Wednesday, February 13, 2008

of youth and risks

Of late i have been having many people asking me what i think about the business environment in Kenya, like prof Ndungu, i have been saying that the future is so bright you may need shades. but yesterday, i met a real challenger. she started by saying that she had just over 5 million shillings in foreign currency stashed away in a safe foreign bank and wanted to to know the best investment for the time. i quickly suggested that with that kind of money she was better off in Mpesa agency especially in nyanza or rift valley. am told that queues in the Mpesa agents offices in kisumu are stretching several kilometers and the agents are capping withdrawals at 4K only. in those joints you can also sell safaricom airtime which is almost the next most priced commodity after food in that city. so i suggested that she could open several of those. but she said that she was afraid, the employees would defraud her of the money and people would not tell her the truth. even though i tried to assure her that its impossible to be defrauded since the commission is paid by Safaricom directly to the agents, she had a thousand and one reasons why that would fail.

so next i told her that transport is doing very badly in the region and i even know someone who had to pay 450 shillings for a distance of 80KM on the Kisumu busia road. it normally costs only about 120 shillings. I therefore suggested that if she was investor enough, then she was better off in the public transport. but she said that it was too risky to contemplate and in any case public transport never has good returns. the vehicles will break down, fuel is too costly, drivers cheat and touts are hopelessly corrupt. in any case she did not want to be involved in anything that can cause accidents and death.

i then said the next best alternative is to invest in a funeral home and hearse especially in Siaya or busia since such services are non existent. "Good Lord! Whats wrong with you!!!"

Ok so what else? i next suggested that since wholesale businesses in north rift were burnt down and their owners expelled , she could acquire a large truck and operate a mobile wholesale to target small scale kiosk owners etc. again she brought in the high cost of running the business, monitoring, management, she claimed you need experience with wholesale and FMCG etc etc! phew so i said get away satan if you cant see the light then just head directly to stock market and place your money in equity. still she said that brokers were corrupt and singled out thuo, nyaga, munge and the like. she also said that the market may crush, she better wait until things started going up! ok so what of bonds? she asked whether i really really believed the interest rates would go up and if i really believed that confidence would come back to enable people to get back to those things. ok so why did you come to ask me for my advice then my dear? she asked why i did not mention fixed deposit account!

"sigh!" why should such a young person not even in her thirties put money in fixed deposit accounts? if the youth cannot take risks who will?

Another young person who refused to take risk is one Danson Mungatana who sees that a coalition government is too risky for his ambitions. the prospect of a re-run after 2 years is even unthinkable.

as that was happening, another young and brand new MP who floored my guy Mutahi Kagwe (the guy did a brilliant job in the ministry lets admit) was showing the world the consequences of risking other peoples lives. he has vaguely been accused of fanning violence so he has to risk exposing himself by writing an essay. surely Americans have a way with humiliating us Africans. how can they say that to our 'honorable' MPs? but after the man made me proud by rejecting the letter, he went ahead and threatened to sue. i agree these guys need to be investigated and punished but writing an essay? lol


  1. That is one risk averse Kenyan you were talking about there so what did she end up doing with the money?

  2. Hi Odengle. I have been thinking of opening an Mpesa office in my rural home in Bondo.But man, I have no contacts.Do you have any, I realy need this.


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