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How are hustlers coping? Send them something...

By XN Iraki | May 13th 2020

Think of how many hustlers depend on you each day; the newspaper vendor, the nanny, the gardener, the barber or hair stylist, the old newspaper buyer, the golf caddy, the mechanic, the tout, the car washer and (in whispers) commercial sex workers. Add to the list.

With Covid-19, all these men and women are jobless. Yet they depend on you for their daily bread. That Sh100 you give them may be your pocket change but it means a lot to that man or lady, some who are parents with dependents.

With lock-downs and most people staying at home, most hustlers are cut off from their source of income. Remember they rarely save. Yet, we have no welfare or safety net for the hustlers except the elderly over 70 years of age. The rest of hustlers are on their own.

We would be foolish, let alone inhuman if we watched them suffer. First they are human. Two, if they served you when life was good, before Covid-19, why abandon them now?

More poignantly, their problem from hunger to lack of rent is your problem. That is how crime is bred. One observation I have made is that in developed countries, they believe crime is caused by lack of opportunities and dysfunctional social-economic systems. Here we believe criminals are born and are bad people. 

Some can argue the government will take care of jobless hustlers. Jail is not the best place to take care of them. The government has not taken care of swelling number of hustlers in the last 56 years. We can only hope things will change during Covid-19 pandemic and after.

To mitigate failures of the market and government to address the plight of the hustlers, as the cloud of pandemic hovers over them, we suggest we open a flood gate of our generosity.

The money you used to give the hustlers should not be cut off. Are you not saving from transport and other costs? Akothee suggests that even sponsors should not abandon their sponsees. She suggests they would not mind a discount.

When Covid-19 is over, you will look back with pride and say you did your best in helping a needy Kenyan, in being human.

After all, I am sure by now you have appreciated the work these “small people” do and how they make your life easier and more meaningful. They do more for you than your buddies.

I have no doubt the hustlers will appreciate your generosity not with a dry “thank you” but  from the depth of their hearts. Si uwache Mpesa ifanye kazi...

Covid 19 Time Series


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