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When is Chama?

Are you in a Chama? I recommend one since it fosters such great financial discipline if you are quite not the saver.

Mine falls on the second Thursday of every month. Since I joined the Chama very recently, I do not understand the criteria that were used to select the date. Or why they decided that a certain day is better than a certain date. One thing I know, however, is that my Chama is serious. ‘Auntie wa Harrier’ level serious.

Speaking of seriousness, I know you imagine that the monthly contribution is hefty. Not quite though. You’d be shocked to know how much Kes 2,000 contributed consistently could do. A consistency of 15 years at that. With that, let’s discuss what makes Chamas true Chamas:

A meeting time and date.

This one was a big hit before Covid but now not so much. There were times that people would gather, sit in a member’s house, restaurant, or public space, and have in-person Chama meetings. There was also food sometimes and this too had begun to lose taste a little before Covid showed up for various reasons.

An agenda

Since most Chamas begin from friendships, it is likely that there will need to have agenda. This is especially important since what usually makes people take that further step is a purpose. And the purposes are as varied as they come. Investment in property, Holiday Chamas, Professional growth Chamas (e.g. a bakers’ Chama), School fees contributions, home makeover Chamas, and any other purpose that would cause people to save money collectively.


Financial Contribution

A little obvious, I know. However, sometimes the obvious needs to be stated for reminder purposes. That the central role of a Chama is financial contribution. Should the agendas overshadow this, then we may have something else, not a Chama. A club or society perhaps.A good Chama ensures that contributions and made and received transparently, in full, and on time if the discipline is to be nurtured.

As a person of many thoughts, I couldn’t help think how great it would be if I had a Chama reminder. A message like the ones I receive from my internet provider telling me that the next prepayment is due in a week, three days, and one day before the actual date. Not just me, but I asked around and this was the general consensus…’I wish the Chama Admin/Treasurer would do reminders before rather than after the due date. Especially one that would come at end of the month before you finish your money’

Unfortunately, most Chamas don’t have salaried or full-time administrators. This means that usual reminding methods often include calls or word of mouth, some of which may be exhausting for large Chamas. How about a bulk SMS sent to all with a reminder message at one-third the price of a normal SMS or maybe more for a different network than you are on? Would you like to take it further and look professional? Get a Sender ID to go with your messages to avoid those ‘Huyu ni nani?’ response texts?

You know we are here for you with the best price for Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom…30 Kenyan cents and all that at the click of a button to all your members at once.
I’m off to talk to my Chama Admin.

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