The Safaricom’s Mobile Money transfer service,The M-Pesa:How a creative Mind, was conned out of his creative idea!A Sense of betrayal.Was it a case of a creative mind that was duped,conned and abandoned in the wilderness to wither in frustration and desperation ,after it was duped? | safaricom,m-pesa,mobile money transfer,creative mind,duped,idea

safaricom,m-pesa,mobile money transfer,creative mind,duped,ideaWhen the history books of the 21st century will be compiled,and,put down into writings,in the invention category,one innovation will stand out,the invention of the mobile money transfer-The M-pesa.It stands out as one of the greatest creative innovation to be invented in the recent past.And,that’s why Safaricom,which initiated ,and,introduced the mobile money transfer(m-pesa) continues to bag coveted awards internationally,while at the same time raking in profits from the system

The introduction of the M-pesa service challenged the banking sector,as it encroached into their virgin territorial waters,forcing them to retreat back to the drawing board to devise new ways of incorporating the service into their system so that they can be relevant.The M-pesa service simplified the way people do bank ,transact and transfer money.With a touch of a key button you can transact a deal,make any payment and pay bills,via m-pesa in a matter of seconds,without a hassle.

Thus,it was initiated to bridge the gap in the banking sector,where many Kenyans in the rural areas had no access to direct banking.The days of carrying bulky notes are long gone,as they were substituted by the M-pesa.The objective of the service was to start an affordable mobile money transfer that can create jobs,increase company annual profits and earn government’s income through tax.

And,that is why,in my wisdom as a blogger,i wrote and uploaded a blog post entitled,”The success story of Safaricom’s mobile money transfer-The M-pesa”,where i had recognized ,and,gave credit to the creative prowess behind the m-pesa project

The success story of the m-pesa has made the word to be synonymous with most Kenyans,who have synchronized the word into their various life courses.And,if you are reading this article at the moment,chances are that you have either used the system right now,or,you were planning to do so.But,as you innocently heap praise to Safaricom for their great innovative service ,you can not fathom behind the scenes deadly cards that were used to tramp a creative mind ,which was taken advantage of ,after been used.

In relation to that blog post,and,out of blues came a comment recently which was quite disturbing.The author of the comment informed me that i was giving credit to the wrong end.He wrote that he was the real inventor of the m-pesa project,only that he was shortchanged ,and,taken advantage of without been recognized.He backed his comment by submitting to me an original detailed business proposal of his mobile money transfer

And,just like the helplessly hen which watches as the hawk pounces,and ,devours it’s chick mercilessly,reducing it to only cursing and condemning the hawk,the same case befell to Mr.Ibrahim.M.Mahad.He was reduced to just watching his creative genius,which was taken away from him,soars high as Safaricom rakes in profits from his creative idea with a sense of betrayal.

As i was trying to pick up the pieces from Mr.Mahad’s predicament,i correlated with an article that was written by,Mr.Wale Akinyemi,in the Daily Nation,June 1.In the article,Mr,Akinyemi,had narrated a story of how he was working for a research Institute in Nigeria,where they were told to research and write a report on a particular project for the Federal government of Nigeria.

His Director gave him the assignment and he put the whole thing together .When it was sent to the government ,the feedback was so glowing that the Institute got alot of recognition for it.He further wrote that there was only one problem .His directors had removed his name from the project ,and,so they hogged all the honor.He was so hurt,and,he felt betrayed that he cried.

The only person who gave him solace was his mother,with her philosophical remarks.She told him that when a hen lays an egg,it doesn’t cry when the egg is taken away from it.It simply goes away and lays another egg.”Son,there are many eggs in you,so wipe those silly tears off your face,go and lay some more eggs”.

And,just like Mr,Akinyemi was challenged by his mother ,do we console Mr.Mahad with the same lines,and,treat his case as waters that has passed under the bridge,putting into consideration the fact that we are a country which doesn’t nurture and recognize talents.It has been argued in some quarters that if Mr.Zuckerburg ,the late Steve Jobs and Bill Gates had been born in KENYA,they couldn’t have transformed their GOD given talents into a reality.

But,the million dollar question still begs in Mr.Mahad’s memory,why was he shortchanged?

