It’s a long way to Katete and last time we went, we nearly failed to get there. But now I know the road through Eastern Province, and we set off early last Wednesday – this time with a reliable car, a full tank of fuel – and, for me, a comfortable bed for the night: in our new ‘roof tent’! Albert (Keepers Zambia Foundation) and I travelled with two of The Cola Road film crew Claire Ward and Guy Godfree. It was a real confidence-building experience for me. We met with the newly recruited Keepers Zambia Foundation staff in Katete: Elias Lungu and Justina Tembo who will lead the frontline promotional work there. Both are hugely experienced and have big local reputations. The ColaLife concept will definitely be safe in their hands! It turns out that Elias knew more about ColaLife than I could remember having written: he had read every corner of the blog, which was hugely encouraging.
We’d also arranged to meet with Yayha, the Coca-Cola wholesaler in Katete, to update him on progress and discuss next steps. There wasn’t much need to update Yayha as he is a blog reader too.
As well as being a successful businessman, Yayha is a philanthropist. His heart is in Katete. He has partnered with other development projects and undertakes projects in his own right; funding the digging of wells in several rural communities each year. He likes to visit these communities to check on progress. He does this at night so that he can avoid the huge generosity that would be shown if he visited during the day!
We picked Yahya’s brains on the marketing approach we should take; a discussion that will definitely feed into the marketing plan. That’s our is next big assignment.
Following our meeting with Yayha, Justina and Elias squeezed into the Land Rover and we continued their induction with a trip to Kagoro where we visited the Rural Health Centre. There we introduced Kit Yamoyo and discussed how the health centre and the local shops would work together to sign-post people to each other: serious diarrhoea cases to the health centre, regular cases to the shop.
Our visit to the largest shop in Kagoro generated a lot of interest, with a small crowd gathering – women in the front, men at the back. The shop – Felix Investment – actually sold quite a a range of medicine from the usual Panodo to ‘Go Cough’ at K8,000 (£1 or $1.63). There was a lot of interest in the Kit Yamoyo and when asked what it should sell for the shop keeper said K5,000. Exactly our own conclusion from the customer consultation work. Reassuring.
And, in the meantime the film crew were hard at work . . . . filming and sticking cameras to the vehicle:
But here’s the icing on the cake – when the film crew went to re-visit Yayha in his shop, first thing in the morning before heading back for Lusaka, they found this – a modified version of the draft poster Guy had done earlier in the week . . . Kit Yamoyo Coming Soon. Fantastic.