How Kenyans Below 30 should vote in 2017.Lesson from BREXIT Referendum

The UK is leaving the European Union. David Cameron is also leaving 10 downing street. The UKs highest ranking official in the EU is reported to have resigned and the effects are being felt across the globe in different economies. Experts say things won’t be the same in Europe. A report by research company ecr says:

this also means that many banks will have to move their headquarters elsewhere in Europe. The same applies to many multinationals.

Younger people voted to remain in the European Union. But the older generation had their say in the just conclude BREXIT referendum. Media has gone frenzy and even the lucrative soccer business may be affected. There are reports that some clubs in Britain may face challenges in the coming transfer window.

IMG_0162

This is where my African and Kenyan problem starts. I’m not sure of how Kenyans will vote in 2017 but certainly young people will have a say. Just look at the above statistic and voting pattern. Most young people had a one voice same to the old folks. It was youth vs old.

Numbers Will decide the next Kenyan President as usual

Young people in Britain overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU but old folks said no. The statistics above show me one thing; UK has an ageing population that is able to dictate how the country should be run. Their numbers simply gave them what they wanted. Those aged above 45 and more than those below 30.

Africa has a rather different scenario. Africa has more people aged below 20 than anywhere in the world. 29th January 2014 on BBC website. Some researchers feel this is a risk while others feel that its a good thing, especially in terms of labor force and productivity in future. For Kenya in particular, young people form the voting block in this country and we need to take charge in making our voice loud enough.

Violence doesn’t reverse vote outcome.

Thousands of young people are obviously disappointed with the outcome. It may take more time to process visas to travel across Europe in the coming months. As much as this is viewed as a milestone for the opposition in the UK, those who lost did have not resorted to forcing others, who had numbers, in to the union they never liked. They have to live with it.

My father doesn’t care, but his mother does just before fathers day

I spent the weekend on a golf course. I wasn’t golfing, my friend Kisevu was. So I walked with him for hours but I couldn’t grasp anything. Kisevu played against his friends, who were all members at the golf club. Most of them were my fathers age and I could speak to one after the other in low tones as we moved from one end to another. Along the way, one gives up and says he wont finish the course. Kisevu tells me that he is the most efficient golfer in class, He knows the rules and everything in the books concerning golf.  Though he was the second worst of all golfers I saw on the course that day, if I were to rate them.

img_0100-6

later in the evening with spent quality time in the tents chatting, again for hours. We could move from table to table networking. Sunday was father’s day, I’m a father but I kept thinking about my father. Although I don’t need my father now, because he has never been there, I kept thinking about him. You know why, his mother reached out to my mother. My father’s mother (paternal grandmother if it makes sense) wants to talk.

IMG_0102

IMG_0106

To talk what? I spent entire three weeks on the road on a filthy uncomfortable bus to try and locate him. School fees had become a challenge and life in general was becoming unbearable. I had a genuine need to go to school. I was not the best but I had the belief that I can make it. Along the way I met people I never knew they existed. Uncles, aunties, cousins and so many more who kept on blaming me for conforming to urban life and forgetting people in the village. A village I had never spent even a month.

He comes, buys me a half a litre of Fanta orange and promises to get in touch after the family meeting to discuss me and he never gets in touch, ten years. I tried to reach out but he was never interested. I struggle and go through high school in the hands of well-wishers, I go through college again in the hands or charities and then I finish college, I get another well-wisher I start graduate degree and I am almost done, then he reaches out by asking me difficult questions. I shut him down and he never bothered to contact me.

Then few days before fathers day, my mom calls. She says that my fathers mother called her. She wanted to know where I was and whether I had settled. She further went on to suggest I go see him. My mother seems okay with the idea but still I am sure I comprehend. I fixed so many things in my life that needed my parent. I fixed my own birthday and names. I later learn that I am wrong.

I take a deep sigh and then ask my mother to give me time. meanwhile I told her that she stops investing energy in the conversation. She agrees not to follow up the issue unless they follow up. The only thing that came to my mind was forgiveness. Every one deserves a second chance. i would want a second chance if I messed up. So I will tel my father:

“happy fathers day. I am a father now. I deserve a happy fathers day too”

Simple steps to file your KRA returns NOW!!

@emmanuel mbayachi had challenges filing his returns. So he sought help from me

KRA created this excel sheet with formulas and says it is for filing returns. Filing returns is not paying tax according to me. It is a simple way KRA reconciles tax that ought to be and the actual tax paid. Especially for salaried Kenyans. If you didn’t know, now you know. Make sure that at the end of the sheet you are filing your details no negative figure appears because KRA will bill you almost immediately. You will receive a very threatening mail.

Below is the attachment notice you are likely to receive if you do not file your tax return properly.

You go through this procedure.

