The bitter-sweet relationship a first car owner has to endure

Everyone has a teary story about their first car.

He’ll often tell it with a longing in his voice, a soulful lull on his lips and a far-off gaze in his eyes. This is a relationship smelt and blended in metal, full of heart breaks and God’s mercy.

First cars are the true personification of selfless sacrifice.

Someone will frequent a yard sale, and fall in love with a piece of mid 70’s junk. At this stage, budget is always breadline – a fruitful end to months of savings. To say a lifetime of skipping fun with friends for extra jobs to earn some coins doesn’t give it enough credence.

The resuscitating mechanic is usually a cousin working pro bono, or an indefatigable uncle who somehow believes in your dreams. By God’s grace, the car will start running.

You park it outside your bedroom window, and you spend half the night staring at it in the half-light. The first task in the morning is the day-long wash and scrub.

You possess used tires at a bargain from the neighborhood garage for a start. It’s time to roll.

It’s heavenly, picking up a couple of friends for a drive, to the soccer game. The look on their faces are priceless, especially since some are a year or two older. The girls start to take notice of the silent kid.

The interior may be ripped, stained and smelly.

No matter that it uses a liter of transmission oil every 50 miles.

The stereo kicked the bucket a few decades back, and the dials don’t even turn.

The rickety piece of junk constantly has a billowing cloud of black smoke following behind.

The one prayer on your lips on the entire trip is that the rains do not start, for the wipers do not work.

Your best friend hogs the shotgun seat, and keeps his sneakers firmly planted on the hole on the floor – lest water from the puddles on the road splash inside.

Nobody will say a word.

Nobody will even say a word about the non-functional reverse gear. That part of the transmission packed up ages ago. They are just impressed that you own a car, and driving it.

You wouldn’t care, anyways.

That piece of junk meant no more queues at bus stops (at the mercy of pick pockets). No more begging parents for rides. No more places you couldn’t go – Ok, let’s say within a 20-mile (walking) radius from home.

That car represented FREEDOM!

If only people were so easy to impress today!

That was in the mid 90’s. It’s neither here nor there, but everything has greatly turned out for the better. It’s not just in car engineering, with better transmissions and inline or slanting cylinders – but, also in the economics of car ownership.

Presently, it’s as easy as ABC, to own a ride, brand new. It doesn’t matter if the need is business-driven or family-oriented, one can drive home.

Co-op Bank has the special Motor Vehicle Purchase Schemes established with major motor vehicle dealers, Isuzu East Africa Ltd.

This is structured to enable Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) acquire vehicles they need with an incredible 95% funding, under the Biashara Iendelee na Isuzu financing deal.

As a plus, business people have the liberty to apply an additional working capital of Ksh. 300,000.00, and a loan repayment holiday of 60 days.

One can visit any Co-op Bank branch across the country to get more info on this deal, or check Biashara Iendelee na Isuzu promotion online

Click here from the comfort of your office or home.

What’s the most remarkable story you’ve heard from a long-distance truck driver?

My name is Ali, and I’ve always been a motor head. I literally grew up in an auto garage. I got used to hot radiator steam burns, oil spillages, gaskets, crankshafts, turbo heads and God know what else under the hood – before I could walk.

My father ran a family garage, and his father before him. I could drive before I learnt the alphabet, and, frankly speaking, missing school wasn’t a big deal, then. But, a careless oil smudge on a client’s car upholstery would earn you a fearsome spanking. Or, a misplaced rotary spanner head.

The family dinner table wasn’t the classic family dinner table. Heck, we didn’t even have a dinner table. We’d eat, sprawled on the patchy garage floor littered with pieces of a dis-bowelled engine.

There was a bare yellow bulb hanging high from the rafters – and, sometimes it would blow out. It’d be days before anyone replaced it.

But the moments were magical. I’d spend hours listening to father rattle about this or that engine part. He’d periodically have 3 or 4 apprentices learning from him. He wouldn’t charge learning fees, lots of times it’d be returning favors owed to their fathers. Or, something else.

At one point, there’s an apprentice who spent months in our garage – and when he stopped coming, we wouldn’t know how to trace him. No one knew his name.

