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Monday, December 30, 2013

The Only Two Investment Option to Get Rich in Kenya

Everybody wants to be rich: a robber, teacher, engineer, idler, politician etc. The only difference is the method we choose to accomplish this universal dream.

Before we embark on the two investment methods of getting rich in Kenya, let us all appreciate that everybody wants to be rich and that human beings are naturally selfish. With that in mind, it follows that nobody will help you to be rich - you have to work hard and smart to be wealthy.

In Kenya, right from nursery school to campus you are prepared by your tuitors to be employed by somebody. You were taught to be smart (atleast in your school uniform), to be an early riser, to be disciplined and show utter respect to those in authority. When you pass high school with flying colours, you are invited to the University to study law, medicine and engineering. While here, they don't teach you how to start your own lawfirm, how to open and run a medical clinic or how to build an archictural firm. They teach you how to be servants, how to take instructions from your bosses and turn them into results. Your masters are the government (if you are lucky) or a mix of enterprenuers at Industrial area or upperhill.

While the instructions you received in school are enough to put milk and bread on your table, employment is never going to make you wealthy. The only two investment areas which will put real money in your pocket are entreprenuership and politics. Look the world over for the very wealthy individuals and you will agree with me. From Billgates of Microsft, Richard Brandson of Virgin Atlantic, Uhuru Kenyatta, the late Kirima, the Odinga family, Charles Njonjo, Kenneth Matiba, Daniel Arap Moi, Nicholas Biwot, Moody Awori, the list is endless.

Entreprenuership: this is one important area rarely taught in our schools. When they hint at it is a little too late. It is not uncommon to hear our leaders make speeches,  during graduation, advising young graduants not to expect jobs out there instead go and creat jobs. This is a fellow who has been, for the past 20 years, prepared psychologically to be employed and then you change the tune the last day. Seriously?
All the challenges not withstanding, entreprenuership is a very easy means to get rich. It only requires that you be conversant with the needs of your society and then devising away of supplying them at a cost. You do not have to be in Nairobi to succeed, you can identify a problem in your village, solve it, and the villagers will always reward you with cash. The key pillars of entrepreurship are problem (which are all over Kenya), Solution (which is where you come in) and reward (which will depend on the society's ability and willingness to pay for the product/service).
Hint: There are 30,000 digital tv setboxes in the country today. Nairobi alone has over 2,0000,000 (2 million) viewers. Do the math, get the difference and see what you can do with it before the new Febraury 2014 switchoff date.

Politics: politics, especially in Africa, is a lucrative business. All you need is a loud voice, a group of youthful campaigners, and four to five harambees to prove your willingness to 'serve' the society. Going by the hefty pay our MPs, senetors and county assembly representatives get, you will be rich within the first 5 year and a re-election campaign will not be neccessary. Couple this with their unethical ways of winning tenders for services they can't provide and supply of goods they can't distinguish, politics automatically qualify you as an entreprenuer and that comes with financial reward. Corruption and looting of public coffers have enlarged the bellies of most African politician.
So, how can you make money here? The money is seasonal, so you will have to wait until 2017 or put your ears out for any bi-election in your county. Meanwhile, you can start investing in harambees to start popularising yourself.

My Encounter With Muthurwa Hawkers

It was sotime in 2008 when i first stepped foot in Muthurwa and the welcome was amazing. Every hawker was screaming to the top of his/her voice inviting to buy, or the least, have a look at their wares. I felt more like a tourist in my own country - everybody was interested in pleasing me.
I had always heard of Gikomba and Muthurwa as the hawkers paradises. Tales in the villages had it that in Muthurwa and Gikomba, nice suits that Nairobians came wearing during Christmas, cost no more than ksh. 100 per piece. Children clothings, basic Tshirts and blouses will trade for between ksh. 5 to 10.
I came to Nairobi much earlier (even before Muthurwa was constructed), but being a resident of the western side of Nairobi, it took me very long to undertake this expeditous venture. Children west of Uhuru highway are prohibited from waliking beyond Moi avenue, I was made to understand. During this particular day, though, I felt I had grown big enough to take good care of myself and with security rising in Nairobi, I had no reason to hold back my adventure spirit. 
Back to the hawkers, I was called, pulled closer and persuaded to buy absolutely everything. From women bras to children socks. Obviously I didn't have anything specific to buy but decided to try out a pair of trouser. The vendor had pulled me closer to him and was busy showing me all types, sizes and colours of trousers, even before I made my mind to buy one. To him, all the trousers he was holding would fit and look good on me irrespective colour and size. He had guesssed that I was wearing size 32, which was true.
Searching through the bundle of cloths, I managed to spot a grey 'official' trouser. It was neatly sewn. The measuring tape on the vendors neck confirmed it was size 32. I paid ksh. 900 for it , which was lower than what we pay at Westgate by some hundreds.
I was disappointed that I did not get the deal I used to hear in the villages, but consoled myself that the price could have been much lower had I burgained further. This was a disappointment but what followed left me laughing at my self.
On reaching home, I went straight to my bedroom to fit the new cloth. The grey trouser went up with an amazing ease and came down much easier. The waist was too big for the slender boy I was. How did the hawker trick me into buying something that big? Didn't he confirm it with his tape? I struggled with so many questions and thoughts. I even thought of returning the trouser to the vendor the next day but shelved the idea since I could not remember the location of the hawker in busy Muthirwa market. A tailor who was to reduce the waist discovered it was size 38 and could not fit me unless it was tailored afresh. I discarded the cloth at his stall.
Experience taught me that Muthurwa is not for people like me. People who cannot burgain to save their dear life. And from that day, I have never gone back to Muthurwa except on special occasions when Foward Travellers buses abondon me in Muthurwa bus station. (I have since moved to Eastlands). I have never alighted at Gikomba and do not plan to go there in the near future.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Buying fron Hawkers in Kenya: Cons and Pros

The streets of major towns and cities in Kenya are littered by 3 groups of people; preachers, hawkers, beggers and idlers. As economy bites, the third and fourth groups are diminishing. However, the number of hawkers are going to reduce any time soon.

Hawking business in Kenya has been  facing major challenges and especially from the county askaris who nets and bundle the street vendors and their wares to the patrol vans. More often, you
will encounter Nairobi hawkers dropping their wares as they scrumble for safety, away from the city county authorities. The vendors in these streets have however out beaten the county askaris to some extent. For instance in Nairobi, the hawkers usually display their goods on some collapsible curton boxes. This means that the pedlers in can easily dismantle the display, gather their wares and disappear into the dark corridors before getting caught by the askaris.

In as much as the county governments in Kenya are working
towards containing the street vendors in one strategic position in the towns (Muthurwa, city park and Ngara in Nairobi), we all must admit these street sellers can save the day in numerous ways.

The importance of hawkers in our society is huge. You will readily find affordable goods in the streets without putting in too much search effort. Moreover, hawkers sometimes sell distinctive goods making sure that you do not join the 'Kenya Uniform' bandwagon.

Hawkers offer variety, affordability, and convinience that is second to none.

Limitations of Buying from hawkers

Not all is rosy in buying stuff from our street vendors. It is from a hawker where you buy a trouser which is just your waist size (measurement confirmed by the measuring tape on the vendors neck) only to reach home and find that the trouser is twice your waist size.

I recently bought an energy saver bulb along the streets of Nairobi on reaching home the bulb didn't even light.

You may also buy an umbrella, when found offguard by rain, which will only lead you to the bus stop before it breaks to pieces.

Sometimes you lose your money before you even purchase the ware. Pick pockets in our streets can make your shopping spree a nightmare.

In a nutshell, the quality of products you buy from hawkers is not gauranteed and worse still, there is no warranty. You buy it today, it is defective, tomorrow you look for the vendor and he/she is nowhere. Moreover, your safety and that of your money is not gauranteed. You will be knocked down by the same seller when county askaris strike.

All said, shopping from street vendors is a risk but most people will do it to save cost. If you plan in buying fruits and other foodstuff, you will get the best price at almost the same quality. For clothes, jewelry and footwear, you will get low quality at low cost. For electronics and electrical equipment, do not even think of buying one from a hawker.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Latest Business Ideas for Kenyan Women Wishing to Make That extra cash

Online home based businesses are the latest business ideas for the mums who stay at home as housewives or those retired. These women, some in their 50s, make good money online through these home based jobs they do during their free time. It is as easy as having internet enabled computer and some knowledge on how to use it. Most of these jobs are freelance therefore you are the person to decides when to do it.
Now, how can you tap this extra money in Kenya? The answer is just next.

