Oh the joys of walking on a Nairobi Street!
I was just minding my own business, looking at the numerous magazine covers when some girl with red-lacquered nails taps me on the shoulder. I slowly turned in trepidation, hoping it wasn’t one of my long standing debtors, hoping she could somehow get back her taken heart. Or even worse, a thought crossed my mind that Kimathi Street could be the new Koinange Street. (How odd that the spell checker suggests Coinage Street, when they absolutely don’t accept coins!)
To my pleasant surprise though, it was an amazingly and decently dressed looker of a woman tapping my shoulder. I couldn’t resist conjuring a smile which was cut mid-smile when she excitedly spoke the next few words.
“Are you the Zain man?” she asked.
“The Zain man?” she persisted.
“The Zain man! What the heavens is that?”
I know Zain Verjee who is classy and is an anchor-woman for CNN. But surely I don't speak for her! I also know that the Republicans are about to nominate John McZain (No, that can't be it. He is more like John McSame!)
Turns out, there is a promotion by a rather (tele) phoney network Zain to popularize its newly baptized name. This at the moment when we had gotten used to not calling it TNFKAK (The Network Formerly Known As Kencell) and settled for Celtel, it is now Zain. And teaming up with Classic FM, they are setting people to look for this mystery man who dishes out cash if you ask him whether he is the Classic Zain Man and he says yes. Oh, and he also has Maina Kageni’s Identity Card which he needs to also show you, since as you know, many men will just say ‘Yes’ to a woman when looking at her chest. If you are not in a pick-up mood, you have to go and get a t-shirt written ‘I am not the Classic Zain Man!’
I hope the girl found her Classic Zain man. But these advertising ruses are going a tad too far.
I have seen men carrying placards written ‘My Wife Is A Gold Digger’ because the cooking fat product KIMBO had some gold bars hidden in the fat and they were asking people to dig into their pockets and buy then dig into the fat. I know a lot of women who gossip too much and at this rate, their husbands are going to carry placards written ‘My Wife Is A Parrot’ just to pitch for the rival cooking fat KASUKU.
It is advertising at its best or worst, depending on how you look at it. It is also, inzain!