I don’t know about yours but my mother, like all mothers in our neighbourhood, had a money plant. It sat lonely in a corner of the living room, the area around it hallowed as the holy ground. My father hated it. She had wrapped the plant’s pot — a white plastic Kimbo container — in shiny wrapping paper. As if it was a gift to herself.
I don’t know what became of that plant but my mother is retired now and farming in Kaplong. Her urban interest clearly matured into something greater than what was contained in that Kimbo plastic. She speaks to her plants.
I think about my mother when I’m down at Sarevic Flowers; the firm sells indoor and outdoor plants for residential and non-residential areas. Victor Malesi, 31, owns it. I find Victor and his team conversing in hushed tones. Plant ground really is holy ground.
This is Victor’s story:
I was a tree farmer in Matunda (Kitale County) for several years until 2013. I don’t recall the year I first went into it, though. My father left us when I was young so I learnt early to do manual jobs for money. I, with my wife, farmed trees for sale — bubblegum, cypress, pine, fig … She still farms in Kitale, it’s what takes our three kids to school and puts food in their plates.
There’s an app my assistants and I use to get the name of a flower. It’s called ‘What’s that flower?’ You simply open the app, select the category then take a photo.
The app will show you the English and scientific name of the plant, plus other fun details about it. Before this app came about, one would have to sit at the feet of experienced floriculturists and take the names to heart. It’s how I mastered them.
We only sell mature plants. Some take three weeks to mature, others, like the hibiscus, take up to two years. The maturity period is equivalent to how quickly I can get a return on my capital investment.
Clients kill their own plants through neglect and ignorance. Some forget to water their plants on a regular basis, others put an indoor plant in the outdoors, a handful put too much water in the plant, drowning it. We teach our clients how to care for the plants and not kill them.
We have paid a guard to watch over the plants at night. Yes, they can be stolen, ha-ha. You wouldn’t believe the type of people who would steal these plants. I’ll tell you but promise me you won’t publish it in the story.
There are indoor plants and outdoor plants. Indoor plants include philodendron, calatheas, ferns, snake plants, hydrangea and succulents. It’s a lengthy list. A plant like a fern can be both an indoor and outdoor plant. Calatheas are thirsty plants, and must be watered adequately three times a week. Hydrangeas mature with colourful flowers, snake plants hang over their pots.
I continued farming trees after relocating to Nairobi in 2013. I left after a few months to farm flowers and get into landscaping.
I opened this floriculture business in 2015, that’s when I began to make real money from selling flowers. I have casuals who run things here when I’m doing house calls.
These plants can grow in different ways. We can buy seeds we plant ourselves here, in these plastic bags that have soil and compost pit manure. You could also layer the stem, where you bend it down and plant it so it can sprout its own roots to start a new plant. Or you can graft them – you cut off a branch from the main plant and plant it elsewhere.
Aside from selling these flowers, I also do other jobs like landscaping, regular maintenance of the flowers and ‘consultancy’, showing our clients how to style the flowers in their homes.
Outdoor plants include ferns, crotons, ficus tree, daisy, snake plants, palms … there are several. Each plant – indoor and outdoor – has its own regular maintenance regimen. The state of the leaves will tell you whether you’re watering them too much, or not enough.
Our middle-class clientele buy these plants for different reasons. Most buy them to beautify their homes – their corridors, balcony, backyards and kitchens. Others buy them to purify the air; the fern is popular for this. Plants such as the lemon geranium are a repellent for houseflies. Rosemary and mint are used as herbs for seasoning food.
I moved here – to James Gichuru Road, Lavington – in late 2018. You will find us here on all days of the week, Monday to Sunday, from 8am to 6pm.
We also sell ceramic and clay pots to our clients to hold the flowers. The pots are hand-made for us by artisans in Karen and Wangige. Our clients can tell the difference between the two. Ceramic pots cost more but they are also more beautiful than the clay pots.
Singer speaks after attacking lover at WCB signee Zuchu’s star-studded concert
56 minutes ago
On 18 July, there was fanfare at the Mlimani City Hall in Dar es Salaam as WCB signee Zuchu held a thanksgiving concert months after her debut EP, I Am Zuchu. The event dubbed ‘Ahsante Nashukuru’ mainly featured performances by artistes from the WCB stable and attracted the whos-who in the Tanzanian entertainment and political scenes.
