The Other Side

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If you stick your head around the right doors in this city you will see the dealmakers, the powerbrokers, the city hustlers, the moneymakers and their ilk sitting around a table building their fiefdoms. From these rooms, the city moves. If you plant your feet firmly on the ground, you will feel the throb of ambition and drive, reverberating through the thick carpets and into the hearts of men and women whose intentions and motivations are a rubric’s cube. Someone said that the greatest stories unfold in the shadows. That someone must have stood at the precipice of Nairobi’s money-makers, a place where deceit, peril, aspiration, isolation, passion and hunger rub shoulders in a small corridor that lead to both triumph and failure.

If you take a peek inside the Intercontinental Hotel’s Safari Bar, for instance, on a day that isn’t Wednesday, Ladies Night, when prices of every drink on the menu are knocked off by 50%, you will see men sitting deep in leather seats, under mood lighting engaging in intimate and seemingly grave conversations. They are talking about money. It will most likely be two younger men with an older gentleman. The younger men, (one of them actually) eager, bright, with master’s degrees tucked in their back pockets will be describing a brilliant if harebrained idea, their iPads glowing like crystal balls. The older gentleman will be sitting further back in his seat. He is the one who has to be seduced because he controls the purse strings. The pied piper. He has on an expensive but oversized suit. He’s wearing a green tie, which hopefully sends a message that he can be fashion forward but must be taken seriously.

He has, on his slightly wrinkled hand, a hand with well-manicured nails, a snifter containing two fingers of rich glittery Courvoisier. He swirls it absentmindedly as he half listens to the class act in a cheaper but much better looking- and fitting – suit. He knows how this cookie crumbles. He has been on this side of the table a million times before, mostly coming out of it richer, not poorer and that’s why he has earned his position at the head of that meeting. He knows the young men have ideas and skills he needs and he has the money the young men need – a beautiful dance of musical chairs has begun. One of the younger men says very little because he’s the brains. He’s the think-tank, the one who knows how the machinery works. He only speaks when it’s time to explain the nuts and bolts of the idea they are flogging. He is awkward, as most geniuses are, he’s is the steak, his friend is the sizzle, so he lets the chap with the glib and glitz knock this one out of the park because right now, it’s time for sizzle.

Scenes like this play out in numerous lounges across town; at Sankara’s Champagne bar, from that corner booth which overlooks the streets seven floors down; at Kempinski’s Cigar Room where suits bite off the necks of cigars and swirl expensive drinks as they count, grow or protect their money; at The Stanley’s Exchange Bar where men and women cross their legs and settle into a late evening corporate Capoeira.

This is the Nairobi many of you know. Where men wake up every day, slip into their best suits and their 25K shoes and step out and relentlessly beat the bushes. All day. Every day. You can feel the energy of all these men and women when traffic stalls in the major arteries that feed the city, it’s like an angry beast straining on a leash.

Then there is the other side of the city.

The side where a different breed of men, following a different kind of code, make the city rumble. It’s the side where graduates don’t bother using their degrees anymore. Where degrees mean shit. Where no interviews are conducted, no referees are needed and where men and women survive purely on wit, smarts, intuition and luck. This is the other side of the city where handshakes mean more than a contract witnessed by a lawyer. Where your Ferragamo shoes means squat if the other party doesn’t like the feel of your handshake. Where all you have is your name (sometimes last name) and your reputation. A place where men shake hands on deals and men who cross other men die at the hands of fate. And there, men start early, and they all start at the bottom.

You might see a glimpse of this side of the city when you go to Nyayo house to renew your passport, like I did recently. You know there is E-Citizen, right? You fill forms online, pay the money via MPESA, print those forms and go to queue at Nyayo House – an ugly long windy queue that snakes and curls in ways that I can’t even describe. But if you have no time to queue, you know yourselves, you spend some money because there is always someone who “knows someone inside.” So you will call him and tell him, “My name is Biko, I got you number from Trevor.” And he will ask “Which Trevor?” and you will say, “Big Trevor?…Bearded Trevor? The guy who drives cars on TV?” He will come for you from the back of the queue. These days the clerks have a uniform, navy blue blazers. They look like old jaded students of Patch.

