I know how to turn on my Bluetooth. But ask me to play a Youtube video from my phone to my smart TV (because what other TV can you have in 2015?) and I will draw a blank. I can’t tinker with a phone. I have an Iphone 6 and with no single song in my itunes. icloud? The hell is that? I use my phone for calls, Whatsapp, M-Pesa, SMS, social media and to stalk Toni Braxton. I don’t get attached to phones. I don’t get attached to anything really. Apart from Toni.
But there are guys who swear by gadgets. Gadget boys. I don’t understand the obsession. This itch that you have to get the latest and the best. That you have to talk Bytes and Megabytes. The only bite I want to…Aw, forget it.
For the longest time I have been looking for a guy to write about technology and gadgets and all that convoluted stuff. But not in that geeky way. In a fresh fun way that can’t alienate the girl at the back. (That’s you Francis).
To find him I had to climb onto a donkey and go through ragged hills, sleep in a cave and rub two sticks together to make fire to keep warm enough to proceed the journey the next day at dawn and finally find him in a cave where gadget boy spend their free time. There we had numerous sessions on how I like him to write about gadgets.
But I found him. Hanafi Kaka. That’s his name. His name sounds like a tool that can jimmy a door. Something you keep in your glove compartment of your car. Something you can’t let your child play with.
Gang, meet the wizard of Coast, Hanafi Boy
Hanafi, put down the blunt for a second and jump in.
I don’t know much about Steve Jobs. But I’ve heard he was this hairless guy with an ego bigger than his genius and he only ate apples picked by virgins under moonlight. That his house had no furniture because no carpenter in the world could ever meet up to his standards of perfection. Oh, and he was also the guy who came up with the iPad, but he never obsessed with the tech as we do; spooning with our newly bought Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus and serenading Xbox and PS4 console pads. The guy did not care that Bose earphones were the best in the business or that the Chinese would soon be selling us phones with names too complicated to say right. Huwawaweiyi and whatevers. Yet here we are, his spawn, hawking our eyebrows for drones and Mac Book Airs.
And I know this obsession with gadgets can be intoxicating. But it’s necessary. Because we are gentlemen (and ladies) and we don’t compromise with this shit. We don’t stick to version 9.0 when 9.0 and a half is out. I mean, come on, what are we without our gadgets? And before all the ladies start fanning their faces with their hands going all Mmhmm! That’s what I’m talking about, let’s just be clear I’m referring to the PG 13 kind of gadgets. Bose earphones. Beats by Dre Pills. High Definition drones and the kind of gadgets mommy said girls will only share with us if we buy them wings at KFC.
We don’t carry around our secret Christian Dior clutch purses and fat shoulder bags. We leave those on the shelves at Mr. Price because we don’t want to lose our wives. So obviously we only have room for a phone and maybe a smart watch. If we take it a bit further it would be a pair of Google Glasses hanging from the nose, just because we can, right? Which is often for a quick Instagram selfie.
The kind of gadget you wield introduces you as a man, you know. A black leather whip says you’ve read Fifty Shades and you think you rule the world somewhere between your ears. A pink power bank says your wife decides what briefs you wear. Walking around in Google Glasses only proves you’ve gone mental, unless of course you accessorize it with a chilled martini cocktail in your hand. Shaken, not stirred. Then you’re half way into being a bona fide gentleman. It’s a guy thing, ladies. You wouldn’t understand.
We love them light, sleek, and black. Or white if you are of those guys who sip hot coffee with your teeth first. When it comes to size, we go for the ones wide enough to accommodate our well-fed sausage fingers, because we don’t want to type the wrong things to the maid, who will tell the neighbour’s maid who will tell her boss who will tell your wife. And she will leave with your dog.
But then again, gadgets too big to fit in the pocket are a NO-NO unless they stay in the office, the house or if you have one of those magical bags Hermione Granger had. For most men, losing our minds on gadgets and the latest tech is a matter of principle. There’s an undiscovered science to it. We are obsessed with and possessive of our gadgets (PG 13, ahem!).
I remember my first ever gadget to own. You always remember your first, you know how these things go. I was twelve and my mother had just bought me one of those Walkman CD players with spongy earphones. Me and my Enrique Iglesias induced queer dancing dropped it one day and it could only work if you kept it slightly away from you. It came to be known as The Don’t Touch Me because while it played, you couldn’t touch it or it would go off. I became the most popular kid in the neighborhood, man. And I charged twenty shillings for every song the other kids listened to on my Walkman. Then trouble fell from the sky when one kid nicked five hundred shillings from his mom’s purse to listen to all the Enrique Iglesias albums my mother had bought me. His mother found out. And after mercilessly flogging her son, she was at my house going all mental on my mother for raising a conman. Haiya! She wanted my gadget destroyed for corrupting the other kids. And my mother agreed. Not while I breathed. I wrapped the thing in a fine Marlboro nylon and buried it in a hole behind the house for a whole week until they had forgotten all about it. So on the night of the extraction, I dag it out cautiously. And there it was, glowing with beaming heavenly rays at my face. My Preeeeeehhhhhciuossssssss!
Maybe someday a scientist crazy enough to look into it will discover that men have a bug buried under our brains that gnaws us when we can’t keep up with annual iPhone releases as fast as we stain our collars keeping up with every skirt that passes by. And they will name it La Bugarisia Gadgetica de Hombres, The Gadget Bug of Men. I imagine a missus yelling at her husband: “Kimani! You’ve spent 17,000 on earphones na wathotho hawajakura runch!” and Kimani is shrinking in the couch like a scared little thing because his wife is from Nyeri. And he says: “Erewa thu, my sugar. I’m a man. I have that Bugarisia Gadgetica de Hombres. Ni hivyo thu!” Or maybe they shouldn’t discover it, Nyeri women will open up our skulls and pull it out.
Then what? We stop loving Whisky, boobs stop being sexy and we start patting other people’s dogs along the road? Let us obsess, bwana!