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So sometime back, I was doing my attachment in this company. It is kind of a huge company and it has many departments, and at the department where I was attached, which was IT, there was this old mama who used to sell clothes in the office. She would come with like two full gunias, and then when it was time for the tea break, which was around ten, people from various departments would fill in the IT office, and the place will be turned into a boutique!

This is my hustle, she used to say when asked. Hii dunia kila mtu lazima akuwe na hustle despite what you are being paid monthly.

I did not know that was the trend in most offices or companies. I thought, hmm, maybe she just says that because she is a natural-born hustler.

Then, this day, I was at a literature event, and there were all these writers talking about life in Nairobi. Someone asked one of the writers a question about hustling in Nairobi, and one speaker, a lady, went on to explain to us about the hustle in the place she worked out.

Humorously, she told us how when you reach the office, it is like another market place, in a certain desk, there’s someone who sells groundnuts, in the washrooms, you will find the women trying out clothes form a certain workmate who sells them; in yet another desk you will also find another groundnuts’ seller, who claims his groundnuts are the best,

Basically, she said, it’s all a hustle. In Nairobi, she went on to add, you cannot just depend on one source of income. That will be stupid.


Yesterday, I met yet another woman, a writer too, who told me the same thing. She is an editor at a certain magazine, and when we met, the first thing I noticed is she was carrying a large bag that contained a lot of socks. Curiosity got the better part of me and I asked her what she was doing with all those socks, and she started pitching her hustle to me. I did not have enough money on me, so I did not promote her, but if I did, I would buy one pair just to show my support. That is her hustle.

For me, I am not a natural-born hustler. But the lesson I learned from these women motivated me; and like them, I would want to get into the hustle of Nairobi. Who knows, maybe one day you will find me selling groundnuts in an office somewhere. If you do, please buy my groundnuts. I promise they are the best!

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