Once inside, the guy looks at my papers, shakes his head and tells me I have printed the forms all wrong and I need to do it again and I also needed a lawyer to authenticate my papers and have my passport photos taken properly. He hands me my brown envelope and off I go wondering where I would bloody find a place to print my stuff because surely, cybers are dead right? Who checks their emails on cybers anymore, right? That’s the kind of silly question someone like me would ask.

As soon as I step outside the gate this boy, one of the many random people who mill about outside Nyayo seemingly doing nothing, steps up and says, “Unataka picha? I tell him “nataka photocopy kwanza.” He summons this girl in a blue sweater and tells her “photocopy.” She holds my hand across the street, right around the block to a building near City Hall, up two flights and into this small cyber FULL of people printing and photocopying and browsing from these old computers that belong in a museum of technology. She is known there. She’s the mayor. She finds a computer, sits down, asks for my E-citizen details, I punch my password over her shoulders as she looks away and starts printing my stuff in the right format, makings sure all I need is there. Then she tells me pointing at a busy “cashier”, “mlipe 80-bob.” I pay without question. She holds my hand downstairs (the lifts last worked right before KANU fell from grace).

We find our way to Bruce House, take the creaky elevator with about 200 people in it (Bruce House elevators are like a cattle dip) and walk into this advocate’s office. Behind the counter is a motherly woman. She doesn’t have a chair, she stands the whole time. On the floor are a paraphernalia of old boxes tied tight, and paper bags bulging with God-knows-what and a bagful of nails, which means the advocate is probably building a residential building in Mavoko. Or he uses the nails to torture people who have refused to pay what they owe. I was sure that in a soundproofed backroom of his office one of his debtors was tied to a chair with his legs nailed to the floor, moaning and screaming “I swear I will pay you tomorrow, just let me go!” You know, the kind of grotesque stuff that would amuse a lawyer.

What this woman does every day, is come to work and sign papers for chaps like me – that’s her JD. Her tools? A pen and a rubber stamp. You pay 1,000 bob for the service that lasts about 3mins. Before I leave there are already three people waiting, brought in by other middle-men like the lady who is holding my hand. It’s only 8:35am. As we leave I ask my handler, how many clients she takes to that lawyer gets in a day from Nyayo house. She says about 40 in a good day? That’s a cool 40K a day. And he hasn’t even gone to court or chased an ambulance!! His expenses? Rubber stamp ink.

How does she – my handler -make her money? I ask dumbly. She says she gets her money from tips from clients, from the owner of the cyber and I suspect from the lawyer, because she can take business elsewhere. And because she had excellent social skills, I handed her a tip of 250-bob, and if she gets 50bob from the lawyer per client and God knows how much from the cyber chaps, she can easily go home with 4K a day. That’s 80K a month. That’s a hell lot more than most employers pay graduates on their first job, hell even second jobs. So as you sit there with your degrees, trying to wedge your foot up the corporate ladder, earning 60K a month and taking 1meter bank loans to buy a car so that you can keep up with the image of the city, this girl is already ahead. And I’m sure she has other side hustles that run while she is hustling in town, maybe a fruit salad business in the hood, hell maybe she sells crocodile eggs. I wouldn’t be surprised if she buys shares and already has an investment portfolio. We go to Centonomy to learn how to make money, this girl goes downtown where she learns at the feet of the economy.

Later, she walks me back to the gate (still holding my hand) and hands me back to the same chap who handed me to her. He herds me to the side of the gate, and like a magic show, another young chap pulls a white cloth from his pocket, holds it behind my head as a ‘background’ and the first chap, now with a battered semi-professional Nikon in hand, snaps me. I look bewildered in the photo. Things are moving too fast. Like magic, the white cloth and its owner disappears, the chap removes the memory card, hands it to a guy barely 19-years old who sprints across Kenyatta Avenue to develop these pictures which hopefully will not cut out my forehead.

