Her Uber taxi from her house in Buruburu to Juma’s office in Upperhill had cost her Kshs. 200. She had never paid that little amount since she could remember. Dougie had hooked her up with the promotion code. He always came through in such instances. Her cheque wouldn’t be ready for the next 2-3 days.
Juma’s office stood on the highest ground on Upperhill on the 12th floor of Uhai Building. The building had attracted a lot of press in the construction stages. It had only taken the Chinese Shaanxi contractor 6 months to complete it. The building housed more than 10 NGOs working in different fields in the health industry. Despite the enormity of the office, the Breast Cancer Foundation had open spaces from the receptionist to Juma’s office. Juma’s desk had only a glass partition allowing him a little privacy.
Privacy was something Makena did not enjoy. Every prospective client had to come to her small living room that housed her office. The only couch in her house now felt like those public furniture at Jevanjee garden written, ‘Don’t just sit there, rise up and do something.’
“I want you to take this with you too,” Juma said. “Give them as complimentary to our audience. I will get in touch soon.”
The meeting was a brief one. Approval of the hashtag, new rules, ceremony date set and complimentary t-shirts and caps. Makena was grateful the question of Viva had not come up. Her plan B artist was Joelise. She did not like Joelise much; first her dreadlocks marked her average, just like any other wannabe artist in Nairobi. The real put off however, was the rumoured boob job she was alleged to have had and that was the more reason she had to get Viva.
When her Uber dropped her at the basement, Mark was waiting. He had agreed to drop the package containing T-shirts and caps to her house later that evening.
“You are such a good cook,” he said.
“Yeah, she is really good huh!”
“Who, you hire someone to cook for you? Jesus!”
“Hehe my Mama Nguo. She always insists on making something for me.”
“Interesting. So are we going to talk about yesterday?”
Makena had avoided Mark’s eyes the whole time they were having dinner and the tension between them was growing.
“What? I got drunk yesterday and came to your house, done.”
“Makena, is everything alright?”
“Hehehe everything – no everything is not okay! See, this is my life, my office… that corner you see there.”
“Makena, you have to stop comparing yourself to others. This is just the beginning, baby steps dear. Hey, if you don’t get anything, please get this. Working from home is great, no traffic, no interference – see. The only thing you need to do is be disciplined with your time. Create a routine, draw a schedule stating clearly when to work on the computer, meet clients and even take a break. You will be surprised how productive you will become.”
“I know Mark. But I want a physical address, even if it’s in downtown Nairobi.”