Freelance writing: With the growth in number of websites, there is a high demand for content to fill these pages. All you need is experience in any field and good grammar and writing skills. You can sign up in these freelance writing sites, write and submit articles for some dollars.

Writing Blogs: How about expressing your feelings on topics of interest and making money out of it? All you have to do is create your own blog and share these ideas you got on fashion, food, politics and parenting tips. You can also sell items on their blogs.

Online stores: You can sign up with Amazon, eBay and Craigslist, just to mention a few, after which you can sell new or used products or become online dealers.

Secretarial and administration works: Very much suitable if you have some training in these fields. You can work as data entry personnel, secretary or administrator.

Writing E-books: If you have a passion and talent to write, you can write e-books on your preferred topic or area of study and sell this opinion or knowledge to the world.

If you are a woman at home, the internet is not just for entertainment and research, you can do some real good business with it.

Finding Legitimate Online Business Opportunities in Kenya

The internet today is home to numerous scam as well as legitimate online business opportunities. So, if you are looking for legitimate online business opportunities in Kenya, there are some tricks you can use to ascertain the legitimacy of the site.

How To Ascertain the Opportunity is Legitimate 

  1. When the deal look too good think twice. It is unrealistic that you can make a whopping ksh.500,000 in your first two weeks or a month, in a business you have no prior experience in. Any site trying to woo you with such enormous earning is possibly a scam.
  2. Search the website to see if it has any contacts like phone numbers, email address, and most importantly a physical address. Try sending a message to this email address expressing your interest in the business.
  3. Search for the logo of the business from reputable bodies on the internet like, Alexa Ranking and Better Business Bureau. Click on this logo to get more information about the company.
  4. Check if the site offers any guarantee or free trial for some period. Also check if they offer any training, as this is vital if you are new to internet marketing.
  5. You may also sign up for their free newsletter to help you understand the company and also connect you to your referrer.

It is always to your own advantage to invest time on studying these opportunities before parting with your hard earned cash.

The Basics of Conveyancing in Kenya

Conveyancing is the lawful transfer of property title from one person or a legal entity to another. It is usually a process worth paying for. For instance, if you are buying a house, it is always import to ensure that the sellers have the legal rights to do so. It also offers quicker and smoother transaction during purchase or sale of a property.
Since you cannot evade this process, it is only advisable to look for ways of saving money and time as you go through this vital process.
If you are here in Kenya and you need conveyancing services you may consider doing it online or at physically at the company's address. Online conveyancing services are both cost effective and fast. However, each transaction for a particular property can vary greatly - as the professionals search for title deeds and verify them.
The following are some key points you may need to know before doing this transaction:

What's the Cost of Conveyancing in Kenya?

The conveyancing cost varies just as the companies which offer them and the nature of the transaction. Conveyancing fee in Kenya is charged at a rate of 1,250 per lease, exclusive of legal fees. The legal fees will however depend on the Conveyancing firm. Lower fees are possible when dealing with larger firms with high transaction volumes. High costs do not usually translate to better services. So it is advisable to choose a company with proven reputation other than an expensive one.

Stages in Conveyancing
Whether you are doing these transactions online or at the company's physical address, there are three stages that conveyancing will have to follow:

1. Pre-exchange: At this stage, the original draft is considered to be negotiated by the involved parties. It includes details on the parties involved, costs, the seller's title deed and the amount of deposit to be paid. It is important to get a copy of the contract from your solicitor before making an agreement. When all these enquiries are through and both the parties are satisfied, an official mortgage offer is launched.

2. Exchange of contracts: With everybody satisfied, the contracts are signed and exchanged, and finally the buyer pays the deposit. This legally binds the two parties into a contract. The transfer documents are drawn up, transferring the title from the seller to the buyer and must be signed by both parties. Next, the mortgage documents are signed and then final enquiries are made to make sure there are no undisclosed mortgages or any other thing registered against the seller.

3. Completion: The property is handed over to the buyer and the seller has to move out the same day, if he hadn't. The payment must also be completed then the buyer receives the title deeds and a copy of the transfer documents. Extra costs like stump duty and land registry fee will need to be covered. Finally, the conveyancing solicitor carry out his due to of informing relevant authority of the transaction, paying stamp duty, registering the new ownership at the lands registry and sending the buyer a certificate of completion.

Which Law firms Offer Conveyancing Services in Kenya?

The list of law firms offering conveyancing services in Kenya is long and so may not be exhausted in this post. However, below are examples of firms you can contact for these services:

The domestic conveyancing market in Kenya is price competitive, with a large number of conveyancing companies and solicitors offering similar services. It may also be tempting for one to try out 'conveyancing' for themselves but this may lead to unnecessary legal tussles.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Financial Side of Christmas

The festivities are just about the corner and every Kenyan is looking foward to the celebrations. To a large group of Christians, this marks a celebration of the birth of Christ himself while others have dismissed it as a secular celebration with no biblical backing.
Whether Christmas' origin is in the bible or any other spiritual books is not for me to discuss. (The relevant person to engage you in that discusion would be my parish priest). However, whether you believe in it or not, Christmass is here with us and will be there for many more centuries. And you know what? You will be, one way or another, affected by it.

The effects of X-mass are diverse as the mode of celebrating it. The social benefits of  Christmas are obvious, but it is  its economic effects that have drawn my attention. Below, we look at the financial effects of Christmas.

1. Transport: Kenyans are fond of flocking the major cities and towns in search of work and when the festive season arrives, they must join their folk in the villages for these celebrations. December is greeted by fleets of busses to the villages carrying all sorts of people and goods. It is not uncommon to see a Nairobi resident carrying Sukuma Wiki back home.

The players in the transport industry have taken advantage of this to exploit the passengers. It is during Christmas that the fare to your rural home can instantenously double or even tripple, but you still find yourself paying it.

2. Idleness: It is during the festive period that most employees are forced to take leave from work for up to 3 weeks. This turns a hardworking Kenyan citizen into an idler moving from one social gathering to another. If you are tired with your coach, you will find yourself attending wedding ceremonies, harambees and all sorts of parties. All these doesnt help but increase the financial cost of Christmas.

3. Business: Depending on the nature of your business and its location, it can either flop or boom during Christmas. The number of customers in towns drastically reduce as most people travel upcountry while some stay indoors for fear of the bad weather. Any business targeting foodstuff, beauty, transport , money transfer services as well as those located in the villages are set to thrive during Christmas.

4. Expenditure: This is another obvious area affected by Christmas. However deep your pocket is, the festivities will surely leave holes in it. From Christmas attire to food and drinks, the festive season will only present you with reasons to spend. It is because of this expenditure that January has been cursed as a broke month.

5. Offers and promotion: This may turnout to be the only positive financial side of Christmas. It is during this period that retail stores treat  customers to amazing discounts. The clearance sale racks will offer up to 50% discounts. Most supermarkets will either permit redemption of loyalty points or double the amoubt paid per point. There are numerous shopping coupons, gifts and free device services tailored to reward loyal customers. The different lotteries and mini draws can turn you into a millionare this festive season.

Financially, Christmas day and the entire December holiday is not fun for family breadwinners. Business is down, expenditure sky rocket and the best you can hope for is to celebrate a debt free new year. However, with proper financial planning and disciplined expenditure, December can be like any other month.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Nelson Mandela's Life and Legacy: Lessons we can all Learn From Him

Even as we mourn the loss of one of the World's most inspiring man, we take solace in knowing Nelson Madiba Mandela leaves behind a permanent legacy of forgiveness and love. Below are a few lessons we can all learn from  the selfless actions and profound words of  the Nobel Prize Winner.

1 Giving up is not an option

The late Mandela cherished a democratic and free society in which all people can live together in peace and equality. It is an idea he hoped for, not only for the people if South Africa but the whole World. Madiba was even ready to die for this cause.

Nelson Mandela's 27 years in prison for fighting against the apartheid government must have been a taugh test on his faith. However, his determination triumphed and upon his release, he went on to become the country's first president through a democratic election. And, after one office term, he didn't contest his position and spent the remainder of his life tirelessly campaigning for peace, love and equality.

2 Our character is portrayed when we fail

A person should not be judged by his successes, but by how many times they fell down and risen again.

True to Mandela's words, when all is said and done-your character will not be measured by your success but how you responded to failure. Mandela had many challenges-divorcing two wives, some his children thought he was not the perfect father, facing political opposition from the Winny, his ex-wife. Madiba triumphed and the legacy is there for all to see

3 Diverse opinion is good for society development

Friends with independent minds tend to will make you see problems from all angles.