According to Mr.Ibrahim.M.Mahad,it all started when he was a student at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Tehnology,in the Institute of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases ,in the department of Medical laboratories Sciences.And,as is the tradition before the conferment of degrees,students do embark on various researches to accomplish certain projects,and,that’s when his creative “aha”moment struck.What came out of that moment was an innovative mobile money transaction project.

In August 2006,he approached a Safaricom customer care representative(a lady),and,informed him that he had a project proposal on money transaction which he intended to share it with Safaricom.The lady informed him that she had no authority to accept his proposal ,but,she promised to pass the message to the Safaricom administrators.

In January,2007,a call came from Safaricom,and,the caller identified himself as(name withheld),a Safaricom administrator,who asked him whether he was the one who had earlier communicated to a customer care on money transaction project,of which he answered with an affirmative,yes.

Mr.Mahad,further points that,in the late January,he received a short text message from the said administrator,who informed him that he was acting for Safaricom,in effect that Safaricom wanted to transact money and anybody with the project could send it to Safaricom.He responded promptly,and,sent his creative invention project as a business proposal,which he nicknamed M-pesa,and,outlined all it’s core functions.

He is quick to pinpoint that the original word for M-pesa was ,M ,was(money),then,pesa-Kiswahili,but,before the launch of the project,the said administrator and him agreed to call the business the name M-pesa(mobile-money)

According to Mr.Mahad,initially the said administrator didn’t understand the whole intricacy of the mobile money transfer project despite numerous communications with him detailing the whole proposal.The project proved to be a hard nut to crack on the administrator’s part ,and,on 12/03/2007,while on vacation in Moyale,the said administrator called him ,and told him that his project was the best ,but,unfortunately ,he didn’t comprehend the circle between money transaction,”sending and receiving”.

And,out of kindness,the poor Mahad ,instructed the administrator,the in-depth of the course of his project step by step,like a 2year old,until the money was to be received by the recipient ,little did he knew that he was giving away his master key to his lock

In mid-April ,Safaricom,launched the pilot project,and,m-pesa became a success.

Despite his creative innovation ,turned business project been successful ,soaring high ,raking in profits,the inventor of the project still languishes in the wilderness of frustration,totally immersed in betrayal ,after he was duped.His attempts to contact Safaricom for recognition hasn’t borne any fruit,as he is taken round the circles

On 14th April ,this year,he initiated yet another attempt to contact Safaricom,where he sent an email message outlining that he was the M-pesa inventor,and,he wanted to book an appointment with the Managing Director.Mr.Andrew Kamuyu,responded where he advised him to send an email to that said administrator .He booked an appointment with him on Friday,April ,18th,at 9.00a.m.But,unfortunately ,he was said to be busy in a meeting ,which forced him to book a second appointment on 21st April at 2.30pm.

Mr.hamad adds that the second appointment materialized ,where he introduced himself and the purpose of the appointment as he had stated in the mail.He was interviewed by the said administrator on how m-pesa was started,launched ,and,he explained to him step by step;how he introduced himself to the customer care representative ,how he received calls from him on behalf of Safaricom,numerous SMS they had exchanged and verbal communications until the completion of the project.

To his utter amazement ,the said administrator,informed him that m-pesa was not Kenyan invention ,and,that no Kenyan has ever contributed any idea ,a statement that made him shook his head in disbelief,as the sense of betrayal engulfed him.He told him that GOD knows that he was the inventor of the M-pesa,him the administrator knows,Michael Joseph(former Safaricom CEO at the time)knew,and,all his friends knows that.

And,to prove his case beyond the reasonable doubt ,Mr.Mahad,unleashed one evidence that stood out ,that the current m-pesa customer care number (234)was given to him in his honor,which is his postal address box ,in Moyale.

That statement silenced him ,but,Mr,Mahad suspects that he might have reaped big,and ,benefitted a lot on his behalf where he was credited as the hero,while the real inventor was shoved aside as a looser to wither in the wilderness of desperation.

And,just like the proverbial helpless hen which is reduced to just cursing and condemning the hawk,the same case is unfolding of Mr.Mahad,who is praying to the ALMIGHTY GOD,that one day justice will prevail ,and,Safaricom will recognise his creative genius


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