By Nicholas Olambo
Government is not creating jobs, thousands are graduating every year and entering the jobless market. Government is borrowing billions and trashing in individual pockets. County governments are ‘tripping’ and starring in corruption scandals, county workers are going without pay. The society is sad, the leadership and the political class are all smiles. Public wage bill is bulging.
Life is hard for an average Kenyan. Many are losing their jobs and still have to fend for their families. Young men and women want to have money in their pockets, they want to look smart, enjoy life and be responsible to their families. To meet life may be in this fashion, many jobless Nairobians are resorting to the internet to find jobs. Other creative heads with influence on social media create platforms where people can contribute in content creation and sharing at a fee.
Nairobi alone, has many online papers where young Kenyans earn a living from their skills as writers, photographers or just as an individual with influence who can promote brands or champion opinions online. Bloggers are now recognizable members in the society, in fact they have a community. Budding Tv producers and film makers are now shooting flicks, sharing and hitting millions of views in their YouTube channels. This is a big revenue stream.
Online is not a discriminating employer. Duelers of this sector say ‘if you can prove your quality, you are worth the offer’. Academic writing where you simply do homework for some rich kids abroad is paying better than teaching profession.
Online market is a complete industry and society sort of, many families have their foundations on social media. People have met through twitter, Facebook or even dating sites and ended up getting married. So many people across the world, lazy or insane are dating online but they have never met in real life.
Deals are brokered online, this is a virtual city with many streets. Gamblers are here, cons and crooks are bad here, they mean business and they are living large. My Nigerian brothers are usual suspects in town. Russians are crazy hackers, many accounts have been raided, and many have lost billions to these bad fellows. Working online is stress-free, no supervision and stuff but an online worker needs to be very careful with the information they give as much as it’s driven by trust and the urge to make money. Smart fellows penetrate gaps in the law to exploit unsuspecting guys.
Instead of creating stricter laws to cub online crime government only remains a hustler. ‘He’ is now sending the tax boy to chop your dues earned online. ‘He’ also has his eyes on the purse of foreign companies trading in our code. Plans are in final stage to tax Youtube, Netflix and the rest of the online content providers exploiting the Kenyan industry. Government must benefit or they switch off your lights.
But it has realized the potential the internet has in solving job crisis in the country. It’s now ready with measures to tax the same young person it could not employ. It has created the atmosphere it says. Suspended Treasury CS, Henry Rotich in his last budget speech read it that a young Kenyan doing his business online will pay the government a hundred dollars yearly. That’s the rule and the taxman never smiles with ‘a small person’.