Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The art of selling

Listening to one of my favourite breakfast radio shows, I was impressed at one of the presenters’ prowess in selling advertisers’ products and services. Despite the product being new in the market, he sells it as if he has been using it since he knew how to hold a spoon. This leaves one wondering how he manages to do that.

There is the popular story of the Maasai moran who was ripped off his fortune when he came to the city. As the story goes, the man sold his precious cattle and came to Nairobi city to look for greener pastures. With bulging pockets from all the money he had, he excitedly toured the city puzzled by the tall buildings, many cars and people. He was particularly impressed by the tall city clock along one of the major streets. As he dazed in awe at the phenomenon- big watch- a man approached him and somehow convinced the Maasai moran to buy the clock at a discount. The Maasai Moran thought he had made a kill but later on discovered that he had just been conned.

There is also the story of a learned man who dreamt of making quick money and getting onto the billionaire’s list without much of a hustle. He invested in many business opportunities-some long term and others short term. However, he was not satisfied with the money he made. One day, he met his match. A na├»ve young man asked him for his help. He wanted to know where he could get someone to buy his gold dust. The get-rich minded man saw this as an opportunity to achieve his lifelong dream.

Without thinking twice, he inspected the gold dust and quickly made an offer to the young man. I always imagine as they walked to the bank to withdraw the money, how our greedy friend was drooling from all the money he would make from the precious mineral. After sealing the deal, our friend rushed to sell the gold dust only to learn that it was valueless dust, he had just lost his hard earned money.

Deceit is not the way to make a sale- I say it should be left to shameless con men. A lecturer once told me that a good marketer can sell anything. Just like the radio presenter, by believing in the product, being confident and having a strong voice can sell anything. Many young people, freshly graduated from institutions of higher learning find it hard to market themselves before potential buyers. If you cannot sell yourself, you cannot sell anything…trust me!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A high School Love Letter

Sweet Rue,

How have you been since we were last together? I hope you are enjoying your work. I cannot claim to have been well. The memories of that night keep me company every passing second. During the day, classes drag on and I hardly follow what the teachers are trying to drum into my Rue filled head. I don’t know what to do. I don’t think I can ever find the words to clearly express the fire that you have lit in me- a low glowing fire that warms me even when we are miles apart. A fire whose glow has made me see who I am.

It is now preps time and if the teacher on duty catches me writing this letter I will be in trouble. I hope you understand the trouble I am going through. Writing this letter is not easy as I am watching out for the teacher on duty but what worries me is our boarding mistress. She despises me. I am not one of her favourite students (don’t ask why but I will tell you when I reply the letter that you will write in response to this one). Anyway, she might open this letter and read it because she has to post our letters. I hope my best watchman comes back to work soon (he is on leave) because he does all that you ask him to at a small fee.

You have no idea how I feel about you. I have told all my friends about you and they cannot wait to meet you. Having a ‘working class’ boyfriend is a big deal. I dream of our future together and how our children will look like. I dream of a big wedding that will be the talk of the year. I know I am still young but I wouldn’t mind being your wife. You are my first love and you mean the world to me. Did I tell you that I still think about that night? Please wait for me. I can even dropout of school just to be with you. I know it sounds crazy but I would like to ask you to be my husband. I promise not to hurt your feelings and I hope you wouldn’t think of hurting me.

Before I forget, I would like you to come for my visiting day which will be on the first Sunday of next month. You have almost one month to prepare. Don’t worry about my parents. I told them not to come as I will have gone for a trip during that weekend. Please do not fail to come. I am sure you know what happens during such days. Come with food (especially potato chips and fried chicken) and I need some money for shopping. I am planning to ask for sick leave in two weeks time so that I may come and see you and celebrate my birthday. Last time I enjoyed being addressed as your wife by your neighbors. I want to come and feed you on home-made food because I do not like the fast foods that you eat. I know that your house is in a mess and I have to clean it up. Don’t worry I understand you because I love you. My friends don’t believe that I know Nairobi city. Growing up in the rural areas and going to school there has not given most of them an opportunity to see the city (or even step there). They see as if I have been to another country. They love the things that you bought me because they are from Nairobi.

I would like you to send me your photo. I miss seeing your handsome face. I want to show my friends how my man looks like. I want the whole world to know that I love you and that I am yours forever.

I hope you love the writing pads that I have used. I wanted this letter to be the best you have ever received. I hope to hear from you soon if I don’t I will know that the boarding mistress read it and I will prepare for a punishment.

Yours in love,

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Deskmate or Deskhate!

When I was young ( the age of class 3 to 6) sitting next to a boy was a nightmare. Before I went to boarding school, I was in a mixed day-school up to class 6 and most of the time the teachers had the final say when it came to the class sitting arrangement.

Its like they had a mission of mixing us or forcing us (girls and boys)to share even desks! So for the better part of my early school days, I had to sit next to a boy, share my books with him and never be seen outside the class with him.

