Help Needed! Shylock Will Be The End Of Me!

Have you heard of the Shylock business? This is the story of James.  A rugby fanatic, and star of his rugby team. James just finished college and is keeping himself busy with what he loves, rugby. Whoever said you can’t kill two birds with one stone had not met James. Jamo, as he was popularly known amongst his team mates, had just landed himself a lucrative contract with Wanyama United* and he was now earning from his talent.

Last evening, he caught a flight from Kampala after participating in an exciting match between his team and the Mighty Lions* where Wanyama United won 14-7!

This is the life!

He whispered under his breath. As he lay in bed, he reminisced about the sprint he made to make the final try that allowed his team to sail through to the semi-finals. His day dream was cut short by a call from Maish*.

“I need my money back or you pay the interest by 12 noon! You have 2 hours or I come get your car. I know where you live!” Barked an angry Maish.

“How did I get myself in this mess?” Jamo wondered aloud after Maish hung up the phone. He tried to recall how last month he had gotten himself drunk silly after winning the Tetemesha Sevens*. He had been awarded a cool 1 million shillings for being the star player throughout the season. That night he withdrew 950,000 and had a merry time with friends, family and strangers at the trendiest spot in town

When he awoke, he had no money on him and Tony* his team mate was the only person by his side. They both had missed training and coach was sure to be upset. But first they had to nurse their hang overs and go to Nakuru for training. On checking his pocket, he had nothing but 50shillings.

Well, this is nothing but a story on how some Sportspersons spend their hard-earned money.

On meeting up with Maish, he has this to say. “I’ve been in the shylocking business for 10 years now. I have loyal customers because these guys want instant cash and the prolonged bank processes make most people avoid financial institutions.” Maish operates around Globe Cinema in Nairobi. “I prefer electrical appliances as collateral because I can easily tell how much it will fetch in the market by looking at the item.

“If a customer fails to honor our agreement which is typically short term often 7 days, then we renegotiate to pay interest first as they continue to look for money or I sell it,” adds Maish. Rarely does Maish end up losing money because he cannot resell the item. With a repayment period of seven days, the borrower is supposed to bring back a 30% interest. “That’s how I feed my family and I barely make losses,” he chuckles adding that he once gave someone Ksh 600, 000 as a loan.

Next time! We look at how to ‘Make your money count’.

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Irene Koskei

Financial Consultant and Trainer

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