ONE of the greatest challenges for retirees is the absence of the regular trips to the ATM where the machine is replenished monthly by their employer.
To many, the alternative incomes are usually smaller and at times irregular and unreliable. Retirees are skilled people and in some professions there is no problem going forward and at times doing even better than in formal employment.
However, the issue of the ‘ego’ is a major problem when it comes to self employment and is really the only obstacle to self employment. No pension or Retirement benefits will fully satisfy a retiring person for the rest of their lives.
Currency gets depreciated, health problems increase and social responsibilities are not diminished. During the later years of his employment, Mr X was a Head of Department with a self drive company car. He owns two family cars, but could he ‘stoop’ low enough to become a Taxi driver by converting one of the family saloons into a Taxi and driving it himself? People will say ‘Sasa Mzee amekwisha’. This “People will say” is a major hindrance to many people.
We are ashamed to work in honest jobs, but are not ashamed in skimming public funds for our own uses. If we get rid of this egoistic ‘aibu’, there are many opportunities for the retired people to make money.
One way is vegetable gardening. It is not strenuous uses only a small part of the day and the products are useful for both your own home and commercial use. Organic products fetch premium prices and if one has a greenhouse the results are even bigger and better. Everybody wants ‘supu ya kuku wa kienyeji’. It is another almost leisurely and virtually stressfree mradi if one has a few square meters of land to spare. You must be good at whatever you were doing so be a ‘Consultant’.
A Consultant is not necessarily the man who rips people off on hourly rates (using their own watches to tell them what time it is!) Let it be known that you can help young people in certain professions and trades.
You don’t have to charge much and if need be, volunteer.
It’s much better than being a couch potato at home and it’s fun to interact with the younger generation and teach them tricks that are not in the books. The simplest form is the tuition class in subjects where you used to excel.
If you were in the Hospitality Industry as Manager in a high class restaurant, you can do wonders in creating a small classy ‘Mama Lishe’. You don’t have to capitalize on a grand scale; it is the quality of services that will make your business stand out. I don’t expect a respectable retiree to become a mpiga dede. A boda boda driver?... Mh. It’s the ego thing I’m telling you about; everybody has to find their own level.
If you are not shy, opportunities abound. Even the bathroom scales that you and your spouse used for weight control in the good old days can be placed in the streets to be a source of income! Many years ago in Northern Tanzania, a policeman was mysteriously murdered and the killer never caught.
Many years later when all hope was lost on ever finding the culprit, a man, full of booze, boasted in a warrior dance of his great achievements. He said loudly for all to hear, “You all remember the dead policeman whose killer was never caught?
Well, that smart and elusive guy was me!” and he went on to boast of other exploits to stake his claim as the greatest warrior on the land. He only realized his error when he heard handcuffs clicking on his hands…
My personal idea is so brilliant and I really should keep it under wraps lest other people copy it and implement it before me. But like the warrior in the case study above, I can’t help myself; I have to tell you so that you can acknowledge how brilliant I am.
After retirement, I am going to be a…er… Sangoma. Yes witchdoctor. Having studied how superstitious Bongolanders are, I think that will be big business. First I conform to the looks of a typical sangoma.
Untidy hair, socially unpredictable manners and let it be known that I hail from Sumbawanga or some place in Tanga region. My pension lump sum should be enough to build a rough hovel on an isolated area (Mizimu have stipulated that I should not live in a well finished house!)