Timona Jarha: Shaka Pay Mobile Money Transfer
Keeping Africans Connected
Africans in the Diaspora have a pent up need to send money efficiently to their loved ones back home. Timona lived in North America for over a decade and knows this only too well. The available services are your traditional Money Transfer Organizations and banks that charge exorbitant fees. Africa and particularly Kenya which is his home country is trail blazing with a new innovative way of sending money using the mobile phone. This innovation has now matured and a robust eco-system is emerging in Africa. Timona’s vision is to bridge the gap between North America and Africa using the mobile phone technology to transfer money.
To that end, Timona founded a company called Shaka Mobile Corporation and a subsidiary called Shaka Pay. Shaka Pay (www.shakapay.com) is a Mobile Financial Services company aiming to provide cross border Mobile Money Transfer, bill payment and airtime transfer conveniently from your handset. Timona made serious sacrifices to make his vision come alive – this ranged from using his savings, working for almost two years on sweat equity and working long hours. The company is currently launching its services in the United States to multiple corridors in Africa. At the core of Shaka Pay service is a mobile wallet that is surrounded by meaningful array of Value Added Services (VAS).
Timona credits his capacity to work through all the issues to his loving family. “My wife has been fully supportive of this idea”, he says. “It has really been hard, but we got through it and now things are happening pretty fast.” When asked what else has contributed to the actualization of the idea, he firmly asserts that finding an idea whose time is right, believing in it, sacrificing for it and finding the right team. The Shaka Pay team consists of a committed Management Team and Board of Directors. Having partners that believed in the vision from ideation to launch has been phenomenal.
Timona is grateful for being part of the IEMP program and believes that it is a worthwhile program that is making significant impact to new immigrants by opening opportunities for them to participate in contributing to the economy.
Check out Shaka Pay’s site!