Humour: Even the pious can fall for absurd business ideas


Before I get to the core of this story, let me tell you about the amusing anecdote about a strange ‘doctor’ in the village where I grew up.

I describe him so because some of the shenanigans he exhibited border on the absurd, if not criminal.

You see Disco Matanga, for that was his name, was an expert in performing minor surgeries on minors, namely genital and oral circumcision.

For those not familiar with bush medical terms, oral circumcision involved cutting part of the small irritating organ that hangs on the roof of a baby’s mouth, known as uvula in proper medical circles.

I happen to have been one of those minors who underwent the oral circumcision through the hands of Disco Matanga, though to date I still wonder how I survived the ordeal.

DM, as he was popularly referred to, also doubled as a dentist and that’s where his insanity was most pronounced. Mark you; he did not use any standard dental tools.

Instead, the deranged doctor would ask the patient which particular tooth needed to be removed.

Once identified, DM would punch with his clenched fist the offending tooth to let fly out like a grain of maize.

I am told the eccentric dentist used to work at a government health facility till a day he circumcised a boy, who later bled to death.

Because of what was seen as sheer negligence, Disco Matanga was summarily dismissed.

One wonders how the government could hire the services of such a fellow who was always drunk, a pronounced squint showing through his thick rimmed glasses.

After his dismissal, DM opened a private clinic but I wonder how many people sought his services, given his negligence, insolence and drunkenness to boot.

I was thinking about this strange guy as I sipped beer with a new friend Ole Gunia in Mavumbi town.

Ole Gunia comes from the neighbouring Kajiado County and has been selling honey, among other assorted items.

By calling me out, Ole Gunia wanted to partner with me and other business-minded people to start up a honey business in Mavumbi.

For the last five years, Ole Gunia has been hawking honey all over the county, shouting ‘asali ya nyuki, asali ya nyuki kwa bei ya jioni’, even as early as 9am.

I told him that his idea was very good and I wouldn’t mind joining hands with him in this ambitious business.

Ole Gunia smiled sheepishly when I suggested that we name the business ‘Asali Asili Enterprises’.

He nodded in agreement as he sipped his beer, belching complacently as if the business had already begun raking in dividends.

I told him that to increase supply and make good returns, we should ‘boost’ production by mixing the honey with molasses.

“You see, molasses blend well with honey. Nobody will even notice as we shall mix the sugary stuff with thirty per cent pure honey,” I ventured.

I could see the expression on his face change to that of doubt and consternation.

“Bro, you know I am a Christian and wouldn’t like to do something like that,” he said.

I reminded him that a mixture of molasses and honey has never killed anyone.

The picture of Disco Matanga came to mind, but if truth be told, our ‘processed’ honey was not going to injure any customer.

I further reminded Ole Gunia that for a business to be successful, one should not allow faith, friends and family to interfere.

With eyes downcast, Ole Gunia bought the idea.

I also told him that to make our honey appear as authentic as possible, we would hire someone to collect live bees which we would kill and sprinkle in the honey containers.

I could see Ole Gunia begin to warm up to this odious business plan.

Anyway, plans are already afoot for this business venture and Asali Asili will very soon be trickling with sweet results.

However, I am doubtful about getting a person to harvest the bees for the mixing part. Yours truly won’t be so foolish to provoke a bee colony in the name of getting samples. However, I am sure with some financial inducement, some foolhardy character will.

By Pascal Mwandambo

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