He is back in 5mins, with four passport sized photos. 200 bob exchanges hands. As I leave, an Asian guy with his family are getting ready to have their pictures taken. These boys don’t pay rent or tax or whatever. They could be sitting at home because where are the jobs?? But some genius saw how passport seekers were suffering and brought a one-stop shop to them. They are courteous. They are organized. They see opportunities a mile away. And they grab them. These guys will do anything. I suspect if you walked up to them and asked them if they can get you an armoured Humvee, he will say, “Waah, hiyo itakuwa ngumu…lakini ebu tuone,” then he will fish his mobile phone out, search for a number in the phonebook and turning slightly away from you (I don’t know why they do that) he will say, “ Ngugi…Ngash hapa, ule jamaa wako wa South Sudan….” They never say no to business and if they can’t get it for you, they always know someone who will get it for you.

All these chaps who attended to me were, roll drums, Kuyus. I know because they all started speaking to me in Kyuk even though from my forehead and nose, surely they could tell I wasn’t. They spoke rapid Kikuyu, the kind of kuyu the posh kuyus who take frappes at Art Cafe would say, “Uhm, I don’t understand that kuyu, it’s deep kuyu.” Oh so now there is deep kuyu and shallow kuyu? Is OK. There is of course the difference in language based on the region people come from. For instance we can’t understand shit guys from Ugenya and Alego say. Those guys speak funny but they think they don’t. Who, for crying out loud, says, “gonyo?” or “mita in?” It’s preposterous! Even though the dialect is weird I wouldn’t call it “deep luo” even if I had two frappes in my hand. I could call it weird luo. Know what I think? I think that as the middle-class make more money some of them tend to distance themselves further from their mother-tongue. To admit that you speak proper mother-tongue is now uncool. Because you bought an E-class (on hefty loan) and you reside in posh apartments on Kirichwa Gardens road suddenly there is “deep Kale” which you just can’t understand. Well, God is “seeing” you and your frappe.

Where was I? Yeah, the chaps outside Nyayo House. I’m told it’s the same kind of operation around Sheria House. Men and women who are surviving purely on their wits and innovation. Middle-men. And the money that exchanges hands downtown in a day is mindboggling. While we are busy burdening our credit cards to keep up with the joneses these guys are building houses with our photocopy money and chump change.

I recently had the pleasure of having a drink with this lawyer in town. We were at the Safari Bar at the Intercontinental Hotel, eating chicken wings and drinking whisky. He’s a self-made lawyer who started from the bottom, so he knows the language the streets of Nairobi speaks. A charming guy, very likeable, with dark humour as most lawyers I know do. He was telling me tales of many folk he knows who started out parking people’s cars in town and being tipped 100-bob and who diversified into other businesses and are now counting their money. Men who started as office messengers, going into town at 4am to clean over 100 small offices daily before 8.30am and later running errands in town for a fee. Those men are now doing so well, better than most of us with many followers on Twitter. He told me of men who came to Nairobi with only the clothes on their backs, knew no one in town, walked to work and kept their heads low, hanging on the coat-tails of bigger men and rising with them. Many stories of the phoenix rising from ashes. Beautiful inspiring stories of hardship and hard work that pays off.

I hate stories with morals to them, so cheesy, but listening to this guy, I learnt something vital; there is no such thing as “small money.” These guys respected the “small money” they were making, and they did much more with the small moneys than we will ever do with lots of money. We want to make a meter today! So we lose focus on the 20Ks that pass us by daily. I don’t know about your parents, but my mom was a primary school teacher. A primary school teacher! As in, she was called “Madam Jane.” Hehe. Woi. But Madam Jane schooled all of us (decent schools I must add) on a monthly salary that I easily make in a few days, yet I whine and complain how Tamm’s school fees is breaking my bones. My point: There is no small money.

