Great business ideas in poor man’s Budget jokes
Posted Monday, July 9 2012 at 20:29
I am amazed by the wisdom of the crowds. When I see many carrying umbrellas in the morning, it usually rains heavily later in the day, which is an excellent way to forecast the weather.
At an agricultural show, visitors were asked to guess the weight of a grade bull after slaughtering. Judges were surprised when the average of the guesses was only a kilo off the actual weight. However, the crowds, taking the example of mob justice, have not always been associated with wisdom.
But I am always interested in the opinion of the masses; it is not always empty talk. One only needs to make sense out of the jokes and pun on their words.
Recently, as the Budget was read, a section of Kenyans gave parallel suggestions on what can work.
The suggestions were funny. Most were similar to what Finance minister Njeru Githae suggested earlier to the effect that Kenyans should diversify food preferences to include rats.
One of the suggestions in “the people’s budget” was that the owners of Vitz would like to be buy petrol in sachets. A few days later, there were pictures of petrol in sachets on the social media to the effect that the ‘government’ has complied with the wishes of the people driving Vitz.
What the future Budget makers should read from this is that there should be some benefits for fuel-efficient cars.
“The common man’ also wanted that to save on energy costs, the light at the end of the tunnel should be switched off.”
This implies that Kenyans have been suffering under the increasing cost of energy. It also hints at the need for education on saving energy. For example, many Kenyans don’t know that leaving appliances on when not in use wastes energy.
Changing energy consumption habits is one the most difficult things to do.
Bata shoes, this group said, have become expensive and they should introduce Kuku shoes that are cheaper. (‘Bata’ is a popular brand of shoes; it means goose in Kiswahili, ‘Kuku’ is Kiswahili for chicken). This implies that there could be a market for new shoes at the bottom of the pyramid.
Maybe the minister was responding to this wish by reducing the tax on mitumba (second hand clothes).
In the spirit of a Swahili saying that a thief gets caught on the fortieth day, there was a suggestion that these days should be increased to sixty eight in light of the hard times people face.
The idea here is that petty crime has something to do with difficult economic times and, therefore, economic stimulus is needed to keep the youth away from crime.
On dowry, the people’s budget suggested that the money spent when dating a girl, say Sh30,000, should be made part of the marriage negotiations.
There was also a wish that weaves and fake hair should be taxed heavily to save horses from feeling cold.