Life’s a gamble

Happy New Year 2011! It’s great that we all get to see a new year even as we cringe as the years add on to our ages, but oh well…such is life.

It strikes me as no coincidence that during the festive season, there are so many competitions, raffles, pick-and-win’s, shop-and-grab’s, etc. Why is it that there is an influx of these competitions when the holiday season rolls around?

At every supermarket there is a raffle of some sort. Shop for goods worth 1,000 and get a raffle ticket to win a Vitz or whatever other car they decide to display at the entrance, filling your head with delusions of yourself in the front seat, casually waving at passers-by as you drive with some music filtering out through your car window.

Evil, that’s what I think it is. You spend your hard-earned holiday bonus cash shopping unnecessarily to ‘win’. I hardly ever hear any of my friends or family have won anything. The winners are always people we’ve never heard of. The world is round and small, I mean, really, shouldn’t some of the lucky winners at least be people we know?

The worst are the TV game shows. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against innovative Kenyans coming up with creative ways to make a quick buck. My problem is that they are fleecing poor naive Kenyans. Why not at least make 100% or even 200% profit instead of 1000% profit? Rumor has it that these game show peeps make so much money, the daily 1 million prize barely even pinches their bulging pockets. A friend of a friend told me that some people in the village even sell their goats and cows so they can buy airtime to enter these competitions. It literally brings tears to my eyes.

Sometime around Christmas I was home with my brothers and we started watching one of these notorious shows. I wasn’t really paying attention until one of my brothers asked me if I could sambaza him some credit because his had run out because he kept calling in. Would you believe he had already spent Kshs. 400 and was now soliciting for funds to continue? He kept calling and getting some funny message after which Kshs. 60 is immediately deducted. I think the more you call the more addicted to the game you get. What a gamble.

In the end he didn’t even get the answer right and he had spent over Kshs. 500 in airtime in an hour. I think those games are doctored but it’s still a gamble. Luck is the game, not knowledge or fairness. This is why I have a strange fear of casinos. I always imagine going in there and emptying my purse and when that’s over, running out to the nearest ATM and emptying that too. Afterwards, I call all my family members asking for M-Pesa, after that my friends…and on and on, convincing myself that this time I’ll hit the jackpot. *shivers*

What about those characters who stand at alleys in some streets with some cards on a cardboard table and convince you that your money will be doubled if you play? I still wonder at the fact that there are people who still fall for these tricks. They play and walk away with an envelope filled with a wad of paper. (Hysterical laugh). I’m sorry but seriously? As our grandparents used to say, money doesn’t grow on trees. It can’t be that simple to get your cash doubled. If it was, why would any of us go to work??

To the gamblers out there, it’s a new year; how about a resolution? Don’t give your hard-earned (or hard-gambled) cash away so easily. If life’s a gamble, you need money to play.

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