Immortal Teacher: How a Simple Trick led to Straight A’s in Math

There is a ‘Word of the Day’ feature on my phone’s Dictionary App that pops up a random English word.

Today, the algorithm gods said: “Dyscalculiais“. Is that even English?

It’s a medical term for a learning disorder that affects a person’s ability to do math. It affects brain areas responsible for math- and number-related skills and understanding.

I was floored by this revelation, but also a tad skeptic.

A memory from a particular math lesson in my school days came up. An episode that thawed my very complicated relationship with math from pure torture and terrible grades to a likeable disposition with good grades.

I had never before attained ‘Average’ in math.

My high school had a progress evaluation system. Basically, exams and more exams: Opener, Mid and the Final Exams. The Openers’ served the biggest challenge.

A nasty jolt to slap us out of the holiday moods. This episode happened in Form Two, after the Easter holiday.

We started with the dreaded math paper. It’s a tough fifty-question paper rounding off to a hundred marks. I breeze through it with trepidation, like a pirate condemned to walk off the plank at sea.

I knew I would flunk it, and I did. What with much of the holiday reading novels and watching TV?

The results were out by the evening preps. As was custom with our math teacher, quite empathetic and insanely patient – he’d read the top and the lowest score, but not mention the names. Morale, I think.

Someone had punched in an incredible 98%, and the lowest came in at a partly 19%.

I didn’t know who led but I knew I the 19% was mine. But, for a minute there, we giggled in the back rows speculating on which idiot had probably scored 19%.

My desk mate had managed a 76%, and said he felt dumb. Really? Dumb with a 76%? What adjective would I use to describe my 19%?

I was pretty miserable.

Did I mention that our math teacher also doubled as our class teacher? He had absolute powers, first among them – to shuffle us around the class.

Who sat where, and with whom?

He announced that the top would be paired with the lowest scorer. Before I could say Abracadabra, I had moved from the back to the front row. It was the least favorite position. If you dozed off in the back row, most teachers would chuck a piece of chalk at you.

The front row? That’s within slapping distance!

Barely do we settle in, than the teacher unleashes the next shocker.

Henceforth, each pair would tackle math problems on the board. The top grade, would lead the lowest in a step-by-step tackle. What?

In the history of my schooling, I had never volunteered to work out a math problem on the board.

I had a problem, but, hey – a pirate has to walk the plank, right?

What followed was an agonizing few weeks, each a degree worse than the other.

I realized that I was ‘dragging’ my partner. She was kind, but I was fast wearing down her patience. Eventually, we worked out a system.

Each night, we’d use half an hour of preps going over the following day’s assigned math problems.

I started getting correct answers on the board. The kids would clap, for everyone – but the claps were louder for me. I was getting better in math!

Who could have thought it’s possible? My confidence grew, I grew bolder and opened up to math.

I’m eternally grateful to my math teacher and my tag-team partner. I have no clue where they are, or doing presently but I still feel indebted to them.

Besides math grades, they helped me develop a positive mindset towards tackling obstacles in life.

As we prepare to get back to class, do your kids struggle with math? Focus less on the mountain of homework and more on attitude.

Also, a conducive study environment, and especially not having to worry about the safety of their pocket money.

Take advantage of Co-opPay, a pre-paid Visa Card from Co-op Bank tailored for use by students.

With Co-opPay, a parent loads pocket money remotely, and access instant tracking of the spending.

The student can shop with the card at their canteen, malls – or, withdraw money at ATM’s. Besides, being safe and convenient, it attracts no extra charges.

What are the online banking options available to a business owner in Kenya?

A secure system that allows online payments for business is a major concern for discerning business owners.

There’s pressing need to go cashless in the digital age, and on this front, Co-op Bank leads the pack.

Co-op Bank has an innovative online banking platform that has won accolades across the banking spectrum for its reliability, security and versatility.

A business does not need a website to enjoy benefits of online banking.

Online card payments
Boost your sales by integrating into our online card payment solution to receive card payments from customers from different banks and from anywhere in the world.

These are Co-op Bank ATM’s, Debit or Credit Cards. All payments for purchases or goods delivered can easily be checked off by swiping these cards.

With card payments, it’s easier to track stock levels, and enjoy an easy check out flow.


This is a device that refers to a payment terminal accessed by Visa cards to make electronic fund transfers. They are common in malls, supermarkets and fuel stations.

POS stands for Point Of Sale in a business outlet. PDQ stands for ‘Process Data Quickly’.

Co-op Bank avails PDQ/POS machines to their clients. These machines greatly boost sales by enabling them receive card payments from customers from different banks.

A trader enjoys timely reports, easier tracking of income and expenses.

Lipa Na M-Pesa Till Number

Co-op Bank provides this service in partnership with Safaricom M-Pesa service. The bank offers to process a till number for their client’s businesses, at no charge.

This helps a business to receive cashless payments via Lipa na M-Pesa Till Number – usualy displayed at payment point at the business premises.

The money clients pay through the Till number is deposited directly into the client’s Co-op Bank account.

