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Mshwari Inside Out, Everything you need to know

by simon

Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2012 12:37 AM

I am sure you have heard all the buzz on the new banking service pioneered by CBA and Safaricom. The move has seen CBA break into the market at the bottom of the pyramid, a niche it had not explored before. I gave the service a try and here is a summary of my experience.

Setting up Mshwari on your phone

Step one: Update the Mpesa Menu

- Under the main Mpesa Menu, select 'my account' then select 'Update menu'. This will prompt you to enter your Mpesa password and after few seconds, the new menu is available and there is 'Mshwari'. 

Step two: Activating Mshwari

- Select Mshwari on the main Mpesa menu, and you will find only 2 items under it i.e 'Activate' and 'Terms and condition'. Select 'Activate'. This will prompt for your mpesa password again and may take longer as mshwari is experiencing a lot of traffic. never the less, you wait untill you receive an SMS confirming the activation.

Step three: Updating Mshwari Menu

- You will neeed to repeat Step one again to get the complete Mshwari Menu. If you have used other m-banking services such as m-kesho, you will find mshwari very similar; if you havent, it is still very simple for the average mpesa user.

So what is so good about Mshwari, The Pros

  1. No transaction charges. This is a winner for me. I happen to be a major m-kesho customer but I always lose 30 bob every time I withdraw from Mkesho to Mpesa. But now that is history. Am not saying I wont use mkesho any more, look at the cons below.
  2. CBA, This is a reputable bank and I feel safer knowing my money is in their custody than how I would feel if it was held by some of the other banks we know so very well!!??!!
  3. The loan. Wow, this is a killer. So many times I have found myself in need of some cash and no nearby ATMs. That is why I used M-kesho to transfer cash from Bank to Mkesho and then Mkesho to Mpesa. I can assure you this is a cumbersome process, the bank's m-banking services are based on USSD and have a very high failure rate, you have to retry like 5 times sometimes before it goes through. Now all I have todo is get that 1k loan on m-kesho which has an interest rate of only 7.5% flat rate.  This is disguised as loan processing fee to allow muslims to use the service, which is awesome since I would hate to see my muslim brothers miss out on this revolution. It is repayable within 30 days. There is a caveat here, some people have praised the service for a low interest rate forgetting that this is 7.5% per month which is equivalent to 7.5*12 which is 90% per year, definitely the highest in the market. Safaricom has clearly stated an extra 7.5% will be charged for every extra month (for loan defaulters)
  4. Money saved in Mshwari shall earn an interest rate of 5% per year, this not winner, but it is still  something, probably below inflation rate but still something.
  5. Those are enough reasons to use mshwari but reason number one deserves a repeat! No Transaction Charges.
Don't be so psyched here come the Cons
  1. 6 Months mpesa user requirement for you to qualify for the loan. This is a downer, I mean somebody just realized he could 'okoa mpesa' with mshwari and decides to vuka from airtel to safaricom and you tell them they have to wait 6 months. I understand safcom's fears but I wish they could throw more caution into the wind and use other methods like restricting loan limits based on your 'age' in safcom and usage statistics but not cutting you off completely.
  2. The high loan interest rate. 7.5% per month, that is 90% per year on a flat rate which is equivalent to 139% interest rate on a reducing balance. Some bloggers have praised it for been the lowest without doing the maths first. The highest loan rate in the market today is 27% per annum on a reducing balance.
  3. No ATM. What if you lost your phone and you were in need of some emergency cash (Why I will continue using m-Kesho). You will have to obtain a phone and replace your SIM card and restore Mpesa. This process is normally straight forward, but what if it is in the middle of the night and you are out of town. You only have your ATM with you. With Mkesho, I will just walk to the nearest bank and insert the VISA ATM card and access my mobile cash pap.

Loan Limits

Safaricom announced that limits will be based on usage of safaricom services. The initial loan limit is Kes 2,000. Note that you dont need to have money in M-Pesa or M-shwari account to get the loan. Based on you saving, borrowing and repayment trends, the limit will be revised from time to time hopefully upwards. I recently got a text message that my loan limit had been revised up to Kes 2,600.