We can have different political views,  like different league football teams— and still be friends. And we will be better when we respect and see the merit in perspectives other than our own.

4 We're together in this

A concern for others in our individuality and community lives will make the world the better place we dreamt of.

Regardless of sex or age or color, the bottom line is we have all been put  on this earth together (by our creator). As Madiba so passionately reminded us, the world can be a much better place if we all work together to make it one.

5 Were it easy, all would be doing it

Difficult situation are meant to make a man strong but not to break him. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a failure who keeps on trying, one armed with faith and hope that he will rise again one day.

Worthy things in life are usually the hardest to achieve. It's the persevering and those who push through the difficult situations who ultimately accomplish their goals.

6 There's imense power in Knowledge

The most powerful weapon, to change the world, is education.

Change can be resisted by people who fear it. Or those who don't understand it. Knowledge is the tool for change - people won't fight for something if they don't understand it.

7 You can do it

It seems impossible until it is done.

Peoples' capability is much more than they credit themselves for. So, whether it is while struggling through the hectic life today or mourning the loss of a global icon Mandela is. Just remember: You can do it. Anyone can rise above the  curcumstances.

8 Love always triumph

No one is born hating another individual because of their skin color or his religion or his background. People always learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can learn to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than hate.

Mandela could have chosen to be bitter after being jailed for 27 years. Instead, he rose above the temptetation of anger to speak out about the healing power of love. If hearing those words doesn't grow your heart a little bit bigger, I don't know what will.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Investments Options in Kenya: 7 Hot Investment Options for December

Personal finance blogs are a wash with advice on investment options, some of which are not applicable to Kenyans. The IRA, stocks /equity, Gold, Bonds, Forex trade, fix deposit, Oil, real estate  are just but afew investment options floated by financial advisers all over. But the question in every Kenyan investor's mind is : what are the top investment options in Kenya today?

Kenya form part of the world so most of the investment options put forward by bloggers and financial gurus will also apply here.  However, since our economy is driven by different factors, from say the West, some investment options will do well in Kenya but fail else where.

That said, it is every investor's wish to make money from his/her investment,  hence the need to explore some key issues to remember before we part with our hard earned cash for investment.

Draw a financial plan.

Before making a decision on what, where and when to invest, sit down and make an honest evaluation of your financial situation. This will help you define a purpose for your cash.

Evaluate your risk tolerance

Every investment has some degree of risk attached to it. If you intend to buy securities - such as bonds, stocks or mutual funds - it's important to understand that you could lose all or some of your money.

Taking a risk tolerance test leaves you prepared for the turbulence ahead.

Portfolio balance

It's never a good idea to have all your eggs in one basket lest all they break. Including assets with investment returns that flactuates under different market conditions in your portfolio, can protect you against significant losses.

Create an emergency fund.

A smart investor should put enough money in a savings product to deal with an emergency, like being fired suddenly. This amount should be put somewhere safe but should always be accessible wherever needed.

However, it’s also wise to have an emergency fund that are business based and that will enable you to take advantage of sudeen investment opportunities.

Avoid fraudulent circumstances

Scamers also read the headlines. They’ll often use a highly publicized news to lure unsuspecting investors and make their “opportunity” sound more genuine. Avoid scam. When the deal is to good, think twice.

With that out of the way, what are the top 7 investment options every Kenyan folk should consider this December?


There are lots of discounted options for security traders through which one can make some good money by marginal trading.

The bond market is a safer option of making money by buying government debt at a fixed return. With the numerous projects the Government is undertaking, the bond market will thrive.

Real Estate

Real estate, especially targeting the middle and lower class residential housing, is currently the most lucrative investment Kenya, given that demand outstrips supply by 100%. The prices of property are always know to appreciate.


Forget the stand gauge railway line, Kenyans won't shift from matatu to train. Syokimau residents are a testimony to this.  The establishment of the 47 counties have raised the demand for better transport solutions as more people travel more and  far.

Electronic Imports.

Kenyans are not going to stop buying electronics any sooner. Be it TV, Smartphone, radio, tablets, laptop, Kenyans always want to move with the technological trends. The planned digital migration has also opened an opportunity in and demand for converter boxes. So why not rush to China or Dubai and import these electronic gadgets in high demand.

County businesses:

Who will supply the  needs of the 47 county governments? Investing at the grass root in areas of hospitality, retail and services is one of the best ways to invest your money in Kenya. The county governments have generated such a huge demand, that it will take minimum 5 years to just stabilize it, more so in areas far from the three cities; Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.

Salon and Beauty Shop

Any product designed to enhance beauty and is targeted to women is going to sell like hot cake in this country. From hair additions, nail polish, to skin caring creams, the demand is ever high. Now that the holidays are soon approaching, women flock boutiques for trendy clothes, weaves and beauty creams. Visit any Bestley (Bestlady Center) branch in Nairobi to prove this.
Women will spebd big to look good and thats why even the poorest will save for a nice weave. Given that nearly 90 % of women in Kenya have hair additions and an hair make lasting less than 3 weeks, you can do the math to establish the demand created for salons and beauty products.

These are the  7 hot investment opportunities in Kenya today. The fundamentals are diverse, but the return on investment, especially between now and the third quarter of 2014 will be huge for those willing to take the risks.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Benefits of Owning a China Phone in Kenya

Yesterday I witnessed something which surprised me: a man withdrew ksh. 9,000 from his m-pesa account and went straight away to buy an iNOTE Beyond phone. If you have no idea what an inote beyond is, it is a tablet phone manufactured by a Chinese company itel. All these may still sound greek, so let's refer to the phone simply as a China phone.

A China phone is the name used in Kenya to refer to the cheap phones from not so popular companies. The name doesnot necessarily depict the country of origin. Basically most phones in Kenya come from China, even the Samsung and Nokias.

I wasn't surprised by how the phone looked, The phone has a pretty cool body which, from far, may be confused with samsung galaxy S4. But I looked at the amount of money this guy was willing to pay for a 'china phone' and wondered if it provided value for money. Why would a sane guy spend 9k on a phone I can barely pronounce its name?

'China Phones' as we all know have a tendancy of turning out to be 'fake' so paying 9k for a 'fake phone' can only be practiced in Matheri hospital and it's environs.

So to be sure that this guy wasn't conned I bought a much cheaper model of the itel phone and compared its benefits to a sumsung or nokia phone of the same amount. It didnt cost me much but the features were amazing. I cant help boasting a 1.3 Megapixel camera, 3G, flash light, memory slot, video and music player, anti-theft security feature, dual sim etc.

Now, with 2k I could probably have bought a basic Nikia or Samsung phone. The ones you may confuse for a simcard holder and having no feature to boast about apart from the fact that it can receive and call.

Below are some of the benefits of owning a China phone:

1. Pocket Friendly: An original China phone cost much lower than the popular phone brands like Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericson, HTC etc. Looking at the features of a China phone versus the cost, I would confidently say that they offer value for money. The guy would have caughed 9k for the tablet but remember a similar tablet from Samsung will be something between 30k and 40k.

2. Reasonable Lifespan: This may sound contraversial since China phones are known to have a shorter lifespan. However, the lifespan of any phone depends on the user. You can boast of your nokia 1110 which can drop from a 6m tall clif and remain intact, but remember, phones are no sledge hammers. Carefully handled, a China phone can last 5 to 7 years.

3. Numerous beneficial features: If for 2k I can now watch my local TV channels on my phone at no extra cost, I dont think there could have been a better burgain. The flash light becomes very useful during blackouts; The music and video player keeps you enterrained and the ever loud inbuilt speaker eliminates the need for a woofer.

4. Multi-simcard holder: The least number of simcards a China phone holds is two. If you own more than one simcard, you don't need to replace your line now and then if you own a China phone neither would you need to carry two or more phones. There are China phones supporting up to four simcards in one handset ( say, Safaricom, Orange, Yu, and Airtel at the same time).

5. Availability and Variety: Walk to any phone shop in Nairobi and the first phone you will spot is a China phone. Selling China phone is a booming business to the advantage of the customer. There are also a variety models and makes of these phones. You can buy itel, alcatel, forme, Tecno, huawe, ZTE, Bird etc. From basic phones to tabs.

So next time you think of buying a phone you can try a China and I can assure you; you will never look back.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

5 Things to Avoid as a Young Graduate

Graduated from collage? Congratulations and welcome to the world.
Every year our universities caugh out thousands of graduates into the job market. With the introduction of double intake, coupled with Kenyans' ever increasing desire for higher education and the university management's appetite for privately sponsored student's money; the number will continue to rise.

