Every Monday and Tuesday from 8am, a group of eager and hopeful young people begins to trickle steadily into Room 101 of Stanbank House, the tall brown building adjacent to the National Archives on Nairobi’s Moi Avenue.
As they stream in with pens and notebooks, and scurry optimistically to the front seats, each one tells a different story. From the ambitious university students eager to make money to the high school leavers crying out for a better life, and the desperate unemployed graduates on the brink of losing hope amid disappointing job hunts.
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Beyond their different individual backgrounds and aspirations, however, the young people are all bound by the desire to make money fast and, for some, to live extravagantly.
The tenant of Room 101 is Alliance in Motion Global (AIM Global), an international company that promises to “turn ordinary people into extraordinary millionaires” within mere weeks.
Starting at 10am, AIM Global offers free training sessions, professing to teach the participants how they can generate up to Sh50,000 each day without much effort.
Usually, each session brings together new trainees who, in order to attend the training, have heard about AIM Global by word of mouth or been recruited online or by existing members.
The online recruitment process is simple. Typically, a current member will post, mostly on Facebook groups, asking other social media users interested in making money to contact them.
In their posts, they explain that they are looking for hardworking and ambitious individuals who would like to make a minimum of, say, Sh5,000 daily. In most cases, the recruiters specify that the prospective members should fall within a particular age range, mainly between 21 and 30 years.
The online profiles of AIM Global members are deliberately flashy and glamorous, masterfully created to portray a picture of opulence and success, and appeal to unemployed youths.
In the pictures they post on online platforms like Facebook and Twitter, the members are usually well-dressed and posing mostly outside planes, inside airports or next to posh cars they claim to have bought using money from AIM Global.
During the training, the show continues. One by one, elegantly-dressed speakers, all of whom are AIM Global members, step to the front of the room, artistically wooing the audience with myriad reasons why they should join the network.
Mostly, they talk about the unlikelihood of finding a job owing to the high rates of unemployment in the country, further reeling in the attendees with stories of miserable pay and eternal poverty that come with traditional employment.
“Our culture revolves around money. Everything we do is about money,” says a woman in a bob weave and tight bodycon dress as she struts energetically across the floor at the front of the room, her high heels loudly click-clacking against the hard floor.
The young women in the room are fixated, visibly blown away by the thought that they too could look like her in a few months.
The woman speaks about the meaninglessness of a Kenyan education, urging the audience to disregard the lessons they received in school.
“Education and money are two different things, which is why we did not ask you to come with your CVs,” she says.
In another session, another member states, “Money comes second after oxygen. Education comes last.”
The woman then tells the trainees she will teach them how to make "crazy money", which she says is as much as Sh50,000 per day and Sh1 million each month.
“Fifteen months ago I was desperate for a job, until I attended training and learnt how I could make money. In just a few months I was driving a big machine,” she boasts.
To join AIM Global and qualify to earn thousands of shillings per day, potential members must pay a one-time registration fee of Sh23,000. However, if one wishes to make even more money, they need to pay Sh69,000 for lifetime membership or Sh161,000 for international membership.
After paying Sh23,000, the members receive a package, which includes a book and a range of health products from Nature’s Way.
During the presentations, the team members stress that AIM Global is a legitimate company and not a scam or pyramid scheme as many people think.
“We are registered by the Multi-Level Marketing International Association, have legitimate bank accounts and are registered with the Kenya Revenue Authority,” they say.
Several employees at the AIM Global head office at the 680 Hotel defend the firm’s reputation, stating, “This company is churning out many millionaires. We see many driving big cars."
“We have been experiencing many challenges because of the rumours that are out there. AIM Global is expanding very fast and there are some people who are unhappy with our success, but everything we do is legal,” says an official who declined to give his name when The Standard visited the firm’s offices yesterday.