A Vehicle of Hope: How Co-operative Bank Made My Mother’s Dream a Reality

Mother and son sharing a joyful moment in a car.
Mother and son sharing a joyful moment in a car.
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The spacious room, with its wooden walls, shelves lined with books, and a thick red carpet, contrasted sharply with my presence - a skinny, loose-tie-wearing, shaggy-haired 20-year-old, somebody. I stood out like a sunflower in the desert. 

Across from me sat the manager, sporting thin-lensed glasses, who had briefly interrupted our interview to take a five-minute phone call.

"Alright then, convince me why you're the one for this role," she remarked, setting aside her notes.

I settled back into my seat, my hand gliding along the armrest as I relaxed. Anxiety sweat steadily drenching my shirt on the back. My gaze shifted from her eyes to the window overlooking Waiyaki Way. With a deep breath, I felt my chest rise before exhaling. And as the air left my lips, a smile playfully formed on them.

This, I thought, was the easiest part of the interview.

Graphic Promoting Co-Operative Bank's Campaign.
Graphic Promoting Co-Operative Bank's Campaign.
Co-op Bank

“Because,” I began, “Nobody will do what I can. I am a cheaper hire than anyone better than me. And I am better than anyone cheaper.”

She leaned forward with a puzzled look on her face. Perhaps amused just enough to accept it but left with more questions than answers. She, however, stopped herself from saying anything and sank back into her seat. 

"You're hired," she declared.

After shaking her hand, I rose from my seat, straightened my shirt, and swiftly slung my bag across my chest. With minimal fuss, I exited the office, only stopping to exchange a word or two with the guard at the front door.

It was only outside that I dropped to my knees, offering a silent prayer. Overwhelmed with emotion, I dialled my mother's number.

"Mum, I did it!"

Just months earlier, I had found myself in a vastly different environment. Bright white lights, the incessant beeping of machines, the sounds of coughs and groans, and the frantic movements of doctors filled the air. 

In the midst of despair, where lives hung in the balance, I sat with my mother's diagnosis: High Blood Pressure. Words failed me as I grappled with the realization that those who had always cared for us would now need care of themselves.

The doctor’s list of all the things she had to stop doing, or at least, adopt, read as long as a Harry Potter book. Life was about to change dramatically. 

As time passed and the months slipped by, I returned home to visit her. At this point, I had been employed fairly long enough to separate the do’s from the don’ts. I had grown old enough in the company to be considered “one of them”. 

So when I walked in through the front gate, I had much to tell her about the past months. She sat on the veranda, bathed in the warm glow of the golden setting sun.

"How's work treating you, son?" she asked, her laughter filling the air.

I told her of the ups and downs of corporate living. Of all the early meetings and late-night briefings. We spoke of the political struggle to improve, impress, learn and provide within the 8-5 canon of our lives.

“I miss living,” she said, “You need to live a little bit more. Life has more meaning than two days spent away from your desk, where most of them are used up in worry. Take time to see what the world has to show for.”

As I rolled her wheelchair back into the house, the words she said to me left me feeling stuck. 

“What if we do a road trip? You and I, visiting every big town in Kenya, then the rest of East Africa?”

“We can take a trip down to the coast and see the slow-speaking poets of the Swahili beaches, then drive to the central parts of our country, where we can see the mountain ranges spread defiantly through the skyline. 

“We can then take a fast highway to the West to observe the immersive, absorbing culture of music, food, and dance,” I said to her in response. 

She didn’t interrupt me even as I rumbled through the idea of us visiting the vast untamed hills of the Rift Valley or the abandoned expanses of our deserted North-East. 

“We will need a car,” she said, as she placed a hand on my shoulder.

In the ensuing weeks, I went on a thorough exploration of potential avenues. Initially, I checked out various car dealerships, hoping to find a suitable option. However, the prospect of buying a vehicle without the requisite financial documentation proved to be a difficult ask.

Subsequently, I tried to connect with individuals selling their pre-owned cars. Regrettably, I discovered that such offers often came about from vehicles that had one more trip up and down Thika Road before throwing in the towel. Faced with these challenges, I redirected my attention to the bank with which I held an account.

Fortunately, as a longstanding customer of Co-operative Bank, a trusted institution upon which my family had relied for years, I found the solution. With their invaluable assistance, I successfully bought a pre-owned vehicle, carefully ensuring it adhered to the terms of being no more than 8 years old.

The process involved several fees, including Appraisal/Negotiation fees, Insurance fees, Motor Vehicle Valuation, and Tracking fees, all of which fell comfortably within my budget.

The repayment terms were flexible, ranging from 5 to 8 years, tailored to fit my finances. The vehicle served as collateral, adding security to the transaction.

A promotional graphic of Co-operative Bank's Campaign.
A promotional graphic of Co-operative Bank's Campaign.
Co-op Bank

Co-operative Bank's requirements were straightforward. They needed documents like my ID, KRA PIN Certificate, and my latest 3 months’ payslips. For those without accounts, they also asked for the most recent 6 months’ bank statements and employment proof. Essential paperwork included the Motor Vehicle Sales Agreement, a Copy of the Logbook, and a valuation report from an approved valuer.

With all the necessary paperwork ready, the acquisition process was smooth and efficient, guaranteeing a hassle-free transaction with Co-operative Bank.

Looking back on this journey, I'm thankful for Co-operative Bank's immense help. Their support not only got me a car but also gave me peace of mind to care for my sick mother.

 Now, with everything set, I'm ready to travel across East Africa with her, making sure she's comfortable and well-looked after.