16 May 2013


Recently I was enraged when a member of the Kenyan county government (Nairobi county to be precise) publicly claimed that the salary he gets of 800,000 a month (less allowances) could not meet his basic needs. To make matters worse, it was his first time in politics and I was left asking, what has been included in his lists of basic needs now that he is a politician that were not there? Aren’t basic needs equal to all human beings?

As I was thinking about how our members of parliament and county government mismanage their salaries, it brought me to the deep contrast with some of us. Last week, my brother said to me “Believe it or not, sijawahi Okoa Jahazi” I know, I got the same shock as you.

(For those of us overseas, Kenya’s mobile services provider Safaricom has a program called “Okoa Jahazi” where people get credit in advance which they have to pay in the span of 2days with a 10% charge on the advance credit)

It reminded me of a friend who literally lives on “Okoa Jahazi”. He borrows today, pays tomorrow and immediately after paying he borrows again. And I got challenged to think about a young person’s financial security. “I am too young to start investing.” “There is still time.” “I have no money.” These are just but some of the excuses we young people have for not investing. I asked a friend who works in a bank if young people are given loans easily. Well, as you must have guessed, the requirements remain the same. One must have security in order to access a loan.

I know of many young people who have never thought of a bank account, few who have bank accounts, and even fewer who regularly maintain that account. And the reason is not that they have no money, they do. A lot of it, for that matter. Reason is, we young people think that we have so much time to be young and forget that the future is coming soon and we need to be financially secure.

For those of us who have already made investments are heading towards financial security, well done! Keep up the spirit! For those of us who are living day to day on our money and debts without thinking of the future, stop and think. What would harm you if you saved that 500 per month and placing it in a bank? Instead of buying those snacks that last two hours and then spend the rest of your live starving, save; for your own sake, for your future family, for your financial security. You are not too young. Its never too early.


  1. Great insight. I keep advising my peers on this!

    [And yes it's true I have never "Okoad Jahazi"!]

    1. hahaha yeah....that is my brother...lets keep advising all young people to start saving :-)

  2. Indeed! If I may cite Warren Buffett on investments - “Rule No. 1: never lose money; rule No. 2: don’t forget rule No. 1