The one with the somewhat nice voice said I had a nice phone, and maybe we could meet and talk about it?
The one with the somewhat nice voice said I had a nice phone, and maybe we could meet and talk about it? The next one that called asked if I was lonely, and was I looking for a Valentineâ€™s Day date?
At least those called; the rest just â€˜beeped.â€™ Hundreds of them, some of them two or three times.
What was most interesting is none of them knew who I was, and I didnâ€™t know them either. So why were they calling and beeping me? What makes people call strangers, or beep them and hope they will call back?
They are crank calls, a friend of mine said and they are sent by cranky people. That means there are a lot cranky people, with nothing to do, but look up telephone numbers to beep, hoping for some kind of contact.
It all started the day the City Beat magazine came out. Inside, on page six, we had a story on how mobile phones and e-mails had killed a romance. A nice little story and as an illustration, we used a picture of my phone with one of those messages that will probably be sent on Valentineâ€™s Day.
Unfortunately, as it turned out, my telephone could clearly be seen. It was no big deal, I thought, just another phone number. But, as it happened, it was a very big deal hence this story.
It started at about eight oâ€™clock that Tuesday. My phone rang once and stopped. Just a missed call from a number I did not recognise, what we call â€˜beepingâ€™ in Kampala. As a rule I do not return such calls from strangers, so I left it at that.
But the phone kept on ringing, just once and they were all from different numbers. It is really annoying and until that girl with the nice voice called and mentioned the phone in the City Beat, I was starting to think somebody had set me up.
It rang that whole morning and by the time I switched off my phone at 2:00pm there must have been more than 70 missed calls.
I thought they would stop by the end of that day but no, they kept on coming throughout the night, and all the next day.
I will never get to know how many people beeped me because, my phone can only keep the last 10 missed calls. When I asked Phillip at MTN, he said they did not have the facility to track my missed calls.
That was when I started to write them down. And the few I managed to are published here, see if you know any of these numbers.
But the question still remains â€” who are these people? What kind of person would â€˜beepâ€™ a stranger? Are these sad and lonely people, looking for any human contact? If they are, why not go down to the neighbourhood kafunda and get somebody to talk to?
Beeping for love and life