Sibel Kusimba: Mobile money and how it impacts peoples practices, relationships and perception of money in Kenya – The Human Show Podcast 20







Sibel Kusimba is an Anthropologist who does both archaeological and anthropological fieldwork within Kenya.

Throughout the years 2012 to 2018 she has been doing research into mobile money such as M-Pesa in Kenya, looking into how technological payment methods have changed people’s relationship to money and how they interact with each other (e.g. maintaining social relationships and commitments etc).

In this episode we talk to Sibel Kusimba about her work in Kenya around mobile money.

Talking about how it effects people’s relationships to each other, for example how the practice of visiting parents can be put off through the payment of money using these mobile phone apps, (creating new methods of maintaining a good relationship without physically visiting someone).

We also talk about how the changing properties of money from something physical to virtual has changed our interaction and perception of it as well as why people still use physical money today.

We also touch on the workings of businesses like M-Pesa, ethics, politics, innovation in technology and much more.

Get the podcast here:



Sibel’s work:
List of academic works:
Kusimba, S. B. (2018) “It is Easy for Women to Ask: Gender and Digital Finance in Kenya.” in Economic Anthropology 5 (2). Special Issue Theme: Finance.

Kusimba, S. B. (2018) “Money, Mobile Money, and Ritual in Western Kenya: The Contingency Fund and the Thirteenth Cow.” in African Studies Review 61 (2). July.

Kusimba, S. B. (2015) “Family Networks of Mobile Money in Kenya. In Information Technology in International Development 11(3):1-21. Open access at

Follow her work at:

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