Street Cred Supremacy Battles

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Laughing is a good thing, we all agree on that. I think there should be a daily minimum dosage for laughter set by the state that everybody must achieve. I love laughing. I even have a pointless laughter; the one you laugh even when there’s no reason to, or to make somebody not feel bad for trying to crack a joke and missing by a mile. Hehe, yeah, it’s a sympathetic laughter. I have done that many a times. This one time in college, in a group conversation, people were talking about how funny they thought they were and somebody commented that if Wavinya laughs, whatever was said wasn’t funny at all. I was known for that. But I have changed now. I joined the ‘No Chills Movement’, and have been an active member for two solid years and I have received one or two accolades for accomplishing the movement’s mission, vision and goals. And it’s not just with non-members, even with myself. For you to be an effective member of this great movement, you have to be willing and able to take mean ones more than you can dish them out.

There are moments, albeit rare, when you don’t want to laugh. Not because you’re in a foul mood, no. Because you are afraid that you will die if you do. You are afraid your lungs will not multi-task and you will die of suffocation just because somebody made you laugh too much. (Would that be a strange way to die?) I know a few people in my life who make this bizarre risk too real. I have sat in the same room, bus or space with them and found myself wishing they don’t open their mouths or wake up just yet because I wouldn’t have the energy to beg them to keep quiet and make me laugh another day. Can you imagine what Professor Hamo (I think he’s dangerously hilarious)  of Churchill Show  would cause if he decided to unleash his true element? I honestly  happily dread that. The other person, my mother. If you enjoy kao (kikamba) and want to hear it authentically spoken, you want to be my mum’s friend. Ok, not necessarily, just be in her space when she’s telling a story. I promise you you will want to take a break for some air. She can make you feel guilty for laughing at a genuinely tragic story, like the one she almost died when she was bitten by a red cobra earlier this year. Tragic incident that one, but only when you thought about it in your alone time.

Have you ever heard about that lawsuit where Blue Band (It must have happened when Blue Band was packed in tins) sued Prestige for using the word ‘margarine’ claiming that Prestige was using their brand name? I wasn’t told how long that case lasted in court though I like to think it was brief since it was settled using a dictionary and that was that. Judging form my mother’s dramatic tone, I think it was a really embarrassing moment for Blue Band. Prestige must have laughed for days.

I heard Chris Rock, in one of his movies say that entertainment is boring. People wore that look that shows you that you have thrown them a curve ball they weren’t expecting before he explained his point. In Chris Rock’s words, something is only funny if you hear it once or severally but at widely spread intervals. That if a joke is repeated, chances are you will not laugh. You know it’s true. Pick any comedian on Churchill or any other that you know. Many have a signature line. Professor Hamo’s is ‘njooni nyote mliolemewa na mizigo nanyi mtarudi nayo maana pia sisi tuna mizigo yetu’ or something like that. It was funny the first time I heard it. It’s still is but I  don’t laugh at it though I always wait to recite it when he says it (Am still a kid like that, hehe).

I think this applies  for brands and/or consumer products. When you hit the market, you have to have that element of an authentic joke. Something that will have consumers laughing and nodding their heads in agreement that in deed, that was quite something. I  know ladies don’t do it a lot but gents do; how they laugh their hearts out and high five each other while nodding their heads, all at the same time. Unreservedly. C’mon, you’ve seen it. I will never have enough of that sight. As a consumer brand or product you need to have that. Then you have to that residual streak like Professor Hamo. Where people know exactly what you are going to say, they know they will not laugh at it but still can’t wait for you to go on ahead and say it.And then you have to maintain when you reach that level. No matter how many years it may take you as a brand to get here, maintaining consumer’s expectations is supremely important.

Cocacola have with no doubt done that. They have set the standard for how soda should taste. You will drink Cocacola products and then some other soft drink, and you will go like, ‘aii, hii soda inaonja aje?’ cue in that incredulous look, haha.
Remember when you’d go to a shop and ask for ile Colgate ya aquafresh, kiwi ya lude na bic ya speedo and the shopkeeper wouldn’t look at you like you’re crazy? I have not heard anyone ask for soda ya Club or soda ya Pepsi yet. People treat them like independent entities. Like they haven’t joined the soda league yet. At least here in Kenya. If soda had street cred, Cocacola took and still holds most of it.

I will admit now that I might be a bit biased because you see, I have been around soda ( read za Coca cola) my whole life. My parents have been distributors for as long as I can remember so that explains why I can’t exactly treat myself to a soda, cold or otherwise. Something stays available to you your whole life you start treating it as ordinary when others (read my folks in ocha) would worship mortals for it. There is this one relationship I have that was born because of soda. Have you ever been in this situation where you meet somebody and they ask you to give them something juu ni Christmas and because you don’t have cash to give them or simply don’t have the patience to be christmacy, you say maybe another day?
Of course you forget all about it as soon as you part ways until you start running into this person at an alarming frequency and they can’t stop asking you for ile soda which you promised them. Kidogo kidogo, that debt turns into their God-given right and suddenly you MUST pay it. You can’t understand how somebody can not buy themselves a soda that costs a few shillings shy off 30 bob. I am extremely generous so we will blame this situation on that reason I gave earlier.

So the other day we went for little bro’s visiting day and as we were shopping for grabs (your school either used this slang or it didn’t) my sister reminds me that we have to buy soda. Mimi soda ilinitoka kitambo! Yaani, I can count on my hands the number of times I take soda in a year. Am the kind of person who buys minute maid, delmonte and other adult drinks, not necessarily soft. Anyhu, club soda; the one made by Highlands is there next soda za coke on the shelf. Me being me, I say we have to know how this stuff tastes like. It’s only fair that somebody, in this case something, is given the chance to tell it’s story on the stand before it’s judged. Judging from appearances is shallow I have been told.

The jury was fairly constituted. School going boys, kids in college ( my sister), we of mature pallates and everything else, hehe, mama dearest, and our taxi driver who’s become family. See how I called him our? Haha. In my quest to be fair, I bought zote za orange.
This is what we I did; I poured everyone a tumbler of each and had them tell which was which. Am sorry this contest was not exhilarating and mind boggling, naah. They were picked apart in an instant. Our taxi person , he’s called Richie by the way, compared club soda to supadip. Is that stuff still sold nowadays? Man! That stuff was the isht back in the day. It sorted budget for drinks like a boss! Back then, in Reuben, a 20 litre mtungi of water used to go for 3 bob. So imagine, if you had a function with around 50 people, you had enough juice for folks to drink and carry home all for a steal away price of 43 bob!
A lot of things, most not so nice, were said about club soda that day. But to paraphrase, I’ll just say, there’s a Hall of Fame for soda, Highlands, and I don’t think you know it’s exact location. I want you to keep searching for it though.
I would love to see what would happen should you find it.
I watch WWE faithfully so it goes without saying that I love me a good fight.

Let’s rate them shall we?
By the way, am trying to add that rating widget to my site, so if you know how I can do that, halla at a gal.

CocaCola: √ √ √ √ √

Club Soda: √ √ { Because I used to love Supadip with the love only a kid can have for sweet, cheap stuff}

CocaCola: √ √ √ √ √

Club Soda: √ √ √ √ √

This one you will have to judge for yourself because I do not know why your pocket sings the song it sings.

My take? I already said I love a good fight but I have a feeling I might have to wait for a loooong time before I see one so I’ll go ahead and ask Highlands ; “kwani the water is not doing well?



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