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Bonyeza Ushinde Na Safaricom Promotion

by simon

Posted on Sunday, October 21, 2012 06:28 PM

It looks like Safaricoms is in the content service market, competing with the value added service providers it is supposed to support while they complement its services. Well, I can't blame them, its a big market, and very tempting given they have all the infrastructure and skills required to offers this. While this is the same old gambling services, where participation does not guarantee returns, the fact that safaricom is hosting it and publicising it under its own brand makes it look very credible. They are even using the best short code ever, just 555. Well here is the original advert.

You could become a millionare just by texting! Bonyeza Ushinde na Safaricom promo is giving you a chance to win Ksh 1 Million and other amazing cash prizes and airtime daily! Even better, you could hit the jackpot and be our grand prize winner of 10 Million shillings!

 To enter, simply SMS your name to 555 at 5/- only! You will then earn points by answering a series of questions sent to you. The more questions you answer, the higher your chances of winning. The promotion will run from Tuesday 16th October to Friday 14th December 2012. Participate now!


Ksh 10 Million Grand Prize 1 Winner
Ksh 1 Million 1 Winner Daily
Ksh 10,000 5 Winners Daily
Ksh 5,000 5 Winners Daily
Ksh 2,500 5 Winners Daily
Ksh 100 Airtime 1,000 winners daily.
  • Winners will be called through the promotion number 0729333333.
  • Each SMS sent to 555 will be charged Ksh5

SMS your name to 555 now!

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Degrees, what about them?

by wanderikinyanjui

Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 11:06 AM

I recently came across an advert in our dailies for some tenders. There was one for supplying potatoes to one of the major hotels in the city.The pre-qualifications were way out of my reach! I mean how and where am I supposed to raise a collateral fee of Kshs 1M. This guys were insane. Let alone this , securing a Kshs 3,000 fee for collecting the tender document was unattainable. You can see I have great visions for my life. Potatoes supplier. But isn't this a long process that involves going to inefficient government offices for business registration and other stuff before I land my dream job?

I spend most of my day looking for a job. My friend Johny is a newspaper vendor. It is because of our friendship that I get to peruse all the newspapers. The first thing I do when I get a hold of them is to flip through the job sections. The employers seems not to be interested in mathematicians. The only positions are for sales representatives. Everyone, I mean all of them are looking for guys with marketing,sales,communication.......degrees. By now you have figured it out, holders of any business or arts related degree courses seems to be on demand.

Johny graduated with a First class in Actuarial Science from the University of Nairobi two years ago. He still looks for a job he was trained for. Does it mean that mathematicians and other scientist will continue languishing in poverty and joblessness? No. Are we going to achieve vision 2030 with a country full of BA holders in strategic positions that require thinkers while scientist are reduced to writing articles like this. I was trained to think big, design complex mathematical structures and solve humanity problems through science. However, here I am doing this.

Whom do you think have perfected the art of forgery? By the way is forgery an art or a science? Don't answer, just think about it. The famous River Road in the Nairobi CBD is full of who? You guessed it correct; degree holders. I mean this a place you can walk and literally come out with a Masters degree within an hour! I really do not know how they do it, but I can assure you that they are good. I once saw a forged bank statement for one of the leading banks, it was a perfect replica of the original one. What is funny or saddening is that the recipient of this fake bank statement document was 100% convinced. Many youths have resorted to criminal activities due to poor education system, lack of parental guidance and uncultured entrepreneurial skills. We all have business ideas but what happens to them? Yes you guessed it correct. They remain to be just ideas.

How many people have papers but barely look like they went through a school. A recent audit by PWC on the City Hall employees revealed that over 60% employees are incompetent. Cool. How? How did they pass their interviews? I presume that this result was majorly based on qualifications followed by skills. In this case, they did not have credible papers. So where did there papers go? Because they must have had them, of course during their interviews.

The always vocal and prominent Nairobi lawyer who is also a member of the Judicial Service Commission understands me a little bit. If the allegations are anything to go by, he managed to be where he is because of the so called fake papers from River Road. Waaah! This is awesome. This is just one of them. How many of them are out there? It is ironical because this guy has been in the public limelight for so long yet we didn't see that side of him. A River Road product. Waaah.

Is there any system in place that can be used to confirm the authenticity of these papers? These certificates are nothing but papers.Our leaders have also resorted to getting these papers either from River Road or from well established institutions through blackmail or underhand deals. Enough on fake certificates.