The payments paid into the account can be accessed anytime via Co-op Bank’s mobile banking platform, ATMs, Co-op Kwa Jirani agents, Internet banking or at any branch across the republic.

M-Pesa Paybill 400200

Co-op Bank’s official M-Pesa Paybill number – 400200 – enables a trader to receive payments directly into their Co-op Bank account.

The money reflects into the account immediately. One can also check for the payment confirmation via mobile banking or internet banking platforms.

Alternatively, one can receive notifications via text if they have subscribed to the MCo-op Cash SMS notifications.

The funds are accessible anytime via the banks’s mobile banking platform, Co-op Kwa Jirani agents, ATMs, Internet banking or at the branch.

M-Coop Cash

This feature is not limited to business owners, but to everyone with a Co-op bank account. It’s applicable to all needs that require exchange of money.

Encourage colleagues, family members, clients or business associates who have Co-op Bank accounts to send money directly account using the MCo-op Cash App or via USSD *667#.

How does a business boost sales?

  • Easier tracking of expenses.
  • Timely business reports.
  • Easy check out flow.

Instant payment confirmation via SMS notifications or via internet banking platform.

Payments are deposited into Co-op Bank account – easy access anytime via mobile banking platform, ATMs, Co-op Kwa Jirani agents, internet banking and at the branch.

How does a client register for Co-op Bank online banking?

You can log in and transact using any internet-enabled device including mobile phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.

Registration is INSTANT and FREE of charge. All you need is your National ID and any of your Co-op Bank ATM cards. Click here to register.

You’ll create your own username and password, which you can re-set anytime in case you forget or feel the need to change.

Every time you log in or do a transaction, you’ll have to enter an OTP (One Time Password) which is sent to your mobile number or email address.

This is a security feature Co-op Bank has in place to keep accounts secure.

How the Back-to-School week made us the Best Behaved Kids on the block

In a few decades, I’ll be old enough to share a whisky with my old man. He’ll then be retired and, hopefully, pleasant.

Everyone becomes pleasant upon retirement, what with grandchildren stealing their walking stick and stealing fried eggs off his breakfast tray.

I’ll choose a chilly July evening when the fireplace in his study is lit, and he’s swathed in layers of woolen scarves and knitted leg warmers.

I’ll be grown, and making my own money – which means his twirled moustance won’t twitch when I stride over to his whisky cabinet and grab the oldest Scotch.

I’ll settle in the wicker chair next to his ageless leather coach. I’ll stare into the fire for a moment, and say nothing.

If you know my old man, his mind will be in a turmoil. No one walks into his study, grabs a whisky – without something important to discuss.

His mind will be on overdrive:

Has this guy finally made a decision to marry some Daughter of Eve?

Has this guy decided decided to demand his share of non-existent inheritance to sell off and travel the world and return like the Prodigal Son in the Bible? I’ll skin him alive.

After an eternity staring into the fire, I’ll remind my old man of our Back-To-School Dance.

This dance began a few days to the opening of schools. It was subtle, and a guest into our home wouldn’t notice – but, it was there, and lethal.

One, it would need me to be on my best behavior. Best behavior is perhaps, an understatement. Let’s roll with exemplary.

If a guest offered me hard-to-come-by pocket money as it was the norm in those days, I’d have to politely decline. I would spend a few sleepless nights after that to get over it.

At the same time, I’d be expected to fully keep them entertained, sometimes,up to,and not limited to actual dancing.

The last week to opening, I’d have to wake up at the crack of dawn to attend milking classes. To be honest, I loved animals – what I didn’t like is leaving warm covers to brave the chilly fog, and the trek to the dairy to make delivery.

All this while, my old man would be keeping tabs.

If this dance went well, father would treat me very well on the back to school day. We’d visit the local supermarket, and I’d have the run of the aisles.

I would have free reign to pick even the ‘luxuries’ – sugar, margarine, roll-ons, scented note books, et al.

On the flipside, it’d be rough.

Father would say: “Umekuwa kichwa ngumu. Enda ufunzwe na ulimwengu”.

That meant shopping is limited to the bare essentials: Bar soap (no toilet soap), tooth paste and shoe polish.

Well, how times have changed.

Present-day kids hardly get to endure the Back-to-School Dance. It’s a straight run to the shop for the essentials.

As it is, it’s advised to go cashless when shopping, partly due to health concerns with handling cash, security and a bit of ease in accountability.

Most shoppers have chosen Co-op Bank as their financial partner for a sound reason. The Co-op Visa card allows flexibility, safety and convenience when shopping.

To pay for Back-to-School shopping with a Co-op Visa card has no extra charge!

It’s as good as paying cash, only safer and more convenient

You can use it to pay for goods and services wherever you see the Visa Sign, and there’s no extra charge – the only deduction is the cost of the item or service you are paying for.

Nothing more.

The Avocado Guy: How a fruit incident in high school gave birth to a lifetime nickname!

If you had to pick a fruit as a prop when making a proposal to the love of your life, what would you choose?

