I Was Scammed Ksh200K by a Friend- Kenyans on Job Search Frustrations

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    Job seekers queue for an interview in Nairobi in 2018
  • Unemployment is one of the biggest issues Kenya faces with over five million jobless youths,  according to the 2019 Kenya census report. However, another bigger issue is job hunting which comes with outrageous requirements and countless frustrations as Kenyans search for work to put food on their tables.

    A number of those affected spoke with Kenyans.co.ke narrating their experiences, coupled with several heartbreaking stories shared on social media in the past months and years. 

    Frustrating Tales 

    One lady stated that she was scammed Ksh 200,000 by a close friend who promised her mother that he would help her secure a job at a government firm. 

    "Having known him for years, my mother took a loan and gave it to him after he insisted that the officials wanted a tip. He was sure I was going to get it and be among the shortlisted after candidates apply," she stated. 

    Yvonne Okello, a food nutritionist displays a placard on Ngong Road, next to the Telkom House in 2019 in search of employment
    Yvonne Okello, a food nutritionist displays a placard on Ngong Road, next to the Telkom House in 2019 in search of employment

    A few months later, the script changed and all the friend could promise was to follow up on the matter. Having been frustrated, her mother reported the friend to a police station.

    A lady also detailed that she was asked to pay Ksh 23,000 to join a marketing agency where she would be paid a monthly salary of Ksh 15,000.

    "For me, I have attended several interviews for sales and promotions and witnessed bias and favouritism. We were selected on the basis of tribe and complexion. At times, some ladies were asked to leave due to their body sizes yet they had requisite skills," another lady added. 

    Yvonne Okello, a 33-year-old mother and graduate from the University of Eastern Africa with a Second Class Upper Division in Food Nutrition and Dietetics degree, narrated how she was asked to secure a job through sex. This was after she failed to part with a Ksh 100,000 bribe. 

    "It is crazy in these offices. Human resource guys, bosses and those who want to hook you up all want sex," Okello spoke in an interview with the Standard in July 2019. 

    Street and Online job seekers 

    Okello turned to the streets to look for a job, by holding up a placard with details of her academic credentials. Several Kenyans have turned towards the trend to woo potential employers. 

    This has also been shifted to social media sites, with one Sarah Anyango seeking for employment by recording a video which was shared on Twitter on Tuesday, February 18. 

    Gold coating, Scams and Fake Advertisements

    Maureen (not her real name) also told Kenyans.co.ke that many organisations woo jobless Kenyans with sweet deals and promises of a high salary. One gets frustrated upon learning that the jobs entail hawking in Nairobi CBD.

    Several public and private firms have also been keen on flagging fake adverts which target the youth on social media sites. These jobs range from the military to auditions for TV shows, those in the Teaching Service Commission and in the medical field. Scammers have found it easy to raise money through targetting unsuspecting prey.  


    Many Kenyans have now turned towards self-employment, with two graduates from Moi University narrating that they saw it better than tarmacking and begging for work. One started a shop in an estate in Nairobi, while the other travelled back to Western Kenya from the city to start a street business where residents paid him to check their weight.

    Loans and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) 

    Capital is one of the hardest challenges to start businesses in Kenya because loans are not easy to secure. While speaking with Kenyans.co.ke in the past, Nicholas Gachara, a private financial advisor, stated that banks viewed the youth as  high risk potential defaulters

    He added that the only way the government's SME plan for the youth would be effective was to have it managed by a private entity rather than the government itself or the banks. 

    President Uhuru Kenyatta launched a new program to empower the youth dubbed Generation Unlimited Kenya (GenU Kenya) on Wednesday, August 5, 2020. Generation Unlimited was established as a global multi-sector partnership to meet the urgent need for expanded education, training and employment opportunities for young people, aged between 10 and 24.

    Hundreds of youth queue during an open employment drive by a city hotel on Saturday, May 26, 2018
    Hundreds of youth queue during an open employment drive by a city hotel on Saturday, May 26, 2018

    Watch video a job seeker