Form P9A from Employer. If you are not employed, then you don’t have any income. KRA, however, requires everyone to file return even if it’s zero returns, failure to which you attract a penalty of 10,000.

The employer’s PIN. Request PIN from your employer if not already on the P9A. If you are not employed and you intend to file zero returns, call KRA.

Financial statements for the following incomes; business income, farming income, rent income.

Mortgage Interest Certificate and PIN of lender many Kenyans don’t have mortgages. If you do have a mortgage, I don’t understand why you should be reading this in the first place. I don’t have a mortgage.

Insurance Premium Certificate and PIN of underwriter for those with insurance cover ans enjoy insurance relief. This is why you need insurance. To ease your tax burden

Withholding tax certificates. They are not necessary for students though.

Any other documentation relating to income you received or deductions you want to claim. Forget this, you will be attracting stress that you have never encountered before. When the government takes, its an uphill task to get back. Just make sure that you are never over taxed.

How I lied to the interviewer

 

May ended well. I had made some progress in my quest to find a new employer. My other goal was to increase the number of visitors to my blog. My blog income grew by $0.69 and I am proud. My cousin wrote a few posts for me which did pretty well.

I got to be called for an interview towards the end of the month. Now, I have always told myself that the toughest hustle for me is getting shortlisted, from there I can speak for myself. I went for the interview and guess what, the results looks positive.

Now the challenge that I faced in the interview was to say how much I earn. I did not want to share this type of information with anyone because it limits my bargaining power. So I lied. The panel took my word and asked for my three recent payslips.

Seriously! You want me to give you my payslips. The guy on the other end of the phone insisted that if I need the job, I must provide three recent payslips. I obliged to give because I really needed to progress to the next recruitment level.

My salary was way lower than I quoted and I was almost tempted to doctor the figures. I also considered taking my colleagues payslip to cover up the lie. But one thing I know is that is confidential information and no employer will ever reveal.

Devolution was Great Idea in BETA stage. We implemented it too fast.

Few weeks ago I wanted to increase the number visitors and daily page views on my blog. I shopped around for some plugins, I found a few including Ad pushup. I signed up for Ad pushup but they couldn’t accept my website because of low daily page views. Actually the response read this in part:

“Since we are currently in Beta and using assisted onboarding for select few publishers, we are currently unable to accept websites with less than 1000 daily page views. We should be able to accept your website once our self-service panel is live, which could take couple of months”

Devolution was in BETA stage when it was implemented. That was not supposed to happen.

Time is a key component in the implementation of any new idea, including our devolution. In paper, devolution was perfect thing and people were happy that services were moving closer to them. The perfect plan in paper did not consider the maiden challenges that we face in public service.

Devolution was supposed to be implemented in a few counties at first, then if it worked perfectly allow all counties to be stand alone and that should have taken at least five years or more, to observe how the select few counties were performing.

Then if any challenges occurred during this period, they would be solved. After that no other county would face the same challenge. What we did is devolve everything at the same time. Then when challenges came, the affected every one. We ran to developed world, whose citizenry have high regard to the constitution and their laws than we are, to learn how devolution works with them.

Some of the developed world are 200 years ahead of us. Which means until their institutions are strong enough, and independent and sound. We cannot compare ourselves to them. The judiciary is still struggling with corruption scandals. A judge is fighting to clear his name.

Anti-corruption unit complains that cartels have infiltrated so much which means perpetrators of corruption cannot be prosecuted. Government critics can be murdered in cold blood and nobody cares. Clerics suspected to be funding terrorism are murdered, in cold blood. Not even the opposition does anything. Our institutions are suffering, so is devolution at the moment.

But I cannot wholly condemn our decision in the past. The past has nothing to do with where we are headed. The future looks bright for Kenya except for the level of corrupt officials we have, and their cartels. We have the constitution to guide us and the only thing every Kenyan can do is to be upright, follow the law, respect the constitution irrespective of you political affiliation, gender or age.

Bancassurance in Kenya: How law controls business

The company had grown so fast with revenues running in to millions of shillings. The mother company was taking note and closely monitoring the progress.

The market was accepting us and we were a go-to broker in case one had an insurance challenge. The first team of employees working at the company had done a tremendous job in creating a culture in which everyone at the branch wanted to be associated with. Things only looked brighter and we could not wait for the next year.

Incentives were growing and every insurance firm wanted to strike a deal with us. Every insurance manager across the country wanted to associate with our company. Companies started hiring resources just to make sure that we were fully comfortable.

One of the agents stood in one of our regular meetings to share how delighted she is that she found the best job in the world. She said “I will never stop selling insurance come sunshine, come rain. This is the best job in the world.” At one point in the meeting, one of the coordinators of an insurance firm told the team monthly commissions had been sent except for our colleague whose M-pesa was full and money was bouncing back to the sender.

