Patient, persuasive and hawk eyed, they wake up at the crack of dawn to sell sweets, newspapers, magazines and a variety of fast moving merchandise to drivers on our busy highways who are often indifferent. Counting the few coins that they are lucky to make, one really wonders how they are able to pay their rent, feed, clothe and educate their families, among other needs. It is a dog’s life for these hardworking sons and daughters of our land. They struggle to make ends meet by hawking goods to indifferent fellows driving fast to their lofty workplaces. But they never seem to give up. Religiously committed to their ‘businesses’, you come across them every morning and late in the evening. Same faces, same area of operation, same enthusiasm. Possibly, the only difference you might notice is their dressing. A white tee shirt today, a blue one tomorrow – simple but attractive.
While some are trying to eke out a living along our superhighways, others are trying their luck on the streets, estates, buses, restaurants and bars. Indeed, their never say die spirit is mind boggling. But such is the spirit of entrepreneurship. Spotting and seizing opportunities, resilience and patience. It is all in a day’s work. Maybe, after struggling so hard, some of them are ultimately able to break the chains of hopelessness and poverty. Yes, maybe…for the rat race is cruel and unforgiving.
As you drive fast to avoid these hapless fellows whom in your selfish view are disrupting your concentration on the gas pedal and the vehicles ahead, you need to ponder on a few things. Are you keen on touching other people’s lives? How much does your favourite drink, plate of lunch or airtime cost on a daily basis? Can you sacrifice a few shillings of your daily budget for these determined hawkers in order to alleviate their plight? Maybe…yes maybe. For we have been doomed to live in a capitalistic society. Where we are neither our brothers and sisters keepers, nor as we silently reckon , did we force them to migrate from their miserable villages to their iron sheets dwellings in the urban shanties. God bless Kenya.