Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mobile phones providing excitement for rural folks

At the tiny Gaithuri river, Mama Wambui stands. She is down in her arrowroot farm but has to answer a call from another woman across the ridge. She is 34 and a mother of six. Am sure you know at what age she started giving birth and her challenges in the village, so i will not dwell on that.

One thing is that Mama Wambui did not go beyond class five, she dropped out and was married off, after all, she was an asset.

However, Mama Wambui has found herself a new territory, where she teaches other women how to operate their mobile phones. Checking credit and loading credit, Mama Wambui helps them all. She is a hero in Giathi village.

But on this day, there was a major challenge, one woman had received an SMS indicating that she has been entered into a draw and she could win shs 6,000. But the sight of the figures spured new excitement as they thought they had hit a minor jackpot.

There was excitement in the village as they summoned the most educated (mainly standard 8 drop outs) to interpret the message. They all focussed on the money, everyone thinking they had won.

It took time before they could get the right message. they had to wait until evening for one of the girls in a local day school to come and help out.

The excitement died down but one thing was clear, they say people are illiterate but when it comes to money, everyone notices the zeros.

For this village, it is certain that the little education comes along way, and that those who went to school feel very good. The mobile phone has given new relevance to the rural folks.

17 comments:

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jke said...

There really is a Mama Wambui?? The one in in this blog post is just made up :-)

Developer4lease said...

As for me i could say that the highlight in this posting is "The excitement died down but one thing was clear, they say people are illiterate but when it comes to money, everyone notices the zeros." Very beautifully written. Awaiting your future updates.

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