I’m sure we have all been in a situation where you are talking to someone and you’re knee deep in conversation but you don’t know what their name is and asking them their name after an hour long conversation would break the chemistry. I don’t know how people called Jack look like but I will call him Jack.
Right until I had a conversation with him, I was oblivious of his existence. I saw him almost every day on my way to work or to the market but I really didn’t pay any attention to him. Even as I sat there on a stool by the side of the road enjoying a pineapple, I could see how other people were oblivious of his existence.
After his first statement, I for sure thought Jack was a stalker and his second statement was even more suspicious. He goes like, “Your dad doesn’t buy you grapes anymore?” then he goes further and asks, “how is your mum and sister?” All that just catches me off guard, for someone I didn’t know he knew an awful lot about my family. Going with the flow I ask him how he knew that who he calls my dad is actually my dad. He laughs it off and says he could be a very good private investigator. I think to myself, perhaps that’s my cue to take off. But I figure let me live dangerously and see what else he knew.
Eating fruits on a stool by the highway is the most peaceful feeling I have had in a long time. I wasn’t worrying about work, money, life I was just in that moment enjoying life, enjoying my pineapple. It even crossed my mind to take up an internship in the shop. Crazy I know but why not.
After high school, Jack was determined to make money and he sort all means possible. He started off by roasting maize by the road side and that is where he got the capital to start the fruit business. He tells me he started the fruit business with Ksh. 400 (about 4 dollars).
I ask myself, how much maize does one need to sell to be able to give birth to a new business. But I figure it’s not just about the money, it is more than that, it is the resilience you need to keep at it and focus on your goal. He wakes up very early to go to the market, by 9am he is usually back and ready to entertain his customers. Surprisingly, even after waking up that early he usually closes shop by 10pm.
He says currently, with Ksh 400 he can’t even stock up his stand. His goal in the beginning of the year was to get a stall in a nearby mall but he didn’t take it seriously and that opportunity passed him. He however would like to have several branches around and attack the need of healthy eating in different estates.
As I sat there, watching the way he approached clients and talked to them, very friendly, familiar, African if I may add, like the bartender you would want to talk to as they pour you your drink, but in this case, slice your fruit. He is ever smiling and very cocky but you can tell he is very hardworking which may be hidden in the fact that he can have you eating three bowls of fruit as he hooks you in conversation.
He adds on and tells me he has a farm but hasn’t had time to work on it given his current working hours. My eyes are opened by what I discover sitting there with my bowl of fruits in hand, we might be out there “hustling” with men wearing suits but we are not alone, the goal achieving community is bigger than we think.