Thursday, 27 March 2014

Cane factory worker wins Sh5m mobile banking prize

Mr Paul Alfayo Wawire, the winner of Sh5 million M-Shwari promotion, arrives at the award ceremony at Safaricom House on Wednesday.
Paul Alfayo Wawire, who earns a living cutting and loading cane in Kakamega on Wednesday received what is arguably the sweetest news in his life after he won Sh5 million in a promotion.
Alfayo, 21, was having a snooze in the afternoon when he received the call that would change his life dramatically.
For the first time in his life, he caught a plane from Kisumu to Nairobi. This was also the first time that he would be leaving his rural home for a trip to the city.
Alfayo did not go to school beyond Standard Six and lives with his grandparents. But Lady Luck smiled on him and now he will have to count the Sh5 million jackpot that he won in the Fanikisha na M-Shwari promotion run by Safaricom and the Commercial Bank of Africa.
It was a tale of rags-to-riches for Alfayo when he made his way to Nairobi’s Safaricom House in a carriage drawn by two milk-white horses as he went to collect his winnings. And when he got there, there was a troupe of traditional dancers waiting to welcome him as he received a red carpet reception.
Until last week, Alfayo was living in a hut in Lugari, Kakamega County and earning Sh200 a day. His job was mainly to load and off-load sugarcane at a local factory and sometimes cutting it.
Now, however, he has won close to 70 years worth of his wage as a labourer. What’s more, he will be spared the tax burden that the Kenya Revenue Authority had imposed on winnings because the law is going through clarifications.
“We meet any additional costs that are associated to tax ourselves and we treat that as a cost,” said Mr Nzioka Waita of Safaricom.
Yesterday, Alfayo confessed that he had never before been near an aeroplane or a building more than two stories high.
“Before going to catch a plane in Kisumu to get to Nairobi I had never flown,” he said. Now, he can afford a plane ticket for a destination of his choice, thanks to M-Shwari, the joint partnership between Safaricom and CBA which offers a paperless banking service to M-Pesa customers, enabling users to open and operate saving accounts.
Mr Jeremy Ngunze, CEO, CBA said that the company was already giving Alfayo and other winners lessons in financial literacy to aid them to better spend their winnings and ensure they do not squander it.
Alfayo plans to use his winnings to buy a shamba on which he will plant his own sugarcane and also set up a business to supplement his earnings from farming activities.

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