It has to be as closest to your personality as can be……

Watermelons define an ambiguous person. Cucumbers, well, someone is cold blooded. A strawberry, that’s a happy-go-lucky soul – always happy. A pine apple, that’s the icy sibling with a short fuse.

In my case, its the Avocado.

The avocado fruit, alias the guacamole, has been the sun around which my life orbits rotate. The seasons, the fall and rise of my tidal fortunes, and misfortunes. Oh, avocado, the poems she deserves.

(All prized objects are classified as a ‘She’, right? – jets, super bikes, yatchs, avocados…)

This fruit must have been rigged out in the stories on the foetal stages of man, cue the Garden of Eden. The apple is too bland.

Otherwise, the survival of college students would be on the apple, but it isn’t. Its the eternal avocado.

I can’t help it, but I cringe everytime I meet a former classmate. The avocado is to blame.

Luckily, most are self-absorbed with the caste questions: What do you do nowadays? They want to know how much respect you deserve.

Occasionally, I meet the loudmouths, the former bullies. I’ve had a fellow whose name I couldn’t place (he was in Form 4S, I was in 4N) bawl my name across an empty banking hall.

Well, not my name exactly, but my high school nick name.


This guy remembers our first day, that the hallowed fruit allowed me to share her name.

It’s a she, we agreed.

The school had a central square on which we naively lined up with our boxes, for check in.

The square commanded a higher ground than the row of classrooms. The senior students spent most of the time making faces at us from the windows.

My turn came, and I popped open the overstuffed metal box.

Alas, and behold, a batch of avocados (a group can be called a batch, right?) tumble out!

Worse still, the fruits tumble the entire length of the raised square, down to the row of classrooms.

I later heard a boy was almost trumpled to death in the mini-stampede as students scrambled for them.

I became The Avocado Guy.

A week later, I receive a letter from my younger brother:

*Bro, hope uli manage kuuza ile Avo coz mi huskia wasee huchukua pocket money ya mono zote…..

I could strangle the little devil!

But he was right – later that night we lost most of our pocket money!

If you have a kid joining high school, anticipate money trouble. The risks of carrying hard cash are a dime a dozen.

An innovative idea by Co-op Bank gives a suitable solution.

The Co-op Prepaid Card is a new revolutionary cashless way to escape the perils of handling hard cash – students can safely carry their pocket money – and there’s no extra charges when shopping at the school canteen.

Another plus is that parents and guardians can remotely monitor their student’s spending habits, amount available and even load the card directly from their phones.

Hey, you don’t even have to be a Co-op Bank client to enjoy the benefits of the Co-op Prepaid Card.

To learn more about the Co-op Prepaid Card, click here.

Alternatively, walk into the nearest Co-op Bank branch to speak to a bank representative.

Avocado, anyone?

A few simple gestures that scream ‘I Love You’ louder than words will ever do

In February, love gets intoxicating. It’s time to spoil your loved one, and it’s supposed to be an easy endeavor. A lot of times, it ain’t. The simple rule is to make love a daily thing – it then becomes easier to nail it over Valentine’s Day.

Here’s a few tricks to navigate this minefield.

The morning kiss

This speaks concern, and attention. It doesn’t have to be much – perhaps, just a peck to the cheek will do. In a lot of instances, it also serves a message to other members of the household.

Breakfast bites

Once in a while – and, more so in the run up to the D-Day of Love, surprise your partner. Get up earlier, and prepare their favorite snack for the breakfast doesn’t matter how poor your baking skills are – she’ll still treasure your burnt pancakes….

Frequent, subtle hugs

Nothing beats the feeling of love and contentment a girl feels when unexpectedly hugged from behind – in the unlikeliest of places. As she folds the laundry, cleans the dishes – hug her. It’s priceless.

The random texts

Fancy this: You are in the middle of a lengthy, boring boardroom meeting. The phone buzzes and the text reads: “Can’t wait to see you at dinner, my love. I got your favorite wine….” Texts work miracles – she’ll always be in love.


Everyone loves to feel good. Act normal, and, non-committal, say something nice about her morning outfit. If she likes make-up, you’d do well to wonder aloud why she does make up! Every lady wants to hear that she looks nice with or without make-up!

Silly laughter moments

Memes. Yes, memes. Share memes and silly clips on Whatsapp all day long. It’s silly, but it keeps you in her mind all day long. She can’t wait to get off work and see you!

Cards & sticky notes

Sticky notes on the fridge door, with an affectionate message – especially in cases when work schedule makes one leave the house before the other. Sometimes, remind you spouse of your love in a note on the dressing mirror. They’ll melt with pleasure. It’s romantic!

Offer to pay bills

In the event that you dine out, or spend some time in a social place, offer to clear the bill. It shows affection. Demand and be fussy about the bill.

Nowadays, it’s increasingly easier to deal with the bill. There’s a lot of cashless ways to clear bills when shopping, at fuel stations, restaurants or when travelling.

