Skip to main content

Cunning Nairobi Hawkers

Have you ever wondered how easy it is to de-fraud the public? Do you think that you need to be a politician to defraud the public? It is quite easy to defraud the public, and secondly, politicians work very hard and in fact most of their income is handed to them on a silver platter, been the gate keepers of Government contracts. Whether politicans defraud the public shall be left to another day. As for how easy it is to defraud the public, Jeffrey Acher, in one of his novels, illustrates a couple of guys who send in a classified Ad to the dailies reading "Deadline near. Send your money quickly." According to Archer, the guys received money. Whether it was just a piece of imagination or an actual occurence we leave it to the author.

Yesterday, I happened to take a Kenya Bus Services Management bus, yes , one of the buses responsible for intoducing a large hole on half of my pin striped suit with their crude seats. I boarded the bus travelling from Teleposta towers, previous headquarters of Telkom to their new headquarters of the even stranger Telkom-Orange based at Telkom Plaza. As I wasted time waiting for the bus to get full , some hawkers boarded the bus to peddle thier wares. It was a waste of time because the strange frenchman who I had a scheduled interview with at Orange would later decide that his schedule had better meetings than a scheduled one with some small time journalist.

The hawkers, are not your ordinary hawker. This hawkers have choreographed voices to start with. The mostly male hawkers, have a deep crooning baritone voice that makes you believe that you are part of a perfromance which you would perform better by buying from them. It takes talent too, to be a hawker.

This hawkers were selling airtime. You would think anyone who needs airtime already purchased it on the ground. Wrong!.The hawkers announced that they were selling special airtime vouchers that increased the chances of one winning the ongoing "Masonko na Safaricom" promotion. This sepcial cards had a different design from the normal ones and would receive higher consideration when selecting the promotion winners.

My fellow passengers, on a Kibera bound bus purchased the airtimes in droves. Kibera, fellow readers (yeah, am a reader of this blog!) is a slum once touted to be the biggest in Africa and attracted tourists from far and wide including Barrack Obama and Chris Rock. That was until a census held an year ago showed that the actual popualtion was a tenth of the estimated million. Maybe that's why it took an year to get the results released, they had to verify Kibera's population!. And so the Kibera destined passengers purchased the airtime in high dominions of Ksh. 100, maybe hoping that their probability of winning was almost 1 (in mathematics, a probability of 1 is equivalent to 100%).

Well, those keen enough should notice that Safaricom is busy undertaking a promotion to wound up its 10 year party (More on this on the next issue of CIO East Africa magazine). As part of the fanfare, Safaricom has decided to re-brand and re-design its cards and this day happened to be day 1 of the new cards. The hawkers must have sang all the way to their M-PESA accounts.

Meanwhile, I hope the reason the Orange CEO decided that I should waste 2 hours but not see him was because he was engrossed in a meeting with one of this hawkers on how to sell to the market!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

RE: Appointment as Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya to The United States of America

Image: South African marriage courtesy The Telegraph ( http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/southafrica/6237922/South-African-man-marries-4-women-at-same-ceremony.html  ) Dennis Kioko, Address Pending. President to-be-elect, Republic of Kenya, Address Pending, Again. Dear Sirs/Madams, RE: Appointment as Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya to The United States of America  I would like to draw your attention to news reported across various sections of the press (way behind your daily portraits on the front page) that several Missions to the country are equivalently vacant with the duty of appointed high commissioners having expired. This includes Kenya's High Commission to the United States of America. Among your first duties, having assumed duty as Kenya's president, duly elected or otherwise, will be to appoint commissioners to these missions. It is in this regard that I highly invoke you to consider me as a likely appointment to the

Nairobi's Top 4 Texas Brisket Places Reviewed and Ranked

Brisket on a bed of roast vegetables with barbecue sauce at Texas Brisket, Kikuyu  This review has been updated after a number of you suggested I try the brisket at County2County.  What's the best place to have Brisket in Nairobi? What's even brisket?  Brisket is one of the toughest cuts in a cow, from around the belly. It is so tough that it has to be smoked for about 16 hours to tenderise. But that there, is the catch.  12 to 16 hours later, it is the most flavourful and softest cut you will ever have. So full of flavour and so soft you can pick it apart with your fingers.  However, due to the long cooking time involved, only a few places offer brisket in Nairobi.  The best so far is Texas Brisket which is located within Kikuyu Railway station.  They do the meat for a proper 16 hours, and will usually have a fatty or non-fatty portion. The fatty portions are more tasty. A 500 gram serving goes for KSh. 900 and a 1 KG order comes with a serving of free fries. Their brisket has

Beers in Kenya: A sober opinion

Note: This is a dated post and has since been mostly passed by events. SAB Miller beers including Castle and Peroni are no longer widely available in Kenya after their exist. Sirville Brewery was bought out by Brew Bistro before being permanently shut in a tax dispute. Kenya is a land of milk, honey, beaches and taxes. I have penned, or is typed, a newer post here .  Peroni - One of the best beers in Kenya. Did a taste of canned and bottled Italian, and bottled Tanzanian I like the tangy flavour and body in Tanzanian Peroni. The can is close. Heineken drinkers will like the Italian one.  I have had a short beer swigging stint in my life. It has however been long enough for me to share my opinion of Kenyan beer. Interestingly, over the course of sharing such opinions with other drunkards connoisseurs,  I have found that we all have different views as to what beer is the best, which one makes you too drunk, or which one gives one free, extra hangover for every hangover you get

Lusaka and Livingstone Zambia to Namibia By Road

Zambia is a pretty large country,  an exciting one and with no shortage of potholes.  For instance, take the direct route from Lusaka - Livingstone to Namibia through the Sesheke - Katima Mulilo border crossing. Typically, roads are either good or tend to have potholes here and there. However, the last 120 kilometres of the Livingstone to Sesheke/Katima Mulilo route are best described as potholes dotted by some road here and there for the just thirty kilometres past Kazungula town, which is also the Zambia - Botswana border crossing.  Trying to drive to Sesheke is so bad it will take you anywhere between 4 hours to 6 hours to navigate those 100 kilometres. You may or may not have your dignity at the end and your vehicle may be in more than one piece.  If you really must use the Sesheke - Katima Mulilo crossing as of December 2022, then take the 900 kilometre longer detour from Lusaka to Mongu then back to Katima Mulilo. It doesn't guarantee you absence of potholes, but at least the

Best and Most Durable Highway SUV Tyres

Buying tyres is a dilemma - how do you get the best tyres without spending much more than is necessary?  If that's your dillema, well, you have come to the right place. We will look at tyres that are at the sweetspot of durability, performance and affordability especially for SUVs.  You'll find that most of my top picks are Asian brands. These tend to last longer and are more affordable. European brands are engineered more for comfort and ride quality. So if comfort is your top concern when buying tyres, I would recommend Pirelli and Michelin.  1. Otani   Otani is a little known tyre brand made in Dubai. It however rates quite highly for durability and hardiness, with most of its tyres coming in 'Extra Load' specification. Extra Load tyres are designed if you carry a lot of weight or if you do a lot of towing. Even if you don't, it means you end up with more hardy tyres than your manufacturer recommends. Propelling Otani to the top of my ranking is th