Neways, Maccas and Corruption

I’ve spent the last 6 weeks travelling through New Zealand and Australia talking with both younger and older people about Africa and the work we do there. It’s been quite a transition in getting used to the convenience of life here and trying not to speak in Swahili and then the biggest shock of how expensive food is.

There’s a few things that we don’t get in Kenya where we are based.

Neways. These are a great range of products that have ingredients that don’t harm us. You’d be surprised what chemicals are in our hair, skin and household products. When we lived in Australia we converted as much as possible to Neways products and really saw the difference. 18 months later we still have some shaving gel left, but everything else has been used up. It’s a real bummer that we can’t get Neways in Kenya but that’s not all we can’t get.

neways McDonalds. Yep, while there’s KFC there is no sight of Maccas. Kenyans love chicken and chips, but there are also some burger bars around the place. KFC is extremely expensive and because I’m a coeliac, can’t eat it anyway. KFC is so popular that sometimes you have to wait 30 minutes for your order.

maccas There’s a big difference on why both Neways and Maccas aren’t in Kenya and it’s very simple – corruption. For any international company to get established in a country across East Africa, there would have to be a lot (and I mean a lot) of ‘incentive dollars’ or ‘lunch money’ handed over. I’m not saying KFC or any other business is corrupt, but I do know for a fact that both Neways and McDonalds could if they wanted to, buy their way into East Africa.

Corruption has strangled the advancement of developing countries. In 1963 Kenya and Singapore were both on the same economic level. I know that there are several reasons why Kenya is in it’s current economic state but everyone knows that corruption has eaten away at the quality of life there. It goes through every level in our communities and it is a horrible thing. It is common practise to be pulled up by police for lunch money, or be given a different price because we are white. While we will do pretty much anything to not be thrown into a Kenyan jail there is always the fight to do what is right.

The pastoral team at our church have made a stand not to give in to corruption even if they have to go to jail. Now, if we can get the other 43 million in our country to do the same maybe we might just be able to turn things around.

Why I endorse Neways Products

I very rarely endorse anything because there’s always pitfalls, people are only human and will let you down, or some things are just a fad.

However, I’ve been on the road for a few months now, and based in East Africa for a few weeks more. I’ve lived in several homes, motels, units and even tents in that time.toothpasteNow we’re actually settling down in Nairobi, I’m able to start setting up home. In reality, we’re only in our transformed container cottage for another 5 weeks and then we house sit for friends for 5 months, but a sense of home and belonging is important. The day we can stop living out of a suitcase will be a day for celebration.

While there are a few supermarkets here, there seems to be a myriad of household and personal products. That is except for a scrubbing brush for the dishes and some good quality things like shampoo and conditioner. In the past few months we’ve been to 6 different countries and I’ve yet to find anything that measures up to the Neways products.

Either the shampoo leaves your hair feeling like straw, or just about every personal product has aluminium or palm oil in it. That’s not good for our bodies nor the environment. You know that stuff like moisturiser is watered down and unless you are going to pay through the roof prices you can’t get anything decent.logo

After only 3 weeks of being in Kenya people are asking ‘So, are you ready to call it quits and come home yet?’ Quite frankly, we are home and although we’re short of the few comforts of life, it’s not that bad. It all comes down to attitude.

However, I am darn sure to get some good quality healthy homecare products from organisations like Neways. Their toothpaste needs no water, their shaving gel means less razor use and the shampoo actually is good for your hair and the skin cleaner actually works. Unfortunately I can’t get them delivered to Kenya but have friends who can pick up some goods for me and wait for someone to come through.

If you haven’t heard or tried Neways before, contact my friend Ginny Parker (ginny@aslanassociates.net) and she will help you out.conditioner