My Encounters VIII
Why the Mango Business Failed
After receiving ideas from my comrades that doing business is better than being "written", I decided to start my own business venture. This was partly because jobs in Nairobi nowadays are not available unless one has a godfather or kitu kikubwa.(token) I had none of these so I opted to borrow some money from my uncle who works in in a place called Karen so as to start a business. This was after much plea and assurance that I would refund the money with interest after two months of business. Otherwise he had strongly objected to these saying that I should go and borrow money from the youth development fund. Not that I didn’t know where the offices of these funds were but the tedious and cumbersome process involved scared me.
My uncle had given me 2000 shillings for the business prospect; I took the money and went to the market where I bought oranges, pumpkins, mangoes, pineapples and avocado. The commodities I had bought on that day amounted to 800 shillings, those boys who had assisted me to carry the luggage, I had paid them 200 shillings, I calculated the profit that would accrue after selling all those and saw that it was 600 shillings, this was a good money for a day compared to working in a mjengo (construction site) where I was being paid a paltry 200 shillings, I thought.
I chose a good site in Mukuru market where I could sell my commodities, so I started expecting customers to come and inquire or buy the commodities, but by the end of the day only two people had come to inquire about the commodities and only one had bought two oranges, so I carried my luggage and went to the house feeling very desperate, in fact I had left no food stuff in the house, no kerosene, no (unga,maize flour) no vegetables. This was because I had expected to do the evening budget from the profit accrued from the fruits.
Since I had nothing to eat on that day, sleep could not come my way. So I woke up and an idea struck, why not eat those mangoes instead of sleeping hungry?. There and then I chose good looking and ripe mangoes and ate around I0 of them, I also washed down the mangoes with one pineapple, at least now sleep could come my way.
The following day, I woke up feeling hungry since I was used to ugali, (maize flour) not mangoes for supper, and since I had no breakfast I celebrated on oranges, this time changing the diet, I ate a round 25 of them until I was done, incidentally my neighbor happened to pass by and when she saw me squandering oranges she inquired, “kwani did you go home overnight or somebody brought you the oranges?”. “These were brought by my cousin from home” I replied. Then give me some” the inquisitive neighbor demanded. I gave her about ten of them, this gave me the morale to distribute generously to my good neighbors the oranges, pineapples, pumpkins and mangoes “brought by my cousin from home”. When one neighbor learned exactly what had happened, she laughed and laughed uncontrollably the moment she sees or comes across me. This had made me the laughing stock of my plot, and this is exactly why no one can persuade me to start the business prospect again, ¾ of the avocados became rotten since I could not tackle them at once, so I threw them on the bin.