The ‘base’

A young graduate exuding the innocence of a lecture hall and the enthusiasm of having most of life before their eyes, rather than behind them. Like most young-ins fresh from the education system, he had a dream. A dream of a better future, like Obama who later on became the first black President of the United States. Only that he did not want to become President. At least not of a country, maybe of a company or an elite club.

He found himself with the not so rare fortune of being an Eastlando guy. When you’re an Eastlando guy you will lack anything but company. That’s why when he stepped out of the towering & comforting presence of lecture halls and academic corridors, he rediscovered a world where there were many other young-ins like himself who’d also completed campus like himself and had dreams, some grander than his imagination could grasp.

Excitement and ambition soon met with procrastination and bad influence. Both led them to a warehouse where material to build castles in the air were sold. That warehouse is called a ‘base’.

When they first entered the ‘base’ they were warmly ushered in like the kings they had the potential to become. The ushers, once young like themselves, with dreams of a better future, were yearning to teach them the ropes. And to teach they did : In exchange for your time, you get a chance to build castles in the air. The longer you spend inside, the bigger your castle. Also, you could decide if you want a mansion. Or a bungalow. Do you want to live close to the city or you want to move to the countryside and till your farm as you rear chicken and goats for city dwellers for a tidy profit?

Our young-in was exhilarated. Finally, he had the company of like minds and the validation of peers for his ideas. Plus the buzz of whisky. And plants, some to be smoked and others chewed. Didn’t matter, they all produced euphoria.

Young-in began to spend more time in the ‘base’, buying building material and setting up architectural wonders in his mind. There was this one time they met at the ‘base’ at the usual time, around 3pm and as they began chewing their intoxicants happily like goats in a neighbor’s maize farm, someone came up with an idea that would turn their lives around. He said that he, a keen observer of life and society, had realized that their community lacked something so vital and no one seemed to be smart enough to fill in that gap. They were about six guys at the ‘base’, all feeling lucky to have found themselves a part of something so important, and they leaned in closer, curiosity getting the better part of them.

Rubbing his hands gleefully, the entrepreneur told them that what was lacking was an all-in-one tech application where someone could order anything from the ‘base’ and build a castle from the comfort of their own home. They leaned back pensively and pondered about the idea. From all angles they dissected this so-called life changing idea. High as a kite in the sky, no one was in their right mind to dissuade the group from buying in into the clearly daft idea.

The guy then told them that to actualize the idea, he, a celebrated software developer, would build a prototype for the application within a few days then report back to the crew. He said he had done the math, and they were set to reap in millions in cash within the first few months. They would each buy a big piece of land in an affluent neighborhood of their choosing – either Karen, or Runda, or even Muthaiga, why not? Then they would have enough cash left over for building a house with many bedrooms, a swimming pool to cool off the scorching January sun, staff to attend to their upgraded palates and waitresses, beautiful waitresses, to cater for their now advanced taste in intoxicants. They’d get themselves mixologists to make cocktails with exotic names like ‘Long Island’.

They were amazed. The guy then reached into his pocket, and removed a pen and paper, ”I’ll write down your names so that we start this profitable venture. I’ll also need some cash to buy the software I need to get this thing up in no time! I know that this is such short notice, but just give me what you have as we speak. Whatever is in your pockets. I’ll make sure to properly account for the money and we shall all have the chance to top up in due course of time”

Eagerly, they gave him their names and made him promise to not share the idea with anyone else. They then proceeded to give him all they had, even calling friends and family to ‘top them up’ for a profitable venture. In the end, the six guys managed to raise a tidy sum. The entrepreneur thanked them heartily and said they should meet at the same place the following day and discuss how their lives were about to change.

The guys arrived the following day, excited that the heavens had opened up. They sat at the ‘base’ laughing and patting each others’ backs. An hour later, their guy had not yet arrived. An hour thirty minutes later, still no show. It was at the point that one of the guys asked, ”By the way, who has his number we call and ask where he has reached?”, when they realized that none of them had his contacts. In fact, none of them knew him. They’d just assumed he was a friend of one of them.

They had been fleeced.

Till next time. Thank you.

The Exit Plan

A Letter to the Tribe

The Other Side

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