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Why it’s hard to stop betting

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In probability, if you toss a coin, you cannot get a head and a tail at the same time. It is one or the other, a gamble. This is what betting is about — you win or lose, there is no middle ground.

Yet, thousands of young Kenyans are addicted to gambling. A GeoPoll report in 2017 shows that the country has the highest number of gamblers in sub — Saharan Africa, with sports betting the most popular form of gambling. Further, 40 percent of low-income consumers are unemployed and 29 percent are students.

The government’s refusal to renew the licences for some betting companies comes at a time when many individuals are addicted to betting and have turned it into an income-generating activity.

Is it the allure of quick riches?

Abigail Khamati, 32, has been betting for the last four years and the government’s move has left her without a stable source of income. She acknowledges that betting is her biggest hustle and yes, the thought of making instant riches excites her.

“I depend on what I get from betting to meet most of my expenses, say house rent and other personal needs,” she says. “Using the money earned from gambling, I was able to start a side hustle — selling men’s clothes.”

Although she is addicted to betting, she is quick to defend herself as a responsible gambler.

“I am a football fan. My favourite team is Arsenal and I started betting because I realised that I was good at predicting the outcome of football matches. What began as a pastime became a good source of income,” she offers.

“It derives some attributes from business; you have to be resilient and willing to take risks. I spend Sh10,000 to Sh 20,000 every weekend. I decided to bet only on weekends because that is when there are more matches and I can concentrate fully.” she says.

“Should I lose a game, I take a break, say one day, then start betting again. Last year, I lost more than Sh100,000 but also made more than that. At one time, I placed a Sh1,500 bet and won Sh 80,000,” she offers.

While she has lost thousands, of shillings, she is not ready to stop because of the returns, and the fact that it is instant money.

Clare Sunguti, 29, comes from a betting family. Her father and six siblings are also into betting, which she considers too inviting to stop. “I am not a football fan but I was inspired by my brother when he won Sh64,000 in December 2016. At home, we would regularly contribute money and bet. Once we won Sh 110,000 and my brothers encouraged me to start playing solo,” she says.

Advances in technology have made it easier to bet. Those without, say football knowledge, can ask for tips and odds through the various social media platforms.

Sunguti is a marketer by profession and sells cosmetics and groundnuts on the side. Whatever profits she makes, she channels into betting. not borrow or take loans to place bets,” she offers.

Meanwhile, just the mention of betting brings bad memories to Stephen Muriithi, whose name we changed to protect his privacy.

The former bank teller was introduced to betting by a customer in 2016, and it led to his downfall, including his job.

He started by using Sh500 a day before doubling the amount. But even the loss of Sh50,000 did not bring him back to his senses.

“By the time the bank fired me, I had exhausted my savings and was more than Sh300,000 in debt. It took my mother and a few friends to get me out of betting,” he says.

Isaac Maweu, a counselling psychologist, classifies gambling as a process addiction like pornography.

“Most people bet with the expectation of winning big and whenever they lose, the mind is conditioned to think that they might win the following day, so they continue. Before you know it, you are addicted.

The process brings about various effects such as anxiety, depression, criminal activities to support the behaviour, guilt and strained relationships,” he says, adding that it is possible to get out of it through self-regulation and commitment.

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Africa

‘Tell my family I am sorry,’ Last text by Basalirwa before committing suicide

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Arthur Basalirwa, a Makerere University Business School (MUBS) graduate left behind a message for his family before he allegedly committed suicide.

He had recently graduated with a first-class degree and had just gotten a job.

According to a social media user, Basalirwa is son to Doris Elizabeth Nansamba a journalist working with Capital/ Beat FM.

Arthur Basalirwa

It is alleged that his long-time partner *D turned him down.

In a post to his family, Basalirwa penned his last message to them,

‘Just make sure you tell my family it’s Okay. I am sorry but it’s too late I am sorry. Too much weighing on me.

I don’t want to live and see another day. I’m sorry but I cant stay I’m sorry too much weighing on me.’

In a screenshot of texts between him and D, Basalirwa had called her out for being rude to him to an extent of asking him to block her.

‘You will always ask yourself if you had sent me a more meaningful text. These are your last words to me. Goodbye D.’

To which D responded

‘F@ck you, just block me and never text me. Delete our chats and my number. Bye’

Basalirwa chat

By Mpasho

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News

‘Atleast in my dreams, we still sit across each other…’ Wambui Collymore to Bob

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Wambui Kamiru, the widow of Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore is yet to come to terms with his loss.

The mother of two has been penning touching messages to her late husband, who succumbed to acute myeloid leukemia cancer in June 2019.

Wambui, an installation artist, reminisces about the good times she shared with the love of her life before he passed.

Her posts usually have the hashtag #NotesOnAbsence.

At least in my dreams, we still sit across each other at dinner parties. #NotesOnAbsence,’ read one of her posts.

Bob Collymore and Wambui

Collymore and Wambui were a perfect match and couple goals to many.

In another post, she wrote,

To walk around with the ever present knowledge that something is missing.
Not misplaced.
Not lost.
But missing.

Wambui is still grieving just like many do and while expressing her sadness, she wrote,

Tears mixed with laughter mixed with the grainyness of sadness.

To whom do these tears belong?
Why does my laughter have no recollection of the depth of my sadness?

And yet I owe my joy to its cousin.

By Mpasho

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Business

I’m not yet successful- Billionaire Chris Kirubi speaks

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By JUDITH GICOBI

Billionaire businessman Chris Kirubi says he is yet to see himself as successful because he has not achieved his dreams.

He revealed this in an interview with Business Daily, DJ CK, as he’s popularly known, says in spite of battling a sickness this has not made him streamline his day to day activities as he still holds almost six meetings per day at his home. 

“…I’m not yet successful. I have a dream. I work more now in my home than I worked in the office. Many people come to see me because I’m sick. My people want to come and consult with me. I still run my companies. I’ve never switched off.”

Chris reveals achieving a goal and not money is his primary motivation. Though he considers himself a billionaire, he is yet to know how much he is worth. 

“I don’t know (my worth). I never count. Counting means looking back and I don’t look back,” said the Capital Group Ltd Chairman

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