For instance, this Valentine’s Day season, Co-op Bank clients using their Co-op ATM’s do not incur any extra costs when paying for services using the card. When shopping for gifts at the mall, paying for dinner at restaurants, fueling at fuel stations, Co-op ATM’s attract np extra charge.

In addition, Co-op Bank has negotiated various discounts for Valentine’s Day treat at various getaways across the country. To enjoy these discounts, clients need to book for their holidays using the Co-op ATM cards.

To view packages available with the Co-op discounts, click here.

Significant sacrifices mama mboga makes that keep us going, things would be different without her

In the midst of the frenetic chaos due to the marauding Coronavirus, I’ve had my heart heavy with guilt.

That rarely happens. A similar feeling befell me once in a matatu, to town. Am sitting on the first seat, next to the door. It’s a semi dark 14-seater van – as loud as they come. There’s a young lady sitting in front – passenger seat – next to the driver. She has a bare elbow on the open window frame.

It’s early, and as chilly as a witch’s tit. To add pepper to an already peppered sauce, chilly wind is blasting through at a hundred miles an hour, straight to my face. (Rongai matatus’ hardly follow the standard Michuki rules).

I lean forward and tap the young lady, on the shoulder. She has earphones on. I need that window wound up, lest my modest foundation is blown dry off my face. Or, Lord Almighty, chip my Rihanna lipstick.

Aside: Dear reader, how does someone use earphones in a matatu blasting thousands of decibels?

Anyways, she ignores my tap. I lean forward and shout in her ear: CLOSE THE WINDOW! She flinches like a girl does at the sight of a roach, but ignores.

I tap her again, on the alternate shoulder. She doesn’t look up – but thrusts a note in my direction, and holds. In the dim light, I can faintly see a crisp 500 shilling note. She had mistaken my tap on the shoulder as the Kenyan Conductor-Speak for ‘Pay up!’

I do three things in perfect sequence: Take the note. Settle back on the seat. Look around. Half the load is napping, or scrolling their phones. I beckon the conductor (who’s mostly hanging half-out of the vehicle) to make a stop. I alight.

Most people riding high on the moral ladder wouldn’t have taken the Kes.500 note. But in my case:

  1. I haven’t lately held a spot on the moral ladder higher than the height of my knee.
  2. This is Nairobi – and the streets are what they are. She’d have done the same, right?
  3. Karma had chosen me, a mere mortal, to serve justice. She was really mean.
  4. It was those Godforsaken dates, when we almost die of financial malnutrition. Mostly.

The guilt had almost killed me that week. I kept reminding myself just how mean the lady had been – I mean, she hadn’t cared if I went down with pneumonia.

Well, I’ve since taken a fairly huge slice of street charity to atone for it.

This week, though, I’ve been guilty for the indifferent manner I’ve been treating Mama Mboga. She deserves better. She’s been instrumental in my survival journey as I make do in this city.

Each morning at 5am, I pick hot Mandazi from her stand. Sometimes, I don’t even pay. Every other evening, I pick assorted boiled foods – Githeri, beans, Nduma – then grab some veggies. Sometimes, she’d be at her stand at 11pm, to feed our drunken bums.

She has aligned herself for the fight against Coronavirus. Other than scolding us to heaven-come to wash our hands at the stand, she declines cash. She prefers that we send money direct to her Co-op Bank account. She adds that it’s free!

I sent money from M-Pesa straight to her Co-op Bank account at NO CHARGE using the Paybill number 400200. I thought its empty talk, but, yes, its free! It’s then that I got to know her real name.

That’s the source of my guilt.

Mama Mboga is actually Rosemary. Just like my mum in the village. All these years, I haven’t known her real name! Ain’t that incredibly messed up?

In the village, I’m afraid talkative Grandma is running out of fables and moral stories to entertain us!

The clarion call ‘Work from Home If You Can’ was a timely first, for our government. The face of the marauding Covid-19 virus became uglier, still, when schools and colleges had to close.

The general mood in college instantly grew grave: Yaani, hii kitu ni serious hivi?

Well, its family tradition to ship to the village when school closes. The family home is also better suited for ‘Social Distance’. The epidemic was just beginning to show its fangs locally but we already knew the secrets to combat it:

Wash hands frequently with soap and clean water, or alcohol-based sanitizers. Maintain social distance. Avoid contaminated surfaces, or items. If been in contact with someone who’s been fore-exposed, practice self-isolation for a fortnight – and present yourself for tests at a medical facility.

However, my brother and I hadn’t figured out some few aspects. Our maternal grandmother, for instance.

Grandma will tentatively make octogenarian this Easter. That hallowed weekend ranks higher than Xmas, in her calendar.

How do we explain the national hullabaloo surrounding this new epidemic? She’s very affectionate – likes hugging and petting her grandkids, especially her namesake. Won’t she take ‘social distancing’ as mildly offensive?

She ain’t lost on the trending bits, luckily, through her ageless transistor radio tuned to our vernacular stations. But, still…..

