For the major part of his life, Tomi had desired to own an iPhone. Quite weird, you might say. But I can’t blame him. I can’t blame him at all, because he wasn’t born with a silver spoon and he has had to endure sharing classrooms with a bunch of spoilt kids from rich homes flashing their smartphones in his presence as they would pose for various selfies after each class, while he managed his Nokia ‘torchlight’ phone.
Tomi had been understanding all this while. He understood that he came from a different home and should learn to be content with what he has. But on a certain Tuesday evening, back from school, he couldn’t help it anymore so he confronted his mom — Funke.
‘Mom, when would all this enduring stop?’ he asked.
‘Enduring? Boy you better tell me if someone has been bullying you in school so I can treat the person right!’ Funke said.
‘Lol. Relax, mom. I am talking about my phone. My mates in class are using sophisticated smartphones and I’m stuck with this thing. It’s embarrassing,’ Tomi said.
‘Emba what?! Wait. Just wait. If the phone can allow you make calls, send texts and help you see the road when the power is out, then you shouldn’t be embarrassed because it’s doing what it was made to do,’ she replied.
‘No, mom. Phones do more than all that these days. You know, send instant messages, snapchat great moments, tweet your thoughts and take high quality selfies,’ he said.
Hissing and shaking her head, she replied, ‘It’s clear to me that you are not serious and have your priorities mixed up. When I was your age, we didn’t even have mobile phones not to talk of smartphones. So you better keep on enduring it because I can’t afford an iPhone or a Samsung, or better still, you can call your uncle who should be coming back from the US next week to get you a smartphone for your upcoming birthday.’
And that’s what he did. Fortunately for him, he called his uncle at the right time while he was in an Apple shop, so he was able to get him an iPhone 5s.
Tomi finally owned the phone of his dreams. He was now able to ‘feel among’ during the selfie sessions after classes and tweet his thoughts — from what he was presently doing to how someone driving just splashed mud on his uniform with their car tyres. He immediately got so attached to and reliant on his phone. He hardly had a decent face-face conversation with his loved ones because he just had to quickly reply the instant messages. He began to live in his phone…and the thought of ever losing it scared him so much.
Two weeks later, on his way to a wedding ceremony in which he had to use a bus to get to, he took about 50 selfies.
Suddenly, there was a gun on the neck of the driver, the robber commanded the bus driver to stop the bus, and of course he obeyed.
‘Everyone get down and bring out all the valuables you have on you right now before I blow your brains out!’ the robber said.
Everyone did exactly as he commanded. Everyone, except Tomi. His heart had began a 1oom race the moment he first saw the gun so he quickly hid his iPhone. The robber began to take possession of all the valuables that were brought out. When he got to Tomi, all he brought out was the money he had on him.
‘Young man, you must think this is a toy gun, abi?’ the robber, terribly angry, asked then made sure he cleared Tomi’s doubt (or ‘smartness’), ‘POW! POW!!’ He shot into the sky.
Tomi began to shake uncontrollably with the gun now pointed to his head.
‘My friend, will you bring out that lovely iPhone you were taking selfies with throughout the journey, before I literally burst your head! Your iPhone or your life?!’ the robber said.
After hearing this, various thoughts flashed in his mind. The thought of losing his phone was a very scary one that he never thought could be overcome by the present thoughts — the thought of losing his life and not getting to see and spend quality time with his loved ones again, the thought of not achieving his dreams, and the thought of not being sure of his destination if he died at that moment as he had been postponing giving God a chance in his life by surrendering to Jesus. It was a moment of epiphany. He realized that all this while, his mum was right about what she said the other day — he had misplaced priorities.