Later, as we wound up the evening, I asked the lawyer guy, “So what do you think is the one cardinal rule of making money in this town?” And as he slipped US dollars in the bill, he said that of course there are the normal virtues of hard work, luck, positioning, networking etc etc, but in general, “You have to be willing to risk a lot to gain a lot.”

I think you can take that to your bank. Tell them it’s from Bikozulu.

 

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188 Comments
  1. My mother , Madam Elizabeth , a primary school teacher too saw my siblings and i through school (good schools too) and we never missed blueband and juice ,,, Very true Biko , we disrespect small money . Semi of this happens too at any insurance office . Corner house on kimathi street. Very good piece .t my experience

  2. If I ever forget everything i have ever read in bikozulu’s website,let me never forget this :“You have to be willing to risk a lot to gain a lot.” And that there is nothing as “small money” So help me God.

  3. I’ll be taking this to the bank very soon. And if they ask which Bikozulu, I’ll tell them, “big forehead biko. You know, like bearded Trevor. The one who likes writing about peeing and all.” 😉

  4. I wouldn’t know about you guys but I’ve been reading this blog since 2012. I don’t think I love anything more than the Biko in the first 4?5? paragraphs. The Biko that’s describing moods, how people are dressed. You can see how the characters come to life, you know, I’m sure if it were a novel or short story it’d definitely be a Caine possibly a Pulitzer contender. I’ve read more Pulitzer award winning authors than the average reader and those four paragraphs could have been written by Donna Tart or Harper Lee. Biko you are good. Really good. I’m sure some editor at Penguin or Harper Collins would see this and go “Where have you been”

  5. It’s a cardinal sin to own a German machine and speak deep kuyu, our pretentiousness only allows us small doses of shallow kuyo. So we will edit our laugh and say, ‘Digehota’ then speak rapid Briton with misplaced ‘Ls’ and ‘Rs’ Before going back to our hefty apartment in a jisty neighborhood whose rent we’re struggling to pay but we must keep up appearances least our fake friends shun us & decide they want nothing to do with us. But the downtown guy doesn’t care he does what it takes he puts his time in the fringes and he’s eventually rewarded. Fluid read biko.

  6. Bikozulu, I read your blog and all that crosses my mind is that God blessed you with a third eye. An eye that gives you the ability to see things in a perspective similar to ours, but at the same time be able to pause, think about it, put it into words and share with the rest of the world. I truly admire you! Excellent piece, just like all the rest! Merci!

  7. WOW! WOW! WOW! I dont know whom I should salute first- the writer, or the moneymakers? Quite a powerful weekend challenge

  8. Yawa Biko, I wonder why y’all Jo Loka always diss our Ugenya dholuo (which is
    slightly different intonations from the Alego dholuo)…

    Great read as usual.

      1. Once accompanied a cuzo for ‘kend’ somewhere in Jera, Ugenya. They literally had to find an interpreter for us visitors from Nyakach…hilarious experience!

  9. Well written Biko, I must confess I was not as keen when you were describing those from uptown. You got to downtown part and I looked possessed when reading the lawyer story and your experience with the middlemen/women.
    I quit formal employment 2 years ago, the best thing I have ever done, I tell people I farm and they cannot match my looks to the farm. I tell them money is my jembe, I don’t have to literally use a hoe to be a farmer.
    And I have some delusional folks who want to climb a mountain from the top, people do their time. It is important, instills discipline and humility in character.

    1
  10. One of the younger men says very little because he’s the brains. He’s the think-tank, the one who knows how the machinery works. He only speaks when it’s time to explain the nuts and bolts of the idea they are flogging. He is awkward, as most geniuses are, he’s is the steak, his friend is the sizzle, so he lets the chap with the glib and glitz knock this one out of the park because right now, it’s time for sizzle. <<< Love this! 😀

  11. Biko eti the lifts at Bruce House are like cattle dip?? Senji. When your passport expires again I will wait for you at the lifts and call security to have you locked up for badmouthing our lifts. Hehe. And I have a friend who works around Nyayo like the girl you described. Nigga makes like 3k a day and even decides when to take a holiday. Respect.