In her 80 years, lots of calamities have befallen our land, including the infamous State of Emergency Declaration – but none banned attending church. Certainly, none led to closure of learning institutions. Actually, enterprising youth would enroll in colonial schools to evade calls to join the militia.

We did settle quite well. Grandma slowly grew into the groove, and found great amusement with the hand sanitizers. Though she felt odd squirting it into her palms after every hand shake, she got used to it. She also stopped shaking hands, altogether. If you have grandparents, you’ll appreciate how hard that is. That’s like admitting you’ve been doing it wrong for an entire life time.

The curfew brought some discomfort. Being indoors has been a new thing. Grandma has always regaled us with stories from her childhood. On everything, name it: the early Mzungu days, her courtship (mis)adventures, notable tragedies in the locality, et al. However, we’ve not had a holiday in the village longer than a week at a stretch.

I’m afraid our talkative Grandma is running out of stories to tell us!

For a decade now, the family has got into an Easter weekend tradition – it’s also celebration of her birthday. We make a birthday party and hand over gifts. This year, though, that’s not happening. We have to figure out something.

She’s given up all farm work, save for her kitchen garden – fenced with wooden planks – behind the house. It’s her personal space, a ‘No Man’s Land’. It has, however, lately been neglected.

We decide to gift her a kitchen garden make-over.

In town, at the agro-shop to get supplies:

“Got some DAP fertilizer, sir?”

Of course.”  Ok, wash hands first at the entrance with soap and water!

Organic seeds – coriander, ginger, onion, beet root, red pepper, Kales and lemon grass. A length of rubber hose pipe and sprinkler.

The attendant is, in the face of COVID-19 threat, avoiding cash like the plague, no pun intended. He asks for cashless means: either pay with your Coop Visa Card, or alternatively pay via M-Pesa straight into a Co-op Bank account using Paybill no. 400200 – both options are free of any charge. We use the Coop Visa Debit Card.

The main dilemma, now: How do we get a way to work in Grandma’s garden without her knowledge? It’s supposed to be a surprise!



Co-operative Bank leads the banking industry with pre-tax profit of Ksh. 20.7 Billion in 2019

The Co-operative Bank Group is delighted to report a Profit before Tax of Kshs.20.7 Billion for Full Year 2019 compared to Kshs.18.2 Billion recorded in 2018, a strong growth of 14% in the year. Profit after Tax was Kshs 14.3 Billion compared to Kshs 12.7 Billion in the previous year.

The Group continues to leverage on the benefits of the “Soaring Eagle” Transformation Agenda that has re-tooled and equipped the business with added competitive edge as reflected in the sustained growth in market share across all market segments and Counties, which has progressively deepened our celebrated Financial Inclusion model rooted in the over 15 million-member co-operative movement that is the face of Kenya.

The Group has continued with a strategy of ‘increased dominance’ in the Domain Market Segment (Kenya) leveraging on our successful penetration of the Retail and Consumer Banking, Micro, Medium and Small Enterprises, Corporate Banking and the Co-operative Movement; while reviewing opportunities to grow alternative income streams from other services like Bancassurance and non-funded income streams.

Key financial highlights include; –

  1. Profit & Loss
  • Total operating income grew by 10.9% from Kshs 43.68 billion to Kshs 48.46 billion.
  • Growth in Operating Income attributed to an increase in Total interest income from Kshs 43.02 billion to Kshs 43.64 billion on account of; Interest income from government securities increasing by 16% from Kshs 9.79 billion to Kshs 11.35 billion. Interest income from loans & advances decreased slightly by 3.5% from Kshs 32.95 billion to Kshs 31.78 billion.
  • Interest expense remained under tight control, increasing marginally by Kshs 96 million from Kshs 12.24 billion to Kshs 12.34 billion. This was despite an 8.6% growth in deposits indicating improved management of the cost of funds.

     2. Balance sheet

  • Total assets grew by Kshs 43.6 Billion (+10.5%) to Kshs. 457 Billion from Kshs 413.4 Billion recorded at the close of year 2018.
  • Net loans and advances book grew by 21.31 billion (8.7%) to stand at Kshs. 266.71 billion compared to Kshs. 245.41 billion in 2018.
  • Investment in Government securities grew by Kshs.37.53 billion (+46.8%) to Kshs. 117.80 billion compared to Kshs. 80.27 billion in 2018.
  • Customers deposits grew by 8.7% from Kshs. 306.12 billion to Kshs 332.82 billion
  • Borrowed Funds from development partners grew by Kshs. 2.47 billion (+10.3%) to Kshs 26.42 billion compared to Kshs.23.95 billion in 2018.
  • Shareholders’ funds grew to Kshs. 79.33 billion in 2019 (+13.6%) from Kshs 69.86 billion in 2018. This has enabled the bank to continue to pitch for big-ticket deals.

