Hustle: My life as a hawker!

Some of you know me from my days as a journalist, chicken farmer or simply the blogger who shares her tales from Sweden.

Whichever category you belong to, thank you for reading. Now, back to what got me typing this blog post.

My first job was a Hawker about 14 years ago!

I had just cleared high school and was still living with my parents as I waited to join University/College.

So, one evening, as I pepetad (the act of lighting firewood or charcoal ) my mothers rusty jiko (charcoal stove), I saw a shadow hovering me. Stay calm, this is not a horror story. Anyway, where were we? Shadow….yes. So I looked up and there stood this man was wearing a cheap yellow shirt, untacked in his nylon pants. He said hi….and no…the rest wasn´t history. Keep up, this is not a love story and if it was, I still wouldn´t have dated him because of his shoes. His feet donned sharpshooters. If you are reading from Kenya, you remember those shoes and if not, please google any photo of an African pastor to understand what type of shoes I am referring to.

So we exchanged pleasantries and the guy identified himself as a sales representative of a company whose name I hardly remember. So, he was selling toothpaste. I had a few coins saved from my pocket Money from high school so I bought some of it. But there were conditions from my end; that he would introduce me to his employer. He agreed.

So the next day I had an appointment at some dingy lodging room which served as their office. I swear, I still smell and visualise that room whenever I think of it. The smell was a combination of fading bar soap, fornication, last nights vomit and pee. The room was so dark but I can recall seeing a tiny bed that acted as my employer’s chair. The flowery polyester beddings that covered the thin matress will never leave my memories.

Looking back, I can’t help but think of how much danger I put myself in. A female teenager in lodging, with a male stranger who was supposed to give her a job. Did I even mention that my parents were not aware of this hustle? Many things could have happened but they didn’t. Maybe the gods of ambition were watching over me.

Anyway, without signing any contract, or even being taken through the background of the product, I was hired immediately and sent to the field!And just like that, I began my career as a Hawker in Ngong Town and it´s environs. Guys, hawking is not for faint-hearted. I did this job for two days and only sold one piece of toothpaste. I begged, threatened and even refused to leave some places hoping someone would sympathise and buy but no! Just one!

I went to people’s houses, sold in matatus, walked into shops and supermarkets and in two days I only made sh 120 (1 dollar). Guess how much was my cut? Sh 30! And that my friends, is how I quit my first job and focused on my studies which would later lead me to where I am now in life!

So, what is your story? Tell me all about it in the comment section!

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