  12. You Know.. a thought came to mind that maybe that green tied, oversize suited old moneybags may have started at Sheria house…Wits. Nice awesome read as always….#NoSmallMoney

  13. All these chaps who attended to me were, roll drums, Kuyus. I know because they all started speaking to me in Kyuk even though from my forehead and nose, surely they could tell I wasn’t. I can’t stop laughing. Good job as always..

  14. Thanks for sharing this Biko. Entertaining and so relate-able as always. My car recently broke down and I had to take a matatu to work for the first time in over two years. that hour spent transiting in town, walking towards my stage, was so fascinating and eye opening for me. From the guys selling religious books and shouting “roho ni Yesu!” to the ladies selling clothes illegally and running away from cops every 15 minutes- there was a true hustle spirit I saw that I just don’t get to experience in my daily commute and life. I felt so inspired. My car is now fixed. But I have made it a point to take matatus and spend time with people who think and operate differently at least once a month. I think this will be enriching for me.

  15. There is nothing like small money…I like that and can I take this to a first tier bank being a small fish as I am? Good piece though

  16. As always, thanks for making my Tuesdays. God is looking down on you and seeing you…ati sielewi that deep dialect, when I am holding my frappes. LOL.

  17. Came to Nairobi with the clothes on my back,hawked stuff,got a small office job,took a small loan,my contacts in downtown helped me get a small shop for a side hustle,started working on online hustles(paid in dollars and maintaining a dollar account),selling motor cycle spares somewhere in the village,and still doing some brokerage and getting my commissions.. Went back to college,just got a better job,and my hustles are still alive.
    You just made me realise how tough life made my survival on wit become such a valuable skill….

  18. As always, this is an amazing piece. Ati deep kuyu, I die! That Nyayo house struggle is real. I was told they couldnt process my passport because my folks ID/Passport numbers did not reflect in their systems!

  19. when i become a grandmother i will be the ‘djeli’ to my unborn grand tois and tell them the tale told by a man with a big forehead. The tale? “There is no small money.”

  20. Alot of times I personally do not respect money. Either in order to do some impulse clothes buying or splashing it for entertainment with friends. I can ascertain that this article has talked to me. Hustle is real and money is real.

  21. On the floor are a paraphernalia of old boxes tied tight, and paper bags bulging with God-knows-what and a bagful of nails, which means the advocate is probably building a residential building in Mavoko. Or he uses the nails to torture people who have refused to pay what they owe. I was sure that in a soundproofed backroom of his office one of his debtors was tied to a chair with his legs nailed to the floor, moaning and screaming “I swear I will pay you tomorrow, just let me go!” You know, the kind of grotesque stuff that would amuse a lawyer.

  22. Things are moving too fast. Like magic, the white cloth and its owner disappears, the chap removes the memory card, hands it to a guy barely 19-years old who sprints across Kenyatta Avenue to develop these pictures which hopefully will not cut out my forehead. #bikosforehead

  23. “It will most likely be two younger men with an older gentleman. The younger men, (one of them actually) eager, bright, with master’s degrees tucked in their back pockets will be describing a brilliant if harebrained idea, their iPads glowing like crystal balls. The older gentleman will be sitting further back in his seat… ”

    Been there. A while back we sat with one ‘suited’ fella at Intercon.He was in his early 30’s,too smart headed for a college dropout.An early bloomer with a rare blend of book and street smart.
    We pitched our idea passionately and he liked it. Too bad the project wasn’t entirely a success. But there are things I learnt from him that are very handy as I run my own business today.

  24. Hi Biko. Great story and great writing style. I need your input on my website. Also, I am writing a book and I need an editor. Is it possible to meet in Nai sometime between Sept. 25 and end of Sept.? If none of this is possible no worries. Great read and great work again. So inspiring.
    Peace,
    Gladys

  25. Good piece Biko. Next time I will get you a tisho with ‘Omera Inside’ scribbled on it so that thos rapid talking Kuyus know you well in advance

  26. Kweli there is no small money. Many are out there looking for mega bucks meanwhile others are making small bucks every minute of the day which adds up! Thanks Biko for the reminder. Great read!

