Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kwaku Doe - Stiff Competition

I've been quietly observing Kwaku Doe and his spot for a while now and frankly, I'm not surprised he's facing all this competition now. If he's right about earning GH¢20 a day then really, he should have known he wouldn't enjoy the monopoly he has had at his spot for long.

I reported in a previous post that there was this other gentleman (physically disabled) in a wheel chair who's picked out Kwaku's spot to also beg. Well, guess what? There's another gentleman who's joined them, also physically disabled but moves on the ground.

Aside doing his morning rounds, I've noticed Kwaku does evening rounds as well because I see him in the morning on my way to work and in the evening on my way home. As a matter of fact, I strongly believe he does his rounds the whole day (I'm not there the whole day but I wouldn't be surprised if he did). Well, his competition are always with him (in the morning and in the evening).

The advantage Kwaku Doe has over his competition is he gets to his spot real early so on days that I get there very early, his competitors aren't there. They usually get there late morning. Another advantage Kwaku has over his competitors (something I witnessed yesterday) is his speed. Yesterday evening, on my way home, I'm just passing Kwaku's spot and I see him and all his competitors (at that time of day there aren't that many cars moving in their direction). One car pulls up and all three make a move for that car. Kwaku in the lead followed by gentleman 1 in wheelchair and then gentleman 2 on the ground. Obviously, Kwaku gets to the car first, gives his speech, no response. Gentleman 1 also delivers his speech, no response. Finally gentleman 2 gets to the car, delivers his speech and he gets rewarded.

Another advantage Kwaku has over the other two is his height and his ability to get as close to cars as possible. However, the advantage, the other two have over Kwaku is their ability to elicit pity from potential clients (that, I believe is the most important looking at the business they are into). Gentleman 2 especially, moving on the ground without a wheelchair. It's so sad to see him moving around like that.

If these two maintain this spot, I'd say Kwaku is out of business. Maybe he could collaborate with them (if it were me, I'd pick gentleman 2). So he, Kwaku does the moving around, weaving in and out of traffic, get the money and split with the other. Well, picking gentleman 1 would be much easier so he could wheel him around (he can't exactly carry gentleman 2 around) but trust me, seeing gentleman 2 will just touch the heart of any tight fisted man/woman/child.

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