How to get Safaricom Okoa Jahazi airtime advance

What is Safaricom Okoa Jahazi? This is a service Safaricom subscribers can use to borrow airtime – and pay later when they top up their prepaid lines. It is an airtime advance service similar to Telkom Kenya PEWA, Airtel Kenya Kopa and Equitel Jiokolee Credo.

The airtime borrowed from the service can be used to:

  1. make calls to Safaricom numbers and other networks.
  2. buy bundles combining a mixture of data, minutes and texts like All in One bundles mentioned in this post.
  3. purchase Safaricom data bundles.

The service is touted as ‘something you should only turn to’ during emergencies. But you know Kenyans and their peculiar ways. Even being bored and not wanting to go to the shop can at times be classified as an emergency. Curiosity can become an emergency. Anxiety can be classified as an emergency sometimes. It is just how we are sometimes. Don’t read too much into it because:

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  1. we don’t
  2. you can’t dictate how anyone uses their prepaid line as long as they are not doing anything that is criminal in nature
  3. if you do, you’ll be asked why and your answer will be quickly forgotten
  4. if you care so much just be an advocate of prudent financial practices and leave the noise to the birds

Also note that you can borrow data bundles from the Okoa Jahazi menu directly. You don’t need to borrow airtime and then buy bundles – if the ones listed on the menu fits perfectly with your current needs. I’ll write a post about this later – a post on how to borrow data bundles (Okoa Data) on your Safaricom line.

How to access the Safaricom Okoa Jahazi service

  1. Dial *131# on your feature phone, smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer (if using your Safaricom SIM card in a modem or router). Then just reply with the number corresponding to the amount you want to borrow. For example if you see 2: Okoa 50, answer with the number 2 to borrow 50 bob airtime.
  2. Dial *100# -> Select option 3. Products & Services -> then select option 3: Okoa Jahazi
  3. Borrow airtime online via the Safaricom portal. You can access the menu, by going to your web browser and typing in the web address.
  4. Go to your Safaricom SIM (toolkit) menu -> Select Safaricom+ -> Select My Account -> Select Top-up services -> then select Okoa Jahazi.

Here’s an example text you’ll get from Safaricom when your Okoa Jahazi airtime request i successful: ‘Request successful. You have received 90.00 KSH. 10.00 KSH has been charged as service fee. Your Okoa Credit is 100.00 KSH to be repaid before 2019-06-19.’

How to qualify for the Okoa Jahazi service

To qualify for the service:

  • you must be an active user on the Safaricom network. You should have been using your line for at least one month.
  • you must have used at least Kenya Shillings 10 in the past 1 week – and have less than KSh 5 airtime balance.
  • you must have repaid your existing Okoa Jahazi debt.

Here’s a text message I received from Safaricom telling me how much I could borrow through the service: ‘You can borrow from as low as Ksh 10 worth of airtime through Okoa Jahazi for your Airtime Emergencies. Simply dial *131# and see how much you can borrow.’

Do note that looking at the Okoa menu on my line, I see that I can borrow even KSh 5 bob airtime. Other amounts listed in the menu include: Kenya Shillings 10, 20, 50 and 100.

To qualify for bigger amounts keep using your Safaricom line buying the various products and services they sell via the *100#, *456# or *544# menus.

Go bigger in your purchases – in your spending and your Okoa Jahazi menu will start hosting bigger numbers.

It is that simple.

Top up with scratch cards of higher value or just buy airtime via M-PESA. If you are used to topping up with KSh 100 airtime, go up a bit – to KSh 150, 200, 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000 or more.

Just be prudent. Mind your future to spend well in the present.

Safaricom Okoa Jahazi service fee / charges

How much do you really get when you borrow airtime from the mobile phone service provider?

  • When you borrow Kenya Shillings 100, you’ll get KSh 90. A service fee of KSh 10 will be charged.
  • When you borrow Kenya Shillings 50, you’ll get KSh 45. A service fee of KSh 5 will be charged.
  • When you borrow Kenya Shillings 20, you’ll get KSh 18. A service fee of KSh 2 will be charged.

How to check your Okoa Jahazi airtime balance

To check your Okoa airtime balance, dial *144*44#.

Why would you want to check your Okoa balance from time to time? It is just like checking your regular airtime balance: to see how much you have left and to make arrangements to top up if you are running low on credit.

Or in this case, to ensure that you’re still in Safaricom’s good graces – and rush to a shop to buy airtime to repay the debt.

If you don’t pay back your debt on time, the telco can bar you from using the services for awhile. You wouldn’t want this to happen (enter the ‘force repay date’ as they call it) – especially when a situation that is ‘truly’ an emergency takes place and a service like Okoa Jahazi isn’t available to you (say for the next 24 hours) because of late payment (and you don’t want to rely on loan apps, M-Shwari or KCB M-PESA for money to buy airtime).

Here’s an example text you’ll get when you check your Okoa airtime balance: ‘Your Okoa Jahazi balance is 40.00 KSH. Expiry date: 2020-06-14. Your outstanding Okoa Jahazi debt balance is 100.00 KSH.’

How to repay your Okoa Jahazi debt

To repay your Okoa Jahazi debt, buy a scratch card from a retail outlet near you and simply load airtime to your Safaricom line.

If you borrowed Kenya Shillings 50 advance airtime (received KSH 45), just buy a KSh 50 scratch card and top up via the *141*PIN# USSD short code (the PIN being the series of numbers revealed once you scratch the card).

Or you can buy the airtime from your M-PESA account or another account via the Safaricom -> M-PESA -> Buy Airtime -> My phone / Other phone SIM menu.

Here’s an example of a text message you’ll receive once you top up and Safaricom deducts money from your airtime balance: ‘5.00 KSH has been deducted to repay your Okoa Jahazi. Your debt account is now fully settled. Thank you for staying with Safaricom.’

What if you don’t pay your debt all at once? You’ll receive a text message that looks like this from Safaricom: ‘50.00 KSH has been deducted to repay your Okoa Jahazi. Outstanding Okoa debt is 32.00 KSH. Top up by 2019-06-20 to enjoy Okoa Lipa mdogo mdogo.’

What is Okoa Lipa Mdogo Mdogo? It is a service, under the Okoa Jahazi menu, that allows you to make partial payment. You’ll only see it if you have an active Okoa Jahazi airtime / bundle that hasn’t yet been repaid in full.

What can you purchase with the airtime you borrow via Okoa Jahazi right now?

Check offers tailor-made just for you. These are available in the Safaricom Tunukiwa bundles menu – accessible using the *444# USSD short code.

Go to the Tunukiwa menu to buy minutes, text messages, data or a combination of all three. Pata Kredo Dabo Dabo (special offer to double your airtime for calls across all networks in Kenya) for example.

You can also purchase other products and services sold by Safaricom via the *456#, *100# and *544# menus.

So, what’s your experience with the telco / Okoa service been like? Have you tried similar services by other mobile phone service providers like Airtel, Equitel and Telkom? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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