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Daily Nation : January 26th 2014
12 Lifestyle humour After losing money selling ‘mandazi’, time to try quail last year, during the teachers’ strike, together with the laugh of my life, Lupita Fiolina, we started selling mandazi to the good people of Mwisho wa Lami and its expansive environs. The business venture started off well, and we were able to constantly supply the “tea escort” to willing residents every morning. The first days were bullish, E but those who know Mwisho wa Lami people will tell you that although they are blessed with many abilities and talents, the willingness to voluntarily pay for goods and services is one area that God forgot to bless them. And since taking goods on credit is one of my people’s greatest hobbies, our mandazi business soon experienced serious cashflow problems and we had no option but to divest our resources. At the time of closure, almost everyone in Mwisho wa Lami owed us money, and in the days following the closure of our business, most told us how they remembered they owed us money and how they would pay when the economy improved. Some of them, like Rasto, would avoid meeting us. Nyayo, for example, insisted that he would only pay us when I am delivering mandazi next. But a few weeks later, all this was forgotten and in fact some of them have had the audacity to come to ask me to lend them some money. Following this, I vowed never to be involved in business again. The laugh of my life, however, remained hopeful and told me that we had chosen the wrong venture. “We did not have a good busi- ness plan and the market was scarce for our product,” she said. She kept reminding me that she was busy looking for an opportunity and somehow convinced me to promise to give her money once she identifies the opportunity. Last December she went to her home for a few days and, on her return, said she had come across a business opportunity that she believed would make us veryone remembers how Sunday January 26, 2014 SUNDAY NATION ARTSCENE Another season of drama BY ANTHONY NJAGI email@example.com THREE NEW GENRES have been introduced in this year’s annual Kenya Schools and Colleges Drama Festival. Stand up comedy, mime and modern dance have been introduced to give variety to the festival that has nurtured thousands of raw talent and entertained millions over the years. The competitions start this month at the zonal and will gradually go to districts, counties and regional level, culminating with the national event in Nyeri in April. The theme of this year’s swim in money – literally. She, however, did not want to tell me about it unless I committed to give her Sh5,000 to start out. I resisted this but, after being offered juice, among other fundamental benefits, I gave in. I gave her Sh400 to start with. Of course I had no plans to give the rest. The next day, she went back to her home and returned with four small birds in a small basket. “What is this?” I asked her. “These are bisindu,” she said. I reminded her that bisindu were only kept by men. “What would people say when they hear that a woman is keeping them?” I asked her. “It’s not my problem,” she said. “They will be jealous when they hear the money I will be making?” I laughed out loud. “No one has ever made money from bisindu,” I told her. Indeed, several people in Mwisho wa Lami had tried their hand at keeping bisindu but none of them had been successful. Nyayo arrived as we were discussing this. Laughed loudly “It is because they do not know how to keep them,” she said. “Kwanza the eggs are so good and they are expensive,” she added. Nyayo and I laughed loud. “Bisindu do not lay eggs,” Nyayo said. “They fall from the sky.” Fiolina disputed this but we laughed at her. She insisted that they lay eggs and even said the four she had come with would lay eggs after about a week. We told her it would never happen. Indeed, a few days later, STAFFROOM DIARY mwalimu andrew two of the four little birds laid eggs. We could not believe and we refused to eat when Fiolina wanted to cook for us, fearing we could die as we did not believe they were real eggs. A week later, my brother Pius travelled home for Christmas holidays; and completely changed my attitude about the little birds. “Can I get many of these quails to go with them to Nairobi?” he asked us, a day after he arrived. I had not even known they were called quails. “These things are hot cake in Nairobi, and everyone is looking for their eggs.” He then asked us to get him the most we could find as he promised to buy each quail at Sh40 and eggs at Sh20. “You mean quail eggs are more expensive than chicken eggs, why?” I asked. “When you take them you always meet luck in everything you do,” said Fiolina. “No,” said Pius. “Quail eggs treat so many diseases including anaemia, TB, diabetes, cancer and Aids. Children also become bright if they eat two quails every day.” We tried to get as many quails from all the people we knew but could only get eight. But a day before he left, Fiolina went to her village and returned with 40 quails and 50 eggs. Pius bought the quails at Sh40 and the eggs at Sh30 per egg. I could not believe my eyes. With the small profit Fiolina had made from the sale, she bought another 15 quails, and 10 eggs, which hatched a few days later. Seeing such prospects, I started getting involved in the business and now referred to it as our business. I also went to see the person who had sold them to my wife and was surprised to note that he kept over 250 quails that laid about 100 eggs every day. “There is money in this busi- ness,” he said. “I get orders for the chicks and eggs every day.” Indeed, during my visit, several customers visited him to make orders. “The price keeps going up every day and I am sure by the end of the month, eggs will be going for over Sh100 each so if you are interested in making money, this is the time to buy.” A few days later, Pius called me to find out if we could get more quails and quail eggs for him. “I need the maximum number you can get,” he said. I was pleasantly surprised that he said he would be taking one at Sh50 and the eggs at Sh40. “I will be happy if you can be sending me 100 eggs every week,” he said. I had to move with speed. The venture has moved from being Fiolina’s to ours, and had now become my business. I applied for an emergency Sacco loan, which I used to make a small house for them, bought 60 quails and their feeds from the person who had sold them to me. Major preoccupation Soon, this became my major pre-occupation and my visits to Hitler went down completely since every day after school, I went straight home to take care of them. This attracted a lot of visitors at our place but we had become wiser, we would not sell anything to anyone from Mwisho wa Lami. Nairobi would be our only market and Pius our only customer. We also occasionally ate them and their eggs and within a short period people started noticing changes in my skin complexion and even Fiolina commented that my memory had improved significantly. Last Tuesday I got a big order from Bensouda, our HM. Her sister was also interested in starting the business and she needed 400 eggs at Sh60 per egg and a similar number of chicks at the same price. This was big business as the amounts involved were astronomical. I immediately applied for a school fees loan from our Sacco. I expect to receive the money this week and, once in, I will move with speed to supply to her and Pius as well. Once they make their payments, our life will change for good. firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/mwishowalami The next day, she went back to her home and returned with four small birds in a small miniature basket. Illustration | Joe Nyaga festival is “Celebrating Our Diversity for National Unity”. To start the year, a Kenya National drama and film festival trainers’ workshop was held last week at the Kenya School of Government, Embu. According one of the facilitators, Mr Joseph Murungu, there is a growing interest in stand-up comedy. “Laughter sells and we want to explore the students’ talent at an early age,” the Premier Academy teacher told the more than 250 drama teachers and film trainers from across the country. He said the ideal comedy will have a bias on development issues to be brought forth within the five minutes allowed. He further explained that their will be no need for costumes or props. The teacher said the rise of stars like Daniel Ndambuki (Churchill), Jalang’o, Zuleka and Teacher Wanjiku are examples of successful comedians, both artistically and economically. Besides comedy, the WITHIN A SHORT TIME, PEOPLE NOTICE CHANGES IN MY SKIN, AND EVEN FIOLINA COMMENTED MY MEMORY HAD IMPROVED SIGNIFICANTLY.” —FIOLINA students will do Modern Dance. This is not contemporary dance though, but dance moves that developed from the 1970s to date. “We want to capture this talent too,” explained Ms Penninah Adhiambo, Vice Chairperson of the Drama National Executive Committee. “Dancer Kenichi Ebina has just won a cool $1 million in America’s Got Talent,” she explained. The universities will in addition compete in mimes.
October 13th 2013
January 27th 2014