      3. Innovative Customer Delivery Platforms

  • Through our multi-channel strategy, the Bank has successfully moved almost 90% of all customer transactions to alternative delivery channels that include self-service kiosks in 159 branches, an expanded 24-hour contact centre, mobile banking, 583 ATMs, internet and over 16,700 Co-op Kwa Jirani banking agents.
  • A successful Universal Banking model and the implementation of Sales Force Effectiveness has seen the Group serve over 8 million Account-holders across all sectors.
  • Key focus on digital banking, with the all-telco MCo-opCash Mobile Wallet continuing to play a pivotal role in the growth of non-funded income with 4.8 Million customers registered and loans worth over Kshs. 43.1 Billion disbursed as at close of the year.
  • Over 70,000 customers have taken up the MSME packages we rolled out in 2018, and 5,000 have been trained on business management and planning. We have earmarked KShs. 15.2 billion for MSME lending, with Kshs. 8.05 billion disbursed to date.
  • Our unique model of retailing banking services through Sacco FOSAs enabled us provide wholesale financial services to over 479 FOSA outlets, and issue over 1.18 Million Sacco-Link cards.

      4. Subsidiaries

  • Co-operative Bank of South Sudan that is a unique Joint Venture (JV) partnership with Government of South Sudan (Co-op Bank 51% and GOSS 49%) made a Profit before tax of Kshs 240.6 Million in 2019. This performance however translated to a monetary loss of Kshs 344.7 Million attributable to hyperinflation accounting occasioned by currency devaluation of the South Sudanese pound.
  • Co-op Consultancy & Insurance Agency contributed 714 Million as at 31st December 2019.
  • Co-op Trust Investment Services has aggressively grown the funds under management to 102.1 Billion as at 31st December 2019 compared to Kshs. 40.5 Billion at as at 31st December 2018.

       5. Proposed Acquisition of 100% Shares of Jamii Bora Bank Limited

The Board of Directors of Co-operative Bank of Kenya Limited reported on 11th March 2020 having approved the progression of discussions with Jamii Bora Bank Limited, which if successful, would lead to the Co-operative Bank of Kenya Limited acquiring the 100% shareholding in Jamii Bora Bank Limited.

Jamii Bora Bank is a Kenyan bank incorporated under the Companies Act with over 350,000 customers in 17 branches and asset base of Kshs 12.5 billion.

The acquisition offers Co-op Bank the opportunity to cross-sell and deepen product offering to the enhanced customer base, and create a niche bank to offer specialised credit offerings that include MSME Banking, Microfinance, Youth & Women Banking, Asset Finance and Leasing.

  1. Corporate Social Investment

Co-operative Bank Foundation has provided Scholarships for gifted but needy students from all regions of Kenya. The sponsorship includes; fully-paid secondary education, full fees for University education, Internships and career openings for beneficiaries. The Foundation is fully-funded by the bank and has so far supported 7,657 students since inception.

       7. Accolades

Co-operative Bank was named Overall Winner of the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) 2019 Sustainable Finance Catalyst Award. The Awards recognize institutions that practice sustainable finance which has a direct positive impact on the financial sector, the economy, the environment and the society. The bank scooped two more awards in the green energy space; being named Best Bank in Sustainable Finance in Kenya at the 2019 Energy Management Awards hosted by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, and in addition recognised as Overall Winner in Environmental Sustainability Reporting at the 2019 East African Financial Reporting (FiRe) Awards held in Nairobi. The Bank was also named Best Bank in Kenya by EMEA Finance African Banking Awards 2019.

       8. Dividend

 The Board of Directors has recommended for approval by the AGM the payment of a dividend of Kshs.1.00 per every ordinary share held subject to approval by the Capital Markets Authority.


 The Co-operative Bank Group will continue to deepen market share leveraging on the 8.8 million account-holder base, digital banking, the basket of innovative financial solutions, efficient delivery of services and multichannel access.




Co-operative Bank sustains support to H.E. The First Lady’s Beyond Zero Initiative

The Co-operative Bank of Kenya has extended a Kes.20 Million boost to the First Lady’s Maternal and Child Healthcare Half Marathon initiative. The First Lady’s Half Marathon is to be held on Saturday 8th March 2020, to raise awareness and galvanize support towards maternal and child health.

This latest Kes.20 Million contributions is the fifth such donation by the Bank, which brings the cumulative contribution by the Bank to over Ksh80 million donated in the last 6 years.

The sponsorship has supported, among other needs, the purchase of three brand new fully-equipped mobile clinics that were donated to Narok, Nandi and Kirinyaga counties.

Since its inception in January 2014, Beyond Zero, on which the Half Marathon is anchored, continues to play a key role in the elimination of preventable maternal and early childhood deaths as outlined in the Beyond Zero Campaign.

The success of Beyond Zero is well demonstrated by the progressive improvement in key maternal health indicators as well as HIV prevention and management. There has also been an increase in stakeholder participation and goodwill, all necessary for a healthy population.

We greatly commend the First Lady for her bold declaration that she shall be on the frontline in the fight against HIV/AIDS to see an HIV-free generation in her lifetime.

We are confident that if Beyond Zero maintains the current momentum, Kenya will be on its way to becoming a safe haven for mothers, children, and adolescents where motherhood is enjoyed and children born AIDS-free.

