The only good fundi in the world is your barber
-Street wisdom in Nairobi
By the way, by all means possible, avoid foolish and stupid people. Trust me. By foolish I mean the guys who claim they did not see your call or your text or that email. You know the folks who soil the toilet at parties. Or your close friends who want to date or lay your sister. Or those shitheads who turn to comedians when you leave them with your girlfriend for a second. Or folks you lend your bed for a romp, wetting everything along the way and forget to tidy up your bedroom.
By stupid I’m referring to folks who flatly refuse to repay you back the cash they owe you. Ignore your calls. I am referring to folks you can never bank on when you are in shit. They have been called drinking buddies. Folks who are there for football matches, nyama choma, and the booze but if you lost a relative, even the closest one the much they can do is comment on Facebook or write a hastily cobbled banal message and some MPESA contribution and you never see them until the next drinking time.
Fools and buttholes will always with us. Perhaps, I am one to someone. But avoid them by all means. You will save yourself time and money.
By relating with fools over the last three years I have lost about Ksh 100,000. You will think that I am a fool and I hardly take my lessons, but I am a fool so that you can learn. By the way, if you give money to relatives, consider it a donation (by the way no close relative of mine has screwed me for the record) but I have had incidents from guys that are worrying. And resist from the temptation to do business with relatives. If you must, scrutinize their character and make the right judgment. Trust your mind than your heart.
Away from general knowledge, let me share some two or three unrelated incidents before I let you know the right friends to have in every place. You can skip to that part if pressed for time.
I had some good friend. We did a couple of good and bad businesses together. One day he came up to me and he told me that his brother is sick and admitted at Mathare and he wanted Ksh 10,000. He was to repay in a few days. Everyone had refused to give him, given his misery tendencies and bad debt-paying record. But we were tight buddies and I could hardly turn him down. To be safe, I gave him Ksh 6,000. Days went. Months went. Soon, I wanted him to help me in some business and gave him another Ksh 15,000, for goodwill(rad bribe to get a business premise). The deal he was to facilitate never went through. Ideally, he was to give me my money back. Wapi?
Needless to say, I persuaded him. I cajoled him. I pressurized him. I insulted him. I swore on the grave of my grandmother that I will break his skull and feed his stupidity-poisoned brain to my cat. Only that I didn’t own a cat. I was desperate for the money and my life would have unraveled differently had he returned the money back. He ended up telling me to go f**k myself. I wanted to organize some thugs to teach the SOB some how to deal with men. It was the second time he had gotten me into so much deep shit. It is not so much the fact that I was broke and desperate as the manner with which he casually dismissed my impassioned pleas. I almost changed my political orientation.
See had I dropped the sucker the first time, I would never have suffered the second loss. I tolerated him; he screwed me, unfair and square.
There was another friend who used my goodwill and connection with decent chaps and ladies and went on a borrowing spree from them behind my back, including once buying my confidence to fleece my best friend some 80 grand Gs in exchange for a job, only to for us to realize that the money had been sent to his other number and the job was never forthcoming. But I digress.
On Boxing Day, last year, I was on the verge of moving out. I had been postponing the moving out, partly because of the financial implications of moving out, but mostly because I drunk the money. By December I was at a point I could not postpone, anymore. Rather than ‘eat’ the money or drink it, I decided to get myself new furniture in a bid to discard the makeshift things I bought after campus. I was coming off age, either way.
Back in August, I had ‘road-shopped’ some beds I fancied and noted the price. On Boxing Day, I went to the workshop and I met some fairly tall, dark and burly man in typical workshop wear; red vest and a cotton olive green trouser. The man had fat cheeks, which should have warned me. Men with fat cheeks, according to a theory propounded by mayne Plato, are stupid. So the man I met was actually my clansman, the better for me to haggle in my first language. We agreed I will have my things come new year or at least by January 3rd. Simple. Clear.
Pardon my naivety, but I always deal with people on the basis of basic honesty. And I thought my order was way too simple. He walked me almost a kilometer to the nearest ATM, whereby I gave him 60% of the cash and I pled with him that I will need those things, since I had paid for my new house. Two days later he called me at 7.21 am. Now I hate calls from outside the family or closest friends before 9 a.m. He wanted more money. I told him to work with what I had given him but he told me, he had already exhausted it.
The following day, I passed by his workshop and gave him more cash that brought the sum to 95%. I didn’t ask for the receipt, assuming that he was a man of his words. For the record, he had told me that he is a church goer, a Sabbath keeper, no less. So I was moved to give him the job, partly because he is my clansman, but better still a fellow Adventist. By the way I can be irredeemably daft.
I left and agreed that I could pick my stuff, within the first week of January. In fact I gave an extra day up to 6th.
Then he turned biggest butthole I have ever done business with. He virtually did nothing. By January 20th, he had not made anything. I had to move to an empty house. Otherwise, my rent was ‘going down’ as we say back home. Then the phone calls begun. I pleaded. I threatened. I persuaded. All in vain. After too much pressure, he decided to make the bed. He made a bed that I had not ordered. On the day I went there, he asked for Ksh 1000, to finalise the painting and other final touches, I could pick in the evening. I gave him, in the hope that having come all the way, I could not give up. In the evening he had a stinking explanation not my bed. Then he never picked my calls any more. Until I had to bribe a police officer in order to chase him…
What these two ordeals have taught me is what I should have learnt before I turned 24. Anyway, from the experience I gather that you need friends in the right places. And they are…
- 1. Police officer in strategic Police Stations
He has to be shrewd and helpful. You need a police in Pangani Police Station, Central Police, Nairobi Traffic, Kilimani, Buru Buru and Kileleshwa. And as soon they are transferred, get new ones but keep the older contacts.
He has to be a bull and full of balls. They always come in handy when dealing with screwballs like my fundi, you know.
- 2. You need a GSU for a friend
Preferably a former school or college mate. They are good for knocking sense to stupid folks who grab the ass of your fine lady in a restaurant.
- 3. Someone in the military
These one are good at feeding you some pricey secrets about the country. But more importantly, they were good for alcohol before the government started taxing them. They used to supply it in on the cheap. But they are good in defense, especially when arrested by the police.
- Someone influential in various banks
Sometimes, you need a quick loan. Or skip that queue. Or some good financial advice. OK, get someone shrewd to see you through, before you get a loan from KWFT or Faulu and you will never know what hit you, if you miss paying even by a nanosecond.
- 5. Someone at KRA
If he or she can help evade tax until the government get its act together, the better.
- 6. A good DJ
For those complimentary tickets to their shows for your junior siblings, nephews and nieces.
- 7. Politicians
For easy access to power. It helps for those right connections. Like when you want that position at a high school for you niece.
- 8. A good GP
In these days of terminal diseases you need a top drawer medic to occasionally check you for cancer or something. Never think that you are too young for such.
9. A good lawyer
The older you grow, the likelier you are to find yourself in murky waters. Like that divorce settlement. Or the kid you mindlessly sired and you became rich and the mother wants to get rich through the kid.
10. Pilot or air hostess
Just for fun. They can also get you cheaper stuff from their numerous journeys across the globe. Perfumes, colognes, phones and other fancy electronics.