Queue place holders: Seven weird jobs Kenyans do to put food on the table
4 months ago, 15 July 11:36
Putting food on the table has become an uphill task for many Kenyans. But being the entrepreneurial lot that they are, Kenyans, perhaps inspired by the adage “man must not only live, but live abundantly”, stop at nothing to make ends meet. Unemployment has pushed many into creative maneuvers and unorthodox out-of-the-box tactics to earn an extra coin.
Forget the crooks who engage in illegal enterprises such as pick pocketing, ngeta (choke-hold) artists who rob people along dark alleys at knife or gun point and con artists. There are some strange jobs Kenyan do to feed their families that would shock you.
1. Matatu fillers
Forget the rough and noisy touts who get paid to holler at passengers- who know where they are going, anyway-to get into matatus. We have young men who fill up unoccupied matatus to create an impression the vehicle is full and just about to leave the stage.
You have probably heard a tout shout, “Wawili... wawili ... wale wa haraka wa mwisho... (The only available space is for the last two who are in a hurry)”, only for you to get into the matatu and see some ‘passengers’ disembark one by one? Well, for the uninitiated, those are not commuters, but matatu fillers who get paid for that gesture.
“We make Sh10 to Sh20 each time we ‘fill’ a matatu. In the morning hours, I can sit in ten matatus,” says John Karis, who plays his trade in Nairobi’s Githurai estate and makes approximately Sh500 each day. He says business starts booming around midday when there are hardly any commuters.
Strange as it may sound, Karis, just like any serious Kenyan, wakes up as early as 6 o’clock and reports at the bus stop. At the Githurai round about stage alone, Karis says he has tens of colleagues with whom they do the job.
2. House Sitters
In Nairobi, if you live in secluded leafy suburb and plan to travel for a while, we now have bureaus which not only hire out house helps, but temporary house sitters. These individuals are hired out, not to cook or clean in clients’ houses.
All they do is laze around, eat, entertain themselves with music and TV and keep the house in ‘occupied mode’ when the rich owners are away. This is aimed at warding off crooks who target unoccupied homes or anyone with ill intentions, including neighbours.
3. Sperm, egg donors
Desperate to make money, some young university students in Nairobi have turned to sperm and egg donation. Some time back, single women who wanted children, but didn’t want to get married had a hard time getting the right sperm. Some had to blackmail men they suspected had better genes to sire children with them.
Or reluctantly drag potential sperm donors to the nearest VCT, sire children with them and dump them!
But thanks to Kenyatta University, University of Nairobi’s school of medicine and Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya now boasts of thriving sperm banks, where individuals aged between 21 and 35 secretly patronise to ‘donate’ the all important seed, of ...
Category: entertainment enews