In this context, the Co-operative Bank is most proud to support the First Lady’s Initiative alongside other worthy causes that include the School Fees Bursary Program that has supported over 7,000 gifted but needy students, and capacity-building in the over 15 million-member co-operative movement under the Co-operative Bank Foundation.

Presenting the donation at State House, Nairobi, the Co-operative Bank Group Managing Director & CEO, Dr. Gideon Muriuki said that the Bank feels honored to continue supporting Beyond Zero on account of being a local bank whose clients largely come from rural areas where Beyond Zero interventions have the biggest impact.

“Being a Kenyan bank and being in the rural areas we are indeed one of the beneficiaries of this great initiative and we can only commend you for the mentorship and leadership that you provided on this and we are extremely proud to be part of this journey,” Dr. Muriuki said.

“When you give to the poor is like lending to the Lord, and the Lord will pay you back.” Proverbs 19:17

In addition to the cash contribution, the Co-operative Bank will send teams to take part in the 2020 First Lady’s Half Marathon.

Did you know how hard it was to successfully in the old days, thank heavens for small mercies

The ‘Old is Gold’, or the more impartial ‘Good Old Days’ sayings are quickly losing relevance. Everything new is certainly better in all aspects. Think about it. Travel. Medical. Housing, et al. However, not everything is enviable – some areas are worse for wear. In some, old is indeed better.

The dynamic world of dating, for instance.

Dating was an art. A craft, that needed practice to perfect. I haven’t talked to marriage counsellors, experts and social critics, but it doesn’t need a PHD to figure out what held marriages together in the old days. It’s the dating experiences a couple had to go through.

Well, we didn’t have social media. In the event that you’d pity the folks in the grind then, hold on. They had social mechanisms that were more exciting and engaging than poking strangers on Facebook and sliding into their DMs.

Hello, have you heard of village dances?

Village dances ran for a week, and coincided with the full moon. Poets do not wax lyrical about the moon for nothing – it has a romantic pull. The villages had a veritable grapevine to spread the news of the dance. It was rotational, village to village. Preparations would start way before. The village dancers would practice, and the nubile would start eyeing potential mates.

It had a bit of danger, if the apple of your eye hailed from a different village. The resident males had ‘right of possession’ – would gang up, and if you didn’t have a gang watching your back, you’d often suffer a beating to within an inch of your life. If the gods smiled upon you, the girl would agree to elope you at midnight – when the dance ended.

Love that blossomed in the village had an almost tangible tinge, to it. Mobile phones were non-existent. Oh, the things we now take for granted. A lad crushing on someone had to be a clever fellow. What times does she fetch water? (Springs were communal, and fetching water was the one errand most folks would credit for finally landing a spouse).

If you luckily figured out the time she ran the water errand, she still had to fall for you. If you didn’t tickle her fancy, well, that’s that. If she did like you, you had one more barrier to cross – her younger sibling. It was a Herculean task bribing the sibling, to get some space to drop your lines.

“Hey, Njuguna, do you like mangoes? Go get some, let me talk to Shiru….”

“No, we have mangoes at home, too…” Aaaarrrgghh.

Nowadays, it’s an easy walk in the park bribing the younger sibling.

“Hey, Jayden, wanna run grab your Siz a pizza from the mall?” It’s always a Jayden, or a Shawn.

Thank heavens, if your present girlfriend floods your phone with selfies. Back then, a couple would be on their third year of marriage (and second child) before their first photo shoot. One, the regional Kodak photographer would take ages before passing through the village. And, if he did pass, perhaps, your Sunday best clothes aren’t in a photogenic state.

If the girl of your dreams has the jitters for you this Valentine’s Day, treat her well. Give your all – at least for your older folks – who had to walk over hot coal like a Kung Fu master to meet a partner. While they’d literally trade goats, sheep and cereals to treat their dates, all you have to do is just whip out your Co-op Visa Card to make her night memorable.

As you dine and wine with your significant other this Valentine’s Day, take the narrow road that avoids hard currency, and pay using your Co-op Visa Card. It’s better, safer and certainly adds more oomph to the night if you swipe at the Petrol Station, the mall and at the restaurant.

Have a lovely and captive Valentine’s Day!


The internet almost breaks as The Men’s Conference 2020 agenda leaks, but the official venue is still under wraps!

The long-awaited annual Men’s Conference#2020 is here, but the official venue for the gala still remains undisclosed. This is for an obvious reason: Enemy Infiltration. To discourage distracting incidences, the venue will be communicated later this evening.

However, the management has deemed it fit to leak sections of the agenda to be addressed at the conference. Keynote speakers from across the continent and beyond are scheduled to make presentations in a bid to empower and embolden the long-suffering male gender. These speakers are confident individuals who’ve clearly been tested by the alternate gender and rose like a Phoenix from the battle ashes.

Measured and found not wanting.