When you graduate from collage it is joy impregnated with ambitions. You are finally through with the suffering in collage - assignments, eating USA (ugali, sukuma wiki and avocado) daily and the prohibition of co-habiting. However, the world out here is just another collage, if not worse. The pride of holding a university degree will soon be replaced by utter desparation to find a job and cater for yourself.

Therefore, to orient you to the world, once more, let us look at some things you must avoid as a young graduate to survive the heat out here:

1. Pride: I know it is a great achievement to graduate out of collage and be handed a certificate of completion. This may be the sole reason your certificate has honours attached to it. However, when you venture into the job market, try as fast as possible to forget all the achievements you had in school. Accept that you are a fresher again and there be ready to learn from those who have made it out here. You are a degree holder and so are thousands of your graduatemates. It doesnt matter if you were awarded a first class honour, your success depend on how you perform at work and how how smart you are out here. So put your head down to work, be humble and willing to learn.

3. Being too choosy: The fact that you have graduated doesn't mean you are entitled to a good job, a 6-figure salary and a better life. With the 40% unemployment rate in Kenya today, you can count yourself lucky to get a job even with a PHD. Get hold of the small job you have got, earn the little you get for your survival. Out here, experience matter more than your university degree.

3 . Too much ambitions. I know you are dreaming of driving a laxury car, living in Muthaiga, joining the millionares club. However, I would ask you to write these down but treat them as what they are, dreams. Do not overburden yourself wondering when you will accomplish this. With a monthly gross pay of 30k or below and a couple of insults from your boss, your ambitions of owning a car within the first two years of work are a mong the few things you would want to avoid as a young graduate. Expecting a 6-figure salary for a start is being over ambitious and unless your parents reside there, you're not going to live in Karen, Runda or Lavington very soon.Therefore, be ready to start small and work hard to build your career, reputation and wealth.

4. Extravagance: In college you were used to throwing parties, drinking yourself silly, buying trendy clothes and shoes with your HELB loan or your parent's cash. You trained to be a good spender. However, life out here requires that you save. Your parents expect you to take care of yourself and HELB is nolonger a gift from government but a loan to be repaid. Avoid partying, trend seeking and excessive consumption of alcohol for your pocket's sake.

5. Cohabiting: In campus dating was rampant and inviting your partner for an overnight stay was the norm. It was sometimes tempting to live together in the spirit of sharing and love. The authorities were against this and thats why you kept apart. Now you are outside and feel you should accomplish your missed desires, but please don't. In the real world, no body will stop you from cohabiting but when you do it, be ready for the consequences. Unplanned marriage, unplanned babies are not the things you want to bring into your life as a young graduate.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

10 Tips of Achieving Financial Brilliance

Financial brilliance is not inborn nor does it happen overnight. We learn it from someone or through an experience. If you’re not doing well financially, you’re probably ready for some advice that makes sense. Here are10 unique bits of financial brilliance.
1. Stop buying “stuff” you do not need!– The little money you spend each day on unnecessary items add up to thousands in a month and hundred thousand in a year.
2. “Live within your means. – This is the best rule to live by as it gets you financial freedom. You will be able to say yes to the things that matter because you save on the areas that aren’t as important to you.
3. If you don’t have an emergency fund, start one now! – It is okay to find ways to live below your means so that you can save for retirement and other long-term goals but at the same time make it a priority to set money aside in the event an urgent need arises.
4. Financial freedom only solves small problems – Money only solves problem related to luxury but our happiness in life is determined by how optimistic we are. Do not be a slave of money.
5. Financial intelligence is your most lucrative financial asset – “Before investing in real estate or the stock market, invest in yourself by developing your own financial intelligence.
6. Concentrate on your passions and money will follow – Making money is the by-product of our guiding purpose. Try doing something you love, and you’re more likely to put your all into it, and that will equate to making money.
7. Make money on the side – Start by spending less money than you earn and you will be able to save. Apart from saving, try and make an additional income on the side for them.
8. Dream big! It will motivate you to save–Dream big and ensure that it is achievable and realistic this will motivate you to work hard and save more.
9. Wealth comes with wealthy thinking – Our thoughts influence our lives greatly. Make sure you think like a wealthy person and also value yourself highly.
10. Be careful when lending money to friends and family – The problem with lending money to loved ones is this: If you lend serious cash to someone you care about, you still expect it back right? The down side is, most of them have no intention of paying back.

(CareerPoint Kenya)

The Forex Market Trading: How To Make Money From The Market Trend

The market can only do one of three things at any given time: It can go up, down, or sideways. The trick to trend trading in forex is to catch the market move and price action when the market is going up or down, but stay out of the market when it is going sideways. The objective of many technical indicators that are used on forex price charts is to tell when the market is going to move up or down and signal a high probability forex trading signal.
For many traders they will wait until the short-term market trend and the long-term market trend line up, making sure that they are always placing their trades in the same direction as the overall trend pattern. The only time there may be an exception to this rule is if the trader sees a clear market pullback and wants to try and trade the retracement of the market.
One of the most popular types of chart analysis called Elliott wave analysis show that markets move in distinct patterns that include drawbacks in the price even if movement in the overall trend remains strong. One of the main rules of trading based on Elliott waves is that there will be five distinct phases of market movement, and since most currency pairs tend to stick with this type of price action than a trader who can recognize this pattern can use it as a trading signal.
When you are drawing a trendline on a forex price chart, it is important that the line touches the price level at least three times in order to be considered a valid trend. This is a simple tool that is included in every charting application and it can be used by a forex trader in a number of ways. One important way to use trend lines is to set your stop loss and take profit levels around that trend line so that you are trading with an increased probability of hitting the take profit level and missing the stop level.
Another away that traders can use the trend line as part of their trading strategy is to place a trade when the price data has clearly broken away from the line indicating a reversal. Being able to identify the overall market trend is a crucial skill for being a successful forex trader, and using the trend line on the chart of the currency pair that you are trading will help you get a sense of how the market is behaving and which direction you should be trading in.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Three Tips on How to Land a Job Fast in Kenya

For most job seekers in Kenya, chancws of landing that much needed job are slim.

Many young Kenyans have invested their, money, time and energy in education but are yet to reap the benefits. The streets of Nairobi are littered with graduates trecking from office to office droping their resumes hoping to get their dream job.

The reality is that  the Kenyan job market has little to offer to the majority of job seekers. To start off, not all job seeker went to the big school which most employers would like hiring from and worse still, most job hunters do not have godfather connections in the industry they  want to work in.

So how can you manage it? How does one make that journey from the jobless corner to the office corridors? Is it possible to land a job in Kenya within your first year of graduation?

The answer is a big YES. You can land your dream job straight from Campus.

Is it luck? True, some people clear school and within a few months they already have a good job.. so yeah, luck may play a part here.

But, you know what? it takes more action, determination, hard work, and willpower, than anything else. Luck, remember, only comes to people who do not put it in their plans. So, don’t join the spring of entitlement where most youth tend to think the world owe them something  ..…you really want something…you gota work for it.

Here are THREE tips on how to land more job interviews in Kenya and hopefully land that dream job.

1.Job Search is in itself a Job and should be treated so. I know you've heard  this phrase a dozen times ‘Kutafuta kazi ni kazi’. (Looking for a job is a job). What you need to do is set a time DAILY to focus on your job hunt. The early morning hours are particularly the best because you are fresh then but if that doesn’t work for you, go for afternoon or evening and dedicate it to your job hunting process. Make job search a habit.

Sacrifice and direct all your effort consistently on the one thing you want, a job. Browse the numerous job sites such as,, Brighter Monday, Joblink Kenya etc. Subscribe to their job alert emails. Peruse through the dailies and see if there are job vacancies you qualify and apply.

If you dedicate a time daily, you will not miss an opening since you are always looking. Keep looking until you find it. Don’t be that guy who sees and applies for a job month after it was advertised, expectung to get the job.

Rely on your contacts too. Someone somewhere may know of a vaccancy. Open your eyes and ears wide enough to make sure you do not miss any opportunity. Check back the places you did your internship, network online, follow companies you are interested in on twitter, facebook and linkedin, Check back and connect with alumni and former collegues.

And if you are a serious job seeker whom you say you are, then you should know almost all recruitment agencies, in Kenya, who are hired by several firms to recruit for them. Stanza Solutions, Corporate Staffing, are just but two of them. It’s your duty to check their websites DAILY for any vacancies for which you are qualified.

