I wrote this story on 21st October 2002. Needless to say, I was young and very impressionable.
And of course if some parts seem cheesy, and the technology seems a little outdated, that’s why!
Some of my friends may recognize their names from the story so…
Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction and any resemblance to events and/or characters dead or alive is purely coincidental!
“Mommy, why are you standing here all alone?” “Hallo sweetheart,” she said as she bent to pick her eight year old daughter in her arms. She kissed her and held her close for a moment, then sat her down.
“I was just watching the sunset honey. And how was school?” “Hectic,” she said shaking her head, “Can blieve they took ‘way my teacher Ms. Omondi and brought someone else? I don’t know how am gonna cope with her.”
“Baby, you need to start pronouncing your words distinctly. How many times do I have to tell you that? Anyway, what’s wrong with your new teacher?”
“For starters, she looks like a Flagpole. She speaks like one too.” Mumbi said nodding seriously.
“And how does a flagpole speak?” “With a squeaking voice just like Sr. Kilonzo” “I didn’t know nuns teach in your school.” quizzed Mugethi. “They do now. How was work?”
“Work was fine. Aunt Nasieku sent me with those darn Smarties you always asking for.” “Wow where are they? Can I have them now?” “Yeah, I guess they’re in the kitchen”
Mugethi smiled as her daughter dashed for the kitchen. She was the greatest gift that God had given to her.
The board was made up of four members; Nkatha, Willy, Adhis and Mugethi; the original Sparks Entertainment members. They sat at the round table in the conference room. Nasieku had ensured that all the required things, copy of the agenda, notepads, slide projector, refreshments were all there. Nasieku sat with them, taking minutes in shorthand.
Mugethi briefed them about the visit of the business mogul, Wambiru. None of them needed to be told about the mounting pressure on them to stay in business. Adhis spoke up,” you guys need to be realistic. We are in deep financial crisis. If we don’t sell our stock, we will have to close down.”
“That’s not true,” Willy said, “If the state approves our proposal for the national dress, that’s our breakthrough.” “Do you have the designs, Mugethi?” Nkatha asked.
Mugethi nodded, “Yes, they are ready, could we see that Nasieku?” Nasieku switched on the projector. A male and a female model appeared on the big screen; each dressed in African designs.
Mugethi’s voice could be heard as everybody’s attention was riveted on the screen, “Ladies before you is the proposed Kenyan national dress.” The picture changed to one of a woman alone.
“The brown fabric depicts leather, the common material for most Kenyan tribes traditionally. The beadwork is also quite prevalent in many Kenyan tribes. This design can be modified into business suits, evening wear, and casual wear, with modifications for hot and cold weather.”
She talked slowly to allow everyone to see the relevant slides as the changes in tune with her words. “The male design matches the female one. It can be worn as a full suit, or broken with casual pants. As you can see, it’s designed for style, comfort and different occasions.” When the slides had all been viewed, the projector was switched off and the lights back on.
“What do you think?” Mugethi asked anxiously as she had designed the clothes.
“Great!” Everyone echoed.
“Yeah,” said Adhis. “But do you think the state will approve?”
“They will have to be crazy not to.” said Willy
“They have to,” said Mugethi. “Our future depends on it. And we do have the future.”
“When do they announce?” Nkatha asked Nasieku: “9th of November.” She replied
“Great. We have one month ahead. Ensure that copies of these designs are delivered to the state house, in person, by you tomorrow, okay?” “Yes ma’am.”
“That is settled, we need to consider our present dilemma.” Mugethi said.
“How long can we stay open under the current conditions?” Asked Willy.
“60 days, no more,” replied the C.E.O.
“This means that we need to raise substantial amounts of money before then,” said Adhis. “That is only possible if our design is approved. If not, ladies, we have to publicize our stock.”
“Let’s hope for the best. We will have our answer by 20th of this month.” Mugethi said.
“I am sure everything will turn out okay.” Willy said.
“60 days.” Adhis repeated, looking at her.
“Lets pray hard. And keep our fingers crossed,” said Nkatha. “This meeting is adjourned.”