Many employers complain about their new hires on how they don’t have necessary skills. Did they bother to check whether their papers presented to them were genuine? Or is utterly on institutions of higher learning inability to equip them with those skills? Or are these employers only hiring marketers to be in charge of operations! Don't curse me, this is just an example. There are guys who have studied operations as an art and others as a science. Who is more suitable here? Again it is an example for gods sake. You don't expect to use a spade instead of a spoon in eating, or do you?

Our universities should be tracking their graduates and do a study to determine market viability of their products. Through this study they will be able to refine their degree courses.

I have an old bicycle at home. If I could sell it I would start a small business of selling potatoes. Let me look for a buyer. Ooops! My phone is ringing, it could be a possible employer calling. We will continue with this later.

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How to climb the corporate ladder

by simon

Posted on Wednesday, May 09, 2012 11:38 PM

By Ben Fletcher

Ben is Professor of Personal & Organizational Development at the University of Hertfordshire.

Here are at least two kinds of Corporate Games involving climbing ladders that get played: most people confuse the two.

The first is 'The Ladder Game'. In this, it's all about going up. To do this all you have to do is to find the right squares that propel you up the ladder most rapidly. That is not as easy as it sounds because you cannot see the board - only the next step. Unfortunately, some never do the right thing - they make the wrong choices (believing that luck plays a part) and have to plod through their career a few steps at a time. Some even think the 'Lad' bit in the name of the game is relevant. Some stay put through lack of drive and talent.

The second game is called 'The Snakes and Ladders Game'. In this game you can do the equivalent of going down, as well as up. What is more, there are a lot more snake heads nearer the top, and a lot further to fall. All players are playing the second game, but most act as if they are in the first. They forget the traps. This article is to remind you of them.

Let me start with you rookies to the job recruitment game - the new folks on the block. You assume that ambition is good, and that climbing the corporate ladder is the obvious career goal. Both of these are reasonable assumptions, but you must not forget that your raw talent needs honing with experience, and that this experience needs nurturing in the right companies with good market credentials, good training policies, and plenty of ladders for the right players. Raw energy will help, but do not forget that it is not a game for one (some will have started the game long before you), and that you have to give other players a turn sometimes, too.

Here are some of the other rules in the corporate ladders and the snakes game. Consider them the career equivalent of the birds and the bees.

The ladders - the things that propel you upwards with some speed - are not always what you think. They appear to include:

  1. Impression management and self-promotion 
  2. Networking with the key people 
  3. Determination to succeed/single-mindedness whatever it takes 
  4. Ruthlessness to have an impact 
  5. Taking more risks than others 
  6. Looking very active and fast-moving Management of 'others' in pursuit of you cause (politics and diplomacy) 
  7. Making sure the successes are logged to you and the failures to others 
  8. Getting 'close to the sun' (your bosses) or visibility 

The snakes always seem to appear from nowhere, but are important too. They are things that might knock you back in the promotion stakes. The snakes - for many aspiring corporate climber - appear to include:

  1. Honesty and saying it like it is, or should be. (It gets you into trouble) 
  2. Working smart and determining your own list of priorities for success in the job, instead of just pleasing people and doing what they say. (People see lack of commitment) 
  3. Taking account of the ethical and moral dimension in business decisions. (It costs deals) 
  4. Taking a minority position if you believe it is right, or a detached view. (Others see you as outside the team) 
  5. Taking responsibility for the mistakes you or your team makes. (It gets you noticed for the wrong reasons) 
  6. Doing a good job quietly and without looking for the boss's eye. (Your achievements go unnoticed) 
  7. Bringing attention to the problems others have not seen in a decision. (People think you jealous and want to hijack the situation) 
  8. Having a balanced life outside work. (You should do what the others do) 
  9. Saying 'no' when you have a different priority list. (It isolates you) 
  10. Commitment to your colleagues and team. (You need to move with the stars). 

One thing might surprise you, but will not on reflection: the things that appear as the ladders are actually the snakes.

In the longer term, playing the corporate ladder game according to the rules in the first list, will fail in a good company with good management. And in the end it is those companies that you will want to be in. For example, many falsely believe that 'sucking up' to the boss gets you places, but that is only true in the worst managed organizations. You should not want to work in these kinds of places. So make a careful selection yourself.

There are also many negative short and long term consequences of playing by the rules of this game: poorly channeled effort, spending time on activities that do not develop your talents and skills but make you look good for a short time, having to second-guess what is in the mind of others, perhaps portraying an impression that is not really you, backstabbing other competitors (your friends even), personal isolation, making enemies, the unexpected urgencies that break cherished family time, the personal loss felt by partner/spouse of being always 'second'. The list could be much longer.