2.Focus on volume and Relevancy. Apply to as many jobs as possible. Applying for two jobs in a span of three months is not going to help boost your odds of landing a job.

But in as much as you strive to put a large number of job applications out there, be sure to be applying for positions which you are qualified and are relevant to you. Otherwise this method will simply backfire on you.

3. Pray: Most people will forget to tell you this, but always remember to put God first in all you do. He knows you need a good job so put it in His hands. You will be amazed by His deeds.

And while you are job-seeking, make sure you have  your tools ready…what do I mean? Copies of your testimonies - both softcopy and harfcopy, a well written CV accompanied by a perfect cover letter.

Good luck in your job search.

10 Ways to Live Within Your Means

Mos people live a life they cannot afford just to impress those around them. To be succesful, live below your means.
The temptation to live big cuts a cross people of all gender and social standing. Men want to buy crates and crates of beer to their friends just be seen to be doing well. A lady will not hesitate going for a function without a new dress and heels (even if it's a friend's birthday party). The poor struggle so much to put something on the table but will impulsy spend any unexpected income on unnecessary things once in awhile. We all have our desires and unless we control them we may not jump over the line separating us from being succesful. To be successful in life, you must make sure you are living within your means. Do not be so much interested in pleasing others, just make sure you can finance your short and long-term needs.
Below are ten tips to reducing your expenses and live within your means.

1.  Differentiate riches from luxary – Your definition for richness should change from having luxuries to meeting your daily basic needs.

2. Borrow and Share –  If you can borrow it from a friend, don't buy it. Instead of buying a novel borrow from a friend and read it at home. The only exeption here is money. Do not be so comfortable borrowing money as it will only add to your problems.

3. Avoid the shopping malls – This has nothing to do with the recent Westgate attacks or security fears. If you frequent to the malls you are more likely buy impulsy. You can buy clothes in shops and look around for offers and discounts. There are amazing deals at clearance racks, don't miss them.

4. Avoid buying with Cards –  Using electronic money  to settle your bills will  most probably lead to over expenditure. On top of the transaction fees, the pain in spending vurtual money seem less.

5. Burgain for a better deal and save the difference –Switching to a cheaper service provider is not a sign of poverty but  a way of saving your hard earned cash.

6. Buy only what you need. It is sometimes hard to identify your needs, especially when wants are clad the same. However, prioritization and budgeting will unearth what is not very neccessary.

7. Stay Healthy – Your health is your most prestigous wealth. Sayings aside, people spend a lot of money in health facilities which can be avoided if one eat well and exercise a bit.

8. Prepare for hard times– Hard times do not last but they will not only kill your morale but also dent your finances a blow. Even when things are going according to plan, don't be too comfortable. Always prepare for the worst so that when it happens you will be able to handle it. Putting aside an emergency fund comes handy here.

9. Quit competion– Richness does not translate to happiness because we compare ourselves with others. Stop competing and live a life you can manage.

10. Don’t be overpowered by greed – There are no shortcuts to wealth creation. Corruption and stealing may appear to be the quickest means to being but the consequences are far-reaching. Aspire to be wealthy but use the right means.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

10 Overused Resume Phrases You Should Avoid

Lately I’ve noticed a trend—the use of phrases that have been creeping their way into resume career summaries and just killing any chances candidates have of presenting any individuality or distinctiveness. Isn’t the goal of a resume to set you apart from your competition? Shouldn’t it present you as uniquely qualified and unmatched by seeming rivals?

Let me tell you something: YOU are an exceptional individual. There is no one else on this planet just like you. You deserve a resume that proclaims your incomparable talents, achievements, and expertise. Your resume is the chief evangelist of your career and best instrument for securing employment. So please, take care to ensure that you’re presenting yourself in a distinguishable and favorable way.

I encourage you to review your resume (especially the career summary—where these phrases so often appear), and eliminate any instances of these worn-out phrases that dull the shine of your individuality:

- Demonstrated excellence

- Proven ability to

- Accomplished professional – or any statement that includes professional

- Demonstrated success driving results and hitting goals in challenging and fast-paced corporate environments

- Confident leader

- Uniquely skilled at

- Team player

- Able to exceed in fast-paced environments

- Works well independently or with a team

- Excellent communicator (or its counterpart: Excellent verbal and written communication skills)

- Results-oriented, results-driven, or proven ability to deliver results

OK, that was more than 10, but once I got started I got a little carried away. The point is, most of these are such blanket statements they fail to substantiate your value to potential employers. Whenever you’re tempted to utilize one of these vague statements, try replacing it with a fact or figure unique to you. Here are some examples:

- Instead of saying accomplished professional—use the actual job title you’re targeting: Customer Service Manager, Project Manager, or Chief Executive Officer, for example.

- Instead of saying demonstrated success or demonstrated excellence—prove you’ve been successful by articulating it. If you led a team of 200+ customer service representatives to exceed their quota by 20% —bringing in an extra $5 MILLION in revenue —USE THAT INSTEAD! See how specific that information is to you? And how it speaks to your success? It tells me you’re a great leader and that you drive strong financial gains. But it tells me in a very specific way, without making a vague statement such as: drives strong and sustainable financial gains.

- Confident leaders don’t have to state they’re confident. If you’re a confident leader, use facts and figures that highlight your results to show me how you’ve exuded confidence to your team.

- Team player, thrives in fast-paced environments, strong communicators (most of us are these things). Employers don’t assume you’re not a team player or a great communicator because you didn’t write this on your resume. They’ll interview you and determine your communication skills at that time. They’ll ask you specific questions about how you functioned within a team, the role you played, and the outcome of a project to ascertain your ability to be a part of the team. Use examples, facts, and figures to be more specific and set yourself apart.

- Try to avoid using the word: results. If you ever feel tempted to use this word on your resume, ask yourself: What WAS that result exactly? Then write about what you delivered instead of just the word. Think in terms of outcomes; this will help you to write about facts and figures as opposed to generalities.

No other candidate will have your exact, identical set of experiences. Use this to your advantage, and be exact; prove yourself with examples and metrics whenever possible.
(Great Resumes Fast)

The Time to Start Repaying Your HELB Loan is Now

Congratulations, Class of 2013! Not only have you graduated from the University you have literally survived two months in the real world (if you graduated in August). The transition into this new life can be overwhelming, between looking for a job, possibly starting a job, looking for a house, moving into a non-campus dwelling and realizing that dealing with the Asian guy at industrial area  can be more hassle than the work itself. And now on top of all of that, there is the looming threat of the HELB student loan payments.(That money you drunk with your boys, took your girl out or bought that stylish weave.)
When you graduate with HELB loans (or leave school without a degree), you automatically have a one year grace period before you start repaying.  Depending on your graduation date, that means you have 8 months or nine left before the Higher Education Loans Board come knocking. And if you’re like many student borrowers, you may be depending HELB to contact you and tell you when they want their money, rather than planning for it. That could be a mistake. Not only is it good to know what you owe HELB in terms of student loan, but there’s always a chance that HELB doesn’t have your current address. Since most of us graduate and move to the cities, in search for greener pastures, the notice letter will definitely end up in the village where you only visit during Christmas.Nevertheless, the fact that you didn’t get a HELB notice doesn’t relieve you from the obligation to start repaying your student loan.
So it’s high time you put down the pumpkin spice latte and start coming up with a loan repayment plan. But just like crash dieting, if you do too much too soon, you’ll give up.
Therefore, make sure that develop a repayment plan which is feasible considering most new graduates earn meager or nothing at all. It is advisable to start paying small amounts to reduce the amount of interest payable to HELB and also protect yourself from the automatic ksh. 5,000 monthly fine on defaulters. You may think HELB are toothless until you try obtaining a loan from our commercial banks without a HELB clearance form.
Do not be caught off-guard, start repaying your HELB student loan, now.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Kenyan School Dropout Makes it to Forbes Magazine Listing

The name Joel Mwale may not be familiar to many people in Kenya, but he has gained quite a fan base internationally.

And not just because he made more than Sh40 million at 19.

At 16, Mwale changed the lives of more than 5,000 people in a community in Kitale when he helped them access clean drinking water.

He also made good money in the process.

Now Mwale is 20 and on a mission to transform the continent, this time not through water, but technology.

“I’m now using technology to transform the education landscape in the continent and combining that with social media and a mentorship platform,” Mwale told Business Beat.

Last year, he sold his 60 per cent share in SkyDrop Enterprises — a rainwater harvesting and purification project that he started at 16 — to an Israeli-owned firm for $500,000 (Sh42.5 million).

This is the social enterprise that has earned him global accolades.

