The creation of fewer jobs in the formal sector over the informal one has seen hustling become the norm. Lots of young men and women are aware that landing an office job is not a guarantee. They see a future in hustling, which with time has become dignified, with even our Deputy President William Ruto once referring to himself as hustler. As we make hustling normal, who does it better, women or men? My hunch tells me it’s women. Here are a few good reasons.
Women are by nature more likely to endure more stress and are more patient. Imagine carrying a pregnancy for nine months, breastfeeding for another year or so and still partaking in other life activities? When it comes to hustling, they find it easier. No wonder they are dominating hustling both in Kenya and beyond. Noted how they are flocking to the Middle East, and before that the US?
2. Higher expectations
Society’s expectations are higher for women than men. If a home fails, we blame the woman even if the man is the problem. Society is still very forgiving of men. Women, because of the high expectations, go the extra mile to make ends meet and protect the family name and honour. How many women drunkards do you know? And men? Women never leave their children; men can neglect their families without penalty – though the law is catching up with them.
3. Image doesn’t matter as much
Who runs the world? Hustlers
Women are less choosy, less worried about class, public opinion and amount of money. Men are concerned about what their friends will say, about sponsorship and image. That leaves women with lots of liberty, choice and opportunities for growth through hustling.
4. The new breadwinners
The decline of men has seen lots of women take up the role of being breadwinners. They have realised they are on their own and have few choices. Hustling comes in handy. Could that explain why the number of single parents is on the rise, with very few men as single parents?
5. Era of the girl child
The socio-political environment favours women — there is a women’s fund, there is none for men. We have women reps, no men reps. But importantly, women are ready to pool their money through chamas to amplify their economic power. Luckily, men are catching up.
6. Less conservative
Finally, women are less conservative than men. Their success in hustling is trickling into corporate boardrooms. And any time I am in the middle lane on a highway in my Vitz, I find the woman to my right is in a Land Cruiser V8 and the one to my left is in a BMW X6.