  27. Mdaleene (67) You mean eerr … Perhaps this is a cartel of sorts?? What if Biko’s first docs were legit?? But eerrr … ” Boss you need to re-print, follow me … lol …The swiftness is kinda suspect, that’s given … But then again when I grow up, I want to be a ‘Kuyu’ lol

  28. A good writing as always. I was wondering where I would read more of your work after reading articles in Daily nation and True love till I accidentally found to your blog recently.

  29. Not the usual, but this piece is brilliant.
    We have a guy in our office who pays our rent for us. Our office alone,he gets sent by about 7 people who pay him 200 bob . Then there is the east wing who do the same. We have 7 floors in out building, we have 3 buildings. You do the math.
    There is no small money for sure.
    People who have to find a simple way to make their money go farthest, me thinks.
    I respect the hussle.

  30. I found myself nodding to this story, i have experienced sheria house and i admire the wit and gab from the middlemen and women there. To all nairobi ‘hustlers’ BIG UP. bikozulu, I’ve read your stories but this one, this is a nairobi fact file.

  31. This reminds me of pastor M who said that if you can’t manage small money, you won’t manage big money. I’m also encouraged to actualize my side hustle ideas.

  32. Great read as always. Risk taking is what you did too, when you quit lab work for this and it worked out for you. Want to emulate that.

  33. I totally associate with Nyayo hustle,and even more with Sheria house. People live large through hustling big…they often start small. And that Nyayo house uniform, now it’s easier to know who to bribe…Time&chance happen to all, that’s the denominator.

  34. lawyers are good people. we can never enjoy the grotesque things that you imagine that we enjoy. i will take your lawyer friend advise to the bank. good read Biko

  35. No small money indeed. Work with what you have and shut up, stop whining and get a life as Larry Winget puts it on his book. Thanks Biko

  36. The first time i encountered the passport size photo guys at Nyayo house i thought to myself, “what would Biko write about these?” Great minds think alike, huh? Great piece. Hope a short stories book is coming out soon, a ‘Looking for a rain God’ from our own. Waiting.

  37. …But Madam Jane schooled all of us (decent schools I must add) on a monthly salary that I easily make in a few days, hehe sawa ‘jowadwa’ Awesome piece Biko. Reading again for another dose of the ‘reality check’

  38. i just love this guy, together with his writings… and his forehead! where have i been? started reading the blog this year and i haven’t missed a blog since. good job baba!!

  39. what more can i add.uuuhmmm.
    atleast i now know whom to mention while in Nyayo house foreheaded biko,you know the one who is ever curious and bearded trevor,that one trevor.
    thats my new ‘abra kadabra’ magic words.
    No small money.thank you bikozulu

  40. What a read.Perhaps you should have added the ‘wallstreet’ side too,those tucked in sky scrappers in Upper hill or Westy and would make employment seem so fulfilling yet only the top like 1% are trully happy. Working your ass off for 12 hrs a day so that some senior guy at the top can report that the company made +12% Half yr Profits;He gets a hefty bonus, adds to his c.v how under his watch the company made profits and given afew shares in the company so that he stays.You who sacrificed 12 hrs a day,relationships and family time so that this profits are realised cannot claim this success as the former;you are rewarded by an extension of your contract for another 6months,bragging rights (to seem important to friends) and a promise of the corner seat of which some clandè of the big guy is already being groomed up for. Guess it’s true the corporate world is a triangle fixed at the bottom and only elastic at the top,all the efforts you put in only make the top go higher. It’s about time I take the risk and step out to be my own boss. The boat is safest at the shore but it’s going nowhere!

