How Students are Making Money During Lockdown

  • Since President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the suspension of learning in schools on March 26, university students have come up with innovative ways of making money during the lockdown. spoke to Somakazi CEO and financial expert, Nicholas Gachara, to understand more about the ways that students in institutions of higher learning are and can make income after suspension of physical learning.


    Youth involved in unblocking of a drainage under the Kazi Mtaani program.


    Online Writing

    “University students have been using online platforms where once registered, you can write articles and then you are paid. One can be paid up to Ksh300 depending on the platform used and the type of article written,” Gachara said. spoke to Felix Vaati, student at KCA University undertaking a degree in Applied Computing, who is an online writer to understand how it works.

    “I write about programming, software reviews and technical guides. The payment varies from site to site. Some websites pay as much as Ksh10,000 while others pay as little as Ksh500. The process is a little bit long. One first pitches an article and if it is accepted you write and then it is published,” Vaati said.


    In a televised address to the nation in April 2020, President Uhuru Kenyatta locked entry into and out of the Nairobi metropolitan area but gave orders that would see food supplies transported into the area.

    We spoke to a student at the Railways Training Institute, Alfred Mumo, who during the lockdown bought onions at Emali and sold them in Nairobi.

    “We used to buy a kilo at Ksh35 and sell at Ksh85. I made good profits at the time and now I am thinking of what I will sell during this year’s lockdown,” Mumo said.

    Gachara explained that students who have access to a parcel of agricultural land can plants passion fruits and other profitable plants and sell them in the Red Zone areas since the demand in the area is high while the supply has gone low.


    Gachara added that another way that students could make money was through packaging their skills into consultancy.

    “If a student majors in accounting he or she can file returns for others and in turn get paid. Another alternative available is offering voluntary services and through this a student gets skills which will help him/her in securing a job in the future,” Gachara said.

    Students can also offer consultancy services through tutoring. This is where a student tutors others on a field where he/she is an expert in and in turn gets paid.

    Garbage Collection

    Garbage collection is one of the most overlooked jobs in Kenya. Garbage collectors in estates in Embakasi are payed Ksh100 for garbage collected from every household. Some collectors make as much as Ksh5,000 a day depending on the number of household garbage is collected from.

    Other ways that university students have turned to include hawking, working at car washes, working as touts and doing artwork.

    Vendors sell water in Kaloleni estate in Nairobi on March 16, 2017

    Vendors sell water in Kaloleni estate in Nairobi on March 16, 2017

    Daily Nation

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