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“Shiko has Opened a Salon in Westlands”


How do your friends and family react behind your back when they learn of your new business venture or a good fortune that has come your way? Behind those smiles and ‘I’m happy for you’ messages, how do they genuinely feel? Well, I’ll give you a glimpse of how they do.

I’m in a Facebook group that is a vibrant learning and exchange platform for anybody who is interested in the mitumba (second hand) business.

The group Mitumba Chap Chap is run by Grace Wambere and usually has very insightful discussions by group members about the tips and tricks, challenges, successes and everything in between about the mitumba business. So the other day, Grace talked about friends and family members’ reactions when they learn of someone’s new new business venture. The reactions are a true reflection of who we are as a society. I’m sharing this post with Grace’s permission. It’s a mix of English, Swahili and Kikuyu (with English translations). This is how it goes:

Reporter: ‘Niliona Facebook Shiko amefungua salon Westlands

These are the reactions that then follow from friends and relatives:

Former classmate (male): Woow! that’s nice by the way even back then at school Shiko liked plaiting hair.

Cousin (female): na nìguo endete athuri ene (and the way she likes people’s husbands)

Chama female friend: Westlands vile nikuexpe na watu huko wengi wamenyoa ?

Neighbour ushago male: Ma nanìguo ndakìendete gìkìndega tondù ndì mùirù (and the way I loved her but she refused me cause I’m black)

Best friend: Shiko hawezi kuwa na hiyo pesa kuna sponsor alikuwa anamkatia bybass na ako na bibi ?

Shikos mum: Mwathani arogocwo, Ngai Ùrathime wìra wa Wanjikù ùthereme (praise be to God, Lord bless Wanjiku’s business) 🙂

Shikos siz: Infact I was there yesterday to do my hair and introducing my colleagues (she paid cash)

Another cousin: Aremirwo kùiga mùthuri ni saloon ekùhota kùiga? (alishindwa kuweka bwana ni salon ataweza?) 😮

Auntie 1: Shiko kuma athie taoni etìire mùno na nìguo ndamateithagia ona arìkia form 4 akiaraga gwakwa (Shiko toka aende Nairobi aliringa sana, and the way I used to support that family even after finishing form 4 she was staying at my place) 🙁

Auntie 2: Shiko ni mtoto hardworking sana, ngoja uone vile atafungua branches.

Now all of them when they meet Shiko face to face they will tell her: awwww “I’m so happy for you!

Shiko’s best friend who said she has a sponsor at bypass is the one who will collect all the udaku and take it to Shiko though she won’t mention what she herself said ?.

Kwa ground mambo huwa always different, not everyone smiles with you is happy for you. Learn to do your things, live your life and maintain a very small circle of friends. Infact after Corona continue with the same trend, jiwekee curfews. Most of the experiences I share are actually things I have gone through. Hope this enlightens someone. Stay blessed.” -Grace Wambere.

Also see Irene Adhiambo’s inspiring story below.

Are you in business? Do you have an inspiring story you’d like to share? Email me at maryanne@mummytales.com and I’ll be in touch with you.

Mummy Tales is a blog that contains lots of helpful articles that will help you navigate your motherhood journey. Feel free to search the blog for other experiences of Kenyan moms that may teach you a thing or two. You can also follow me on Facebook, You Tube, Twitter and Instagram.



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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.


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