Tuesday, 31 July 2012

The Common Problems We Face As Kenyans & How To Overcome Them.

A Critical Analysis Of The Problems We Face

Welcome to my blog if it’s your first time here, if you’ve been here before this article isn't just like the ‘normal’ ones I have published before. This is thought provoking, it’s going to annoy you, probably make you hate or like me more (You’ll decide at the end) just read through, hang on till the end this is a tough post!

As the title goes, being a Kenyan makes me understand Kenyans better. The few months I have published this blog I have met people (really interesting Kenyans) who have taught me a few things and probably you've also picked lessons from me too.

Are you proudly Kenya? Do you love your country? Wewe ni Mkenya Daima? Mwenye nchi? Umechoka/unavumilia kuwa Mkenya? If you’re anything of the above lets go on…read on!

Do you find yourself getting irritated when you hear the word corruption, ukabila, traffic jams, City council etc mentioned near you? Yes I think! So what do you do? Maybe YOU whine so much about corruption yet when you need something done faster, YOU bribe someone to speed up things at that office. See? When you park in town or elsewhere without a ticket and expect to get away with it,  CCN officers clamp you down (they are always looking for people like you). When you’re done with your business, they will be waiting for you, on seeing that ‘yellow thing’ on your new rims you start pleading with them….mostly it’s a case shika hii elfu moja tumalize hii maneno! Caught drinking before or past time? You bribe your way out! See how your behaviour is a good breeding ground for corruption? Next time you get a shoddy service insist on superior customer service from them, complain, seek to  meet their ‘manager’  or supervisor…everyone in government has one apparently! Bribing your way in creates a precedent, because next time you come/visit you’ll find a culture you cultivated in all departments. In some places everyone looks at you with those eyes “Toa kitu boss niangalie kama mkubwa yuko ndani”, from the guards at the gate!

While Kenyan-Asians & Indians (wahindi na ma Kalasinga) teach their sons and daughters lessons on money while they’re still young our fathers never wanted us to learn anything on money! It was always and still remains “Finish school, get a job and make your own money”. Did you do that dutifully? YES probably! Did you land that job easily? NO! While the Indians support their own in business, to set up, fund their son’s businesses and support their talents our ‘African’ fathers’ never help us! We somehow feel that supporting our very own makes us poorer! Well; your dad, mum, uncle, brother etc doesn’t own your future….if you want to predict your future the best way to do it is to create it! Take control of your future, wakilisha vision 2030! Sadly what I see in Kenya today is the exact opposite, is it the role of your family and relatives to secure you a job? NO! Go out there and get one yourself!  I have written articles on career advice before and what I got as feedback was CV’s from Kenyans asking me to help them secure jobs! Sadly I trashed all your CV’s! I am not a recruiter, agent or a Kenyan who helps people secure jobs! If I was any of the above then I’d help you at a FEE! It’s nothing personal, JUST business! The Trump way!

The problem we have as Kenyans is we mostly think that the world owes us! Well does it?  NO! Our universities are churning graduates annually, more and more Kenyans are out there looking for jobs. Can papers secure you work? NO! When you got good grades in primary school you went to a good high school or probably a national school, you may also have worked very hard and scored A’s to secure a place in our public universities through J.A.B program. If you didn't manage good a B, there were local private universities that took you in, Uganda, India, Malaysia etc are also other options you could have considered for tertiary education. However after campus grades no longer matter! Enter the workplace and you realize that papers are used to shortlist candidates, those are basic requirements; employers are looking for skills, competencies and talent, NOT papers! That’s the tragedy that befalls most book smart jobseekers today and then few months into seeking that elusive job Kenyans then think that it’s the work of the government to create jobs. A few ‘clever’ ones become activists/goons (You still earn money & lots of it depending on the level of your ‘noise’) Duh! Some will even blame the private sector for not hiring them, the truth is there could be corruption, tribalism, racism and nepotism in some places but show me one well networked Kenyan who is jobless. If you are then you simply don’t know how to use your network to your advantage. (Am not talking about asking your immediate family members for a job). You’ve got to go out there and get one for yourself, making 30 copies of your CV and leaving it with guards at the gates of multinational companies won’t earn you placement there! Same thing with just sending one to Hr@ & Info@ in all companies that have a website will probably not earn you a place anytime soon! Companies are in dire need of talent, they need brains that can take their businesses to the next level, establish regional presence, grow, turnaround so if you can’t package yourself as that person they are looking for then read 7-reasons-why-you-are-still-jobless-yet so qualified

The other problem we have as Kenyans is we tend to complain, whine and talk about all the bad things happening, talk so much about what we need to do but we GET NOTHING DONE!  Anything or everything rattles Kenyans from the maize scandal, NSSF saga, NHIF clinics scandal, Goldenberg, Ngong plane crash, drug lords, Anglo leasing and the youth fund scandal….but is anything done? NO! We tweet about for a week, get tired and move on to something else....we then set up commisions of inquiries to investigate. Does that make the corrupt government officials from misusing the taxpayers’ funds? NO!  The next time you want to tell the world in 140 characters why you are so disappointed as a Kenyan just delete that tweet and say something about what you want to do to correct the situation. Even if it’s by just telling us you’ll vote out the bad guys from office…..now that is doing something about the situation!

We tend to believe all we read on the newspapers, no analysis, no comparing sources, nothing! Then sit in a bar in the evening and talk about Miguna Miguna Vs RAO and how Daily Nation reported it! SAD! We don’t seek to hear the other side of the coin!

