SAMANTHA'S CHRONICLES

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People would rather give a woman a hard time about breastfeeding her kid in public than they would about her posing nude

In Summary

• I stood up for the right person’s wife. And one good turn deserves another

A vendor displays various newspapers in a stand in Nairobi
A vendor displays various newspapers in a stand in Nairobi
Image: FILE

“If anyone in this room is aroused by children eating, then they have a bigger problem than her breasts,” I say.

“Yeah!” someone shouts. “Leave the lady alone.”

A few other voices chime in and soon it’s a chorus. The man walks away, clearly embarrassed.

“Thank you for that,” the breastfeeding mum says, looking grateful.

The manager comes over and introduces herself.

“Breakfast for both of you is on the house,” she says to the mom and me. “Sorry about that, one of us should have interceded earlier.”

I shrug, happy that the whole thing has been sorted. People would rather give a woman a hard time about breastfeeding her kid in public than they would about her posing nude.

“Join me for a quick coffee?” the mum asks.

Alan has returned to his table. I figure if I’m this close to him, I can eavesdrop on whatever he and his friend are discussing.

“I’d love to, my name is Samantha,” I say with an outstretched hand. The lady shakes it.

“I’m Diana,” she responds.

We chat for a little bit and I keep glancing towards Alan’s direction, but they are speaking in hushed tones. I wonder what that is all about.

“So you work around here?” Diana is asking.

“Yes, my office is down the road. Peach. I’m the Editor,” I tell her.

“Peach, yes, of course! I read you every month,” she says in an excited tone.

We talk magazines for a little bit and she asks for my number.

“I have to introduce you to my husband,” she says.

Who is your husband, lady? I don’t ask the question out loud but instead silently hand over my business card. My reconnaissance mission is not going very well and I’m ready to leave. Whatever is going on with Alan is his problem; I’m done trying to figure it out.

I stand up and say my goodbyes to Diana and her cute baby, wave quickly to Alan and leave. I get back to the office and quickly forget all about my eventful morning until two weeks later, when a letter on some very expensive stationery is delivered to my office. It’s from Diana’s husband. His names are plastered on the letterhead; he is (gulp) the owner of the biggest wine distributorship in the country.

Dear Samantha,

Many thanks for taking care of Di the other day, what a terrible business with that heckling fella, I wish I had been there to land one on him. She mentioned you're the Editor of Peach and she raves about it all the time, along with her friends. I have done some research and your numbers are good, so are the demographics. I’m switching to your magazine and will run all my advertising for the next 24 issues with you, subject to renewal if it goes well. Have your people call my people.

Best.

A very large scrawny signature follows. This is unbelievable. He hasn’t even looked at the rate card. Or perhaps he has, this guy seems thorough. This is huge! Getting a client to commit one ad to one issue is a herculean task, this guy has committed to us for the next two years!

I put his letter down and head to my boss’s office.

“Yes?” he rasps, looking irritated.

“I’ll come back,” I say and head back to my office. He’s in a foul mood, why should I make it any better and tell him he just hit pay dirt? Diana’s husband has been on our radar for years, and we could never even get a meeting with the marketing manager. I stood up for the right person’s wife. And one good turn deserves another…