Booming venture

In addition to providing clean water to his village, he skillfully converted the idea into a booming venture by bottling the water for sale across western Kenya and into Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan.

At the time he sold it, the company had annual revenues of $515,000 (Sh43.9 million).

“The reason I started SkyDrop was basically to raise school fees, and I felt the company had reached its potential. All along, my interest has always been in technology and education. I figured out that was the best time to move on,” he said.

“We had put mechanisms in place that meant that whether I was there or not, SkyDrop would still be successful. We had a CEO, board of directors and people who were good in management. And since I was living in South Africa at that time, my input here was very small, so I decided to exit.”

He had also just won a Google award (Zeitgeist Young Minds 2012) for being one of the Top 10 Brightest Young Minds in the World. The award saw him spend a lot of time in USA’s Silicon Valley. He spent time with people like Larry Page, the co-founder and chief executive of Internet search engine giant Google, and Sir Tim Berners-Lee, best known for inventing the world wide web.

At Silicon Valley, Mwale’s aim was to try and understand how to create a technology product. He also visited Stanford University.

Mwale is among a crop of young entrepreneurs who have overcome tremendous odds, and instead of crying foul over the unemployment crisis in Kenya, have gone the extra mile to create jobs.

Unemployment has gone up progressively from 6.7 per cent in 1978 to 40 per cent today.

The rate of job creation, however, has been abysmal. In 1988, it was at a high of 6 per cent, the highest it has ever been; by 2008, it had gone down to 1.8 per cent.

There is a proverb that says: “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man be perfected without trials”, and at16, Mwale personified it.

He had contracted dysentery from contaminated water during a particularly dry season in Kitale. And when lying on his hospital bed recovering from the very serious bout of diarrhoea, the health risk in his community sparked an idea.

That idea later blossomed into a company that, by the time he sold it at the end of 2012, was employing about 70 people.

The beginning

With savings of about Sh8,000, the knowledge of physics acquired at Friends School Kamusinga and some help from volunteers, Mwale built a borehole on some community farmland.

He installed a pump that would allow extraction of the water, providing clean, drinking water to hundreds of households in his village.

The success of this project and the unfortunate turn of events that occurred afterwards ultimately led to the creation of SkyDrop Enterprises.

He was forced to drop out of Friends School since his family was unable to pay for his tuition. But this did not dampen his spirits.

He set out to find tuition fees and earn a little extra to support his family.

Coincidently, the idea for SkyDrop came to maturation when Mwale was caught in a rainstorm.

“I remember it was in April during one of the heavy rain seasons in Kitale. I was just walking as the rain poured and happened to spot a closed yoghurt shop. Next to it was a water tank that was storing the rainwater from the gutters of the  roof.
“I thought to myself: can’t I trap this rainwater, store it in a reservoir, purify it and then sell it to the public?”

After convincing the owner of the yoghurt shop to lease him the location, Mwale set out to find a purifying machine to filter the rainwater. He soon discovered that this piece of equipment was quite expensive.

The next three and half months saw Mwale knock on the doors of local banks and NGOs for funding, but they declined.

He turned to his 20-acre piece of family land, which had been lying fallow for years. He approached his mother about selling it, an idea she was initially opposed to. Eventually, however, he convinced her.

With the proceeds from the sale, Mwale bought a water purification machine for Sh430,000, and paid for the cost of operation to produce drinking water.

“We used to harvest rain water and focus on production during wet season. During the dry spells, we would market our product.”

Half a litre of water retailed at Sh17, and a litre at Sh31.

Initially, SkyDrop was only able at sell about 10 bottles a day as a result of significant competition from already established drinking water bottlers.

But after persistent campaigns, sales climbed, with the company making Sh25.6 million in profits last year, Mwale said.

He added that he used some of the cash he made to replace the family land he sold to fund his business.

In 2011, Mwale won the Anzisha Prize for youth leadership, which provided him with a two-year scholarship to the African Leadership Academy in South Africa as well as $30,000 (Sh2.6 million) to support his business.

He is now on a journey to building an African Google, Apple or Facebook. With other partners, he has founded, a company that he says will likely offer solutions for how institutions can deliver education materials and also provide a platform for veteran entrepreneurs to mentor youngsters.

The company has offices in Kenya, South Africa and in Silicon Valley. It currently employees tens of programmers and administrative staff.

Mwale’s story reads like that of Apple founder Steve Jobs, a man he admires.

Jobs, now deceased, dropped out of Reed College after the first six months.
You are here » Home » ∷ Business Beat » How a bout of dysentery started a teenager’s journey to Sh40m.

An extract of a speech that Jobs gave at Stanford University, reads in part: “I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it.

“I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK.”

Jobs went on to build one of the world’s most innovative firms.

Two years after dropping out of Friends School, Mwale won the prestigious IB Inaugural Scholarship to the International School of Kenya, but later that year, he had to terminate the programme to join ALA. ALA has a unique curriculum through which it aims to raise the next generation of African leaders. But he soon dropped out.

“The only certificate I have is my Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE). Sometimes I sit down and think. I employ graduates who design software. It is not that I don’t have the education, but it is only that I don’t have the papers,” Mwale said.

“No one asks me if I have papers. I have met Presidents Obama and Clinton, and no one asked whether I have the papers.

“I dropped out of ALA last year. It is a two-year programme. I stayed there for one year and I figured that if I was going to stay there for another year, it was not going to change anything.”

Early this year, Mwale was recognised by Forbes magazine for being among the top 30 under 30 young entrepreneurs in Africa.

He hopes that his success will inspire others to act upon their ideas.

”I think there are many more youths who are sitting on their potential,” he said. “But the most important thing is that for Africa to realise its goals … the youth and everyone else will need to embrace the true spirit of entrepreneurship. Only then can young people influence thousands of lives.”


The 8 Career Killing Habits to Avoid

Wondering why you’re not advancing in your career as you would like to, or why you always fail to secure a raise, promotion, or made to handle important projects? The answer might be that you’re killing your career, through one or more of these eight habits.

1. Not promoting your work to the People in authority. You may be doing a fantastic job, but if no one is aware of it, it won’t help build your reputation, your pay, or your advancement opportunities. Keep your manager informed of your accomplishments, whether it’s kudos from a major client, waste you prevented, or anything else beyond your normal work.

2. Getting defensive. If you keep defending yourself everytime you get less than glowing feedback on your work, you might be silently killing your career. Many people simply avoid having meaningful interactions with defensive people, so your co-workers may not want to work with you, and your boss may stop pointing out areas to and how you can improve. This may sound great, especially if the kind who is not open to critisism. However you’ll end up destroying the vital relationships you require to advance in your career and also denying yourself the information that you need to grow professionally.

3. Making haste decisions. Whether it’s walking out of your boss because the he/she said something you didn’t like or accepting a job offer without evaluating carefully, impulsive decision-making has no place in your career. The decisions you make in your career will have far-reaching effects on your reputation, wallet, and your quality of life.

4. Being Passive. You might think that not making waves is the best way to career success, but not being assertive is more likely to hurt you. If you believe something is wrong, or a project is bound to fail, or that you deserve a pay rise, you better speak it up. There’s a difference, though, between being assertive and being obnoxiously pushy, but professionally voicing your opinions is key to succeed professionally.

5. Too much negativity. If you’re constantly complaining about everything, from your boss to co-worker, you’re probably creating an unpleasant environment for people around you. Your seniors and juniors may be enjoying the moment but through them tou’ll get a reputation for being bitter or having a bad attitude.

6. Lying. Lying is will definitely destroy your credibility, especially when caught  You will lose trust among your colleagues and that’s something you can never get back. Honesty and integrity are key pillars of professional success.

7. Being disorganized. People pay much attention to whether you can act on your promises within the promised time - whether it’s as small as sending that document you promised in a meeting or as big as adhering to a project schedule. If you do, you build a reputation as someone reliable. If you don’t, they lose confidence in you and conclude you are someone who cannot keep his/her word.

8. Not learning new technology. Being "analog" in this 21st century will most probably kill your career. You might feel that you’re very comfortable with your existing ways of doing things and therefore have no need to learn the latest technology and trends… but if you resist change, you’ll soon be left behind. If you still ask for a dictionary to check the meaning of a word or refer to yellow pages for the address of a client rather than google it, you’re likely to be overlooked by employers in favour of your more technologically savvy competition.

When Looks Matter - A Chinese Airline Say No to Ugly Job Seekers

You’ve spent hours on your CV, listed your skills and experience and made sure you have the best references for your dream job as an air hostess.

