You Don't Have to Lie or Break a Bank
29 July 2017.
I am at my presentations skills seminar.
We are practising creative thinking, and Maryanne has one minute to present. Her topic is "Nairobi: How to Fake It Without Lying."
Here are the highlights of her presentation.
In Nairobi, the battle for first impressions is real.
Sometimes, being yourself does not get you what you want. It can prevent you from penetrating some social circles, cost you "likes" on Facebook and Instagram, or make others think you are not cool.
However, you don't have to lie. If you played around with words, you can create fake impressions but remain truthful.
There are many ways you can do it, but I'll give you eight.
- Use fancy names for your estate. Don't tell people you live in Kawangware. Instead, tell them you reside in "Lavington West". (You may also use "Behind TRM" instead of Roysambu; "Near Two Rivers" instead of Rwaka; "Along Waiyaki Way" for 87, Kinoo, Regen; or "New Kitsuru" for Mwimuto ).
- If people ask you to describe your estate, don't tell them it's a slum. Say it is a high-density area.
- If people ask you where you bought your suit or shoes, don't say you picked them from Garissa Lodge. Tell them Hassan, your wardrobe consultant, imported them from Dubai.
- Don't tell people you walk to work because you want to save on bus fare. Say you don't want to be stuck in traffic.
- If people ask you why you are taking lunch in a kibanda, don't say it's because you are broke. Tell them kibanda food is fresh and tasty.
- If people ask you to help them find jobs, don't tell them you don't have big connections. Give them your email address, and ask them to you send their CV.
- If people ask you questions about things you are not familiar with, don't say you don't know the answer. Tell them that you'll find out the answer and get back to them."
- If people accuse you of faking it, tell them you told them what they wanted to hear.