Kenyan youth spend the biggest portion of their income on mobile phone airtime and trendy clothing, a survey on youth attitudes shows.
Findings by research firm Youth Dynamix show that young Kenyans aged between 16 and 24 are constantly on their cell phones – texting and surfing the Internet – and send an average of 250 messages as texts and chat posts daily.
The study established that young people spend about Sh900 monthly on their mobile phones, mostly on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and sending short messages; but voice calls are highly limited.
“For young Kenyans, it is all about image and getting in touch,” said Ms Alice Gathoni, the research and insights manager at Youth Dynamix.
The survey polled 900 persons within the 16 to 24 age bracket selected randomly in Nairobi and all major urban centres countrywide in face to face and mobile telephonic interviews.
Asked to priorities their needs when spending, items such as food, savings and investments, buying CDs and DVDs as well as outings ranked lower compared to expenditure on airtime, clothes, shoes and transport.
The Sh30 the youths spend daily on airtime is heavily subsidised by taking advantage of unlimited call and text offers, the reduced cost of mobile data and relying on messaging rather than calls.
“We established that young people frequently change mobile operators in search of offers and promotions that give them best value for money,” said Ms Gathoni.
Of those polled, 42 per cent said they own more than one SIM card. The percentage of Kenyan youths active on Facebook and Twitter is 76 and 61 per cent respectively.
The findings that show young Kenyans spend the entire day online through mobile gadgets corroborate the latest statistics by the Communication Commission of Kenya which show that mobile Internet account for 98.8 per cent of the total data subscriptions
Youth share of wallet
Airtime Clothes Shoes Transport Hair care Accessories… Food Savings/Investments Buying CDS/DVDs Outings (Food & drinks) 79% 78% 57% 57% 52% 49% 43% 41% 39% 38%
Source: Youth Dynamix survey