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That unknown call…


After experiencing the intricacies of the GSM…a lot of us introduced a policy of ‘not picking calls from unknown numbers’.That is, calls from numbers that are not saved in our devices are roundly ignored/rejected. But if you live in Nigeria where circumstances will most likely warrant loved ones reaching you via ‘unknown numbers’ …you will review this policy sooner than later.

For example, there could be an emergency and an attempt is made to reach you but a loved one’s device is down…because ‘’there is no light’’.Also reasons like theft of a device or even “I forgot my phone at home’’…for people like us who still struggle with carrying a phone everywhere.I am doing a ‘slow but steady’ turnaround on my policy of not picking calls from unknown numbers… after some eye-opening incidents.

A lady lost her husband in a ghastly motor accident, recently. But she didn’t get to know until HOURS later…after repeatedly missing a call from an unknown number.According to those that assisted at the accident scene, the husband had managed to voice out her number –before slipping into coma a few hours later. The phone (apparently belonging to the husband) they found in the car was switched off. When the phone was charged… all the numbers in his call log were being called. That was how she and his folks were finally reached and was informed that her husband was involved in an accident, and had given up the ghost-minutes earlier.


He had a health challenge that only he, the wife and his doctor knew about.One particular morning…I was working on my laptop when a call (from an unknown number) kept coming in. Out of curiosity, I picked the call.It was from the school authority of my boy’s school.‘’He is seriously sick’’…they told me.

Honestly, there are calls that no parent deserves to receive. It wasn’t until all was ‘fine’ that I realised the following…
Pant o…I was not wearing.
Brassiere nko?
For where!

Even the kaftan that I managed to throw over my nightwear was worn the other way round. I still can’t explain how I survived going down the stairs that morning.We may only regard calls from certain numbers but when ‘life’ happens, “the crucial call” may NOT come from any of them.I have the class teacher’s number but on that very day…she was not in school. Sometimes, the REALITY on ground will far outweigh the inconvenience of picking that unknown call.

I thought back to many happenstances and stopped minding the inconvenience/irritation of calls from unknown numbers.Although, I do tell my contacts to send me SMS whenever they try unsuccessfully to reach me via ‘unknown lines’ but even that is no longer enough. A lot doesn’t come to the mind in emergency situations. People will rather make an attempt at the next quick option.

Some people have peculiar medical circumstances that HOW FAST a loved one/a personal doctor is reached matters a lot.Afterall, most devices now come with REJECT/BLOCK options. So one can always take care of irritant communications.

I am aware that a lot could be responsible for some people not picking calls from unknown numbers…issues such as one’s individuality, circumstances, and even the nature of one’s job. There are also people who struggle with communications.Besides, Nigeria is a specially difficult place to keep up with taking EVERY call that comes one’s way because we over-reach our limits here.

For example, I have received calls from individuals who would simply call to say “I saw your number somewhere and just thought I should call it.”Then, the unreasonable folks (you stopped taking their calls) who would resort to using different lines to contact one.A lot that goes on here is actually enough to make one embrace this principle…especially, if you value your time and are protective of your ‘mood’.


However, the advantage (especially with certain measures in place) is most likely to outweigh the inconvenience. It could even be a long-lost friend who has finally tracked down your contact details.

Some people have long forgotten business proposals left in some places and the call could be a favourable consideration coming from such angles.For people who have growing kids, this is especially very important.A neighbour said that a niece called her sometime back to complain that she was being sexually abused by the husband of a relation of theirs that she was living with.

And when she (the little girl) told her aunt what’s going on, that one threatened to set fire on her…if she dares accuse her ‘Pastor husband’ again. The young girl made that call to my neighbour from the phone of a stranger (that she begged to use his device) at the market.

In this article:
Chukwuneta Oby
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