I am a tad bit late on commenting on Makmende, the current hero of Kenyan internet. He has in record time become a hero and a celebrity not only in Kenya but across the world. All thanks go to Jim Chuchu and Mbithi Masya  who are the masterminds behind this project. His acclaim has even gotten as far as the Wall Street Journal in a blog written by Cassandra Vinograd. I am sure that even if the creators of Makmende were extremely confident in their abilities, they wouldn't have even in their wildest dreams, imagined that Makmende would be this big. Their Youtube video above has been watched over 53 thousand times and their group on Facebook has over 30 thousand fans. On Facebook the cult status embodied in Makmende has been made grown with jokes such as "Makmende is the only one who calls Orange customer care and asks for Oranges", "Billie Jean is Makmende's lover" and one of my favourties "Makmende speaks in CAPITAL LETTERS".

I was a big follower of this group up till some shrewd or shameless people started posting their blogs and websites and using Makmende's name in I dare say vain. Therein I saw that if ever there was a perfect example of what I have been waffling about in the Future Capital Series, this was it. As if it had been designed  in a Petri dish just for this purpose.

I am sure that Mr Masya  and Mr. Chuchu have gotten rights to Makmende and all that is embodied in him. If not then they should. Image rights and all. However, as I have been saying all along, there lacks a well functioning "Property rights" mechanism to protect their hard worked for intellectual rights as the owners of "Makmende". T-shirts, Jerseys, Mugs, Posters and banners will be made bearing Makmende's image. A great deal of money will be made on the back of Makmende's popularity but very little of that cash will go to Mr. Masya and Mr. Chuchu. It is a sad case. In Kenya it takes 418 days to enforce a contract and the costs of enforcing it take 47.5% of the claim. This means that the two gentlemen will be heavily disincentivised from pursuing any justice that they seek. They will thus invariably not get the most from their investment. This would probably not be the case in most developed and East Asian nations where the property system protects an individual's rights.

Future leaders of this country who are probably Makmende fans should use this as an incentive and work towards improving the legal system so as to ensure that property rights are protected so that more people can come up with things like Makmende and brighten up our lives. I would however want to congratulate the two gentlemen for their superb effort and "Just a band".

Images courtesy of Just a band and Makmende's official Facebook page