Call and win, buy and win…gambling or what?

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Ready to win?

Ready to win?

Have you ever called the morning radio show by Maina Kageni about the mystery noise? Winning on such shows is not easy, let take example of the noise currently on the show which Maina claimed to have gotten somewhere in Moi avenue. Going with the clues they give, you would expect that someone would win it easily but naah..that is not the case. What really amazed me is the fact that two different people with completely opposite answers will earn the Maina’s trademark comments of “I like your thinking, continue in that direction” or “You are very close, keep on calling” The call charges are so high above the normal rates and the keep on calling encouragement by Maina is meant to get deep into your pocket. Well if you are lucky enough to win, the feeling is great but before that bewarned. The same applies to many call and win radio and TV promotions, i once watched a show in KBC called GAME..the presenter would ask a simple question which at a glace the person with the lowest IQ in the republic would get the answer instantly. But the trick is, they ensure it takes two days before they accept that someone has gotten the answer right . If you call, they will do their best to ensure that your call goes through but get frustrated in between, by leaving you hanging somewhere as long as possible and meanwhile Safaricom or Zain are busy doing what they know best.

By the way not all these games if i may be allowed to use that term by radio stations are in that extreme end . I remember the Zain man, where the listeners had to identify the Zain man on a crowded neighborhood. This was purely based on listening to the Classic105 and knowing where the Zain man would be. If you were lucky to identify him correctly by calling him Zain man you were legible to win a certain amount of money( substantial amount i would say). Now that sounds to me like a reward system, I suppose sponsored by Zain and advertised through Classic105

The Corporate bodies have not been left behind, they have come up with several promotions which by all intent and purposes meant to be called reward system but looking at them critically might not pass that test. Think of Wahi Kuwahi, Bambika na Tusker, Lipua Mamilioni. People will participate on all these with the aim of winning, and before you win you must give out something. The dark side of it is that, chances of winning is one every total breathing souls in Kenya. So the question is, is this a high tech gambling or what? With that in mind i had to go to the directionary to find out what by deefinition such process would be.

According to Wekipidia Gambling is the wagering of money or something of material value on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning additional money and/or material goods. Typically, the outcome of the wager is evident within a short period. Am not saying that what is going on is gambling, but i am in the loose looking for the right term for what is going on. I turned my attention to pyramid and ponzi schemes which many Kenyans remember very well. Again what i found out does not fit well with what is going on and so i would not call it that. By the way before I veer off from the pyramid schemes story, i came a cross some interesting pice of information. According to nation.co.ke article dated February 9th, a task force was established to investigate pyramid schemes in which Kenyans lost more than sh3.4 billion. The Cooperatives Development minister Joseph Nyaga said the taskforce, headed by Mr Francis Nyenze, was expected to present its report and recommendations in three months. I think we are still waiting for that so let move on.

Why are Kenyans rushing to win free things which in the long run are not free?

What is your opinion on the topic?
Kennedy Kachwanya
Lead Blogger at Kachwanya.com
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Kennedy Kachwanya is a technology blogger interested in mobile phones both smart and dumb, mobile apps, mobile money, social media, startups ecosystem and digital Savannah. New media must not forget the strength of old tech.
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