What a shame Kenyans!! *(Part 1)

Disappointed!

I write this story with a lot of disappointment, frustrations and sadness in my heart. I just wanna scream at the top of my voice and say,  it is such a shame my fellow Africans!! Due to the nature of this story, I am going to divide it into two parts, so that I can make it as detailed as it can be.

At dinner!

Early this year, a Norwegian friend Kristin*  approached me and asked me to help her clarify some information from a family that has been asking her for some financial assistance and I did volunteer to assist her. Kristin tells me she was in Kenya about 10 years back and met this lady by the name Akelo and though they haven´t been in constant communication, she remembers her quite well.

 “We have been sending each other emails once or even twice a year. However, towards the end of last year, she frequently sent me emails and asked me to give her my number which I did, and so she sends me texts once in a while. In November, she started asking if I could assist her pay for her daughters school fees and she even sent me the fee structure, which I have with me as an email attachment. If you don´t mind, please gather for me this information, I would love to assist her, but I just want to be sure about this. I have been told of many cases that have been fake and I am very careful about assisting people these days.” Said Kristin.

Generous Norwegians

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Truth be told, Norwegians are very generous people and that´s why all the time there are number of initiatives going around to help the African continent. In our first teaching session as FK participants, we met these Norwegians kids aged between 14 to 18 years and I remember we asked them about their perception on Africa. These are some of the answers we received “Africa is very poor and so are Africans. They are always begging and they do not have enough to eat. They suffer from many diseases and some of the kids sleep in camps. Africans are always fighting and African leaders are corrupt.” Then one said, “ Africans are con people and some steal a lot especially when you go to Nairobi.”

I agree with these kids, because these are vices and negative traits that unfortunately describe who we are as Africans and of course media is largely to blame, so I take the blame too. But you know what, a few Africans have worked hard to taint the image of the African continent. When you live in the diaspora, then you realise some people don´t even bother to ask your name twice, all they are interested in is where you come from. I have witnessed this quite a number of times and that is why I am writing this as a very frustrated Kenyan.

So this Kenyan Lady Akelo has been working in coalition with her daughter to swindle Kristin Kshs. 70,957 in the name of financial assistance to pay school fees. According to the emails that were all forwarded to me and even the text messages, Akelo says her daughter Queenella is in form three at Nyakachi Girls High School and was to resume school on 4th January.  Queenella writes this mail as a reminder to ask Kristin to hasten her help. This is a copy pasted extract:

Julemass 2010

How are you going on? I hope that you are okey,me too plus mum,she is atleast now i was really surprised to find my mum in this condition but i thank God that my mum is alivel.
We have closed schol and back on 4th of january 2011.The school is fine it has been raining and now it has gone down atleast. The report books were not given untill we open school becoz it has been a short time we just went back after the form fours exams and started ours after. We just closed the school i know that i’m in top five as usual.
Otherwise whats up? I´m wondering that you are so quiet please just try and break the silent.I’m in our Township here in Homabay, i’m meeting my classmates and i have seen them and I’m almost going back home so i have decided to send you the fee structure and to break the silence, visiting will be on 26th of March 2011.God bless you i would be very greatful to hear from you,it’s queenella i wish you a happy christmas and happy new year. alot of greetings from mum i left her at home bye we love you. hoping to hear from you soon reply in mummy’s phone i dont think if i will be back in town soon. coz it’s far and expensive. Queenella.

I check the fee structure, and I doubt it immediately. It only indicates the school name and form three without any contact information or even a stamp. So I ask Kristin if I could get the telephone to this school but she informs me that, the last time she asked for the school contacts, Quennella informed her that the school was being relocated and that they were no telephone numbers and address. Ok, this sounded very fishy to me.

Determined to help

Kristin determined to help, goes to the directories and Internet search and comes back to me with a list of telephone numbers under

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Nyakach Girls High School. I try my best to call the numbers and none seems to go through! She comes with another option of asking Queenella to send her any mobile numbers from her teachers. She accepts and texts her two mobile numbers of which seem not to work as well (The number you have dialed is temporarily out of service). In her text, Queenella quotes Mrs. Liz Mubuwa, Mr.Oketch and Mr.Obura as some of her teachers and continues to say, “We have many teachers because we have different subjects and our  Principal is Mrs. Odhiambo.”

