Thursday, January 03, 2008

Kelly, the painter...


I have been promising to write about Kelly, our painter. It is a cool story about a guy that was recommended to us that was a good painter. He is a very nice young man. He is 27, lives with his grandmother. His mother lives in the states. He really has no family to speak of near here. Now in regards to painting, I need to give a little background. To state it clearly, it is very difficult to find a decent painter in Zambia. It is hard to explain this without you seeing, for example, our driveway or our patio or our ceiling, which has paint as permant proof of the carelessness that comes when people (not Kelly, but others) paint here in Zambia. But, Kelly is different. He works really hard, he is a perfectionist and cares about what he is doing. His grandfather taught him out to paint. A cool story in itself. We have been very happy with his work as he is painting our house which was entirely white primer and peeling profusely before he he came. He is also a very hard working young man. He worked full time driving for an NGO in town and then painted on the weekends. I had encouraged him at least one time that he should consider painting as a full time job, that there were many Mzungus like us who wanted some decent painting in their houses. He didn't seem to want to leave a steady job for something that was unsure, even if it would make him more money in the long run. Well, he had an unfortunate situation happen during a rainy evening and he crashed the car. Not only was he let go from his company, he also had to pay to have a house fixed. As you can imagine he was pretty discouraged. We had a good talk a few days later and I tried to help him realize that maybe this happened to help him move into the painting world, to start a business and use his skills there. It was a cool opportunity for me to encourage him in this way, as he shared later that it really helped him. But it is also cool because it gives me an opportunity to be a little entrepreneurial with him and even better, you!!! I only have skills so far, so I am looking for some help. He is going to start a painting business and I think the name we have so far is: Detail Painting. The slogan will be: Attention to detail is what sets us apart. What do you think? Any better ideas? Also, does anyone want to volunteer to do a logo, letterhead and/or marketing flyer? Has anyone started a small business and has some insight to lend to Kelly? Here is your chance to change the world for someone in Africa...

No comments: