How many have read those words and immediately went back in time to a moment they were robbed off their precious phones, or thought of someone who has? Well I’m in the latter group. No phone of mine has ever been stolen, what has happened though is the all too frequent ’drop-phone in-toilet’ but I have a waterproof phone now to avoid this death. I do know a number of people around me whose phones have magically disappeared from their possession. I’ll point you right on to my colleague Emmanuel Chenze who has lost more phones that I’d care to count increasing his distrust of Nairobi people. I don’t blame him.
Many have succumbed to various dubious tricks that thieving masterminds have come up with to take away your precious device and leave you high and dry with no connection to the world around you (Internet, friends and family). I have heard a number of stories of how this mostly day light robbery takes place and I have to say, Kenyan thieves are creative. The work put in is outstanding to say the least.
There are things you can do in order to try trace the whereabouts of your device once it is stolen with many software apps available, but also a hardware solution made locally that I talked about a few weeks back. However the stress, inconvenience and pain brought about by the robbery that happens can really bring you down.
Why do I bring this painful subject up?
Yesterday a friend of mine pointed me to a blog that had some interesting stories. At first, I wasn’t too sure what it was about, but after reading the posts that were there, I figured out the whole idea of this platform.
It is designed as a diary and has a couple of posts, more like a memorial kind of thing where people told stories of how their devices were stolen. These stories suck you in and almost makes you feel bad for the guy who lost his phone in between laughter.
…A fellow then gets in the mat with a big winnowing tray and sits next to me.’Huyu jamaa anaenda kula githeri leo’,I remember thinking. He later tells me to move a little , all the while pressing the tray against me. Mdogo mdogo I hear,’ Unaweza fungua window?’….
–An excerpt from My Phone Story
Speaking to one of the creators, Brian Bisera, I found out that it is more than a sad pity party platform. He hopes to offer more help to those who find themselves in such situations. How?
“We wanted to create a repository of information regarding lost devices whereby one can search for information such as IMEI numbers” says Brian. He added that this would be helpful in the event someone was selling you a second hand device. “You and take the IMEI number and search for it on the website to see if it was reported as stolen.”
“We also collect additional information such as where the phone was stolen and the OB number if the case was reported to the police” With that information, they hope to collect enough data to advise members in terms of crime hot spots and the marvellous tricks used by the thieving masterminds.
I think this is a pretty decent idea honestly and it can provide some entertainment for some while giving others a platform to share their story and find closure (whatever that is). Either way the site has a number of tips and tricks to employ if ever you find yourself in such a situation in the future…or even now.
Maybe Chenze can share a few stories…
Check out My Phone Story here.