Sometimes in life, we need someone to intercede for us. You can agree with me that any person you can do a favour for is your friend.
Throughout my life, I never figured out the real meaning behind giving with an open hand until I met Ellie.
The regular nyama choma guy in the estate linked me with a life-changing contract after I aided him in landing a job. What I thought was just a casual thing to do turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.
For a year, I used to pass by his nyama choma joint, eat some mutura and head home.
The enticing part of his joint was storytelling with some friends at our estate, Kahawa West, catching up on the day’s events, from politics to World Cup and many more topics.
Okay, I know most of us are familiar with the recipe for nyama choma and mutura, from darkness (yani usiku usiku) to some kachumbari and pili pili.
The night is sweetened by the aroma of the delicious, tender-cut roast meat soaking in the heat. Ellie would roll it over and spice it up with salt and other flavours.
Whenever the queue was quite long, with maybe two or three customers waiting, you’ll hear him convince you calmly, “Yako iko kwa line inakuja, leo nyama ni mingi, hutalala njaa.” He would then laugh and add some charcoal to the grillers.
“Uneza kunywa juice hapo ama watch io game,” he’d add. His favourite white apron was labelled Shiba Ujaze Tumbo, loosely translated to Get Satisfied and Fill Your Stomach.
Stories had it that he was a university graduate, but I had never been keen on following his tale.
Not until that day when I was caught up in the rain while eating at his joint. My car was parked a few meters away, and I didn’t have an umbrella.
Nyama Choma roasted on a griller.
“You won’t manage to attend that meeting. Utanyeshewa. Nunua tu data ya Safaricom na ufanye zoom hapo,” he advised as he passed me my enticing meal.
He had accompanied my roasted meat with roasted potatoes – cooked with a crispy exterior and a fluffy texture inside. With each bite of the slightly crisp meat, I picked a roasted potato to reduce the conscientious effort of chewing.
“Sitanunua data leo. Inaisha haraka sana. Last time I was in a meeting, it ended abruptly when I was pitching to a client,” I added.
Most of the time, I run my business on the phone. I usually pass by my own firm once in a while. Since I started freelancing five years ago, I am more outsourced to train employees and aid start-ups.
I recently even graduated with a Master’s in Digital Journalism to expand my field as more firms were adapting to the changing digital landscape.
Thus I am always online on WhatsApp, Facebook and IG, looking for customers and responding to my posts. I run a Facebook page where I comment on daily occurrences, especially the economy. 30,000 followers si mbaya sana, ama.
In the comment section, I saw the opportunity to connect Ellie with a job offer.
In one of the posts, a lady had asked if I could connect her with a driver. She had been looking for one for months but was unfortunate. My Facebook page had tagged her as one of my top fans.
I didn’t know whom to connect her with until a few days before I passed by the nyama choma joint and engaged Ellie. He was a Bachelor of Arts graduate, and during the day, he did graphics and videography to supplement his income.
“Driving tumefanya. Hapo stakuangusha. I have a valid licence too,” he stated, showing me a scanned copy on his phone.
A few days later, he texted me, adding that he met the lady and was starting the job the next week. That was the week I passed by his place to catch up.
“I am starting the job tomorrow. Thanks, man,” he added as he sat beside me. The rain was pounding quite hard.
“Will you shut down this joint? Hapa ndio sisi hukula supper,” I joked as we laughed.
“No, I even posted it online, and it’s performing well. You can check my Facebook page,” he added. “I will employ my cousin,” he further stated.
“That’s nice, bro. Today, I haven’t bought data. Show me on your phone,” I responded.
He laughed and asked, “You are always worried about data. Which package do you use, mpaka unashindwa kufanya meeting.”
“Ahh, sometimes daily, sometimes on offer – hourly- or a week. Most of the times I am outside my house or the office,” I added.
“Okay, have you ever heard of Safaricom GO Monthly?” he asked.
Get yourself 400min + 5GB + 2GB YouTube + 1000sms + Free WhatsApp for only Ksh1,000
“I think so, but I have never explored,” I answered.
“That’s the package I subscribe to monthly to connect with my online customers for delivery and feedback. You can enjoy more control, you are worry-free about connecting with online calls and browsing.
“Ungekua ushafanya meeting hata sai,” he added.
“Sasa hutanionesha izo picha za Facebook,” I asked as we laughed.
“All-in-One (Prepay) or Post-Pay),” he explained, adding that I could get myself data, minutes and an all-in-one plan or even join Post-Pay.
That was easy and fast. In fact, I found four missed calls on WhatsApp. The rain had reduced, so I jumped into my car and headed home while in the meeting.
I didn’t hear from Ellie until nearly two months when he called me via WhatsApp. He sounded excited.
I paused from browsing some new trends in Accounting to catch up with him.
“It’s good to see you online. I followed your page, too,” he stated.
“Yes, nowadays, life ni GO Monthly tu. No worries with data,” I responded.
“Okay, Dan. So, by the way, thanks for the driving opportunity. While working for Marion, she introduced me to more opportunities. I landed a Masters’s scholarship and also work for her firm part-time.
“In one meeting, the clients were seeking an Accountant and someone who also understands the digital landscape, and I submitted your name. They’ll call you for a review. Kindly kua online. Ni wasee wa majuu (The client is from abroad, stay online),” he laughed.
I paced that day in the house, to and fro, waiting for a call. I remember I didn’t even comment on my Facebook page for hours.
Anyways, whenever you get a chance to do good unto others, do it with a generous heart. My firm was hired for the multi-million contract, and we started in Kenya and will expand abroad in a few months.
If I had bypassed that comment on my Facebook page, Ellie wouldn’t have gotten that job, and I wouldn’t have landed this contract.
Right now, I am aboard the SGR heading to Mombasa for the December holidays, and my monthly data expires in an hour or two. Subscribing asap to another GO Monthly. Ellie and I are set to discuss a freelance project we are working on.
Kenya Railways station at Dandora, Nairobi