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Last Updated on 16 February 2019 by Gertrude

Of course someone told me. There are too many job opportunities available why trade your soul knowing well what you will undergo, in the hands of a foreign Arabian master? Worse than employment by the Indians, others agreed. Let’s take issue with ”too many opportunities”. I mean jobs. Are there? Yes and No. Yes, but, the number of people responding to newspaper, online, magazine jobs is overwhelmingly so. One job vacancy has over a thousand applicants. How to stand out in the process? Write an impressive Curriculum Vitae, impress your would-be boss with a cover letter, not crafted from online sites, where you cut, copy and paste. Write what you have done with yourself, your experiences, your whys and when. Then don’t sit and wait, of course. That is a bad sign of an applicant. Find something to do. Remember the 15 practical things to do when out of employment? Those ones.

No, there are no jobs in Kenya. Wrong dear. There are! Crazy woman, I heard you. Yes, I am crazy. Aren’t you like me? Some of us, wanting to work for us, creating opportunities for us and others. While working for others makes one gain invaluable experience, working for oneself is more powerful. You gain insight, power, pain and gain from your inner strengths and weaknesses. You keep wanting to improve yourself, your company. You know the market trends, how to use trends to your advantage and how not to follow some trends. Work for yourself if work in another established company is ”out of bounds”.

Do we now say that greed is the one word driving Kenyans away from Kenya. Greed for a 80, 000 Kenya shillings cash money at the expense of one’s dignity? 80,000 that we shall never set our eyes on? Very largely, YES. Why? Because, ”I was employed by Mama Rukia for a measly 10,000 as my monthly salary, I decided to take the job because the salary seemed, seems appealing”. Who doesn’t want a better salary?. I will answer your question with a little story. I love stories, I know you do too. A man, earned 10,000 not long ago, 2012. The economy in 2012 wasn’t any better than in 2014. Having worked in the position of a night guard for several years, brainstorming, threatening to quit, finding himself as a night-guard every other night. One day, a thought came to him, Jack, you can work your way to what you want. If you really want to, you can change your life. With ten thousand, it’s hefty deductions?, I doubt I can, he told himself. He asked a friend of his what he would do if given 10,000 shillings. The other man, heartily laughed ridiculing Jack. Jack brushed off his ideas of ever quitting, enjoying his life in shanty houses, tarmacking to work. Seeing his friends spotting nice clothes, families and cars. If they can, I can too, he told himself one evening while enjoying his githeri meal. Without any avocado additions or even blue-band, just a little pinch of salt.

He decided to live out of debt completely. Buy his house shopping in bulk, his luxuries were next to nothing, water. Saving his 2000 shillings salary every month. Without fail, some months he did fail. At the end of the year, he had accumulated 10,000 shillings. ”You money, I have saved you with all my heart, I would want to start a business on the side during the day when I am supposed to be sleeping. I haven’t yet decided what business I will use you for. But, I will start anyway”. For days, he walked liked like a zombie. At work people would walk past him and he would jump, he was thinking. He came up with an idea. Walking his neighbourhood one day, he thought of an idea that would fit the money he had saved and denied himself of a few luxuries. He thought: fruits, mandazi, shoes, clothes, sweets. All these seemed like great ideas. ”Mandazi”, he said. He loved cooking, he once did bake a very lovely cake for his nephew’s fifth birthday. He was told how nice the cake tasted like those from the bakery store. Licence? Oh no, too much, this would require a lot of money. Remember nothing is supposed to stop you, he said, declaring loudly.

On a market day, he toured the various mechanics shops buying a metal pan like wok, a slotted spoon made by the mechanics, a bundle of flour and cooking oil. This business didn’t need a lot of money, his overall expenditure on buying was around and about 3,500. all smiles. Deciding it was a hard day, he treated himself to a meal of meat and soup. He went to work smiling all the way. The following morning, he made his bread, at least he left his work at 6:30, early enough to bake some flour and let it settle for a little while. At around eight, he would have made five bags. He supplied them to his three major chosen shops. Within days, he was ordered to make more than 50 mandazi bags. Of course, this isn’t a job for the faint hearted. Jack kept on, the more he loved it. He realised a few things, he would be confronted by others about him stealing their business, and so on and so forth. He feared not.

Within three months, he had made a profit of about 15, 000, not enough for quitting his job. So he kept on until the year ending he had to sort for help. Teaching him to prepare his flour, his step by step measures until they arrived at his desire and customer’s desire. The year passed. He got bigger, maybe from eating his mandazis. Suddenly, he bought his motorcycle, he owned a small building in the estate for selling. He became Jack the Supplier of Sweet Mandazis.

He says, ”when people approach me to ask what I did different I tell them, pain and gain. I took that as my slogan, pain, mostly. I knew if I keep at what I do, I will reach my goals. It didn’t happen overnight, it took years to own the largest bakery in my neighbourhood. I had to enrol in a school bakery to learn the ways of a baker. I managed to quit my job and now I am an employer. I offer words of encouragement to my employees. Mostly, I try to pay what they can live with, not minimally and oppressively like what I earned”, he concludes.

Those who said, they cannot, it’s you who is your only obstacle. You are your own problem. You have refused to save, use what you have to get what you want. Sometimes, we just need bigger and better things, but they don’t come like that. We have to use our 10,000 to create another 10,000 and more.. It’s something you going to Saudi has to learn. Whatever you are earning in Kenya can make a difference to you, your family, if you have any or are supporting some and Kenya in general. The allure of earning good money in abroad countries needs for you to go at it through truthful means, truthful ways. It means going to the embassy, verifying that truly an opportunity exists, there’s need for house-helps and your expertise. There is need for home keepers among other professionals. Help eliminate the cries sufferings and hopelessness experienced by our people in foreign land who have the most depressing laws in the world.

Help yourself by loving the little money you earn and using it effectively, knowing well that, one day, like Jack and others who have made it, you can make it. Don’t underestimate yourself or abilities. There is something unique about you that makes you who you are. Don’t sell you short. You have got capabilities and skills which can be turned into millions here in the land that doesn’t make you suffer. Try it at home or go at it, legally and painfully rather than within days!.

I do get carried away with writing sometimes. So, don’t be afraid to read half or small bits of these long posts. How do we avoid being sold into slavery? Self-employment. That money, you are earning today can be transferred into so much money, if you believe you can? I would never seek a job in the Gulf no matter how lucrative, I am a risk taker but not this much. Would you?


stephanie

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