If there is one thing we can brag about to death, is the fact that mpesa ni yetu. It was and is our project. And Safaricom is riding on its high horse. It is amazing how a person in Kisumu can mpesa someone in Garissa and the recipient simply walks into an mpesa agent in the next second and withdraws the money via his/her phone. We are slowly coming to terms with this super crazy mobile money transfers.
Now, when you send money, you receive a message detailing the recipient’s number and name. The most horrifying sight however is receiving a message that the recipient is a Kamau and not Wema as you had intended. The sender is thrown into panic and wants to fly to a Safaricom shop to beg for assistance. Kamau, on realizing that he has received a wrong mpesa, will quickly jump into an mpesa agent, withdraw and switch off his phone. On the other end, the sender tries calling Kamau in vain.
Upon sending the wrong mpesa to someone, the heart-broken sender devices methods to recover his money including sending some texts meant to make the other person feel guilty or scared. “You have successfully been enrolled in human-sacrifice cult. This is the start of your riches” “Meeting for tonight is Free world underground, next to cemetery El-clon.” Another harmless person will threaten you with witch craft. Yet another will tell you how that money was for a life changing open heart surgery for the mother, for funeral, a sick child and all manner of sad stories.
What is funny however is not the wrong mpesa to someone. It is sending money to the right person and you get a notification, clearly detailing the recipient. It is in our blood to make a follow up. Someone needs to thank you. You need to hear from the horse’s mouth. It is inevitable. “umepata mpesa yangu?” the sender makes an immediate follow, even when it’s obvious you have received. And the sender got a message showing your name. Next time, your mother or any other person for that matter calls to ask, “umepata mpesa yangu?” just understand.