Inside Kenya’s ‘essay factories’ that help 115,000 cheating British, US students

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 26 Aug, 2019 12:50 | 2 mins read
cyber crime
Interpol that criminals are using software to hold medical centres digitally hostage. PHOTO | COURTESY
Interpol that criminals are using software to hold medical centres digitally hostage. PHOTO | COURTESY

Educated Kenyans and some college students have been grinding online doing academic assignments, term papers, and even PhD theses for hundreds of thousands of cheating British and United States students.

Writers earn up to $26 dollars per page depending on the level of the work requested.

Some university graduates have even shunned seeking official employment to make a killing in the illegal essay writing gigs for the cheating Western students.

A MailOnline exclusive published on August 23, 2019, gained access to the secretive firms at the centre of Sh12.6 billion ( £100 million) industry, lifting the veil on the one of the most corrosive trends in Western education institutions.

The emails are usually sent anonymously by email and on time, and are checked to ensure they pass plagiarism tests.

Those working in 'essay factories' in Nairobi can either work from home on their laptops or from cyber-cafes set up by the unscrupulous entrepreneurs.

With high speed internet connectivity, cheap data bundles and a highly educated labour force not contracted any gainful employment, Kenya is highly placed for 'dirty' academia work.

Kenya was as recently as 2018 ranked the third most innovative country in Sub Saharan Africa according to the Global Innovative Index.

But it seems that of part of creative workforce has been harnessed to benefit thousands of lazy students abroad.

Daily Mail gained access into one of the 'essay factories in Nairobi's Central Business District.

There they saw first-hand the young and educated Kenyans blitzing in and out as the middle-aged boss rolled up every day in a different luxury car.

An expert who spoke to MailOnline, Dr Thomas Lancaster, said Kenyans rule the world in this type of work, effort that requires excellent writing skills, advanced academic research skills and the ability to understand multi-discipline understandings.

Kenyan employers may rail against the 8-4-4 system for churning out so-called half-baked students, but that has not proven to be so for the hundreds of thousands depending on Kenyan graduates to complete their high school, bachelors, Masters and PhD courses in the Western world.

Maybe Kenyan employers should conduct a self-reflection on why they have not churned out enough jobs for this highly-skilled labour force.

"Like most people, I started my essay writing business while I was at university,' the boss, told MailOnline at his penthouse office. 

"Over time I began to employ other people to do the work and my business snowballed from there. I expanded into different markets.

"I remember clearly when I made my first million. I felt a great sense of achievement, like all my hard work was paying off."

The boss has a gold paneled office and a private chef at his CBD office, according to Daily Mail.

His firm employs 15 administration staff and 80 freelance writers.

Even the boss did not allow MailOnline to interview his workers about their working conditions, one his former colleagues, said they toil 12-hour shifts.

"A Kenyan student starting this work might get 50 cents per page for a school essay, when the original fee might be $50," the source said. 

"As writers get more experienced and prove themselves, they get more difficult assignments that pay more.

"After a few years, for technical writing at PhD level, an experienced writer could earn $2,000 per job — still a small amount of the total but very good money for Kenya."