Since 1901

Watch out for fake, backstabbing friends

Born City

I bumped into an interesting post from Ken Mijungu the other day. He talked about a post by a lady who had a screenshot of a conversation about honey.

The lady said she sells honey yet her friends declined to buy from her and opted to buy from a famous trader. He was shocked and explained that such is the reality for all of us in legitimate business.

Your friends or acquaintances don’t put money in your pockets yet whenever they need something they call you first. What they should ask themselves is where do you get money to give them?

I have discussed this several times and it is usually a serious problem, especially in Nyanza and Western Kenya. In these regions, people think if they make you rich it will hurt them in some way.

Take for example, I sell hospital equipment and offer consultancy in security,  but when I meet people from my region or so-called friends who hold powerful positions in organisations that would pay me, they don’t think of me. When they retire or have children who need internship, they don’t approach the people they helped to give big jobs. They instead approach me. Look at the people working with big organisations and you will likely find that the father was given a helping hand by a friend and is returning a favour.

I know of a friend who bought a VX 200 series a foreigner leased from him, he had the choice to go to established leasing companies but decided to go for my friend’s as they had been introduced to each other. Within a year my friend was able to buy another one. When the foreigner asked to buy the vehicle for personal use my friend gave it to him for free as a gift. The reason was that he had he helped him make money.

I have written here before that if you visit Java on Mama Ngina Street, you will find very familiar faces are regular customers. Most of us met there and we do business with each other so as to elevate each other. Most of us cannot be in a golf club. We all just meet at Java and help each other out.

The bond was stamped during the Covid-19 pandemic when we used to buy coffee and stand outside the restaurant. When we have to do a harambee we all come together for a common cause because we have interacted in business.

The same thing happens in WhatsApp groups where some set a day where one can advertise their business. I am in several groups like Matumbo initiative (where we used to meet on Fridays for matumbo and do a merry go round as well as invest, but the first order was to do business).

I am in Weche Gi Timbe, The Bench and General Global, groups where members first ask from the group when they need to trade. I also cannot forget my drinking group of wazees who have been drinking with me for more than 10 years. We christened the group “Corridor Jokes”. We also trade with each other, including buying fruits from one of us we refer to as Uncle who has a farm in Machakos.

I would like to encourage people to do business with each other and to elevate each other. Be like the Asians where when you come to my shop and I don’t have what you require, I pick from a friend’s shop to promote them. That way the money remains amongst you. As Ken says treat your friends and family with the same attitude and professional mannerism you treat other people. Don’t take advantage of their kindness or good heart. That way we will be good business people and thrive in the hard times.