A laptop

Mbiya Theo Ngandu

My Friend, the HP9000 Computer

"I’m an HP9000 computer, and I was bought in the US in 2012 so that I could be used by Theo in South Africa. Theo collected me from the Johannesburg Post Office, we went to his place, and, as he switched me on, my new life started. I was so fresh, fast, everything working as intended, the sound, the whizzing hard drive… I was perfect. I was immediately useful to Theo by doing whatever he needed me to do. I was always ready to work, and he took care of me by cleaning me, updating my software, scanning me for viruses, keeping me in a cool, dry place. In return, I do all this web research, connecting Theo to the world through the network. I still do it well, even though I am kind of an old-fashioned computer at 7 years old. No, I’m not like those new touch screen computers, but I get the job done, and I know Theo loves me because he’s held on to his old friend all this time."


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A still from a documentary film. A man wearing a flat cap and a coat with a fur-lined hood stands in a street

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