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Saved by My Phone From a Sticky Situation
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|Saved by My Phone From a Sticky Situation by Kenyans247(1): Thu 19, March, 2020 05:16pm|
I’d been looking forward to Friday for days. My excitement was palpable as I crawled out of bed at 9 a.m., smiling to myself.
It wasn’t my birthday, but you’d be forgiven to think it was, as I sauntered to the kitchen, loudly singing a club banger that I couldn’t get out of my head.
I wasn’t working today, so I headed to the living room with my bowl of cereal and started looking for a good show to watch on Netflix.
“So many options”, I thought as I scrolled through the endless list, recalling a time when we had to make do with whatever the state broadcaster decided to air.
I was on a mission to kill time until 3 p.m., when I was supposed to meet my long-time crush, Ivy, to watch a movie at a cinema on the outskirts of town.
Before I knew it, it was midday and I was engrossed in an action-packed tv series whose producers were generous with explosions and fight scenes.
I was interrupted by the loud ringing of my phone. I glanced at the screen, hoping it was Ivy. It was my mother.
“I need you to go to Johnny’s pre-school and pick him up right now, I’m caught up somewhere. I’m also texting you a shopping list. Make sure you get all those items before I get home,” she told me, seemingly exasperated.
Remembering I had a date later, I told her I was broke. A minute later, my phone vibrated as she sent me some money for shopping.
The transaction’s confirmation text left me smiling because my quick mental calculations told me that I would have some money left over for my date.
I quickly got dressed and hopped on a matatu to my little brother Johnny’s pre-school. I found him still sleeping. His teacher woke him up as I grabbed his bag.
Motorists Along the Busy Ngong Road in Nairobi. Wednesday, March 4, 2020.I rushed back home and left Johnny with the househelp, remembering I still had shopping to do.
A quick glance at my watch left me worried as I realised I only had thirty minutes to my date. It was a race against time. I’d had my eye on Ivy for weeks and couldn’t let this chance slip.
I rushed to the nearest supermarket having not even read the shopping list sent to me. Looking at it, I couldn’t figure out what half the things on the list were.
A photo of people queuing to pay at a Nairobi supermarket on Friday, March 13, 2020.
People queue to pay at a Nairobi supermarket on Friday, March 13, 2020.TWITTER
I grabbed and tossed items into my trolley and made my way to the cashier where a rude shock awaited me.
As the total amount was displayed on the ETR machine, I remembered I didn’t have cash on me. After fumbling through my pockets, I decided to pay the remaining amount via mobile money.
A text came in as I walked out of the supermarket. “Hey,” Ivy had finally texted. It was ten minutes past 3 p.m.
Realizing I couldn’t take the shopping home and get to the cinema on time, I pulled out my phone and hailed a boda boda delivery service.
I handed the rider the bag as I entered the delivery location on my phone. Within a few moments, he was gone and I was tracking him on the map that appeared on my screen.
I heaved a sigh of relief. Finally, I could get to my date. “Where are you? I’m already here,” Ivy texted again. Sensing impatience, I told her I was five minutes away and hailed another boda boda to take me to the cinema.
I got there fifteen minutes later and paid the boda boda rider with the few coins I had in my pocket.
Ivy’s face was the first thing I saw when I walked through the door into the building lobby. She was seated, staring at her phone.
I approached her, gave her a hug and after she bashed me for being late, we walked to the cinema counter to get our tickets.
“Ksh 2,000, cash only,” the lady on the other side of the counter told me.
I reached into my pocket. To my surprise, I’d spent all the cash I had on the ride over to the cinema.
The lady at the counter stared at me impatiently as I tried my best to put a brave face during the embarrassing moment.
I had no option but to ask Ivy to pay for the tickets, and assured that I would refund her via mobile money transfer.
As she stared at me for a moment, I could feel my ‘gangster points’ slipping away.
Then, she turned around and pointed to a Co-operative Bank ATM on the other side of the lobby.
“Why don’t you withdraw over there? Haven’t you heard about Co-op M-Pesa kwa ATM?” she asked me.
Noticing the confused look on my face, Ivy told me to go to the Safaricom M-Pesa menu on my phone and select ‘“Withdraw Cash From ATM”.
I did and was prompted to enter the agent code 472472.
I entered my M-Pesa pin and received a 6-digit code from Safaricom. On the ATM, I selected “M-Pesa Withdrawal” and entered my phone number.
After choosing to withdraw Ksh 3,000, I entered the 6-digit code and moments later, I had the cash in my hand.
With that, I grabbed Ivy’s hand as we walked back towards the cinema. “Phew,” I heaved a sigh of relief, thinking of the hectic day I’d had and how Co-op M-Pesa kwa ATM had saved my blushes.
Co-operative Bank Branch Along Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi. Monday, October 21, 2019.
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