How to Pick a Best Friend from a Crowd of ‘Best Friends’

I recently had an epiphany, listening to radio presenter, Jalang’o, aka Jalas, on Radio Maisha. For a comedian, he sometimes seems to make lots of sense. The topic that chilly morning was his unorthodox friend-picking criteria, based not on good times, but by the hard times he has gone through. It’s simple enough – pick the friend that sticks around when life goes off the rails.

Nicholas Okumo doesn’t need a comedian to teach him the ethics of basic friendship – just pick a friend that would pick you from a crowd to accompany him – for free – on an all-paid expenses trip to watch the AFCON Finals tonight, in Egypt.

Nick’s friend, Josephat Nyakundi was a lucky winner for a fully paid trip to Egypt, courtesy of Visa, to watch the AFCON Finals in Egypt. All the winners had to do was use their Coop Visa Card to pay their usual bills – buying goods and services. To add icing to that one-in-a-lifetime cake, the winners were accompanied by one other person, their choice.

I do not know if, presently, there’s a friend that I inspire enough to be their first choice to such a fete – in a narrow world crowded with adoring other-halves, patronizing relatives and prayer partners. Not that my friends are such keen soccer enthusiasts, anyways, but am glad most of them always tag along their Coop Visa cards conveniently using them to pay for fuel and other bills.

Perhaps, one day we can get to win a trip to something like the Lamu Cultural Festival.

Josephat Nyakundi had been pleasantly surprised to learn of his win to Egypt. On the material day, he hadn’t meant to use the card to pay his weekly tab at his favorite watering hole. He had a household constitution to follow, jointly formulated with his wife, Njoki. It had been just on a dare that he had taken the card along. Now he never leaves the house without his Visa Card.

In the Nyakundi-Njoki household, the Coop Visa card was to be strictly a household talisman. Pay hospital bills. Clear the weekly shopping bills at the supermarket. Pay for fuel at petrol stations during family trips.

Certainly not picking the Vodka tab with the boys at The Local. He had broken the rules, but Njoki was happy how well things had turned out. She was excited that her hubby had won the trip, and encouraged him to pick his long time soccer buddy, Nick. They watched most derbies together. She loved travelling, but couldn’t endure a minute of soccer.

In any case, she would use the weeks he’d be away to source for more carpets in Middle East. She dealt in rags and carpets at her high end outlet. She liked the idea her husband won’t be clearing beer tabs in Egypt over the card, she’d have it with her in Middle East. It’s always safer and convenient travelling with her card.

Oh, using Coop Card Visa card doesn’t incur any extra charges. No hidden charges.

Ignore the big boys, for a minute. We have an unlikely entry into the soccer arena. Picture a young girl, in early elementary school, watching today’s final with her mother. The endless possibilities in her future – the exposure, the enlightening.

Meet Natasha Angela, the lucky Jumbo Junior category winner, accompanied to Egypt by her mother Virginia Wamaitha. If reincarnation is real, this is who I’d love to be. This is a child the world has smiled upon, and shown it’s a world with endless possibilities.

At a young age, she has flown in a plane. She has witnessed firsthand, a once-in-a-lifetime happening most people in the world do not get to have. That’s amazing, thanks to her Jumbo Junior Account. Above all, Angela gets to treat her deserving mother on the world stage.

I would do anything to treat my mother on such a scale.



This is how I’ll make it. No more Faking it.

Picky Picky Ponkie…..

Well, that works perfectly in the art of sharing toys, and polishes infantile cheating, but falls bottom first in soccer prediction. I give up on that.

M-Bet Kenya happens.

Divock Origi in action
Divock Origi in action

I decide to join up. It’s easy. I don’t have a smart phone, but joining up is easy. I just Sms ‘M-BET’ to 79888, and get an instant free bet with a 50 bob deposit. A free bet, I intend to upgrade, though. If I had a smartphone, I would just have logged in via the M-Bet website, or downloaded the safe, faster and secure M-Bet App.

It’s a walk in the park downloading the premium M-Bet App

A bare minimum betting low-limit of just 25 bob appeals to me, plus the best odds in Kenya. That’s realistic. I ain’t breaking no bank. I have pampers to buy. To spice things up, M-Bet is awarding its customers with the official 2019 Harambee Stars jerseys this AFCON season, all you have to do is play 3 tickets today and you could be a winner.

It’s pretty easy to remember the deposit process details, too. The Safaricom or Airtel Money paybill number 298888 rolls off the tongue, and sticks in the mind. I intend to do a lot of deposits. Hell, no. I’ll be doing lots of withdrawals because winning is all I do. And, that easy, too.

So much for Picky Picky Ponkie….

I guess I shall overcome teething problems, and I’ll season out in this art. I shall play the PERFECT 12 Daily Jackpot, pretty simple, too. There is a list of 12 games plus 5 reserve games from different soccer competitions going on at the time – World Cup Women, Euro Cup Under 21, AFCON 2019 Kenya Premier League, EPL, Bundesliga, La Liga etc.

The trick is accurately predicting the outcome of all 12 games. Plus the outcome of the 5 reserve games, selecting 1, X or 2. That means Home Win, Draw or Away win. Well, there’s a puzzle. Why do I need to predict the outcome of the 5 reserve games?

Well, turns out the reserve matches aren’t initially considered, unless a game in the main list is cancelled. Lots of reasons may cause this cancellation – bad weather, for instance. Rowdy fans, we’ve seen this not only in Kenya but worldwide and such interruptions – like invading the pitch.

Things people do for love. Love for ‘Okombe’.

If only one game is cancelled, the first game in the reserve group is considered. If a second game is cancelled, the next team is considered. And so on, in sequence – 3rd, 4th, and 5th. It’s highly improbable to have such many cancellations, but, well, this is a little like having friends.

Ain’t it said its better to have a friend and not need one, than need one and not have one?

The PERFECT 12 jackpot win goes to the winner correctly predicting all the 12 games, but in the event that the gods are taking a nap and I manage 9, 10 or 11 games, I’ll still win huge bonuses. Perhaps, I’ll have to share the gigantic dummy cheque – and with a few others, the prize is equally distributed.

Well, a chauffeured Limo ride. Red carpet treatment. The photo shoot. That’s still a lot to smile about.

My crew is a skeptic lot when I introduced M-Bet to them, and did a mini-panel.

Maish: I don’t have a smartphone, boss.

I say: It’s easy. You can use M-Bet prime USSD, just dial *798# on your kabambe.

Ng’ang’a: My village has little internet coverage.Si kila mtu anaishi mtaani.

Oh, this guy Ng’ang’a runs a kiosk. He often threatens to close it, when we disrespect our debts.

I say: Use the USSD number. Dial *798# – doesn’t need internet. Just normal coverage. Next?

Tonie: Life’s hard, bro. How much money do I need?

I say: M-Bet is pocket-friendly, and has a low minimum figure at just 25/- bob only.Hio ni Samosa tu!

Tonie likes freebies, so I remember to tell of the instant Free Bet with the first 50/- deposit.

Tonie: Really? Niko ndani mbaya. Una load aje hio deposit?

I say: Just go to M-Pesa or Airtel Money M-Bet’s Paybill number is 298888, and on account, fill ‘Deposit’. Itaingia.

Kenya's Victor Wanyama
Kenya’s Victor Wanyama

I take leave from this noisy bunch. I want to Play the Perfect 12 Daily Jackpot.

When, not if, I win The Super Prize, I may buy a ride, perhaps German. I may remember you from our ‘walking’ days and give you a ride. If that happens, don’t go shouting greetings to everyone from the window – I hear that burns more fuel.