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LIFE IN KENYA: TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES CALL FOR INGENIOUS MEASURES

Newspaper reader - Why buy when you can rent?

Trust Kenyans to come up with creative and even at times clandestine modes of getting an extra coin out of existing business opportunities.

RENT A NEWSPAPER

An article in Expression Today, a pullout in The Star newspaper, revealed how the only newspaper vendor on the Nairobi-Narok highway rents a newspaper to readers for 10 shillings, instead of selling it at the normal price of 50 shillings. With this arrangement the vendor has more readers than buyers of the newspaper, which is good for him (but bad for the publishers!) and we can be sure that he is certainly not the only one engaging in this business.

TAKING ON MULTI CHOICE

Some creative Kenyans have taken to distributing Dstv and internet connections ‘sambaza’-style to other people at lower rates compared to the normal rates charged by Multi Choice. In the estates, all one is required to do is part with an installation fee of Sh2000 and pay a monthly fee of Sh1000 and you get connected to Dstv. On a normal day, the connection would cost you Sh9,500 installation fee for a standard package and a monthly fee of  Sh4000.

Designer perfume at Ksh 200 a squirt!

THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS

In the stalls on Moi Avenue another business which is scenting success with a niche market idea – the perfume business. Here designer perfumes are sold in small portions. If you can’t afford to part with the few thousand bob required for your favourite designer perfume, you are sorted. All you needed to do is part with S200 for 10ml of the spray.

COOKING OIL AT SH150 PER LITRE

When it comes to essentials like cooking oil as this correspondent discovered recently, you don’t need to incur the cost of branding and packaging which has an impact on the shelf price of the commodity. Most cereal shops in the estates have taken to buying 20 litre jerry cans of cooking oil and selling the contents on in small portions. A litre of Fresh Fri cooking oil in the supermarkets goes for Sh215 but when you carry your jerry can to these shops and get a litre of the same oil (though the brands might vary) at 150sh per litre.

MAKING LIFE AFFORDABLE… WITH THE OCCASIONAL LUXURY

Hard time call for ingenious measures. For many Kenyans who are facing tough economic times, these  ‘clandestine’ businesses help them  to get by and make life (just about) affordable, or even allow them on some occasions to treat themselves with a little luxury that on a normal day would be perceived as the preserve of the rich.

President Kenyatta declared winner.

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