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Dream come true as Sh200 earner hits Sh1m jackpot

By Erastus M Mulwa | Published Fri, December 16th 2016 at 00:00, Updated December 15th 2016 at 22:41 GMT +3
Joseph Muindu who won Sh1 million in Safaricom’s ‘Shinda Ma Mili na Story Ibambe’ promotion.  [Photo: Erastus Mulwa/Standard]

For Joseph Muindu Muia, a casual labourer, Christmas has surely come early this year.

Life had been hard for Mr Muindu and his family, but one phone call changed their fortunes overnight.

When Mr Muindu received a call from a Safaricom customer care agent informing him that he had won Sh1 million in the ongoing 'Shinda Ma Mili na Story Ibambe' promotion, the 60-year-old peasant farmer thought it was a hoax.

Muindu, who is from Nzeveni village in Kaiti constituency, was busy working on a neighbour's farm hoping to earn Sh200 for the day when the call came through.

For a man who had never earned Sh10,000 at a go, having a hundred times that much was a dream he simply could not entertain.

But today, the father of 10, who never went past Standard Two, is extremely excited to be rich beyond his wildest dreams.

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"I consider myself an old person because I am about 60 now. In all my life, the highest amount of money I ever earned at one go was Sh7,000. Winning Sh1 million is something I have not yet come to terms with," he said.

Any hopes he ever had of living a comfortable life were fast fading and he was getting more desperate by the day.

"I had just sold the last two cows I owned to clear an outstanding school fees balance for my children, but one month down the line I received the great news," he said.

When the Safaricom representative called him, communication was a problem.

"It was difficult for me to communicate clearly in Kiswahili and the lady who called was forced to get a person who would engage me in Kamba," he recalled.

The caller had to reassure him that it was not a hoax.

"We are not con men. This is a genuine call from agents of Safaricom who want to tell you that you have won Sh1 million on the ongoing Shinda Ma Milli na Story Ibambe Promotion," Muindu said, quoting the caller.

Those words will remain engraved in his mind forever. He believed that he really was a winner after confirming the caller's number.

"When I informed my wife, Mary, she was overjoyed. She accompanied me to Emali town where we opened a bank account - we did not have one before - and waited for evidence that the money would be credited to the account," he said.

With the money, Muindu plans to venture into business.

"I plan to venture into livestock trading and open a butchery in the nearby shopping centre. I will also help my wife start horticultural farming," he said.

As a committed Christian at his local Muvani Salvation Army Church, Muindu has already donated Sh30,000 for the purchase of a piano. He also plans to set up a workshop at Konza Techno City for his eldest son, a trained carpenter.