In my next life, if only I could be a taxman

I don’t know about you but I believe in reincarnation. You know, that process in which you come back in another life as say a donkey. Or fish. Or a scorpion. Or even a panda.

That also means you may have been on earth earlier, as something else, not necessarily human. You could even have been a mule but let’s not go there. Even if you can kick hard.

And now that you and I are reading from the same script, I would really love it if in my next life I would be good at maths. That way, I would return as an economist. I know my maths teacher must be laughing his head off, knowing how poor I was with figures.

Back to our story. I would like it if I was a taxman in my next life, now that it is too late for this life. And I do not mean like that bloke, Zacchaeus, in the Bible.

Oozing class

I am not into climbing trees, so Zacchaeus,  will not do. I want to be like that bloke we heard about last week, who works for the Kenya Revenue Authority, that outfit that taxes my cash from the source. If I had the choice, would I pay them? That is a story for another day.

I was telling you about the genius guy who earns about Sh100,000 a month but has accumulated a wealth portfolio of just above Sh615 million. And he’s not even due for retirement yet.

I did a quick calculation and discovered that (despite my poor maths), he needs to have worked for about 150 years at his current salary to make that sort of money.

By the way, that is if he saves all his earnings (living on zero expenses!) and stashes it away under his mattress, where no moth may corrupt it, as the Good Book tells us.

At my current salary, I need to live and work (making a living is more like it!) for thousands of years before I can boast of Sh 600 million as my bank balance.

Now, not even Methusellah was blessed enough to live that long. You recall that guy in the Bible, who lived over 300 years.

Just pause and think: would it not make your head ache if your bank balance reads like a cell phone number? I can picture me oozing class, style and utter charisma.

Anyway, I was telling you about my next life and my millions. To tell you the truth, I am not sure what I would do with that sort of money but let’s cross that bridge when we get to it.

That genius who makes his money multiply as if he has planted a seed with the many televangelists mushrooming nowadays must know real maths.

Let me tell you what math I am talking about. A long time ago, when the likes of yours truly were in school, I was taught about arithmetic and geometric progressions.  I recall bits and pieces but am I not better than those who have forgotten everything?

Arithmetic progression occurs if, say, you have the sequence 5, 10, 15, 20, 25: then each term is 5 more than the previous term. This is an example of an arithmetic progression.  Geometric progression, which is the one I suspect our rich friend must have employed, is more telling. The factor of increment is more dramatic.

Winding sermon

You see, I have learnt enough maths already to make my salary multiply faster than rabbits breed. By the way, that’s another idea for fast cash. But Nairobians will not eat them. Ask me. I know.

So, next time you see me being driven in a Jaguar, or a Bentley, Lamborghini or Ferrari, you will know that my knowledge of maths, or is it economics, has come in handy.

And please, spare me that long winding sermon about some professions being noble. They will not make you rich. Journalism is one of them.

If journalism was to make anyone rich, I would periodically be sunning my ageing body on some beach in Seychelles, or San Francisco, a glass of exotic juice (or something more potent) in one hand and a pair of sun shades in another, thinking about absolutely nothing.

But here I am, wondering how some bloke has made millions as I pound on my keyboard for a pittance. That is called meteoric rise. Not mine, I mean. The investor with a Midas touch.

The French say c’est la vie. Its life. Or is it? Have a shenanigans-free week, will you?

The writer is Special Projects editor, People Daily

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