Best article I have read this Week… – Business Daily: Gospel of getting rich, according to ‘Saint’ Alfred Mutua


Gospel of getting rich, according to ‘Saint’ Alfred Mutua

Government spokesman Alfred Mutua. Photo/FILE

Government spokesman Alfred Mutua. Photo/FILE 

By EVAN MWANGI  (email the author)

Posted Friday, September 17 2010 at 00:00

Kenya’s government spokesman Alfred Mutua decided to wear yet another hat before he clocked 40 in August this year.

He is now the country’s latest motivational author out to make a profit as an expert on how to make lots of money in this short life.

I bought my copy of his How to Get Rich in Africaand Other Secrets of Survival in a fancy bookshop in Nairobi and got disappointed immediately for spending my Sh600 on such a book.

My first instinct was to throw the book in a trash can together with my used paper towels or return it to the bookstore without claiming my money back.  

But probably I was wrong in my dismissal of the book.

A few days later, some young fellows working at a hotel where I stayed, pleaded with me to give them the book on getting rich that they had seen in my room not caring for any of the various editions of Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks or The Wretched of the Earth that I had.

The strength of Dr Mutua’s book lies in the catchy title and glossy cover.

But unlike Freud’s masterpieces as repackaged by Penguin Classics, I am not very sure there is much content in the 219-page book.

Or probably I am not so keen on getting alternative sources of revenue after 40.

However, it is the kind of book many Kenyans would want to read.

It tells the story of his rise to a senior government position after roughing in the bushes as a freelance features correspondent in Kenya and an amateur filmmaker in Arabian deserts.

He meshes his story with those of other Africans who have made it big in a continent better known for its poverty, violence, and slums than for anything else.

As we walk with Dr Mutua to upscale coffee houses and supermarkets, we rub shoulders with media moguls and top businessmen who have enough good advice to go around.

His premise is that there’s a lot of money to be made in Africa if you have anything that looks like a head on your neck.

“Despite the image of a hopeless continent, African nations have a vibrant market for goods,” he writes. “Multinational companies …have huge operations on the continent.”

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