The leaked agenda mainly covers social topics. Confidential items will only be discussed at the venue. The social aspect of the conference covers the frequent points of antagonism in many households, and which have been a perennial thorn in the flesh.

These include, but are not limited, to:

  • Household chores.
  • Carrying handbags in public.
  • Attending photo shoots.
  • Falling victim to the Send Fare Scam.
  • The exploitive bride price issue.

It’s bound to be mind-blowing when the experts mount the podium to give their opinions about these prickly issues. Many participants, however, are keen to attend for the confidential items on that agenda. Unconfirmed leaks point to various issues:

  • The general importance and relevance of growing a beard in a household. The beard, and the moustache are veritable symbols of authority.
  • The follies and tricks of dealing with persistent dry spell in the hands of an inconsiderate or uninterested spouse. Is the sudden headache at bed time real?
  • What’s the ideal time should the (bearded) man of the house get home after work? A real man passes by the local to discuss the country’s prevailing strains of bad economy and leadership over a cold Tusker, right?

Other important parts of the leak includes a directive for all participants to cover all needs of their families before the D-Day. These include the usual shopping needs, fuel needs and other utilities as the other side shall be marking the obnoxious Valentine’s Day. This can easily be handled by using their Coop Visa Cards to pay directly at the outlets. Any distractions wrought by disgruntled spouses related to such issues will lead to automatic expulsion.

To register for the conference, no cash shall be accepted. Use the Coop Visa Card, safer and more convenient.

P.S. All men without a beard or a bare-minimum moustache shall have rotational kitchen duties allocated to them.


I am in love with three ladies, and I used this nifty trick to make them inseparable best friends – believe it or not!

I don’t suffer an exception.

Alongside a million other upward-mobile individuals, I owe the modest progress I’ve made in this life to a small circle of influential ladies. They are all fiercely independent, and opinionated. Their other qualities are pretty subjective to personal bias and emotional attachment, but selflessness, sacrifice and loyalty levels in this trio flows beyond me.

My mother.

My sister.

My girlfriend.

If you’ve lived closely with three ladies, you’ll realize how delicate the balance is for an ambient relationship. I have lived with the first two – my younger sister and I watching mother weather endless storms as a single parent. The latter, well, we’ve been dating for the last four years. It’s been largely uneventful till I asked her last year to come live in our family house.

Jury is still out, deliberating on what exactly happens when a lady gets introduced to the family; as a possible fiancée, or outright gets married. Suddenly, space becomes a huge thing – and it won’t matter if you lived in a sprawling, 10-bedroom mansion in Bel Air. The air will start to change.

I mostly lived with mother as the younger sister still attends college. It was easy living with mother, and had no plans to move out – notwithstanding constant jibes from my friends about it. After a while, she starts asking if a grandson is not her portion (she’s religious).

That’s motherspeak for, “Dude aren’t you meeting any exciting girls out there?”

So, I asked my girlfriend Faith to move in with us. It was cool running for a month or so, with both going out of their ways to please the other. They bonded so well Faith got dangerously close to joining the local branch of the Women’s Guild.

Drama landed when some riots broke out in my sister’s campus, and they shut for an indefinite holiday. She came home from the riots with a ton of negativity. Perhaps, it’s a side-effect from the tear gas:

You don’t do the dishes like some of us.

Don’t hog the TV remote. (Previously, the screen would remain off for days – a silent listener to every conversation).

Why is the Wi-Fi password not named after me? Hello, it’s just a password, not a kid.

I could sense something odd whenever we were all together. Everyone would tiptoe around conversations. Faith would be silent for most part at dinner time – and wouldn’t even say Grace. I knew what had gone haywire: my girlfriend had joined our close circle, and my sister felt invaded. We have had a pretty hard childhood, and the family had broken even just a few years back.

I got very distracted at work by the tension at home – I worked in an insurance firm, then. But in the midst of that, fate and providence smiled at me. I landed a big corporate client and won a huge bonus. I made a decision to treat the ladies in my life in a way that would tear the cloak of tension in the house. I wanted the fire back in the fire place. I wanted people who’d be so engrossed in each other they’d forget to switch on the TV.

A week before Valentine’s Day last year, I booked three tickets in their names on a Malindi flight using my Coop Visa Card. I also booked a 4-day stay in a popular beach hotel in Watamu, using the same card – I didn’t want a paperwork trail to spoil the surprise.

On the eve of the travel, I handed out the tickets at the breakfast table. After much ado (about nothing), they boarded. My sister didn’t need much coaxing. Mother created some fuss, but I knew she loved the beach. My girlfriend, well…… I didn’t think she’d ever forgive me.

That Valentine’s Day was indeed a day of love – they came back bubbling with love and life. I didn’t enjoy much, though, as I was worried. Faith had travelled with her own Coop Visa Card (in case she didn’t ‘survive’ the first day and had to book a flight back).

I had to bail her out for the rest of the year – they burnt a hole through her savings for all sorts of payments: Spa treatments, Pizza and cocktails, shopping at malls, car hire bills, name it!

It was worth every cent, though!