Friday, November 16, 2007

24 hour business

Nakumatt has extended their 24 hour chain of supermarkets to nakumatt downtown. now 4 stores including eldoret household, ukay and prestige will be open 24 hours every day. and that concept has seen uchumi too extend their open hours to 10PM from 7:30 at least at the sarit. tuskys has also done the same. this is a relief given the stress of traffic during day hours. the only fear now is security which is a big pain everywhere in kenya and nairobi in particular. however it wont be so new since these mega stores are only joining the likes of kenchic fastfoods (actually dancing chicken) on the 24 hour economy. other sectors which have been making money in these are matatus especially the jogoo road bound, kahawa west and langata routes not to mention entertainment joints like f1&2. those that never say sleep!

but one area that cries for this concept is the port of Mombasa, its sad that with all that congestion and delays which cost traders and other importers billions of shilling in missed opportunities as well as storage costs, the port gates still close at 5PM and only open at 8. one time, my consignment was stopped at the gate ostensibly because the clock had struck 5 and the gate keeper bolted! turning the busy port to be open 24 hours daily would also greatly increase the number of jobs available and probably this would be the best place for Kalonzo to start implementing his 24hour economy.

and so be it, wonders of elections never cease, the other day i went to town and could hardly believe my eyes. the hawkers are not pledging their votes for nothing. the guys are back in swarms bigger far than locusts. every parking space, every pavement, even road spaces have been 'chalked' up by the traders. and as before they are selling anything you can imagine. 'you need it? we got it' the shopkeepers who pay an arm and a leg for the ground floor shops are crying foul. but the common mwananchi is happy since these guys dont have to pay tax, nor rent nor elec nor water. so their goods are dirt cheap so to speak.

however the crafty wahindi have known how to beat the election madness. they are giving the traders their goods for free then these guys pay in the evening or when they want more goods. the downside however is that the city that one John Gakuo struggled to beautify and keep clean is now turning to a city in the garbage just as before.

but it really doesn't matter, these guys have just about 2 months to make their hay while the campaign sun shines as they will be ruthless bundled out of town after casting their valuable votes.

million dollar question of the month: Why is it that neither South African businesses nor managers ever make it in Kenya?


  1. Walking through town and checking on the hawkers, I admit that they saw an opportunity and took it. Sad that come early next year, they'll probably be chased out in a major way.
    As for South Africans and management, I thought the safcom mdosi was from there... Give more time to the railways guy, that is a long term project.

  2. 'Kuku porno.' Remember the first time I heard that I found it so gross but it is naked chicken. Anyway, we all need the hawkers, despite them turning the city into one big garbage heap. I got a TV series for 100 bob, something that goes for 900 at the Sarit shop and I was like, wow! Wabaki mpaka elections ziishe.

    South African businesses never make it in Kenya because they come here not thinking like Kenyans but like South Africans. If they are white, they want to treat Kenyans the way they treat blacks down there. No right thinking kenyan will want to be belittled just because manna comes from SA. Their draconian rules do not help much either, why would I let anyone call me names just because they think I'm desperate for the job they offer? Their commodities are unaffordable to the common mwananchi. When in high school, Nakumatt downtown was Woolworths, and their prices were ridiculous. Supreme furnishers came and went but I got some lovely stuff when they were leaving as they had to close shop. Castle Breweries? Not with EABL, they will do anything to kill competition. Stuttafords at the Junction hardly lasted 2 years, not so great stuff for ridiculous prices? Why would you go for them even being that its made in SA? Treat a kenyan well and he/she will deliver. Do not triple or quadruple prices just because you want to make a kill here, it wont work.

  3. SA businesses will never make in kenya. Reason being, they come with pre-conceived ideas and have no intention to put in the resources and effort required for long-term viability. In other african countries like TZ they have colluded with the leaders there to fleece the populace and get resources on the cheap while keeping kenyans at bay coz we'd give them a run for their money. they still suffer from apartheid hangover!


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