01 02 03 Africa Expat Wives Club: Opportunity knocks 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Opportunity knocks

There is a very handsome Kenyan security guard who works at our local supermarket. Before you go jumping to conclusions - he's not actually my type, but when my Mum was staying with me last month she called him 'a real dish' too and that was without any provocation!

The reason that I am in a dilemma about him today is because I know that the job of security guard is a pretty rubbish one; low paid and extremely boring. If someone was to say to that man:
'Why don't you take yourself along to a model agency - you never know' - it might just be the push to change his life around. Instead of standing around in a supermarket, he could be driving his own car and 'living the life'. Of course, this is all pure speculation because sadly I am not a modelling agency talent spotter, but he certainly does stand out from the crowd and since my Mum pointed him out, the thought occured to me today that he could just be holding the ticket to a better life but he doesn't know it. Any of you in the area - have a look at him and tell me if I'm wrong? You can't miss him.

I was thinking about approaching him today to say: 'why don't you take yourself along to a model agency', but chickened out completely in case didn't understand what I was on about, or in case I am wrong and he wouldn't make a good model. I even phoned my husband to ask if he thought I was mad and he said: 'Yes, you are.' But then went on to make a practical suggestion of phoning a model agency myself and tipping them off about this guy. I just tried this, found a number for a model agency in the Yellow Pages (yes! Nairobi has one), but drew a blank when the line refused to go through.

The reason for my crusade is that not only because I have not quite enough in my own life to occupy my mind, but because I've seen the story of; 'supermarket security guard breaks free from the mould' once before in Nairobi.

What happened was, there was a particularly sparky security guard posted on the door of a supermarket who always smiled and said 'Hello'. He stood around on his shift and watched with interest for months as a large new clothing store was being fitted out at the other end of the Mall. He watched and waited and kept bugging the contractors to introduce him to the managers of the store. Finally, they gave him an introduction and low and behold, he landed himself a job in retail, swapping his 'askari' uniform for a smart suit and dapper 'wide boy' tie. I chatted to him when he was working in the clothes shop and he seemed like a guy who was going places. Sadly the clothing store closed after a year, but before it did, I spotted the ex security guard drinking a cappucino in the food court (opposite the supermarket), in serious negotiation with another man who had an open lap top in front of him - presumably he was securing himself a new and even better job. I don't doubt that for this bright guy things were just beginning not ending.

It's very difficult for people to break free from poverty in Kenya. At least if you live in a big city there is always the opportunity (which is why people leave the countryside in droves to live here, however poor the living conditions might be), though I expect you have to be exceptional, full of initiative and lucky to rise up out of the quagmire. Having said all that, who am I to raise somebody's hopes perhaps falsely? But then again - shame to leave it if I am right. Any suggestions? I will try and take a covert photo of him with my phone to post up here on the blog, but only if I am feeling brave! Don't want to look like a total stalker.....

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