However, singer Gigy Money who also performed made the headlines for the wrong reasons after getting into a scuffle with her lover during the much-publicised concert.
READ ALSO: I was bewitched by a friend – Gigy Money
Peaceful arrival, later chaos
Moments earlier, Gigy and her Nigerian man were seen arriving arm in arm at the event whose highlight featured Zuchu receiving a brand new car from WCB head honcho Diamond Platnumz. Donning matching outfits, the couple was spotted on the red carpet as the paparazzi scrambled to capture the moment. However, all hell breaks loose later and viral videos depict the visibly angered Nigerian arguing with a bouncer at the entrance. After a tense confrontation, Gigy’s man is seen being led by the screaming bouncer towards the exit. Shortly after, a similarly irritated Gigy emerges and follows the pair.
“Gigy! Wewe Gigy wewe!” a woman in the background is heard dissuading the singer from pursuing them but the singer pays no heed and heads for the pair.
“You want to beat me?” the boyfriend is heard asking an approaching Gigy as the bouncer acts as a barrier between them. The bouncer manages to steer the incensed man towards the exit as Gigy follows behind, hurling obscenities.
At some point, a barefoot Gigy turns into a sprint before throwing one of her shoes which hits the man who then responds with an insult. Another bouncer finally intervenes and the two are separated. Gigy then asks for her vehicle so she can head home before warning the press against sharing videos of the incident.
Though the cause of their tiff is still unknown Gigy later made reference to the shocking incident in a social media post, hinting that alcohol had a part to play in the fracas. In another post, Gigy shared a photo alongside her estranged lover writing: “My mad man looked handsome before his demons arose and mine arose too.”
‘Running over Ali Kiba’
Gigy is not new controversy and recently said she’d run over her ex, singer Ali Kiba for breaking her heart.
“I will knock all of them down, I mean I will kill them. In fact, I will flatten them like chapatis. The first person I will knock down and kill is Ali Kiba. Actually, I don’t need a weak car, I need a Fuso so that when I knock him down I will be sure he doesn’t survive,” Gigy told Ayo TV.
Dating Kiba brothers
Gigy had in the past admitted to dating both Ali Kiba and his younger brother, Abdu Kiba. She solely laid the blame on Chekecha singer for pursuing her despite knowing that she’d been with his younger brother. Abdu expressed being heartbroken after learning the two had a fling, prompting him to marry.
“I was very hurt on hearing that Ali was dating Gigy Money because I dated her first before she became famous. But it’s alleged that Ali didn’t know. It hurt me for a while till when I married,” said Abdu.
Defunct Nairobi County Council Nurses Go On Strike, Citing Discrimination By The Government
Why Jahmby Kokai is happy her TV anchor dream never came true
37 minutes ago
Popular media personality Jahmby Koikai narrated how her first attempt at auditioning as a TV host backfired and she was sent home on the first day of the audition. Reliving her prime days, Jahmby narrated how she was determined to follow her dream of becoming a news anchor after completing her degree.
“There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro FM. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it.
“Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu?” she posed.
According to the endometriosis survivor, she went ahead to audition for the position despite the warning and was the first contestant to be sent packing.
“So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said some of us have to go home.
“My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news,” she narrated.
Later, Jahmby auditioned for another TV opportunity only to miss out as well.
“Then came another opportunity over 10 years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. I didn’t get the job.”
However, due to endometriosis, Jahmby was forced to put her dreams on hold and concentrate on getting better. According to her, it is as though God had better plans for her and is grateful to not have gotten the jobs.
“I battled severe endometriosis in silence for over 19 years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilized all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant.”
There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro Fm. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it. Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu? Nikasema zi. So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said, some of us have to go home. My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news. Then came another opportunity over 10years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. As you see in this pic, I got my hair done at Ralph’s Hair Salon, new suit etc. I didn’t get the job. After KBC, I never got to anchor the news again. I’m grateful I did not get the job even though I felt dejected at the time. I battled severe Endometriosis in silence for over 19years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilised all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant. There are many people like me who are bound by chronic illness and cannot do the things they love. I share your pain. But there’s hope. I’m grateful to God for His reminder that He will restore to you all the years that the locusts have eaten. Also Jer 29:11