This is the second part of Equity to M-PESA inconveniences. For my own experience, read “The inconvenience of Equity to M-PESA, Part 1“.
I’m a friend to Jack, who is the friend to Bram, who is the friend to Sydney, who is the friend to Lisa who so happens to have a crush on a guy called Fred, and who also, as fate would have it, is his business manager.
We always hang out, the five if us at a local pub every Friday and talk life, business, personal and everything else between heaven and earth. I always enjoy these weekly meetings, the conversations, the relaxed moods, up until Lisa starts on her ‘ Fred syndrome ‘. When the rest of us complain about the long working hours, traffic,national security, the rains and searching for that elusive Kenyan shilling, she goes on and on in her high pitched voice- which can be really annoying , I should mention- about how Fred is oh, so cute, or how Fred looked in his new suit or how Fred is so perfect. Its either that or how Fred is good in business.
I am not hating (okay maybe I am), I am just saying there are somethings that a girl can take, and listening to another girl go on and on about a perfect guy she has never met is not even close to any of those things. Ladies and their beefs – it’s how the world turns round, trust me.
“So, Lisa when do we get to meet Fred?” I asked, cutting into her latest narration
She paused,sipping her drink, her eyebrows drawn together as if by magnets.
“Friday after next, I think”
“You think? How come you are not sure?” Bram questioned lifting his hand up to signal the waiter.
“Because, Bram” Lisa drawled, pronouncing the r as l, “he has to go somewhere on Thursday, I don’t know if he will make it back by Friday.”
No surprises there, Lisa’s Fred was always on the road. We were dying to meet him, or rather I was, Jack, Syd and Bram were not as enthusiastic. Lisa had painted a picture perfect Fred to us and I just wanted to see if he was all that. I mean is not everyday you get to meet the African version of Adonis in all his glory.
“By the way Bram, thanks for the tip you gave me on advertising, at least my shop is picking up sales.” Syd said
“No problem man, ” Bram was smiling, his oh- am-good- at-this smile
“Jack, I need to sell my tablet” This from Lisa,
“I need quick cash, and am not even using it, it just lies there”
” mmm..I will see what I can do”
Jack was our sell it guy, anything you need to buy second hand or sell, he was the connection.
“Oh by the way, on Monday Fred..”
Oh boy. Here we go again.
Arrrg! These ideas just were not flowing. I rubbed my eyes, took a deep breath and pushed back from my desk. I was working on the company’s new promotional mix but nothing seemed to fit. I needed a break before my head exploded.
My desk phone rang, shrill, startling me.
“Hey, it’s Lisa”
Lisa? Calling? The gods are angry.
“Hey, what’s up?”
“So, Fred is joining us this Friday,”
“Will you be there? I’m just calling to confirm”
Oh, so it was about Fred, I should have known.
“Sure, I wouldn’t miss it for the world”
“You don’t sound excited”
“No, no I am, it’s just the project am working on is not coming through”
“Oh, OK, the promotion thing? Have you tried using animations for advertising and having agents in every retail shop for personal selling?”
“Oh my God you are amazing” I squealed excited
“Come on, I do have a brain you know, well get to it, I will see you Friday.”
I went back to my work again, ideas flowing out of my head like a river, gushing, wild, free.
On Friday, Bram picked me up and we both went to the pub. We were to meet up with Lisa and Syd and Fred was to join us a little later. I liked this particular pub because of its ambience. It had an African setting with large landscape paintings on the walls, the bar was long and semicircular making it look like it covered half of the pub. There were sitting booths made of soft, red leather couches away from the bar were people could sit in relative privacy.
We headed to one of the couches where Lisa was seated. After the greeting we sat down and Bram hailed the waiter. The pub was almost filled, with soft classic music playing from invincible speakers and a football match going on in the five mounted screens on each wall.
“Am famished, we should have Nyama choma platters “Syd suggested.
We all nodded in agreement. Food was brought to our table with our drinks and everyone dug in. Lisa was being strangely quiet.
“Prince charming stood you up?” I asked between mouthfuls.
“No, he has sent a text to say he is coming, it’s just that..”
“Just what? ” we all asked in unison.
She glanced at us beneath her eyelashes, unsure. Then she seemed to make up her mind.
“He asked me to send him 20K from our business account ” she said quickly, in a stage whisper.
“Why, what for? ” Syd asked.
Lisa shrugged her shoulders, her lips twisted in a mock frown.
“Maybe he wanted to buy something for the business ” I suggested.
“Naah, we don’t have any dealings planned out. I just find it so strange.”
“Find what strange?” A deep masculine voice asked from above me, way above me. Lisa glanced up, startled and her face wrinkled in wreaths of a smile.
“Fred..” she gushed, her voice shrill.
I looked beside me. And there stood Lisa’s Fred, who was very tall, and dark and who looked surprisingly like any other guy. I must say I was a tad disappointed, I actually expected him to have wings.
“Meet my friends, Angie, Bram, Syd, Jack couldn’t make it today”
“Pleasure is all mine” he extended his arm, greeting all of us then sat down beside Lisa.
“You will never believe what happened to me today ” he started, after placing his order.
“What? ” Lisa asked, concern lacing her voice like sprinkles on icecream.
“I was going to visit a friend of mine, who lives outside the city, and I knew I had promised to meet your friends today so I wanted to go and rush back. So am driving my car at the designed speed and it hits me I will not be able to make it to and fro. So I decide to go past the speed limit. Am really enjoying myself you know, my windows are down, the radio playing my favorite hits so I turn a bend and next thing I know, traffic police.” He pauses for effect, taking a sip of his beer.
“So am thinking, busted. I pull over when he waves me down, check if my documents are in order and put on my very innocent smile. So he walks over to my car and asks me to step out. I do so and immediately he sees my suit, his expression changes to one full of so much disgust am shocked by it, ”
“Why? ” Syd asks interrupting him.
“No idea, so he calls his colleague over and they start questioning me. I don’t have a plausible explanation as to why I was speeding so they take me to a mobile court and am fined twenty thousand payable to a Lipa na M-Pesa till number. Am relieved but it is short lived, I realize that I don’t have that amount of money in my M-Pesa.”
“So what did you do? ” I ask, fascinated by the story.
“I decide to transfer cash from my Equity Bank account to M-Pesa account. Mark you by this time, the officers are on my neck threatening me with a jail term. I wait thirty minutes for the transfer to mature, nothing. The officers see that am not sending any money so the decide to call a truck to impound my car”
“What! Your car is impounded?” Asked Lisa.
“No, that’s when I called you for the 20K, remember? , I will definitely pay it back when Equity decides to let me use my money ”
“That must have been frustrating ” Bram observed.
We all nodded, lost in our own thoughts.
“Fred, I should tell you about when we almost got arrested ..” Lisa started, her conversation mode back on in full blast. I noticed that Fred’s eyes glazed over though he appeared to be listening. And I realized, apart from Equity to M-pesa money transfer being a newly added life inconvenience, other things remained constant like Lisa’s big mouth. But I loved her still.