We rarely spoke to each other and seated 'mixed' beat the whole idea of a deskmate and it became a deskhate! Instead of developing academically, most of us concentrated more on how to make sure you don't rub each other or your book does not touch his desk. If you ask me that was torture but maybe the older students in class 7 and 8 did not have a problem with that.

unfortunately, I never got to that level since I had to go to boarding school maybe I would have found out how mixed sitting was like.

But that was then and this is now or maybe not... I recently bumped into one of my forced-boy-deskmates and all I could say was "You have grown!"

Then he went ahead to remind me how I was 'Allergic' to him! I quickly reminded him that he was also 'Allergic' to me and being the man he is with his ego he defended himself and said that he was scared of -1- me and -2- being branded my boyfriend by the others. That is how awkward it was and I hope never to meet him again.

"Yeah right!" That is all that went through my mind but with time as he reminded me of how life was back then, I realized it was a stage that we had to go through. Liking the opposite sex comes much later in life and maybe the deskhate thing was too much for our age.

Maybe the teachers of today are not so old fashined and would never force their students mix-seat since there is no good coming from it!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Dealing with a familiar-nameless face- Survival tip

In life you meet all sorts of people. As you walk down the streets you see new faces everyday. Some are smiley, others are grumpy others are droopy while others a scrappy or Scooby-do-ish! Once in a while we identify a familiar face from somewhere and the name just clicks while others you just stare at blankly hoping that they have also forgotten yours! Well I have found myself in such a situation and all I do is smile through it all. Well here are some ‘Mish ideas’ that might just come to use when it happens:

When you spot the face smiling at you from far and ignore it and try to pass it absentmindedly. Now if the face says “Hi so and so” now you are in trouble because obviously the face expects you to call t by its name. For ladies maybe you can stumble through it with a “Hi girlfriend” thing or for jamaas you can use the “Niaje Boss or Buda” greeting!

If by chance you are with a friend and you spot the face you can work with the “Hi girlfriend” thing and the when she expects you to introduce her to your friend…ask them to introduce themselves since they can all talk for themselves! And by luck you will get a name for the familiar face!

The easiest way is to start a conversation with the face and pretending that you are old friends from somewhere. The best conversation keeper is asking about how his/her life is, are you in facebook? blablabla!

But the killer one is just passing the face without even showing any familiarity!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Why ladies check out each other

As I was walking back to the office from lunch, a colleague of mine asked me an interesting question- “Why do girls check out each other?” Before I could answer the question found myself scrutinizing another lady passing by. It then hit me that it comes naturally.

Most of the time we checkout each other in a bid to borrow ideas from hair styles, what shoes to buy, handbags etc. This is what you need to do in order to stay on top of the game. At times I find myself choosing what I would want from another chic!
There are those superstitious people who think that by looking at them and envying what they have is like casting a spell on them. Well I think it is far-fetched.

We live in world where we learn form each other. Men check out other people’s cars and go to an extent of even discussing them. A car is the same as a handbag, a pair of shoes…you name it!

It is all about learning from each other!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Recently, I was going through some of my friends’ walls on Facebook and I couldn’t help but notice how the word ‘Makmende’ kept popping up. Unfortunately, those around me had no idea who Makmende was. It was only after some time that I learnt that Makmende is a fictitious Kenyan superhero with origins in the 1990s and recently put to the limelight by a Kenyan music group called Just a Band. They call him ‘the super hero of your super hero.’

The Makmende phenomenon has grown to such heights that one would think the man is real. The Americans have the likes of Superman and Spiderman who make criminals pay for the wrong that they have done. And now we have created Makmende to solve our problems as we amuse ourselves making up creative sayings to illustrate his super abilities.

Maybe Makmende will solve Kenya’s issues. Maybe he will work out his super powers and put every Kenyan’s opinion in the constitution and give Kenyans a constitution. He is among the Kenyans who do not want to see a repeat of the 2008 post election skirmishes that tore this nation apart. Maybe he will be the one to end corruption and bring those involved to justice.

Makmende has helped us realize that we are the ones to make a difference in the country and change the system. Makmende is back because we want him back. There is every bit of ‘Makmendeness’ is each one of us. As Kenyans we have the power to drive the country towards achieving Vision 2030 because this is a hardworking nation!

Monday, March 29, 2010

With a Light Touch


A store that sells husbands has just opened in Nairobi City, where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates.

You may visit the store ONLY ONCE!

There are six floors and the attributes of the men increase as the shopper ascends the flights. There is, however, a catch.... You may choose any man from a particular floor, or you may choose to go up a floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!

So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband.

On the first floor the sign on the door reads:

Floor 1 - These men have jobs and love the Lord.

The second floor sign reads:

Floor 2 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, and love kids.

The third floor sign reads:

Floor 3 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, and are extremely good looking.

'Wow,' she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going. She goes to the fourth floor and sign reads:

Floor 4 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, are drop- dead good looking and help with the housework.

'Oh, mercy me!' she exclaims, 'I can hardly stand it!' Still, she goes to the fifth floor and sign reads:

Floor 5 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, are drop- dead gorgeous, help with the housework, and have a strong romantic streak.

She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor and the sign reads:
Floor 6 - You are visitor 4,363,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please... Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store. Watch your step as you exit the building, and have a nice day!