If you really want to climb the corporate ladder you need to play by different rules. Yes, you guessed it, those things that look like the snakes are really the ladders. The 'snakes' of the second list turn into ladders when you really take the responsibility for your performance, instead of playing others' games. If you want money, status and the feeling of achievement you need to take account of them. Real achievement needs to replace pretense and appearance. Real integrity needs to replace managed impressions. Yes, of course some people get up the snakes, but they always have to cling on hard - they are not what I call the True SuperAchievers. To get there you need to get 'FIT for business' and to learn to get smart rather than chasing the demons (see HOW to think, live and work powerfully).

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M-Tiba: A Mobile Based Diagnosis System

by info

Posted on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 01:46 PM

M-tiba is an application that emulates human expertise in diagnosis of diseases and technical issues . The application relies on a back end knowledge base populated by experts in the respective areas (See the test version at

Symptoms are provided by the user via a mobile phone in an interactive way where the system sends queries to the user which he/she answers with yes or no. Based on the reply, the system applies A.I algorithms to decide the most appropriate query to ask next in order to quickly narrow down to a diagnosis.

Once a diagnosis is made, the system will recommend a solution and preventive/control measures.

Business plan

The business plan behind M-tiba is simple, it will link potential customers to the solutions they need most, and solutions providers will pay to get referred to by M-tiba. It will be a win-win-win, for users, solutions providers and the creators. 

Money and business aside, M-tiba will save time, costs, crowd source knowledge and possibly save lifes. All experts are invited to contribute their tested knowledge to M-tiba, whcih shall be shared with all users free of charge.


Moibile app (Android):


WebApp: Coming soon!

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NTV is a Scam, they are Desperate and Going Down!

by info

Posted on Friday, March 16, 2012 12:29 AM

NTV has proved to be the champion of scams on TV, its unbelievable and unimaginable that its management approves these things to go on screen and defraud Kenyans millions of Shillings daily.  You see the screen shot below (taken on 16 March 2012), its a live programme running on NTV where you are supposed to spot the difference between 2 pictures and WIN the cash displayed. NTV Scam

A closer look at the picture and the difference is obvious, the upper tree is smaller than the one below, or in their words 'the trees are different'.

Well, I watched that picture stay on screen for over 30 minutes, with a lady beckoning NTV fans to call the number displayed and say the difference or SMS 'M' to the number (how does that answer anyway?).  Initially the prize was Kes 10,000, and it went up by 10,000 twice as a way of 'encouraging you to try harder'.

Pick up the phone and call and give me the one difference between the 2 images of girrafes going for a tree. I admit, its my mistake, I pressed the wrong button, its a difficult one, am also trying to get what the difference is, we are in this together. I will put it on full screen so that you can see better, zoom in, zoom out, try again.

Those are the words of the host, for over 45 minutes. Does anybody else think she is very boring and lacks even a shade of creativity? Everytime you call, an IVR response (computer voice) tells you to try again without giving you a chance to say a thing, at this point, check your airtime balance and you realize you just spend 60 shillings, the same amount you will lose if you send an SMS to the number. There is a notification on screen that every SMS is charged Kes 60, but nothing is said about the call.

After I watched it and decided to see how it ends, towards the last 5 minutes, there is a countdown timer onscreen to make your blood rush if you haven't tried to answer. Only when the counter times off  does she pick a call and only one person wins.

This is obviously not sustainable since the word is going to spread and spread fast. Please join this campain and share a link of this article with your friends.

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Business Networking and Sex

by simon

Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 09:57 PM

Nothing is more important in business than understanding how to build stronger relationships with members of the opposite sex through effective communication, here you'll discover how to form stronger teams and more trusted relationships, close more sales, give better customer service, and negotiate better deals by knowing how our gender opposite thinks differently than we do.

Success is a team sport. When you look for other people to help you achieve your goals, one of the fastest and easiest ways to find them is to be introduced by someone who has already made the connection. In other words, network your way to success.

Business Networking And Sex 

Unfortunately, most people aren't as effective at networking as they would like – or should be based on their efforts. But don't worry ... there's a solution:Business Networking and Sex: Not What You Think, the new book from my dear friend, Dr. Ivan Misner.

