Bibey Mutombo, pictured, caused quite a stir the other day when he went to a branch of Morkels Furnishers to negotiate a hire purchase deal. Everybody in the store - customers and staff - wanted to have a piece of him.
But Mutombo would have none of it as he was firmly focused on the job at hand - buying an expensive, high-performance plasma screen TV set on a 24-month hire purchase agreement.
After completing all the necessary hire purchase forms - which required Mutombo to state his permanent residential address, nationality, place and type of employment, among other things - the impressed saleslady took them to her manager for authorisation.
When the saleslady failed to emerge from her manager's office after more than an hour, the stony-faced and unsmiling Mutombo decided to storm into the manager's office to find out what the farce was all about.
Mutombo: "Why are you taking so long to process my deal?"
Manager: "I'm deeply sorry, sir, but I can't approve the deal."
Mutombo: "Why? Is it because of my nationality? It is because I come from the DRC?"
Manager: "No, sir. Xenophobia is not tolerated in this store."
Mutombo: "Why, then?"
Manager: "Well, sir, in terms of our hire purchase policy, one must be employed before one can enter into a hire purchase agreement."
Mutombo: "What rubbish is this? How ignorant can one be? I'm the head coach of Orlando Pirates, for Pete's sake. Who in this country does not know that Bibey Mutombo is the coach of Orlando Pirates?"
Manager: "That's precisely the problem, sir. According to our knowledge, very few coaches manage to hold that job for longer than 12 months at that club. In our view, such people are technically unemployed and cannot enter into 24-month hire purchase deals with us. They are what we call high-risk customers."
"Go hang," said Mutombo.