It’s many moons ago, and I am fresh in Nairobi (just after I had come into the city in search of education and proper initiation into the world). I have lots of time in my hands and it has not occurred to me that I could use that time to tanga tanga William-style around and build an empire (Those who did CPA full time know you aren’t in class all the time). So, my free time is spent lying on the bed with kina Kero and Flo staring at the ceiling and imagining how we’ll stop eating Ngumu Strungi and start owning Nairobi, “because if kina Kibaki own the city, why not us?”
One day, Flo, drunk with strungi says, “My cousin is quitting school to concentrate on another business she’s running. You know she just bought a car… what else would you be looking for in school when you can buy a car from your business?”
“What?” That jolts me out of bed, with lots of questions. I want to buy a car too and if this Third Year cousin of Flo’s has quit to buy a car, why am I struggling with this CPA which isn’t my passion, anyway?
We bug her so much she promises to introduce us to her cousin, which she does in a few weeks’ time.
I meet Esther. She is very very charismatic, articulate and she’s a girl who knows what she wants in life and is mapped out. She gives me this motivational speech on life and how I can get the position that I so deserve. I ask her if and how she can help me attain that, given that I have heard stories about her success.
So, she invites me to a meeting in Eagle House, 6th Floor, I think. And my-oh-my… That’s a superbly motivational meeting. People are giving testimonies of how well they are doing, how they quit employment or school to become very very rich. This year, the top “managers” are going to holiday in the US or some other country.
It gets me dreaming, this GNLD meeting.
I’m grabbing the opportunity to own cars in Nairobi, then buildings, and who knows, even Nairobi!
Registration is Sh. 6,300 which I promptly pay. (Remember I saved some money when I went to Visions Institute of Professionals rather than KCA?). Yeah, so I pay and go forth to convince people. Create my hierarchy of underlings and prospecting millionaires. Esther, my manager, tells me I don’t have to convince people. I can identify people and she will do the rest.
2 months later, and I don’t have a single follower. Maybe that’s why I’m not a pastor. I can’t convince people to do shit.
And there is another major detail that was conveniently left out: I have to buy and sell products worth Sh. 6000 or so (I think)! That’s shitty. Why didn’t anyone tell me that? Esther again tells me hakuna shida if I can’t sell, she will have someone sell it for me and give me the money to buy another one. The catch? Buy the most expensive thing and break it down into small packages. It was a cleaning liquid. That was another Sh. 3,600.
To date, I have never received a single cent from that… and my 10K+ with GNLD drank water.
A con job interview
A few years later, I’m still lying in bed, after class, browsing the internet. I’m looking for a job and I see an exciting one on BrighterMonday. Someone is looking for an accountant, with at least CPA Section 2. I have already completed Section 4 so I know I’m very qualified.
So, I send my CV and application letter. 2 days later, I am invited for an interview at Nairobi Cinema. God has answered my prayers and I’m finally leaving Satan’s poverty.
Dressed in a suit complete with a tie, I go to the place. Only that I see other smartly dressed people in a full room with a teacher at the front, doing sums on a whiteboard. I’m confused. Is this an interview or a training. I think they are teaching us something, then give us a small test for the job.
It takes me almost 10 minutes to realize that this ain’t no interview. The bastards are telling us about GNLD!
All the people on the room are CPA students and graduates, and the guy at the front was an accountant who quit to do GNLD full time. I am hurt, very hurt. Why would anyone do this to all these desperate people?
I raise my hand as if to ask a question and he excitedly allows me.
“You invited us for an interview to sell us this GNLD scam? Guys, these people are cons! All this is is bullshit!” I say with the anger of a Baite and walk out, leaving the teachers with open mouths and a few of the students scrambling to leave.
My friend Bernard Muiru also got this GNLD “job”: Part 1 | Part 2
The Crush Calls… wants us to Live Happily Forever
Yet a few years later, an old classmate of mine, Josephine is reconnecting. We have not been in touch since we finished school. I’m thinking she is missing me because she keeps calling me. All.the.time! I’m actually feeling lucky – Josephine was a cutie when we went to school together. And we were quite good friends… after the crushing ended. Could she be crushing on me after my crushing on her ended? Or does she want us to settle and make a family? 🙂
She tells me she will buy me one glass of my beloved mango juice, because she wants us to talk. Badly. Feels like a booty call.
So, of course I agree to meet her. And we meet in one of those restaurants in town, drink our juice and catch up. You know, what we are doing after CPA… I’m interning at an IT firm and she’s in business, because jobs are hard to get. Bla bla bla. And she wants me to meet some people who can help.
So, off we go, to Eagle House again…and it gives me a really bad feeling.
“I hope we aren’t going to GNLD”
“Oh. You know GNLD?”
“Yes. And I really hope you aren’t taking me there because this will be bad.”
“No. I can’t be involved with GNLD.”
Phew! We walk into a huge room with desks. If this ain’t GNLD, is she introducing me to Illuminati or something?
Only that it’s not. I get introduced to everyone around a table, who are all genuinely pleased to meet me. They tell me I must be a very good friend of Josephine – she must love me to give me this opportunity.
Of joining Forever Living!
I tell them I know Forever Living is like GNLD and they tell me those are two very different things. You don’t have to carry bags of products or even invite people if I don’t want. You just start amassing wealth as soon as you join. They show me progression charts and what you get when you get to a certain level. You start with cars, then houses in South Africa and some other place, then a helicopter and finally a yacht!
Do you know anyone who owns a yacht anywhere? I would be that guy.
By then I am streetwise enough to know nothing comes that easy. Hii ni Nairobi bwana!
“Don’t you have relatives to show this shit before showing a stranger, me, such an opportunity to get rich?” I asked.
They look at me, fumbling for words.
“Exactly.” And leave with a glee.
You can’t get rich through these network pyramid schemes. Unless you started it.
People should work and stop these ‘coning’ culture
During my recruitment time I recall walking into some building near the Stanley, and a man was already giving his testimony of how he quit his job as an aeronautical engineer and now he was living his dream as a GNLD merchant. This was way back in 2012.