  41. Biko good stuff man…this made my day ”where men and women survive purely on wit, smarts, intuition and luck. This is the other side of the city where handshakes mean more than a contract witnessed by a lawyer. Where your Ferragamo shoes means squat if the other party doesn’t like the feel of your handshake. Where all you have is your name (sometimes last name) and your reputation. A place where men shake hands on deals and men who cross other men die at the hands of fate. And there, men start early, and they all start at the bottom.

  42. “mlipe 80-bob.” I pay without question. She holds my hand downstairs (the lifts last worked right before KANU fell from grace).
    This is extremely nostalgic BZ!Just last week I went through this.
    Love it.

  43. Power of a pen…great read! No small money,we must humble our small beginnings to usher in God’s blessings.
    Peace.

  44. Reality check! So many people are struggling with keeping up with the Jones. Look at the deep sense of dissatisfaction that permeates our society. People are not happy because people want more than they have. You can’t have more if you don’t appreciate the little you have.

  45. You have an eye for detail and a way with words man. This article lays bare a scenario of real hustlers of Nairobi at work and gives numerous examples of how many hardworking Kenyans beat all the odds to put food on the table for their families. These are the people who inspire me. I mean the lot doing odd jobs downtown. If an idling youth who is always complaining that their is no job in town cannot be inspired after reading this article, then I am not sure whether such a person will ever get inspired.

  46. always a great read biko. although if my math serves me right the girl earns 4k a day that makes about 120k a month… hehehe

  47. First time on commenting. great piece. as always … finally laid my hands on the book the fault in our stars thank you for pointing me to Its direction

  48. Oh yes there’s no small money. Let’s learn to respect all regardless of the car or suit involved, if any. A hardworker deserves respect, hustlers et all. All that glitters isnt gold. Image isn’t worth unhappiness. Thank you Biko.

  49. “late evening corporate Capoeira” Isn’t capoeira brazilian street martial arts and dance? How do they do that in a lounge?

  50. Indeed there is no small money. Up to this day i have never understood how my dad a primary school teacher took the three of us through boarding schools with his salo. Rest in peace Dad and Respect to all teachers! Hustle hard and surely it will bear fruit. Merci Biko.

  51. One of the best ones I have read here! Oh and I don’t know about the other tribes, but there really is something like deep kikuyu. You see there is a modern kikuyu which has come about because of ‘kikuyuizing’ words from swahili and english, and there is the old kikuyu which our grandparents used to speak. As more and more people become educated, more and more original kikuyu words become archaic. most guys who grew up in town have a shallow grasp of the language.

  52. I thot an average of 4k a day for someone working 5days aweek assuming there are 4 weeks per month should translate to 80k a month Biko’s math is just fine.

  53. I am a fish monger, your mtush mama , your mama nyanya and kitenge supplier..Many wonder why i waste time with little money, i laugh hard and tell them the little money runs my day to day activities…and yet they call me Daktari! tge hustle is real

  54. small money is sweet money. I enjoy my job coz of that. nalipwa 5k a month but if u add tips and deals hapa kule, I end up with 15k monthly. There is no small money

  55. i am teary…thank you man…i have loved Kikuyus romantically, but this piece, once and for all, has now made me love them wholly…you have nuanced tribe, business, humour, hustle, and morals in an easy flow…i swera next time i am in nairobi, i want to learn deep luo…and maybe even deep kuyu…hahaha….

  56. i like that where a handshake is as good as a signed contract.now whose hand do i shake so that i can receive my mail in time.i am not complaining but good money has a rich flavor of its own as much as have u seen bikos latest.i always arrive but of late i have to endure perils of a boat ride

  57. biko!i am ready to risk but i donot need a humvee hiyo itakuwa ngumu kidogo
    all i ask is my post.as the colonialists say i did not sail in the mayflower but i came when i could!

  58. hahahhahahahaha. #true story# ….. and like a magic show, another young chap pulls a white cloth from his pocket, holds it behind my head as a ‘background’ and the first chap, now with a battered semi-professional Nikon in hand, snaps me.

  59. I still read this particular piece to date Biko.I have read it countless times and again.Its book marked in my laptop browser.Just AWESOME INSPIRATION