I knew a guy once. I suppose I still know him but we have been separated by distance and time. I will call him Bruno.
We were in school together and at that point I would say we were nothing more than classmates. He sat at the back of the class and made jokes, he could rhyme pretty well too. We exchanged pleasantries now and then. One of the songs I remember him singing was Beautiful- Bobby Brown featuring Damian Marley. He rapped my favourite part of the song like he had written it himself. I knew most of it but I am certain my words were incorrect. It was fun. Look what I found? The right lyrics. Mine were close, I insist. Okay close-ish 😛
And I remember when we met and we began dating
And everything was copacet’ and we began mating
And then the way mi love her good, she gimme don ratings
Because mi style dem plentiful and ah nuh one way thing
And she get belly full and ah nuh pot scrapings
And the closer we become the more she gravitating
Until we buckle down and there is no escaping
Now it typically became an everyday thing….
*Lalalala..it goes on…*
You get the drift. Anyway, High school ended and we all went our separate ways, but facebook happened. Bruno realised we had some similarities, love for poetry and music and thus we actually became ‘friends,’ cyber friends more like and not just former classmates. We ‘talked’ from time to time and he seemed like an interesting lad.
One day he sent me an ‘SOS,’ it was his girlfriend’s birthday and he was all the way in Europe. Wouldn’t I be a darling and talk to a lady he recommended, make the cake order and then pay? He would reimburse in the next few days and be forever grateful.
Naturally I said yes. I didn’t even think about it. I am all for love and if I can make life easy for two love birds,why not? Being in Kampala meant I was closer to her so I followed the instructions.
At the time, I was working for an organisation that not only wasn’t paying us, they weren’t planning too either. I had no money but I had to pay a 50% deposit via mobile money in order for the cake booking to be ‘legit’ so that baking could begin. Looking for that money was a trick,a story for another day.
I was picking someone from the airport that day and had to look out for mobile money outlets on the Highway so that the plan could be put in motion. I made this ‘project’ my sole mission at the time, had to perform my duty to perfection. I did not even have Bruno’s number and all our communication was via facebook so between seas and time zones, a small favour had become quite the journey.
Long story short, said girlfriend got the cake, fell deeper in love with Bruno and got my number from the lovely lady who baked the cake then called to say an excited thank you. I told her it was her thoughtful man who was responsible. Facebook later told me they had a reunion in those outside countries soon after.
He sent a couple of messages several days later saying he would send the money the next week, then the week after and and…… Well, that money transfer did not ever come to life.
I had already regarded it as a bad debt so when I saw him going on about his daily routine, I let it go. I might have been broke but I wasn’t going to stalk someone for a couple of thousands of shillings.
Well, this post isn’t about him. It is about the cake guru. Bruno might have ran off with a few shillings/pounds/Euros but he sent me an angel and this is her(our) story.
Soon after this incident, I began to give Cleo’s number to anyone who mentioned cakes or pastries. Sometimes they made orders, other days they did not but I still passed it on anyway. When I had my own friend’s birthdays or anniversaries, she was the first person I thought of. I did not know what she looked like but she got good reviews and later I tasted the cakes myself and realised she was indeed worth the hype.
She casually asked me when my birthday was a few months later. I didn’t think much of it and told her. Believe it or not,on my birthday, she arrived at my office doorstep with a cake for……me!!!
I was elated!! Naturally I had friends who forgot the date or expectations that weren’t met but I shall remember that day in 2011; a near stranger sat(or stood) and baked a cake for plain ol’ me 🙂
It was such a heart warming gesture, I spoke about it till people got tired of the story. Still, it was my day and my cake so….:P
Cleo, yes, her name finally comes out..doesn’t seem like a lady of many words and I am quite the opposite. I believe if we had gone to school together, she would have shifted seats and left my ‘noisy neighbourhood.’Maybe I am wrong, see I am just beginning to actually ‘know’ her. In fact, until recently, I simply knew that she is a talented baker, lover of hip hop and a closeted rapper herself. Most of which was from stalking her a bit on facebook since she is a friend on the social network. Not much else. I have since tried to get a few other confessions out of her because her kindness is truly humbling. Yes, there is more!
Soon after I started the 40-40 project, she told me she would bake cakes for our events for free. No, not at a subsidised cost. FREEEE!!!
It melted my heart. We have monthly breakfasts for the little ones and celebrate the birthday babies of that month. This means all year round, each child gets to have a chance cutting the cake. Not a single breakfast has gone by without cake! The kids are over 100 in total and when they are short, we lift them onto a chair so they can cut cake. She has always delivered and seldom do I need to remind her.
We made a year recently and without any coercion, Cleo prepared a wonderful surprise for us.
A few weeks ago, we made an order for a cake to mark two of our friends’ birthdays’. A guy and a girl, with specifications to suit what they both like. As you can see, the task was executed to perfection.
I can’t get enough of Cleo’s cake. Maybe my sweet tooth(teeth?) is the problem or the fact that she is meticulous and yet still humble. All I know is I could eat this cake forever, literally.
Last week she sent me a package just because (stalkers can sometimes be useful too) Her latest product. Delicious cupcakes. At first I thought it was a joke when she mentioned it but then her delivery guy called and asked where I was. I squealed!!! He delivered!
The cakes were such a delight! I hid them in a separate compartment in the fridge but trust curious eyes to search.
I could go on and on but I have to stop somewhere. That saying about some people being in your life for a season, a reason and others for a lifetime is so true. “Bruno” and his slippery ways led me to Cleo who has not only made a huge impact on my life, but on the kid’s lives as well.
Recently as we chatted, she told me I was one of her first clients and that when more orders kept coming in, she decided to do this baking thing full time.
If I was a practicing journalist, I would definitely do a piece on her. Perhaps I shall do an interview just for this blog about what makes her tick.*thinking aloud*
I am intrigued by people who make careers out of their passion, more-so if they are young, motivated and selfless too.
The sky isn’t the limit for this lady, and I shall be here watching as she becomes a millionaire.
Wait, maybe she already is 🙂
*Contact me if you need to order cake(s), I didn’t exactly ask for permission to share her contact* Plus, you never know, if you put n a good word for me, she might just hire me to become her official cake taster 😉
Food for thought: Find your passion and nurture it, even better use it to help others..and if someone in your life is taking more than they are giving, look closer, they just might be a blessing after all.