So when all our efforts to reach these teachers fail, we decide to call The Ministry of Education in Nairobi so as to see if we could get any help on how to get to Nyakach Girls. In Nairobi, I introduce myself and explain why I need to get to Nyakachi and I am then connected to two people before I am given the telephone number to the Provisional Education offices in Nyanza. I call Nyanza and again another long process, from one department to another and I am really patient. Here, they give me the same numbers that I had earlier tried but in vain, so I explain that my case is urgent and I really need to get to that school. I ask if I could get the Principals number and  I am advised to call after 10 minutes which I do and I get a mobile number.

This Principal tells me she is no longer at Nyakach but there is a new Principal and she gives me the number to this new Principal. I hung up and call this new Principal. I am so tired of doing this work but I see Kristins determination so I keep on. When she finally picks up, I start the whole process of introducing myself and why I have been looking for Nyakach Girls.                                                                             

Fabricated Information

Julemass 2010

The first incident, her name differs from the one we were given by Queenella. However, I am still determined to get  more info, I ask about the form three school fees structure and the figures too differ greatly. Queenella quotes Kshs. 70,957 and this Principal quotes Kshs.32,000. Then I give her Quenalla´s full names and ask her if she has a student by that name.

“I am new in this school and I cannot tell you that I know all the students here but if you can hold on, then I can confirm that from the form three teachers at the staffroom.” She said as she took her steps to the staff room.

I hear her ask aloud if there is a student by these names unfortunately the teachers respond with a frantic No! I also ask her to confirm to me about the other three teachers and suprisingly, there are no teachers by those names. So I ask her if there could be any other Nyakach Girls High School in Sondia, Nyanza, and she replies, “ As far as I know, there is only one Nyakach Girls High in Kenya.”

So now we confirm that Quenella does not exist in Nyakach Girls High School, the fee structure is fake, fake names for her teachers and basically the whole information is fabricated! Disappointed as we are, we still continue our search to gather the truth, read the whole story on Tuesday What a shame Kenyans!! *(Part  2)

 

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19 thoughts on “What a shame Kenyans!! *(Part 1)

  1. First of all Patience I love your Blog. You are doing a great job, reading this story takes me back to the life of an average Kenya who lives under $ 1 per two days. Then at some point you get an opportunity of making $ 10 dollars a day and how one can blinded with this position. The fact is taking advantage of a good samaritan does not solve a problem it makes the problem worse. first of all the lady lost trust of a dear friend who was so willing to help her daughter if for real she was in school, this is once in a life time opportunity and when we get it we should be honest and make the very out of it. Dear Kenyans taking advantage of donors is not a solution. Hope you fid the truth Patience.

    1. Scovia, thanx for your reflections. This is really disappointing. However desparate the situation can be, taking advantage of a good samaritan is not a way to solve the situation. We meet to disctuss this story yesterday and trust me, the lady says the same thing, “I wish she was honest with me, I am so willing to help her.” Will give you all the details in my story on Tuesday.

  2. Patience i agree with you that such a behaviour will draw a bad image of our nation. But on the same hand, the philanthropist is not spotless. Why wouldnt she have endeavoured in knowing more about nyakach before she could move on? This picture is overdrawn and as a people we should not tie our thoughts to blaming the apparent perpetrator. What was the cause behind this act? At times in life you got to be unfair in life to survive. Even in as much as we linger our blame on nyakachi s , let us not sound so forlon about africa. Nothing is beyond remedy and if the world trends of financial crimes is anything to go by then we should say we are a million times better than the russians and part of the americas who have a greater reputation for scamming and other vices.

    1. Maximillan, I don´t refute a thing you say and your reflections about this. Lets just remain in context so that we are dealing with this story as it is. I am a Kenyan and was dealing with a Kenyan dishonesty case!! If you get my story well, the Norwegian didn´t move on, this was all in an initiative to help The Nyakachi´s. The reason she had to ensure the information was second checked it is because she had already heard of such fake stories from other well wishers and as it was true to her guessing! Remember once beaten, twice shy!! Lets accept when we are on the wrong and work towards correcting our tainted image. Thanx for your reflections!!

  3. This is painful and shameful to read. As a Kenyan i am ashamed. This, to be honest, has to stop. If you have a problem,….financial problem to be precise, come clear and honestly describe it! Kenyans, look for better tricks that people do not already know…rather than the obvious, clueless tricks that will put our beloved country to shame! Patience you are right….Shame on them!

    I am so disappointed!

    1. Tony, it is a shame, a great shame and especially when it comes from a lady, it makes it even worse! My prayer is that one day, Kenyans will be kind enough to learn to tell the truth and appreciate well wishers instead of taking advantage of them!! Thanx for reading my blog and be sure to read the continuation to this story!!

