If I remember correctly my first mobile phone was a Motorola 7200 that I got in 1997 or 1998 from Norbert at Mizpah Computer Resource Centre. It might have been a loaner but I seem to recall that I had it for a while and even brought it with me to High School (Fish Hoek Senior High).
At the time I was doing computer repairs and the next phone was a Siemens S3 that I think I got from a client. It was in desperate need of a new battery and I'm quite sure that it had reception issues too but it was definitely a step up.
Then there was a brief flirt with a Nokia 2110 but I seem to remember that going to my sister when I got a Nokia 5110. I was (not so secretly) really after a Nokia 6110 as that phone feature IRDA and had more "business" features such as a calendar that I really wanted to play with. The 5110 was on contract through Vodacom via Nashua Mobile and I still remember my number - 082 320 2161.
After that I went to pre-paid and grabbed myself a Nokia 8120 costing the princely sum of ZAR2500 but it was the (mobile) love of my life. Alas it wasn't long for this world and after a nasty accident involving coffee it was replaced with a Nokia 5210. After that I think went as follows:
Thanks to http://mybroadband.co.za/news/cellular/99838-the-first-ever-cellphones-sold-in-south-africa.html for some of images of the first few phones.