A beautiful section of The Great North Road…

Well, I didn’t attend high school. I opted for a driving and mechanic course at the local Eldoret Polytechnic. For the papers. I already knew more about engines than they could ever teach me. It was both fun and exhausting.

Have you ever sat through a terrific story you’ve heard a few hundred times before? Well, that kind of fun and exhausting.

Fast forward a decade, and, a half. Perhaps. The garage still runs, and my father is semi-retired. Which means he likes to hover over my kid brother as he takes care of client’s engines. Kind of explains kiddo always got earphones on, blasting away.

I could never sit still, and engines are engines, anyway. I preferred driving, and took that up as my vocation.

Since then, I’ve been driving all over Africa for different clients. I have been in everything from commercial trucks and buses, Safari tour vans to executive, luxury cabs. My love, though, lies in long-distance trucking. Big, high-riding trucks.

A lot of remarkable experiences happen in these long transit runs.

For instance, while with Red Cross, I was doing the Isiolo-Moyale-Marsabit Road to deliver supplies to a charity outpost on the Ethiopian border. This was a newly tarmacked road, into a hitherto unexplored hinterland. Travel enthusiasts were a dime a dozen doing road trips, and camping.

I had been on that road a few times, and it was an endless piece of obscurity – “Oh, look, more sand…..” ain’t that exciting, right? The road, though was beautiful. A straight line of flawless bitumen, and few cars.

On that day, just past Merille – a dusty, hot town just before Marsabit, an open-back pickup truck pulls up. We are not speeding. My truck is high up – am in an Isuzu FSR – so I can look down on the pickup. It’s an Isuzu D-Max.

It seems like a family, the man is driving, alone in the cabin. Nothing odd about that. What gave me a ‘WHAAAT’ moment, was that the lady was in the rear, open part – and a little boy is propped up on a mattress and cushions just behind the driver’s cabin.

She is slicing tomatoes onto a pan. As they pass, I notice what seems like a modern kitchen-full worth of fittings on that rear part.

Is the man driving as the wife cooks in the rear? Like, is this a family road trip idea?

A little ways down the road, I notice the Isuzu D-Max parked on the roadside. The family is sitting down to a hot meal! They wave, as I blow my air horn……..

A perfect family moment, on the road!


Co-op Bank has a vehicle financing deal with Isuzu – , dubbed Biashara Iendelee na Isuzuthat gives clients up to 95% funding on selected vehicle brands to boost Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

These are versatile lorry and pick-up trucks ideal for business, from Isuzu Kenya.

If they wish, clients can also apply for a Ksh.500,000 working capital facility to ride out the crippling Covid-19 season. Other exciting perks is the 60 day grace period, a negotiated motor vehicle insurance cover and the longest, flexible re-payment periods in the market – 5 years.

I hope more families with a knack for road trips gets wind of this deal.

Visit the nearest Co-op Bank branch, or click here for inquiries about Biashara Iendelee na Isuzu.

What does a business owner need to acquire a brand-new Isuzu truck and additional working capital?

For most business owners, a significant portion of the overheads arise in logistics. Moving new stock from the source to the market or between warehouses and making deliveries. There’s also a lot of costly risks in outsourcing transport.

To seal this loophole, business owners need a formidable financial partner.

Co-op Bank has the special Motor Vehicle Purchase Schemes established with major motor vehicle dealers, Isuzu East Africa Ltd and Simba Corporation Group. This is structured to enable Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) acquire vehicles they need at highly negotiated terms.