Unfortunately, the chances are you will still be denied even an interview in China because your face doesn’t fit – literally.

Image is everything in the communist country and only women with the ‘correct’ height and body shape will be granted a hearing.

Each hopeful in Shanghai will have their face measured and will be rigorously checked for scars, blemishes and other ‘imperfections’.

And all for the chance to be in the running for a job at a Chinese airline.

Some Chinese companies have been accused of sexism for placing too much importance on the value of how female workers look.

It is not uncommon for employers to demand job applicants include photographs, height measurements and details of their marital status.

The country’s Spring Airlines recently made headlines when it announced that women aged up to the grand age of 45 could work there.

Doug Young, a correspondent for Shanghai Daily, said: ‘These changes are really quite small and still exclude a huge portion of potential applicants.

‘But from a mind-set perspective, it’s a significant first step in dismantling the stereotype that all Chinese flight attendants must be peppy, attractive 20-somethings.’

(The Metro)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

How to Succeed in the Kenyan Job Matket Without a Degree

Many times we have come across people in the job market getting frustrated by their lack of a "degree from a recognised University". So compounded is this problem that certificate and diploma holders now feel the Kenyan job market is not for them. No wonder everyone is rushing for that BBA Course.

Just to shed some light on this matter, Diploma courses are still useful and yes very relevant in Kenya. The global labor market paradigm has shifted emphasis from certificate to ability to deliver on the job. So there is no problem if you somehow end up in the labor market without a degree. After all, there are many jobs that are not tagged to a particular discipline, so many people find themselves in jobs they studied nothing related to.

Here are a few things you must understand if that’s the route you are taking.

1. If you must take this route, you must be good at what you do - If you have no degree and you want to get a job, the only test that may be applicable is the practical test of what you can actually do. If you are a graphic designer for example, by the time your prospective employer sits you down in front of a monitor, he will not expect anything but excellence from you if must be hired except of course you are coming in as an apprentice which in itself is not a bad idea. So you cannot afford to appear in the labor market without a degree and still not be good at what you do.

2. You are on your own - If you have no degree and are hoping to be employed in the labor market, it is solely your responsibility to develop yourself. Knowing full well that there are limited spaces available and employers want only the best they can lay their hands on.

3. See if you’ll take some courses - Being good in what you do oftentimes lands you the job but if you really want to keep moving or advance past staying just in one position all your life to a situation where you qualify to have bigger responsibilities committed to your care, then you may have to take some professional courses. If for example you are a welder and you eyeing a position with Shell (SPDC), then you may begin taking professional courses tailored for welders. That way, you’ll reposition yourself strategically for higher opportunities.

4. Entrepreneurship is a viable route - If you have no degree and are ambitious, one attractive route you may consider taking is the business way. Inasmuch as you are young, ambitious and disciplined, being in business for yourself can be very rewarding especially if you have the capital to start with. If you find yourself towing this path, you may want to take some management courses that will give you insight into customer care, business finance, brand management and other basic things you need to get the business flying.

5. Not every job opening is for you- Ruthless as this may sound, to put it bluntly, not every job is for you. If you do not have a degree, it’s not possible that you’d be employed to lecture or fly a plane; it is not for you except of course you are planning on heading back to college to start again, which I seriously doubt, so look for opportunities in fields like graphic designing, computer related fields, photography, entrepreneurship, and the likes.

6. You’ll need a big heart - To succeed, you’ll need a big heart, irrespective of whether you have a degree or not. Truth is, not everyone that wields a college degree is successful and not everyone that appears without a degree in the job market is unsuccessful or poor; so it goes beyond the paper qualification to personal unwavering determination to excel in a world where you are not recognized until you have financially arrived.

7. You can still get that degree - The mere fact that somehow you have ended up in a heartless labor market without a degree does not mean that you it’s over for you. Your being without a degree may be your fault, but hey they still offer admission in universities and they didn’t say you shouldn’t apply. So if you have the means and motive, go back to college and get that degree; those that have them are not better or smarter than you are.
(Careerpoint Kenya)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Acquiring Wealth Through a Saving Culture

The last time I assertively stated that  there is no sure way to financial freedom other than through saving, I was almost burried alive by some of my readers who have become tired of this 'cliche'. However, Unless you are lucky enough to win a jackpot, you are neither going to get out of debt  nor invest something for your retirement, if you do not save.

We all want to be wealthy but we want to reach there through shortcuts such as marriage, inheritance, or even stealing.

To accumulate wealth, you must understand the importance of saving. You need to have your own income in order to be wealthy, invest and obtain assets. It is this saving that will work as portion of your capital when starting a business, investment or the deposit when buying your dream home.

To begin Saving, you must first understand your financial position and  then make sure you are living within your means. Simply put, this means maintaining a lifestyle that you can afford and sustain. No uncessary loans.  Most middle class families in Kenya today are defined as people living beyond their means.  Look at the  amount of  debt they have interms of car loans,  home loans and the rest, and you will understand what I'm talking about. To change this, they need to start saving. And  start it immediately.

It is everyone's dream to meet their financial obligations and having something little to spare.

The only way of achieving this goal is by identifying the most profitable activities that will help you fulfil your financial dreams. The best way could be through investing and letting your money work for you.

To be wealthy or not can as well be viewed as a choice which totally lie in your hands.
Wait no more, start saving, start investing, roll your wheels the road to financial freedom and success.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Shock as Fraudsters Reload ATMs With Fake Money

Fake currency has found its way in banks, raising concern from Kenyans who now want the matter investigated and the culprits prosecuted.

A cross-section of people interviewed by the Nation say some of their money withdrawn from automated teller machines had turned out to be fake.

Mr Patrick Gichobe, who runs an M-Pesa stall on Moi Avenue, Nairobi, says in September, a customer walked into his stall to make an M-Pesa transaction of Sh2,000 only for the money to turn out to be fake.

“He tabled a bank ATM receipt. I was hearing this for the first time because often those with fake money say they had been sent by other people or they had been paid after selling an item. Unfortunately there was nothing I could do because the money was still unacceptable,” Mr Gichobe told the Nation on Friday.

Mr Norbert Wandera has declined transactions at his electronics shop on Kimathi Lane three times.

“They (potential clients) claimed they had either been sent or just withdrawn from a bank. I suspect it could be a syndicate which sends people with fake monies to try and see if it could be accepted. But my long experience in handling money has saved me,” he said.

“The idea that one could withdraw money from an ATM only to turn out fake looked surprising. But last week, a colleague pulled a one-thousand note from an ATM on Kenyatta Avenue and when he walked into a supermarket to buy a drink minutes later, cashiers rejected the money arguing it wasn’t genuine. When he produced a receipt, they argued, while punching holes in the note, the excuse was now overused, and told him to go show it to the bank which later disowned the note.”

According to figures in a report released last Wednesday by audit firm Deloitte, most of the money banks lose is a result of collusion between bank staff and outsiders.

The report, Financial Crimes Survey Report 2013: Where is the exposure? shows that cash theft is most prevalent in Kenya at 72 per cent compared to cheque, money laundering or credit card fraud.

“In Kenya where banks lost Sh655.6 million, researchers found that non-management personnel were more likely to steal the money or collude and banks were reluctant to publicise the incidents.

Most banks in the country hire security agents to reload ATMs for them. This is where the collusion starts as they replace genuine notes with false ones.

How false money gets to your ATM (According to the report)

-Abundant liquidity in the banking industry lures criminals to insert fake notes in the system

-There is weak financial crimes control and those whose hands are found in the cookie jar are given lenient punishments

-Bank managers and their staff are casual towards financial crimes and give little attention to these incidents.

-Internal staff circumvent IT controls and Banks are pervasive about use of technology to secure money

-There is lack of platform to share these incidents of financial crimes.
{Source Daily Nation}

Fake Currency in Kenya a Ticking Time Bomb

The amount, quantity and quality of fake money in Kenya has been steadily rising, making it hard to be sure whether the note you are holding in your hand is fake or real.
Most Kenyans are suspicious of the 500 and 1000 shillings notes and will take a 200, 50 and 100 shillings note without a second thought. People seem also to trust money from bank ATMs, bank tellers and supermarket tills. However, the fraudsters have become smarter and are targeting unsuspected areas like ATMs, and lower denominations like 200, 50 and  100 shillings notes.
How they succeed in sneaking these fake currency into the banking systems is still a mystery but  it may be during the loading of ATMs, often done by contracted security firms.

