money & age

Check out this quote I’ve just found while going through a pile of newspapers from EAK I received the other day:

Q: At 24, you are probably one of the youngest CEOs in the region. Has this been an obstacle in your quest to market the company?

A: Yes, it has. As a young entrepreneur maketing a new concept, I faced a lot of challenges, with some prospective clients not taking me seriously. But once I proved my worth, people started respecting me, especially when they learnt that at my age, I have 45 employees. I believe it is the youth who will lift Africa out the yokes of poverty.

(Nadeem Juma, CEO, E-Fulusi (T) Ltd.,
ex: “Q&A”, The EastAfrican, No.682, Nov 26 – Dec 02, 2007, p. 23)

My Indian colleague at work who is currently writing his master thesis and, at his age of 22, also is the youngest intern at the GTZ, recently introduced me to one of his friends who – at the age of 28 – is currently setting up a branch of a well-known Indian bank in Frankfurt. And I was told that an Indian guy has three things to achieve in life: a very good education, getting married and buying a house.
Now compare that with what the average German wants to achieve in his life…hmmm.

As for that quote above: Nadeem’s company in Tanzania, E-Fulusi, offers mobile banking services – operator independent!


The purchasing agents of Father Christmas recently approached me and asked, what I would like to receive as a xmas present. Well…

I’ve been living out of two suitcases for the past 1,5 years – and it feels good. As long as the battery on my N95-phone/mp3player/webthing is fully charged, I’ve got a comfy bed to sleep in and access to a broadband inet connection, there isn’t much else money could buy for me.
As for the other, unmaterialistic stuff: good health can’t be bought, 8h of sleep every night neither and love….well…it’s always good to be loved! :-)

Author: jke

Hi, I am an engineer who freelances in water & sanitation-related IT projects at You'll also find me on Twitter @jke and Instagram.

10 thoughts on “money & age”

  1. Pray, tell, what does the average German want to achieve in life? BTW, I have an idea to run by you sometime in the near future re the Slum Survivors note I posted @ FB ein paar Tage her.

  2. ^^ I was going to ask the same question.

    And although I highly admire any entrepreneur, of whatever age, I am not impressed by Titles. (Sorry, I’m a Westerner. Worse, American.)

    If you start your own company, you can call yourself ‘Emperor’ as far as anyone cares. The challenge is not only to make your company last, but to become and remain profitable for at least 5 years. Do that, and then…let’s talk Titles.

  3. My colleague read this entry today and then asked me: “JKE, what is it then that an average German wants to achieve?”.

    Problem is: I don’t know! Most of the mentioned targets are too expensive to be realized these days, so buying a house in India seems to be more achievable. Also, that education part is in reflection to Doris Lessing’s quote on the educational system in western countries.

  4. well friends being Indian, i personally think that “what a person wans to be; his aims; aspirations and whatever he wanna do in his life reflects his childhood”. some of us(Indians) have a very good childhood but since we come from a middle class traditional Indian family, we do observe how our parents struggle real hard to bring us up. we observe them very clearly with our naked eye infact.. this what that creates an IMPACT on our future vision… you know the thigs going on in the society and your family and finally come to some conclusion saying yourself “ok.. this is what i wanna be..” many guys (Indians) relax in the meantime and i guess very few will reach the heights they really want to reach.. ok now comparing it to the basic german guy/gal. i amnt that familiar with europeans but as far as i know eversince you are a kid here the government pays something every month to your parents.. so you are never a burden to your parents (even though not that much when compared to a middle class family in Asia or Africa).. so you people will rather have a relaxed childhood (which even we have but juxtaposed with too many responsibilities).. but i bet those who are from Europe or any developed nations; and who are very well motivated will reach greater heights in their life (even than Indians or Africans)..heheh guys we have to compete with thousands and millions of guys/gals of the same age if we wanna succeed in our life…!!!

  5. “government pays something every month to your parents”

    Yes it is true but the amount isn’t that much and this is only because the birth rate isn’t that high. I guess if there weren’t so many ppl in India, you could just as well have a similar system there. But hey, Bobby, let’s move to Sweden and see what the system there is paying even to grown up students! With 8 million (in Sweden) vs. 80 million (in Germany) vs. 800+ million (in India) the picture becomes a bit clearer, I think.

    “but i bet those who are from Europe or any developed nations; and who are very well motivated will reach greater heights in their life (even than Indians or Africans”
    You really think so?

  6. off course man… because nothing can stop your MOTIVATION…!!! if you are keen.. you rememeber that was what we have been discussing for te past few days.. ok let me explain this way… if i want to work in UN and if i apply from india imagine how many other guys i have to compete with in every session…!!! take the same in your case… first of all tell me how many in Germany for instance would like to work in UN.. lets say 20% of all the people with your age (ranging 25-25) to work as a junior expert there. now try to imagine the number of people i have to compete with assuming the same 20% of people who are applying for a junior expert in india…!!! Hence we have to work real hard to make our dreams come true.. i guess it is the same with any one from a developed nation but with much ease..!!! WHAT SAY…???

  7. Ati? Why would someone from a dev country have to work harder to compete? Dont u know about the national quota for each country? I think the slot for Germans is already quite full @ the UN.

    btw, the age range should include 32 ;-)

  8. that was exactly what i was mentioning…. every nation has their own quota but assuming he same number of seats allocated for India and Germany for instance… you can see the hell lot of difference it does make… what i was trying to mention here isnt only UN but in most of the international agencies… people from developed nations are for sure given a priority as their national government funds them… OECD for instance.. they just throwed my application away… heheh by the way you can apply their and i am sure you will definately have a better carrier… but still it is the politics playing a key role saying that the head of the UN is from Africa and the director from another under developed nation… its all on paper buddy… :)

  9. I am a Tanzanian who has seen first hand what mobipawa and Nadeem’s company is doing for the development of Tanzania. It truly is amazing and will definitley change the lives of millions for the better.

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