevent an excitement-induced heart attack, I went and emptied my bladder. If there is one thing I learnt in those o’level chemistry classes, it’s that urine is a known transmitter of excitement and other high strung emotions like anticipation, crushes, nervousness, jealousy, horn, FOMO, love, euphoria, morning wood… Try it, taking a leak should reduce this kind of feelings significantly.

I returned to my desk after leaking and removed the protective polythene. I then started the camera app, pointed the phone randomly into the air, closed both my eyes, like a professional photographerĀ and KWA, took a diagram. Upon examination of the diagram, o-mai-gad, the thing was properly clear. Nada smudges, nada blurry areas..nada aliens in my pictures…nada! This was too much goodness of the universe to absorb so I did the only logical thing I could think of, I went and took another leak.

Morals of the story, because of my ingenuity I’ve now saved up 50k that will be misspent this weekend, that Mutasa Kafero chap is no longer my guy and ignorance is expensive.

Aya, you can now lean back.


Written by Byagaba Roland

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