NAIROBI (Xinhua) — Ongoing
exit exams at Kenyan schools have seen the re-emergence of “best
wishes” cards on the streets of Nairobi for sale by hawkers and
Sellers of the cards have been doing booming business in the
last weeks as Kenyans bought them to send to their loved ones
sitting the exams, key to entrance to high schools and
universities respectively in Kenya.
At a spot on Moi Avenue in Nairobi on Tuesday, two young men
shouted in unison the prices of the “success cards” they were
selling, which they had spread on a huge mat in bid to attract
“Fifty bob, 300 (Kenyan shillings), 50 bob, 300,” they shouted,
indicating that the smaller card was going for an amount
equivalent to 0.50 U.S. dollar and the larger one 3 dollars.
A number of people stood at the temporary stall checking out the
cards, looking at the decorations and reading the messages in
them before buying.
One woman bought three larger cards, put them in a shopping bag
and proudly walked away, after getting a discount.
A young man bought one and another two and with a mother and her
son buying five smaller cards.
Not far from the duo was another group selling the cards also
singing about their prices to attract the attention of
A survey in at least three supermarkets in the central business
district showed that all of them had stocked the card, making it
evident that the “success cards” have survived the onslaught
from electronic messages.
“I sent the card to my niece because I believe it is the only
way to show that I really wish her success in her exam,”
Caroline Wamalwa, an administrative assistant at a company in
Wamalwa noted that she still values the cards because they do
not only make the experience of wishing the students success
memorable, but also noticeable.
“My niece is sitting her Class Eight exam starting Tuesday. I
sent her the card on Wednesday last week through her mother.
“By looking at it, the child knows that we really want her to
pass exams and she can keep it for many years to come,” she
said, adding such a thing cannot happen with electronic text
Moses Wachira, a parent, noted that he sent success cards to his
son and nephew because that was the only way they would get the
“They do not have phones through which one can send messages. So
the school receives the cards on their behalf and gives them. It
is practical,” he said.
But even as the cards show resilience, a good number of Kenyans
no longer value them, preferring to send e-messages or make
“I stopped buying cards years back because I believe they are
old-fashioned. Instead of buying the physical cards, I create
one electronically through the many templates online and sent to
who I want.
“It is the same thing I do with Christmas messages, wedding
anniversary or birth day messa-ges,” said Chris Odhiambo, a
banker in Nairobi.
The boom in the use of cards has given boost in the usage of
post office, which is charging between 0.50 dollar and 1 dollar
to send the cards across the East African nation.
The number of letters posted locally between April and June
declined by 10.7 percent to 14.2 million from 16 million in the
previous quarter, according to the latest report from the
Communication Authority of Kenya.
However, despite the decline, the total number of letters sent
during financial year 2017/2018 increased by 9.3 percent to 62.3
million letters, an indication that Kenyans still love letter
Bernard Mwaso, a consultant with Edell IT Solutions, attributed
the resilience of the cards to the nature of the recipients.
“I believe the cards are surviving because students do not have
mobile phones in schools therefore cannot receive e-messages.
“If this could happen, very few could be sending physical cards
as is the case with Christmas cards, which a majority no longer
send,” he said.