Robert Alai today morning on Twitter was complaining of bloggers ( gave him 3RT's by the way for the good cause) that have been turned to PR machines by companies, well I see no problem with that. If you are given an S3 to write a good review about it then take it, go write one and get a few Kenyans to buy it using your influence. Perfect business; you both win! If they gave me one I’d do a very nice post on what an S3 can do! 
What Robert Alai didn't say is he also makes money from doing the exact same thing only that maybe this time he wasn't brought on board for reasons best known to Samsung and it's PR agency!  Or how does he survive? 
However the downside of this is ‘buying off’ bloggers, reporters, writers and journalists puts an end to the other side of the coin/story that you should know! Politicians have bought, others invested in media houses, editors in leading papers are making a killing now ‘sieving out on behalf’ of their clients what shouldn’t be published. Should this worry you? Yes! Are people making money? YES! Are you? Here’s how to take advantage of the situation at hand.

When the young people (me included) look at Kenya today, the posh houses in leafy neighbourhoods, big cars that drive out of those residencies, the $6000 suits that some if our cabinet ministers wear,  we all tend to think these people got their in two years! It takes time; some of us who won’t wait can rush to the bank (If you have a sizeable pay cheque) and get a car loan and a mortgage to prove a point to the world! It’s rather sad when we define wealth by cars, houses, women we date and clothes we put on! I don’t know much about finance but I read Rob Kiyosaki bestseller (Rich Dad, Poor Dad) and I clearly know cars are liabilities and a house isn’t always an asset. I am a gen Y guy so this might sound a bit boring to you, once you’ve got that big ride on loan remember it runs on fuel, needs routine maintenance, spares don’t come cheap and remember guys who drive big cars eat at certain restaurant, live in certain areas, go to certain concerts and have offices on certain places so be ready to match the expectations from people that come with your newly found status!  All I am trying to say is the deal Instagram got from Facebook isn’t going to happen daily, Mark Zuckerberg probably won’t spend that much in an app again! Are you coding? Do you have big ideas? Be realistic, think globally but remember you’re Kenyan! Coders who have won previous hackathons at the I hub got some cash prize, PR on print and TV and that was all! Nobody will baby sit them to know what they do with their talents, maybe a MNC will hire them and utilize their gifts and talents properly for a monthly salary! 

TPF is a good case to refer to, with all the publicity, we’ve not seen much from their previous contestants and winners. You may complain about that, say the show should go off air for two years but is it really the work of EABL to ensure these contestants earn a living from music after life in the academy? NO! They are busy selling booze, ensuring you don’t get home anytime before midnight on a Friday night! That’s why they exist, open a bar, let them teach you how to make money with booze! That Tusker has made a few guys millionaires and other paupers….stinking poor, broken families, unwanted kids , accidents, etc so choose what side of this equation do you want to lie on!

Are you still with me? The next time you think of leaving that job because you’ve ‘helped’ your employer make so much money think again! Your boss doesn’t owe you, if you feel you’re underpaid ask for a raise, look for another job or resign and start your own company! Complaining daily about how horrible your boss is won’t help YOU, bad mouthing him/her doesn’t help too, trying to bring them down won’t work, sadly business tends to flow in when you are trying to mess up things at the workplace!

Next time you want to say “Tunaomba Serikali” think about it, think of what you can do right there and then before the government comes in! It’s not the work of cops to ensure we drive safely, should you do booze properly and decide to do 200KM/Hr on Thika road then go right ahead! It's your car (borrowed, leased, bought, stolen etc), you’re in control! Just remember you aint to cool for death, put on a safety belt, drive at reasonable speeds, get home safe!

The ‘government’ cannot be with us everywhere,however we can do so much to improve security in our neighbourhoods but we never tend to question the source of money ‘that guy who sleeps all day and leaves the house in the evening has' .He could be a gangster, kidnapper, serious thug or a pirate but all we tend to do is adore his money! Women run in like moths to him, they are turned accomplices slowly and the gang grows bigger! The next thing you hear is a nearby supermarket was broken into last night, car jacking incidents on the increase and you think ni wezi wa mbali! When your son dissapears while playing in the neighbourhood don't look further! The level of crime increases due to such people, youths in the slums want to join the trade to make money fast......and blow it fast too! We could put an end to all this by simply reporting these characters to cops, CID...even if they have cops on the pay roll he will be warned to go undercover for a while thus you'll be safe for a while! Do something! Don't be okay with everything! 

Finally next time you want to start a business, go right ahead and do it! With social media so many guys have become motivational tweeps, pastors on FB, social media self help coaches but one thing is common, NO ONE pays to read their tweets! Don’t spend a whole year strategizing, planning and then in December you tell us why you haven’t done anything! Don’t dream big, it’s good to also dream big by the way…..

Help me say LIGHTS ---->ACTION -- CAMERA….The world is watching you do it! Start, you’ll learn on the way! 

I know you're itching to say something now, you can follow me on twitter @KenyanMarketer and leave a comment on my handle. If you want to know what I do then follow this link.

If you liked my ideas, you can pass this article on by sharing it, if you found it flat and stupid, a better one is coming up tommorow or read a few others I have published in the past!  
Ooh I forgot to say that don't tweet about bad/good leadership if you're not going to vote for the person you think has the best interest in you....If there's none 'simama' utafute kura! 


  1. pure truth>a must read for all kenyans,they stop blaming serikali evertime

  2. So true I love this Kinyamu. I will sweep the front part of my house in the effort of making whole world will be clean and habitable.

  3. Τhis is a topic that's close to my heart... Take care! Exactly where are your contact details though?
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