x Eve Woman Wellness Readers Lounge Leisure and Travel My Man Bridal Health Relationships Parenting About Us Digital News Videos Opinions Cartoons Education E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise BULK SMS E-Learning Digger Classified The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
Login ×

Men only: Breadwinners’ money worries in hard times

My Man - By Tony Mochama | May 1st 2020 at 06:30:00 GMT +0300
This corona business has wreaked havoc in many a home (Shutterstock)

In the Ides of middle March when misfortune, according to Roman legend, lands upon the land, Kenya got its first case of the novel COVID-19.

Among the first memes that sticks in my memory is one of a man saying: “ti nikae nyumbani nikisema ‘social distancing’? Heri nikufe na corona niki-hustle than kukaa nyumbani na huyo bibi bila pesa!”

The fact of the matter is that this is a sentiment shared by many breadwinners, male or female; this corona business has wreaked havoc in many a home.

The salary man

I spoke to a friend called Ethan, and his beef about this entire corona thing has to do with a savage salary slash.

“I used to earn Sh150 K gross up until last month, but my pay-check next month will be 30 per cent less, thanks to pay slashes by the company to cope with Covid-19 ....”

While Ethan is grateful that he is not part of the one third of the workforce that their company is laying off, he explains the logic of his predicament, considering he has a ‘jua kali’ wife and two kids at home.

  2. 1. Men only: Losing my wing-man, the man from Martinique
  3. 2. The origins of COVID-19
  4. 3. Woman dubbed world's first Covid patient who vanished from Wuhan a year ago still missing
  5. 4. Poverty, desperation: Pain of teen mothers

“After taxes, NHIF, I used to be left with about a hundred grand at the start of the month. My rent is 30,000, so I’d have 70,000 to get through the month.

After the company cut 45 000, I will have 25,000 to see us through. Fuel alone for the car is 10,000 a month, and the domestic maid 5,000, and utilities another five. Will we live on Sh5,000 for a month?”

The pub proprietor

Joe is a guy who was running a relatively successful local pub and choma eatery, just enough for a ‘comfortable’ hand-to-mouth existence. Until the corona virus epidemic shut off the beer taps.

“I now owe my landlady 25,000 for April rent and, by next Friday, I will be 50,000 in arrears. I did speak to the landlady, and she agreed to let me off the hook for April but warned me that if I know I won’t have rent for May, I should shift by Labour Day (and she’ll consider my deposit as her April rent). Of course with my bar business shut down, I will not have her rent for May, my guy ....”

Nor does he have the money to shift to another house.

“I’d shamefully considered going back to the countryside where my widowed mom is, stay there till this storm blows over, bro, but now we have this goddamn inter-county lockdown.”

Lots of people are reaching out for help among their networks (Shutterstock)

The small school owner

A long-term school principal and widower with three grown -- if distant sons (as in, out in the Diaspora), Mzee Nyaga retired in 2018, used his pension to buy land in Kajiado and then used the land as collateral to get a few million shillings to put up a small school building on the land – and start a tiny kindergarten.

“In the first week of January, we received our first 15 angels, and I thanked the Lord.” Then came the school closures, hot on the heels of the novel corona virus.

With tears in his eyes, Mzee Nyaga tells ‘Men Only’ how he rushed to the lender.

The manager agreed to give him a three-month moratorium on loan repayments, and since the first term had covered repayments January through April, it is Second Term (May to July) that terrifies the retiree.

“I’ve known these lenders all my life,” he says. “If schools don’t re-open in the next couple of months, they will simply seize my title (the deed was their collateral) and the building that stands upon it for defaulting.”

By now, lots of folk know people reaching out for help among their networks, if one isn’t there already!

The deejay calling old rafikis to buy him a dish, the salonist calling clients for shillings because her kid is sick, that relative who needs fare to get to their place of ‘kibarua.’ This is life for many, in the time of COVID-19.

In time, though, this fire too shall pass; so hang on strong in there.

[email protected]

Men Only Coronavirus COVID-19

Top Stories

Heavily pregnant Kelly Rowland breaks sweat in intensive workout days ahead of birth
Pregnancy - By Mirror

Melania's last days in the White House 'as she snubbed staff'
Entertainment - By Mirror

Melania and Donald Trump 'slept in separate rooms' in the White House during presidency
Entertainment - By Mirror

Larry King's wild love life with eight marriages, long-lost son and divorce at 85
Entertainment - By Mirror

'I’m humiliated after hubby moved in with family friend after long-term affair'
Marriage Advice - By Mirror

Six things to stop buying to live a minimalist life
Managing Your Money - By Esther Muchene

Meet US Vice President Kamala Harris' adorable great-nieces who have gone viral
Entertainment - By Mirror

Kamala Harris husband quit his job to be second gentleman
Entertainment - By Derrick Oluoch

4 ways to break a soul tie
Relationships - By Jennifer Karina

Dry-humping can get you pregnant...even with your clothes on
Health - By Daily Mail

Latest Stories

Men only: Losing my wing-man, the man from Martinique
My Man - By Tony Mochama

Man republic: Why does cooking gas run out at the worst time?
My Man - By Dickson Aseri

Men only: When your women out earn you, watch out
My Man - By Tony Mochama

Bad bachelor: How I woke up starving at seaside hotel
My Man - By Art Amacho

Men only: 21 pieces of advice I’d give to any 21-year-old
My Man - By Tony Mochama

Man republic: Zoom meetings were not meant for some of us
My Man - By Dickson Aseri

Man republic: Stop posting your child’s photos online
My Man - By Dickson Aseri

Men only: Health is a privilege, please try and maintain it
My Man - By Tony Mochama

Men only: Become an independent gentleman, my friend
My Man - By Tony Mochama

Man republic: Nothing like ‘best friends’ with the opposite sex
My Man - By Dickson Aseri

Stay Ahead!

Access premium content only available
to our subscribers.

Or Login With Your Standard Account
Support independent journalism

Please enter your email address to continue

Support independent journalism
Create An Account
Support independent journalism
I have an account Log in
Reset Password
Support independent journalism
Log in