Last Updated on 16 February 2019 by Gertrude
One would think that with the evolution of communication, Kenyans would trust anything to do with global communication : online shopping, meeting and greeting. Of course, some have embraced these methods of enhancing their lives. After all, for those who know, shopping online is quite cheap with the presence of online market places like Ebay and Amazon, Alibaba etc. In Kenya, we have our own Ebay-like shop, Jumia. I choose to focus on one I know more about, will review the rest as time comes. With Jumia, they understand that a Kenyan isn’t one who believes so much on anything online. Of course, we don’t!. But to the daring ones like me finding love online, is just the beginning of the revolution of our thoughts. At the time, I had or was using a Nokia 7230 phone. You know Googling on that kind of phone is a lie, some sites wouldn’t open, but, that phone taught me a great deal. That’s why it’s always insisted upon us to use what we have to get where we want!
At the time, I found ways to make money on Facebook, Twitter, in general, social media. And I thought, this one only works, in the USA and other first world countries. Because mostly, the blogs and suggestions are written by a white man or woman and more so from a middle or upper class families. I read them suggestions for fun. One that became totally invaluable was a blog I found by Tim Ferris, 101 ways to make money, which should give you a jump-start. I never looked back. I went on to explore, of course, I wouldn’t finish the 101 ways, I tried a few. Never persisting, I looked elsewhere. To what I love most like writing. Reading story after story about how women and men were making six figure salaries online, ONLINE, my friends, and I kept thinking, how can this be so? Somebody has to sign, sign up and wait, for bids or just an offer of about 10 dollars. I began thinking, liars. Then I read one blog by a Chinese, John Chow, and I thought, wow, he is no American, but he still comes from a country that has fast computers. What to do, what to do?
Keep learning girl, I told myself. I learnt that, we just have to apply some methods explained. We have to be creative with the methods explained then we can create a Kenyan presence online. Having so many websites where we can make money would make a difference, I believe. Because the online world is a revolution coming in Kenya, we have to embrace it. We don’t have to be left out, others have made it, why not us? Learning and teaching myself became order. I love writing, you know, Kenyans online or rather making money online, tell of success stories as freelance writers on websites, like iWriter, Freelancer and Elance. Yes, some have made it big to the extent of leaving their jobs, not entirely and starting their own writing companies. We limit ourselves to writing academically, there are other niches we can explore, like article, blog writing, letter writing, etc. (We shall explore this one on another post).
Deciding to sign up with these sites is an uphill task as one bids waiting for the employer to choose a desire of his or her heart. Plus, whatever you charge(charging is owner’s liberty) is always a reflection of how competent you are. This is not necessarily the case as there are others who charge a little too low a price hence an employer may be tempted to choose whoever they feel is cheap, can complete the task in the time anticipated. Getting that first task is the major problem, so I gave up, again. After months off, on and off signing up, leaving without bidding ( hunting for greener pastures) made me give up so easily. Work wasn’t coming!. I decided to start something else that would probably help me, blogging. Again, I spent so many months reading and re-reading blogs and finally decided to have one, not this one but, some free on sites like word-press and blogger. They brought me traffic, but I wasn’t a very consistent poster, I mean, not much dedication went there. I thought again, this is too much trouble for me, I can’t do it, I can’t do this. ”Actually, I am giving up this online nonsense”. Luckily, I have someone who gives me bits of advice he said to me, ”put your mind to it and you will make it”. ”Cliche ‘d nonsense”, I thought. ”Your only problem is giving up and not concentrating on one niche”. I had to google on niche. ‘One area you are an expert, one thing that you know’.
”Believe in yourself and capabilities, there is something you can do, better and smartly if you put your mind to it”. Too much Bible reading, I thought. Of course, when I started putting my mind to it, I saw and see great improvement. ”Read as much as you can but come with your own ways to make it”, he said. ”You cannot go on copying another person or whatever else you have read. Look at it from another angle. Don’t look at the money, look at the passion”. As I always say, recognise that your passion sells more than anything else. Even your dream. Are you doing it for the money, or because this you cannot go on without? Realise that, people see a passion, they see a dedication and are always ready to reward it. There is a matter of dedication and persistence and those sweaty times, those tears. I would cry for one night and run away the next. Waiting for months, today and tomorrow, next after tomorrow; ”aargh, work has just refused to come my way. It’s fate I have to suffer joblessness, it’s fate because I wronged my parents somewhere, they will never forgive me. It’s fate, I will die a poor person, I was born into a family of elites but it’s my fate to die like this. Oh, I don’t have business ideas, oh, I hate myself, oh, ah, oh”.
With all the tears gone, spotting dry eyes and stooping shoulders, I would go for days and even months without embracing my laptop because it was another source of misery. Yes, I began a small business. A mandazi selling business. Which had more money but also lots of work so some months later, I gave up. I came back crying how bad lucked my life has been, how God forgot me and all. I took that laptop went to work, began writing, getting rejections and never minding, whatsoever the rejections. Taking them very kindly. That’s when I realised, if writing is really my passion why not pursue it even if I find no money online? It’s mine, been doing it for very long, I love it. Where, how, what, when do I check, became my resort again! The online world!
The online world, the revolutionary world of people, ideas and views, where everyone meets to say something. Yes, it’s where I came back. Share your online story, doesn’t matter where you are, you can encourage someone, someone wants to hear you.