One of the world's leading experts on successful networking, Ivan is the visionary founder of BNI, the world's largest networking organization, with more than 5,900 chapters around the world. Business Networking and Sex: Not What You Think presents cutting-edge information about the impact that gender can have on an individual's networking efforts and level of success in business.

Entertaining and insightful, the book is based on the findings from a four-year-long survey that Ivan conducted with his co-authors, Hazel Walker and Frank De Raffele. Participants included more than 12,000 businesspeople from every populated continent of the world.

Here are just some of the points the book brings to light:

     1. Are Transactional, not relational
     2. Network more often, but seem to be less satisfied with their results
     3. Believe self-improvement comes from doing it on their own, not learning from others
     4. Building credibility by stating their credentials, contacts and successes

     1. Are all about the relationship, not the transaction
     2. Network less often, but network longer and are more satisfied with their results
     3. Believe self-improvement comes from a variety of sources and doing it themselves is not one of them
     4. Build credibility by getting to know another's character, family and personal issues

We've know for years that men and women think differently. Finally, here are the specifics about how differently we see things when it comes to relationship building and communication in the work environment (not to mention the non-work environment!).

Relationships are essential to success. If you want to become a master networker and build mutually beneficial relationships with both genders, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Business Networking and Sex. What you'll learn is not only sure to surprise you, it will likely revolutionize the way you interact with the opposite sex.

Written by Jack Canfield:

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Money, Real Quick: The story of M-PESA

by simon

Posted on Friday, March 09, 2012 08:39 AM

This book tells a tale of innovation, disruption, and transformation.

Mobile money, e-money, e-float, e-wallets, mobile banking, however you characterize it, is not just a cool app. It’s a killer app, the first for mobile phones in the developing world. It’s also a disruptive innovation that threatens incumbent businesses and is sparking new business formation and entrepreneurship. 

Nowhere is this mobile money phenomenon more prevalent and successful than in Kenya. In five years, 19 million Kenyans, nearly 70% of the adult population, have signed up for mobile money services. 

Sixteen million are customers of M-PESA (‘M’ for Mobile and pesa means money in Swahili). Now, one out of every two people in the world who sends money over a mobile phone is a Kenyan. Mobile money is the rare case in which a poor African country is the global market leader and an exporter of innovation.

Get your copy now at

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Make Money with tuwakenya!

by simonndunda

Posted on Saturday, January 14, 2012 07:03 PM


We have created a system of Win-Win opportunities for creative Kenyans to make money online as well as Tuwakenya grow to be the leader of online activities.

Here is how it works, if you create an article on, and that article is read by other people, most likely the people reading the article will click on one of the advertisements on our site. Clicking this directly translates to income on side and we shall share it with the owner of the content.

Possibility of partnership

If you are interested in a partnership with us, drop an email to us through the Contact us page. Partnering will us will make you a key stakeholder in this business and a decision maker, you will therefore need to do a little convincing as to why we should engage you. .If you just want to create a fun article in your topic of interest without engaging us in a partnership, go ahead and do just that and you will definitely get the worth of your cash.

How do I get my Pay?

This will be very simple for us, MPESA. You will need to drop us an email through the Contact us page telling us how much you want to retrieve and we will respond to you within 24 hours. We are currently building an automated payments tracking module where you can monitor your income and request payment with just a click of a button.

How much will I get Paid?

For now, this will depend on the number of comments from unique visitors under your articles. We will multiply this by 3 to get your pay in Kenya Shillings.

Terms and conditions

All the content created on our belongs to the creator who takes full responsibility of the article and any issues arising from its publication on

Tuwakenya reserves the right to delete any articles it deems inappropriate without notice or consultation with the creator.

All the above contents including the terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.


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Way to success

by simonndunda

Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2012 02:34 AM


Success today, unlike yesterday does not come from being more powerful than others, taking advantage of others or being better than others. In a global world like the one we are living in, we compete on a level ground. We all have equal access to knowledge, the most important of all resources.

So how does success come, only by empowering others are you going to rise. The more you give, the more useful and necessary you are, the more you are going to go high. Sharing freely your resourceful information and other knowledge resources is going to bring home your dreams. Empowering individual souls will make you a god(dess) of opportunities and that is what we call power in the 21st century.


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Make Money Through Self Employment

by simonndunda

Posted on Monday, December 12, 2011 07:20 PM

The Mistakes you must avoid:

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