On the onset of 2016 targets were taken a notch higher, new staff were hired and the head office team had to spilt into two. They couldn’t fill the original office because there was more work now. Number of accountants doubled from 3 to 6 and an intern was brought in just to make sure that foot soldiers had enough support.

Field teams, in which I am a member, had to be divided in to regions for easy monitoring and accountability. There was only the sales team leader to handle the entire team which was now scattered across the country. There was a need, the country sales team leader wanted help in managing the field teams. It was obvious that some of the members in the field were to be promoted to manage others.

Everyone waited anxiously for the vacant positions to be advertised. There were rumors that the best performers of 2015 were going to be given a node. At the branches everyone so Bancassurance as a star department and they would always refer business to us. It was easier for them to sell insurance now.

Other insurance agents started wondering on the sudden rise of Banc assurance in Kenya. Business was escaping their hands and banks now were enjoying bigger chunk of the profits. Things became worse and agents had to report this to the regulator. Under consumer protection Act, the client is not supposed to be forced to take insurance with a particular agent, it is supposed to be solely the choice of the client.

Then a memo from insurance regulatory authority comes in. All banks are asked to adhere to consumer protection act. No bank will be allowed to force clients to buy insurance with particular agents by means of inserting a clause in the loan deals. Things changed. The ride became tougher and only the tougher would survive. The clause was struck off and now clients were free.

All the perceived success was hidden behind a clause in the loan approval memo which required clients to buy insurance through our department. Then it turns out that much of the success we had boasting of was as a result of a clause in the approval memo.

Then things started slowing down. The market started changing, two banks were placed under receivership on matter unrelated to this events. Market perceived banks differently and it was not easy to gain back the glory. At the end of the first quarter we had achieved less than what was expected. Slightly above 50% off the target. The only remedy to cover up the deficit was to get the team to get out and bring in the clients. The fight for business became real and now we are like those agents outside there with briefcases wooing customers to buy insurance with us.

Another reason to blog if you are not watching movies

The first lesson in my preschool was how to pronounce. Pronunciation was important because it defined how I communicated. By the time I finished upper primary, I was soo good in English. I could write so well, my teachers were impressed by my score.

I wasn’t happy with the score I had because I couldn’t speak English fluently, I couldn’t stand in front of people and speak until I taught myself to do so by following several blogs. I feel I am way better than I was ten years ago.

I noticed the difference between present day pupils and those who schooled in my time. Present day pupils have better spoken English and at young age they are able to express themselves, something I would not do at 15 but they are really poor in creative skills something that was key to my development in nursery school.

Has the education system focused so much on the outward appearance more than the actual output expected of schooling today, which is to have young people who can stand in front of a crowd and express themselves?

I have had a personal transformation from the time I was in school to date. I speak better English and I try to write, much better than I used to.

This is a photo from Medium.
This is a photo from Medium article. change your life. its never too late.

Should the education system change so that most of the children focus on their skills than how better they speak to impress people? I tend to feel that speech is much more focused on how people see you than how you are as a person.

At 28 Matt Walsh is way better than who I am at the same age. He is a writer who started a blog that, as he professes, tells the truths about present day America. His blogs really raises key questions about Americans moral standing and beliefs.

I tricked my young cousin into blogging by creating a login for him. He is doing well with his tech blogs that appear on my blog. I started the same way before I chose to focus on life differently.

This is a reason to blog regularly.

A local underwriter here in Kenya was elated on reading my piece in banc assurance history in Kenya. He said;“I read your article on LinkedIn, It was amazing! I never knew you could write on insurance. Keep it up.”
I asked him how he knew I wrote the article.

“Your name was displayed there in large fonts. I definitely knew that was you.” He didn’t get it. He couldn’t distinguish an article share on LinkedIn and an article on LinkedIn. He was reading an article I wrote on my blog. I never told him about the blog although we interact daily in the course of business. Obviously I knew I wrote the article to answer a rather naïve question from a former roommate in college.

Insurance uptake in Kenya is below 3% with most of the people thinking that it is the preserve of the rich. Bima insurance intends to introduce mobile based insurance in Kenya in the near future. This is perhaps buoyed by the idea that Kenyans take mobile phone innovations more seriously.

If you are not contributing to any scheme, you should consider joining one. Most of the people I spoke to while selling insurance said insurance never pay claims. Please ask yourself why your insurance claim was never paid.

Most analysts feel that there is growth opportunity in insurance in Africa with world largest insurers taking up majority stakes in Local insurance firms. This is in an effort to align themselves with the reality that insurance will be a major thing in the coming years.

My boss has several I insurance policies running, he thinks they are six. He co-owns a spare parts shops with his wife and he also has a restaurant where he has employed people to run. I met a former colleague in the streets of Mombasa and she asked me if I knew the director. He meant my boss.