Which way, Poor or Rich?

What separates the rich and the poor

“Mzee sijasucceed bado”. At least he understands my ‘English’. “Loan yangu itachelewa zaidi… basi, he mutters under his breath. This makes me feel guilty and wonder what I could have done differently. Been here trying to help this old mzee access his KRA PIN from their online portal. Thankful for the digitization for the process and I began all excited to sort him out with my “techie-ness”.

Something I expected to take a few minutes has become a big mountain-climb for both of us. For one, he cannot remember his late mother’s last name. So this apparently secure system rejects the details and we struggle back and forth. My experience with other clients too has been to keep chanign the password severally before succeeding. But we did!! Luckily he knows his father’s last name and has all his own details that are needed to register him.

He needs to generate his PIN certificate to access a loan; a product our company offers to the tier banks shun from their loans for lack of security. These are our best as we take them as they are; they simply need to form a group and act as co-guarantors. The micro-finance sector has been ‘chini-ya-maji’ and its time we evaluate the gains and losses brought by it. Yes it’s business – we make profit – but if a mama-mboga whose plea for a loan from a commercial bank may never see light of day is able to rise to a hotelier or a kiosk owner open multiple retail outlets within a reasonable scope of time, then in my assessment it’s worth it.

I am now more convinced of what separates the rich and the poor – INFORMATION, indeed TIMELY, CORRECT INFORMATION. Which is what my MIS 101 class taught me… and good enough am at the point of application; its time to apply what was learnt. The mzee needs his loan to grow his business and we need his details… still.

I ‘wander’ till when? I muse but it’s not only musing… I need a solution…. Soon I hope and pray.

Image courtesy of: http://qwikgist.com


Tech-savvy; choice or no choice

Less than two decades ago, it was a great privilege and sign of being well-off for a family or individual to own a black n white TV set. Characterized by a long aerial and constant knocking to eliminate the flicker, color was only a wish. Then came sets in full color and children envied those who owned one. Today, its difficult to even  imagine how one sat before the black and white set; how a favorite show can be enjoyed “bila rangi” (without color)..
In fact with the digital migration,it seems those still in analogue era will Continue reading