I was a little girl, born and raised in Botshabelo (the 14th largest township in South Africa). The year 2010 was the year when I was in grade 7 attending my primary school in a wonderful school known as “Unicom Primary School” which is located in a small township known as “Tweespruit” in the Free State Province.
Feel it, it is here, and the year is 2010 when the FIFA World Cup was to be hosted for the first time in South Africa. 2010 was a year of success, a year when Tata Madiba and Winnnie Madiizela Madiba were still exhaling carbon dioxide and inhaling oxygen. The year 2010 was a year when I could have my very first cell phone and join the cool kid’s club.
At the tender age of 12, the topic “appropriate age to have a mobile phone” sparked arguments at home, as my dad stated clearly that I was under no circumstances allowed to have a phone at that young age. However, because I was a mama’s baby, in addition to having being a born a lawyer at heart, I gave my mother the most incredible speech her ears ever heard.
From the onset of birth, I was asthmatic: which meant my airways became inflamed, narrowed and would swell, thus producing extra mucus and made it very difficult for me to breath, “Hey mom, that’s one reason to get me a mobile phone, in case of emergencies, pretty please mommy”, I said. Reason two, “Oh beloved education how I love you, how you give me keys to open many doors”, this reason which I am certain many children use, is the reason of education and being able to do research for assignments and for school projects.
The third reason in getting a cell phone was for talking photos, downloading music, videos, games etc. It was also during those sad times when I had a two-gigabyte memory card whereby I would take photos and constantly need to delete because a new song was out and my memory was full. The bonus reason only known to my friends was searching for each one of our names and surnames in Google search images and laughing our faces off.
The last reason was of course communication, being able to communicate with friends and with family. Moreover, communication means Facebook and lucky enough for me, 12 years was the exact age for when children can use the application. There was also MxIt, an application whereby my schoolmates and I would constantly chat, open endless group chats and have jolly good times. Nevertheless, the most glorious gift having a mobile phone was reading stories on FunDza and one particular story series I loved was D-siders.
In the end, on my 13th birthday my parents decided to buy me my beloved and most special mobile phone that allowed me to have endless knowledge about the world around, take endless photos with friends, call friends and family, download, listen to music, play games and get instant internet connection. Best of all, it was red in colour which happens to be my favourite colour.