How Can You Evade the Fake Money Scum?
At some point in your life you may have handled fake money whether knowingly or unknowingly.
Being in possession of counterfeit money be it in local or foreign currency is a grave offense in Kenya which attracts a jail term not exceeding 5 years.
So in-order to be on the safe side, keen hawk-eyed, some measures should be taken when handling money to determine whether it is genuine or fake currency.
How do you detect if "money" is real or fake? You may wonder well……. here are pointers in detecting counterfeit money.
1. Portrait Watermark. A three dimensional portrait of a lion’s head can be seen when the note is held up to the light. The watermark has a three dimensional appearance with areas in varying tones of dark and light. Below the watermark is the value numeral of the banknote. This number can be seen when the note is held up to the light. Both the portrait and value numeral depict some brightness when held up to the light.
2. Serial Numbers The serial numbering style is asymmetrical and has progressively larger digits in adjacent positions. One set of serial numbers appears horizontally, the other vertically. The vertical serial numbers on the left hand side of the banknote glows under UV light
3. See Through Feature Each of the banknotes has a see through feature which forms a perfect complete elephant when held up to the light. When looked at from one side, the image does not form any recognizable feature unless when looked at up to the light.
4. Security Thread All genuine banknotes have a distinct interwoven thread running vertically down the right hand side of the notes. When held up to the light, the thread appears as a continuous line and it shows a series of text featuring the denomination numeral of the note and the letters CBK. The current generation of banknotes features two types of threads:-
For the 1000 and 500 shillings denominations, the thread is thicker and portrays a colour shift when viewed at angles. The 50, 100 and 200 shilling denominations have a thinner thread silver in colour and do not depict any colour shifts when viewed at angles.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Survey: Best Firms to Work for in Kenya 2013

Technology provider Craft Silicon has been rated the best company to work for in Kenya.
The ranking, further demonstrates
Kenya’s  growing stature as
information, communication and
technology hub in the region.
According to the survey Deloitte Best Company to Work For Survey 2013, Proctor and Gamble, was rated second with Kenya Finance Women Trust coming third.
Craft Silicon, is a financial solution
provider in banking and micro-finance software, mobile and switch solutions.
Grand prize founded and headed by Kamal Budhabatti, the company won an Sh85.4 million ($100,000) grand prize at the 2010 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship.
The survey analysed input of employees from 17 companies to
ascertain which company they
consider to be the best employer to
work for.
Themed, ‘War for talent’, the survey
provided a glimpse into the ability of companies to attract and retain talent.
Out of the various categories,
commercial banks had four entries.
Family Bank was rated as the best
employer in the industry.
The bank has undergone numerous
strategic changes since the appointment of Peter Munyiri as the
institutions chief executive in 2011.
Speaking during the announcement of the winners in Nairobi Thursday,
Deloitte South Africa consulting partner Jack Sellschop said this year’s survey theme focuses on talent in a rapidly changing business environment.
“Increasing numbers of companies are expanding into the continent. These companies are becoming aware of the need to understand the perceptions of their employees towards their institutions and what they value in the employer or employee relationship,” he

Key parametres
The survey looks at several
parametres such as remuneration and work life balance, confidence in the organisation, operational effectiveness and job satisfaction.
In addition, the survey also looks at the employee’s sense of confidence in the organisation, organisational ethics and integrity among other parameters.

The report measures the rating by
employees in terms of operational
effectiveness and employee
relationship with immediate
supervisors and sense of inclusion in the organisation. Others include overall job satisfaction and career
development prospects among others.
The report also reveals interesting
trends that are at the heart of winning and retaining talent.
The pace of organisational growth is at the top of winning talent. Other key aspects are talent development,
transformative human resources and proper workplace branding.
Deloitte East Africa consulting partner Kimani Njoroge said the findings from the survey would assist employers develop strategies to improve the working environment for employees.
“This gives employers the opportunity to develop insights into what motivates people, what attracts them to their firms, what they value and also collect
the hard data required to make these judgments,” he said.
Deloitte Chief Executive for East and
Central Africa Sammy Onyango noted that the war for talent in Africa goes beyond the traditional borders of the individual States, adding that it has become regional, Pan African and will eventually be global. “It is mandatory for businesses to regularly engage employees to create a strategy to address their motivation, behaviour, productivity and business results,” he said.
Engagement initiatives
Onyango urged employers to
constantly consult employees on
determining and applying engagement initiatives that are relevant to the unique needs of the organisation’s diverse workforce rather than on-size fits all approaches. “Work environments now have multi-cultural, multi-generational and cross-geographical aspects,” he said. He
advised companies to identify the right employees and engage them in the right organisational behaviours.
This, he said is a critical ingredient of how they manage the diverse
economic conditions facing their
organisations today.
The survey will extend to Uganda and Tanzania from next year.
(Source The Standard)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Bill Gates: Lessons You Don't Learn in School

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, one of the richest people in the world, is well known for the nuggets of wisdom he occasionally imparts on the young and old alike. At a speech he gave at a high school graduation, he sought to bring them back down to earth by correcting some of their misconceptions about life in the real world. No political correctness here – just one big reality check that, if taken to heart, will help us on the real life after school.

Lesson 1: Life’s not fair. Get used to it You could be the smartest, hardest working most noble person alive and still not get that A. Or promotion. Or the girl, whatever floats your boat. The sooner you stop expecting life to hand you the things you think you “deserve”, the easier it will be to bounce back in those times when life knocks you down and just keeps kicking. You could earn your way to that promotion and still have it snatched from under you – get over it. That doesn’t mean sit back and take it. It means that you need to learn from those ugly situations and better position yourself to reap the benefits of your diligence.

Lesson 2: The World Doesn’t care about your self esteem “The world expects you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself” … so get on it. Start making something of yourself today. Right now. That idea you’ve been pushing to the back of your mind might be just the thing to propel you to the limelight, so get on it. You only truly fail if you never try.

Bill Gates, Microsoft co-

Lesson 3: You will not make six figure salary right after school “You won’t be a vice president with a car phone until you earn both.” This addresses the entitled behavior that young people display on a daily basis. It’s not a good look for anyone to act like the world should unfurl a red carpet at their feet just because they showed up. You have to work hard for what you get – I’m talking sweat and blood here, and don’t expect anyone’s gratitude for it.

Lesson 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you meet your boss All those deadlines you think are unreasonable at best, those times she locked you out of class because you showed up late? Ten times worse with a boss. Only, instead of chewing you out infront of a classroom, it’s a whole office. Teachers are legally mandated to show some restraint, bosses aren’t. He’ll call you all sorts of names your teacher only dreams of saying to your face, then show you the way to the unemployment line. This isn’t to scare you off of gainful employment, just to encourage you to practice dealing with difficult authority figures, to better prepare you for the future, so you can avoid an emotional outburst at the office.

Lesson 5: Flipping buggers is not beneath your dignity “Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping – they called it OPPORTUNITY.” So get over yourself and take that job that you think is beneath you. A waiter/waitress position opens up at your favorite restaurant? Swallow your pride and take it. Use that as a stepping stone. The richest men in the world started off as paper boys – remember that.

Lesson 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents fault “So don’t whine about your mistake – learn from them.” Too many people fall into the trap of claiming “mommy” and “daddy” issues when they mess up. According to Bill Gates, you need to stop spreading the blame around and take responsibility for your failures. Only then do you earn the right to own your successes as well.

Lesson 7: Your folks know something you don’t know “Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you think you are. So before you save the rainforests from the parasites of your parents’ generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.” Self-explanatory.

Lesson 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not “In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as many tries as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.” Only the strong survive. This doesn’t mean that it’s okay to do whatever it takes to come out ahead – the end does not justify the means. It just means that you need to keep the big picture in mind – to remember that while it’s okay to do your best, it’s better to always ensure that you go the extra mile to prove yourself.

Lesson 9: Life is not divided into semesters “You don’t get summer off and very few employers are interested in helping you “find yourself”. Do that on your own time.” This is one thing most students don’t realize. The real world won’t give you time off to recoup your strength. Once life starts it just goes on and on, and on. The sooner you shift your way of thinking from seeing your holiday as time off, but as time to be spent making something worthwhile of yourself, the easier the transition to real life will be.

Lesson 10: Television is not real life “In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.” This applies to more than just an episode of friends. Life seems a lot easier on TV than it is in real life. Sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many people expect to sleep in every morning and still be able to afford that dream holiday.

Lesson 11: Be Nice to Nerds “Chances are you’ll end up working for one.” Laugh all you want, but he showed that this is a very real possibility. That book worm you keep picking on for choosing the library over a twerk session could end up being your boss in the future, so be nice.

(Source: Dig Philosophy)