These are the requirements needed to secure Biashara Iendelee na Isuzu financing:

  • 6 months’ bank statements: (Non Co-op Bank clients) Mpesa statements are an added advantage. 1 year statements for seasonal/contractor business OR schools
  • Copy of ID/passport for all applicants/directors/officials
  • Copy of KRA pin certificates
  • Business registration certificate
  • Duly filled Asset finance application form, include working capital form
  • Limited Companies: Certificate of Incorporation, PIN, Memo & Articles of Association, annual returns
  • Saccos: PIN, Certificate of Registration, Registered borrowing powers, minutes authorizing the borrowing, minutes appointing officials
  • Copies of contracts where applicable
  • Pro forma Invoice
  • For amounts above 10 million: 3 years audited accounts, latest management accounts

In addition, the package comes with:

  • A working capital of Ksh 300,000/=
  • A 60-day repayment holiday on the loan
  • A comprehensive insurance package priced at 4.75% of the vehicle value (that includes political violence & terrorism)
  • Insurance Premium Financing which allows you to pay insurance premiums in easy instalments
  • 1% processing fee

This is a way to overcome logistic challenges. To address them and achieve success via this scheme, visit any one of the 150 Co-op Bank branches across the country. The solution is within reach.

To check the Biashara Iendelee na Isuzu promotion online from the comfort of your office or home, click here!

What best describes the feeling of getting to your house after a long day at work?

After a hard day’s hustle, and errands – what’s the first thing you do when you get into your house?

Kick off the irksome heels?

Flop on the stained coach and switch on the thumping music system?

Unclip tight clothing to free long-suffering appendages?

There’s no place like home. This is your personal space – you can be you.

It matters not if it’s a sprawling estate on endless acreage fraught with servants, or, a tiny, cramped, windowless box in a maze of floors and staircases somewhere in the city.

This is home, and there’s nowhere else the heart would rather be. And, these are just urban rentals. The homeowners are usually on another, higher level.

Have you seen how hard faces and hearts melt into emotional mirages when discussing the journey to building the first home?

The first home is often a rewarding culmination of an intense journey of endless personal sacrifice, sweat, blood and tears. The patience and inner drive needed to transform a barren piece of rocky land into a haven of dreams, is not a mean feat – and it’s painstakingly slow – akin to pulling out multiple bee stings.

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In between dishonest building crews bent on fleecing by overcharging for supplies and inflating the casuals tally, most home builders contend with taxing day jobs. Site supervision is relegated to multiple calls to the foreman – energy sapping and financially draining.

And, no, hiring a relative as a supervisor at your building site always ends in tears – and, irreparable family damages.

To fill in this gap, numerous construction firms have been formed. Depending on the level of work, these firms usually charge a percentage higher – but, all factors held constant – it’s the safer bet for the busy corporate home builder.

Along the Kenyan coastal zone, one building firm stands out – Riziki Home Solutions.

Interestingly, Riziki Home Solutions is lady-owned, and ran. This firm has steadily created a comfortable niche in residential and business structure development. As it is, once a potential home owner signs a contract and settles half of the agreed final payment, the firm handles every aspect of the process – from ground breaking to final touches – within an agreed time frame.

There’s some truth in the adage that what a man can do a woman can do twice better.

The firm is staffed with lady professionals, from architects, civil engineers and all craftsmen in between. Read plumbers, electricians, interior décor and landscaping experts.

Riziki Home Solutions Director, one Ms. Sarah Riziki doesn’t mince words, in her swivel leather seat behind a swarthy mahogany desk in her spacious office on the mezzanine floor, on one office block off Nkrumah Road.

“We started off as a tiny cowboy outfit – with the bare minimum we needed to make a successful project – one architect, one engineer, one plumber, et al. At the time, we all had day jobs till we ran the first few projects. We all quit and got into it fulltime” Says Ms. Sarah.

“Thanks to a solid financial partner, Co-op Bank, we’ve been able to expand, and build a credible working reputation”.

As we speak, Riziki Home Solutions is taking advantage of the Biashara Indelee Na Isuzu Campaign.

Co-op Bank has partnered with Isuzu and Simba Colt in a vehicle financing deal that gives clients up to 95% funding on selected vehicle brands to boost Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

The construction firm has signed up for a fleet of Isuzu trucks and pick-ups: the TFR series, the N-series NHR; and the F-Series models – FRR, FSR.

The Biashara Iendelee Na Isuzu Campaign also allows clients a Ksh.500,000 working capital facility, a 60 day repayment-grace period, a negotiated motor vehicle insurance cover and the longest, flexible re-payment periods in the market – 5 years.

Get home and kick off your heels, enjoy your personal space and just be yourself.

This is home.