With all the children and teachers at home, business was good. We started with Milimani.
When I married Fiolina, it was not just her extreme beauty that attracted me to her. Unlike most women, Fiolina is very wise, and thanks to her, I am a much better person than I was in the pre-Fiolina era.
Were it not for her, I would never have moved from my father’s house to our own home; I would not have been promoted to Deputy HM; nor would I have bought a car. Last week, she also pushed me to do something that I am sure is going to transform my life.
As you know, I bought a modern car from Bensouda a few months ago. Unfortunately, despite my good efforts, I have not been able to drive the car around — and we still use Route 11. I have just been throwing good money after bad — in order to make the car move.
Last week, I contemplated counting my losses and selling the car, instead of spending Sh 50,00 to repair it. I shared my dilemma with Fiolina.
“See? Your salary is not enough to make us live a good life,” she said.
“What do you mean?” I asked her.
“Dre, if you want us to live a good life, you must start a business,” she said. “The peanuts TSC gives you is not enough to give us the life we went. Forget about driving with such pay.”
My eyes opened. That night we deliberated on various business ventures that could fetch us alternative income.
After long consultations, extensive research and thorough analysis of the opportunities available, and capital available, we settled on two business ventures: Selling of kerosene and household goods.
“Mafuta haiozi,” Fiolina said, in defence of the kerosene business. “The people of Mwisho wa Lami lack a place to get basic household goods like sugar, salt, cooking oil among others,” she said. Indeed, there had been a problem ever since Maina was arrested for selling contaminated rice.
“I will take a loan to start this business,” I said.
“Let us start small,” Fiolina said. “Do you even have space in your payslip to take an additional loan?” She was right, my payslip could barely breath.
I got busy and prepared a rack at our gate, that is strategically along the main Mwisho wa Lami road. On Wednesday, I travelled to town where I bought basic household items from a wholesale shop.
I also bought a gallon of paraffin and raw materials for the mandazi venture. Besides household goods, we also planned to sell mandazi every morning. We had tried such business before but it had failed, majorly due to debt and the fact that we had no good business plan. Now we have one.
After buying the things, I went to Teacher’s Tavern to reward the body that would soon be filthy rich. I ordered half a chicken, chips and Stoney Madiaba. There were other teachers around.
“I am beginning business ventures that will revolutionise Mwisho wa Lami.” I told them.
“I have some advice,” said Kizito, who owns a posho mill. “Do not involve your wife. Business and wives do not mix.”
Although I did not disagree with him, I was not going to follow his advice. Before I left, I bought Fiolina a bottle of Limara spray and two black handkerchiefs.
Unlike other lazy women out there, the next morning, Fiolina woke up at 5am to make mandazi. She arranged them nicely in a crate and I, that morning, started moving with them around — selling. I had bought a new bicycle bell, which I kept ringing to attract people’s attention.
With all the children and teachers at home, business was good. I started with Milimani, Mwish wa Lami’s Karen, I was able to sell about 5 mandazis per home. I then went to the village proper. Here I also sold a good number, although most were on credit.
I also used the opportunity to inform everyone that I was selling paraffin and other household goods. By around 10am, I had gone through the entire village and I only remained with three mandazis.
On the way home, I passed by Hitler’s to get one for the path and to reward myself for a good job done. We took the remaining mandazis as we drank.
Fiolina was quite happy when I got back home. She had already arranged her wares at the gate for sale.
“Tomorrow I will make more mandazi since there clearly is market.” She spent the better part of the day at the gate waiting for customers. Whenever she went to the house, Branton was be left at the gate to do the sales. This was an example of family business!
The next morning, I went around Mwisho wa Lami on my bicycle, ringing the bell loudly, supplying to customers, receiving money, and getting rich. Most of the customers were my students, and I easily gave them on credit.
I finished all my stock by 9.30am and passed by Hitler’s before going home.
That evening, several boda boda riders passed by to ask if I had petrol. “The nearest petrol station is very far,” Nyayo told me. “You will become a millionaire if you start selling petrol.”
Later on, Fiolina and I reviewed the collections. Once you include what was out on credit, we had quite some money. We will soon make enough money to open a petrol station.
Fiolina happened to know Maina’s wife and she contacted her to see if they can give us the drums they had been using for selling petrol as we contemplate going fully into the oil industry.
I thank God for blessing me with such a wise wife whose wisdom will soon make me a millionaire!