With the country’s economy proudly stuck in the toilet, the saying that life is never a walk in the park seems to gain more and more substance each day.
This is true for university students, who, in a bid to cushion themselves from the ugly pressures of these hard economic times, have devised ways to get that extra coin into their pockets. They have to subsidize the ‘peanuts’ they receive from their parents and the heaven-sent Helb.
Agreeably, money is never enough. You can have loads of it, but the desire to hoard some more of it is ever raging. And when times are hard as they are presently, a few extra pennies are highly welcome. So, in this piece I delve into some of the ventures comrades pursue to ensure they never run broke.
This is a no-brainer. It is perhaps the most common activity that even the least enterprising of students engage in.
A stroll within the corridors of halls of residence will reveal to you a wide variety of businesses students operate. From photocopying, printing and binding to selling mobile phone scratch-cards and peddling ‘mandazi’. The chase for the paper is evidently a concerted one.
Interesting of these is the extent to which some of these young entrepreneurs will go to promote their businesses. You will find tiny posters stuck in strategic places; such as behind toilet doors, right where you cannot escape seeing them. So intrusive are their posters, I tell you.
Then there are those who understand that their colleagues must dress. You will see them with huge hand bags draped on their backs, moving from door to door. Inside the bags are various items of clothing, ranging from tailor-adjusted slim-fitting shirts, skinny pants, socks to vests and boxers for men. You are also likely to see a male student hawking female clothing, especially the undergarments. Well, this is not strange. It is business, and business is business as long as it is legitimate, they will tell you.
Campus is a universe in its own right. It has a potential market for virtually anything imaginable. Comrades with sharp business minds will identify the niche and not hesitate to exploit it. Take selling of emergency contraceptives for example. While there are certified drug stores around, business-minded fellows still spot an opportunity to mint money from the ever-high demand for emergency pills. Their stocks get depleted at a speedy rate that they have to restock regularly. This venture is especially explored by the females due to the level of trust and camaraderie they share with their clients.
The males, too, are not left out in this passion-related business. They have a niche of their own, the blue pill!
With immense pressure to be the ‘perfect’ lover behind closed doors, some of the male folk are driven into soliciting the enhancement these pills guarantee. It is not uncommon to bump on posters, especially online, urging ‘poor’ performers to place an order for the magic pills.
Comrades are increasingly taking up writing jobs on the internet to subsidize their ever insufficient finances. With the mushrooming of writing websites nearly on a daily basis, now it is easier to earn that extra dollar. Cash is only an online account away!
Foreign students with money but lazy or ignorant solicit the help of their comrades from different parts of the world. These lazy-bones are said to part with good chunks of the dough, if only to have their course assignments done for them. And that is quick and easy money!
Well, this is heartbreaking, especially for the parent who drains his or her wallet, or M-Pesa and bank accounts to pay for their child’s education. But heck, it has an economic angle to it nonetheless.
There are students who are either too busy or lazy to do their assignments on their own, or too daft to attempt any of the tasks given to them by their lecturer. Enterprising students benefit from the plight of their colleagues, seize that opportunity and make a living and a killing.
This special kind of gambling has been around for some time. But lately, it seems to be the in-thing, especially among college students. Betting sites such as BetWay, Bet-In, SportPesa, Elitebet among others promise a fat kill for a small amount of money as stake. It is a risky affair though. It is not uncommon to find a pool of sports-betting freaks nursing their frustrations when ‘crucial’ teams in their bets choose to suspend victory till further notice. It is a consolation of sorts. Much like the one you would witness ladies shower on a jilted member of their sub-species. On better days, however, comrades giggle all the way to M-Pesa, now that Chase Bank scared the trust out of them.
So, there you have it. If you’ve been wondering why that person next to you always has money (when the cops have never come after him with robbery claims) while you blame your ancestral spirits for making you broke consistently, now you know.