An entrepreneur worries about data costs | #speakup barometer | Kenya | DW | 11.01.2019
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#speakup barometer | Kenya

An entrepreneur worries about data costs

A music and movie salesman, Nicko says he cannot imagine life without Internet access. It’s why the spiraling cost of Internet access is one of his biggest concerns.

Nicholas Okello, or Nicko, as he’s known in Nyalenda, one of the biggest slums in Kisumu, loves music and he loves the Internet. Whether it’s following the latest chart hits or sharing memes on Instagram, he is never far from a WiFi connection. It was his passion for music that motivated him to open a store selling the latest albums and movies to other like-minded young people. Children too have come to love his selection of movies and cartoons. With the help of the Internet, he has managed to carve out a living for himself. According to Nicko the only challenge with Internet use among young people is that they use it to indulge in vices such as crime and pornography instead of accessing constructive sites.

To me, living without the internet would be worse than living in prison. In fact, I would rather be in a prison with my phone and Internet connection than live in a free world without Internet. Without the Internet I wouldn’t be able to know where society is coming from and where it is heading. What’s worse is that I wouldn’t be able to earn a living without the Internet. I’m glad that with the fiber optic connection in our estate, the Internet is stronger, faster and more reliable and this makes my work easier. Unfortunately, our service provider, Safaricom, has increased the cost of Internet per month by almost 20%, from KES2500 to KES2900. I hope that in the next budget, the government will charge zero tax on communication service providers so that the cost of Internet can go down and become accessible to many more people.