On capitalism and Tabitha Karanja’s flawed arguments

Occasionally, you all hear about the need to consume locally manufactured goods in a bid to catalyze the growth of local industries and the economy in general. Well, this argument is quite logical; if a local company manufactures product X and at the same time imports of the same product(same quality) are all over, then common sense demands that as a Kenyan, you should buy the locally manufactured product. But this is a very simplistic way of trying to combine the hard cold dynamics of capitalism with nationalistic spirits. First, as a consumer, I am not out to make anyone rich. If you open a kiosk in my hood, I will be your consumer for as long as you sell what I want and of course at a reasonable price. I will not be your client if you overcharge me or you are rude to me. As a consumer, I am not obliged to consume exorbitantly priced locally manufactured products that are of poor quality when I can get the same products(imported) that are of high quality and affordably priced. Look, when I buy a TV set, I am not out to improve the bottom line of Samsung; on the contrary, I just want to have a good TV set that will offer me the best service. I don’t care whether Samsung is making profit or loss- my interest is only to have a good service.

Yet, in Kenya you’ve got these business people who want to appeal to our ‘Kenyan emotions’ and ‘local industries patriotism’ in a bid to convince us why we should consume their products because, well, they are Kenyan made and through consuming them, we are helping in creating jobs. One such entrepreneur is Keroche’s Tabitha Karanja. While I admire this lady’s resilience, anytime she is interviewed, she tries to play this ‘alcoholism messiah’ who’ve saved many lives through offering cheap but safe drinks. Further, she is ever ready to remind everyone that Keroche is Kenyan owned and is offering jobs to hundreds. Of course as a sort of ‘savior’ she is always playing the victim card, claiming that the government mandarins are out to finish her. She wants our sympathy. First, she should realize that everyone ventures into business to make money. Period. It is not like she is too concerned when a youth in Meru dies of illicit brew. It is not like she would lose some sleep if 20 people die of illicit brew in Murang’a. While I believe that the government should not harass her unnecessarily, I also believe that she should stop trying to project herself as some sort of a ‘savior’ sent to save lives from the catastrophic effects of illicit brews. She should simply anchor her narratives around the gaps in the alcohol industry that she is trying to fill and stop pontificating about how ‘precious’ she is in the market because she is indirectly fighting illicit brews. We all know that even the so called safe drinks are equally deadly to the liver if taken with reckless abandon. I am sure her ‘safe’ drinks have led to deaths, broken families, loss of jobs etc so she should be very careful when yapping about how important she is in this market. It doesn’t matter if you are EABL; if you manufacture alcohol, you should be the last to talk about social values . Everyone knows how much damage alcohol has caused in the society. Tabitha’s marketing antics should revolve around the quality and safety of her products but she shouldn’t try to project herself as a ‘woman of the people’ who is saving lives. Yes, she may save lives from illicit brews but will she save them from Liver cirrhosis?

If luther12 has a clinic and I happen to go there, I don’t expect him to start discoursing about why he never even used to sleep when at medical school, how he is just obsessed with people’s health, how he doesn’t sleep thinking about his patients, etc etc. If that were to happen, I will excuse myself and disappear. I expect him to treat me in a professional and compassionate way and if he does that, I will obviously become his client. In business, just offer quality and affordable products/services and your business will grow. Otherwise, trying to convince people that you’re saving them from destruction so that they can consume your products is not only hypocritical but a very deceptive business strategy. Especially if your only logic is that your ‘safe’ alcohol, unlike the illicit brews, will kill the consumer slowly, over a long period of time.

Simply because you’re a Kenyan manufacturer, don’t expect me to consume your overpriced, poor quality products so that I can yap about how patriotic I am. When I do my shopping, I look for quality and affordability so don’t expect I will buy your Mobious(sp) simply because you’ve attempted to elicit nationalistic feelings in me through your ads. Convince me how superior it is and you’ll have won me over.

I wouldn’t also mind if I saw Tabitha’s daughter consuming that stuff they call Vienna or something.


i wouldn’t mind also

and she is getting it from certain quarters

#well researched and put karl
#hit the nail on the head as usual
who knows of those two Meru guys who were to manufacture liquid khat? as in instead of chewing the green leaves, you just purchase the extracted liquid and drink it kama pombe?

hindquarters? :D:D:D


there are different angles to an issue she has chosen the emotion and passion angle. uta do?

Well said… Atlst this time you saved us from eating whole dictionary

Lets apply that to the sugar debate

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Welcome back @karl marx I had missed this kind of sensibility in the village.

Utamu wa mbachu ni kujenga taksum aka taksin hii ya kunyua wachia akina @Wakanyama