University students in the United States and the United Kingdom are paying Kenyan ghostwriters handsomely to do projects and class assignments on their behalf, a new report indicates.
This has now grown into a $1 billion global industry (Sh100 billion) and Kenyans, mainly university students and unemployed graduates have tapped into it to make a living, according to a recent report by BBC.
“About one in seven graduates have paid someone else to do their work,” BBC reported, showing how lucrative the industry has turned into.
The venture is “a very symbiotic kind of relationship”, one of the writers named Vanessa recently told BBC.
Vanessa termed it a fair trade since the “the students are lazy but have the money” while for her, she is willing to work for the money.
“They don’t attend their classes at all, especially the online ones. They just leave their tasks to someone else who needs the money,” says Vanessa.
“It pays well more than any other job I can imagine… I can sit in my house and do academic writing and get Ksh.50,000 or Ksh.60,000,” she adds.
Another writer named John says unemployment levels in the country has forced him and other graduates to venture into academic writing to earn a living.
The engineering graduate says academic writing has become his full-time job since his attempts to secure a job after completing college were unfruitful.
“There are people who are building houses through academic writing. People have multiple accounts and each of those accounts gives them a minimum of $2000 (about Ksh. 20,000) every two weeks,” he says.
John says the venture has been lucrative for him since he writes for Masters and Ph.D. students, who pay highly compared to undergraduate students.
“This writing makes a minimum of $25 (about Ksh. 2500) per page and that rate could go up to between $30 (about Ksh. 3000) and $50(about Ksh. 5000) per page,” says John.
Although there is no law that prohibits ghostwriting, critics have described the venture as unethical saying it amounts to “cheating.”