  4. I would first like to applaud your writing style. Before I read the story I expected it to be much longer than it was, but was surprised when I got to the end of it. I find the story very intriguing. I’m not a Kenyan myself, but I can relate to the bad press and negativity that is, apparently, common place in the minds of most Norwegians towards Kenya and other African Countries.

    What I fail to understand however, is the purpose of you telling the story. Yes, I get that you are shocked and this is part of your life experience, but I fail to see what good it does. Other than re-sound the gong that is already too loud when it comes to Africa.

    Surely the ones, like [as portrayed, not necessarily their predicament, by] Akelo and her daughter, who obviously need some kind of help, are in no position to be reading this. Unless of cause, if they are quite well off and this is just their method of livelihood, in which case I doubt they would care one bit.

    The bigger issue is how to change the image of Kenya. How do you educate the rest of the world (or the right people) that Kenya is more than what their media chooses to focus on. Or even better, show the world that there are just as many fraudsters in their country as there are in African countries. Crime is Crime no matter the continent.

    1. Mike, thanx for reading my blog! Great I see your reflections and concern on this. One thing is for sure you are not a Kenyan and therefore you do not share my frustrations. Kenyans read my blog and so are Norwegians, and my purpose of writing this story is to expose fraudsters who think they can do such acts and get away with it. Secondly, to caution well wishers, even though they would like to help in any way, as true as the information may sound, then it is always good to take a step and clarify the information because con people do exist.

      I have been in the media long enough now to know what effect it has in shaping the image something small as a biro pen and as big as a continent! Kenya has in the fore front in the past years to rebuild it’s image ( Brand Kenya, Najivunia Kuwa Mkenya) these are just some of the initiatives . So when it comes to exposing such characters who turnish the image of Kenya, trust me media will still be here to do it all!! Hope you get my point now!

      Read part two of this story on next Tuesday!

  5. Unbelievable……!Success comes to person once and if you don’t realize it and utilize it fully, when it goes, it goes for good never to come back and that’s what this lady of our’s has done Patience.Honesty, is something very crucial especialy where charity is involved and most people don’t figureout this.Believe you me,this episode costs alot of people leave alone the “brainee”,but future and needy kenyan’s who will be seriously in need of help to make there dreams come true.Don’t some people see that our goverment no longer cares about the welfare of it’s own people and try to use the previlege that God’s gives tu us?.It’s very annoying Patience and a big shame to some kenyan’s.Enjoy your day Patience.

    1. Noel, thank you for your reflections! It is annoying I agree. It is even sad if this lady was in need for sure because you lose trust on someone once and building again takes ages. She lost an opportunity to get help from Kristin and of course other well wishers will shy away because of such cases! We have to do something and let Kenyans learn to do things in an honest manner as well as appreciate the efforts of the well wishers! Thanx once more for finding time to read and post your comments!

  6. ha ha ha ha ha…. as sad as the story is i cant help but laugh!!! am not surprised at all.. starting from the top Kenya is corrupt! sad but its true. people are lie to get money its happening and it should stop!! thanks patience for highlighting this, infact as i read it i kept wishing that your story be highlighted in the media (electronic and print) maybe then those who are doing that would be embarrassed and stop. in fact the school is called Nyakach girls and not Nyakachi so that queenela is one good liar to make it hard for you people to trace the truth…
    anyway, am eagerly awaiting part two…

    1. Brenda, I am happy that you are not surprised about this because you as a Kenyan in the media scene you know such dubious acts have been happenning! It is sad, in her fee structure, Queenella writes Nyakachi when we search for this school we don’t get any results but we get an alternative which is Nyakach! So that already proves the fake fee structure, had thought maybe it was a typol error on her part! Part two is on your way, get it here on Tuesday! Thanx for reading!

  7. Unbelieveble, total shame. Kenyans lets be honest. Surely why take advantage of good pple. Am too dissappointed

  8. Kenya Kenyan corrupt from the top ones to bottom no one to lead. mungu atusaidie…..if Leaders are corrupt same goes to wanaichi…….patience u r doing well am so so sad for your fred thank God she met you,and u helped her…This should be open to everyone especially Akelo shame on her….Ni vimbaya sana…

    My dear u r doing very well can’t wait for part 2.

    1. Kui, we are all praying that Kenyans embrace honesty as a key virtue and such cases will be unheard of! It is not all lost, we still have a chance to correct and become better citizens!! Thank you for your feedback!

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