Of the all the things that are in this world, one that is used the most and known about least is money.

Money makes the world go round, it is said. The wise and those who can afford take an MBA to understand how to work with money. An MBA has almost become a prerequisite for certain cadres of work.

The notion is that money is that which most people go to school for, work for, but yet have no understanding of its operations and how to manage it well! This is the notion on which books such as Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad, Brian Tracy’s 21 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws of Money and numerous other bestselling publications have been written.

To this end, arguements are often made for an introduction of a study of money to lower primary school going children, to give them a sound base upon which they enter the real world.Parents are also often advised to begin training their children on money at an early age.How one is socialised at an early age makes a difference on how that person will live for the rest of their lives. “Mtoto umleavyo ndivyo akuavyo” . This conjecture on social development also pertains to themes like sex education, politics, breaking tribalism and other community life topics . This has led to sites like

Someone also mentioned to me that this statement also applies to relationships,”bibi umleavyo….” But that is a different tale!

All the above is quite fine and dandy by me.

But here are my statistics on a different subject matter.


  • East African Breweries is Kenya’s highest single tax payer enriched public coffers by Sh3.3 billion.
  • A NACADA Authority survey of 2007 showed about 40% of Kenyans aged between 15 and 65 years have drank one type of alcohol or another.
  • At least 13% of people from all provinces in Kenya except North Eastern are current consumers of alcohol.
  • Alcohol is abused by 77% of youths out of school and 28% of youths in school.
  • Alcohol, tobacco and bhang are the most easily known substances by over 50% of 15-65 year-olds.
  • Each Class in Kenya have a drink to their needs, from the lowly changaa dens to exclusive men only membership bars.
  • It is more likely than not that your secondary school going child has experimented with drink.
  • One out of five standard eight going children has experimented with “pombe”.

I beg to ask you, dear parent,”Je” , have you taught your child about beer?

For an activity that will take a good chunk of an adults social and monetary quota, it definitely begs for some attention.

Parents should begin training their children very early while they are still young so that they can manage and handle the habit well in later life. They should be exposed “mapema.”

Once such a child is old enough to go out with friends, go for “sleepovers”, “keshas”, they will hit the clubs and pubs with such force and excitement that connotes that teen age. In there, your excited child will definitely be tasting and sampling the variety of beverages that she or he did not see in her house.

Here are some crucial pointers I believe all parents should initiate in their homes, categorised to different age groups :


  • Identify alcohol. The child should know the difference between soda, water, juice and alcohol. The normal foundation and terminology in popular Kenyan practice is “soda ya daddy na mummy”.
  • Taste the alcohol. This depends on your social, political and religious inclinations.Two things are involved.
    • If you are conservative parents and wish to bring your child up as such, standard practice has been to pick out the bitterest of bitters. Ask baby to pour out a tot for you. Take a little sip and thoroughly enjoy it. Give it to baby. Baby will have a terrible first experience, and according to Pavlovian theory, will have inculcated a terrible connection to the vice and will forever detest it. Warning. Baby is not to be given an opportunity to taste the sweet reds, liqueurs and creams.
    • If you are liberal, your lessons are a bit more detailed. You have taken the narrow and treacherous path to parenting. It looks wide but in reality it is the narrow one. It means you have taken upon yourself to give an in depth, intense, consuming and interactive training to your child on social ills and thrills, and leave nothing to friends and the world. You must answer the tot’s questions frankly. ” daddy mbona unakunywa soda kali?” Why would u drink something so bitter? “Mooom, why does ur ‘soda’ come in a plastic bottle and for mama Rosie it is in a golden bottle?” These are not easy questions to answer, but being the liberal you are,you must teach them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they posses inside, give them a sense of pride, to make it easier. Your lessons will tend to be a tad more detailed.


  • it is imperative that you differentiate beer and spirits. Repeat the tasting lesson similar to the conservatives, but in your case, explore the different samples of alcohol, make the lesson interactive and fun. Though I have met some children naturally inclined to bitter tastes like lemon and lime, most are inclined to the sweet. Explain why the expensive creams are so sweet. That takes you back to your lesson about money.
  • Consequences. Help the child to understand the varied effects and why sometimes mom giggles alot and laughs loudly, then has to sleep in the morning after and call in sick at work. By this time the child may also be exposed to alcoholic uncles and it is important to differentiate your use, their abuse, and your sister, who did refuse.
  • At this stage the child is interacting alot with others and they are ready to face the world. What will hold the child together here is whether your conservative pavlovial tactics can hold, or your liberal views made them wise.

In conclusion, it is an accepted social practice that we found our African forefathers partaking, both in weddings and funerals and in between, so any capitalistic or neocolonialistic arguements against it hold no water. It is part of our culture and roots and the noble thing to do here is to embrace our culture with arms wide open.


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