Political Rain Makers: do you need them? Ordinarily, a rainmaker is a medicine man who is said to be able to induce rain by rituals. He is also said to be able to prevent rainfall even in the rainy season. Sometimes rainmakers are just medicine men who can predict whether it is going to rain. Indigenous people in western Kenya have relied on the mystical abilities of the Nganyi rainmakers to predict the weather for generations, although lately climate change is making their job very difficult. In modern times the term rainmaker has come to be used for say an employee of a company who creates a large amount of unexpected business or consistently brings in money at critical times, and typically significantly more than his or her co-workers. Quite often a company executive or lawyer is called a rainmaker if he or she has exceptional ability to attract clients, increase profits or use political connections to favor the company. Lately, political rainmakers have also emerged; they may be institutions, associations or personalities. Some well known political rainmaker personalities are George Soros, Charles T. Munger, Jnr and T. Boone Pickens. These rainmakers mostly give large financial donations to their favourite politicians so they can have access to the politician when he or she gets into office. Now, there are all kinds of political rainmakers in Africa, especially in Nigeria. For example, there are the guys who would typically present themselves as having the ability to bring in large amounts of voters for a candidate. We see these rainmakers everywhere claiming they have control over women, the youth, traders, and so on. Sometimes they turn out to be correct, but other times they can cause an unsuspecting candidate to fail calamitously. Just as there are traditional medicine rainmakers who extort money to avoid rain on your parade, there are also unsavoury political rainmakers who would threaten heavy rain if you don’t pay up. Of course, by heavy rain, they mean certain defeat at the election. If you are a politician, watch out for heavy rainmakers. These are the ones that can bring big money, let’s call it heavy rain for or against you. They typically come at great cost. After you win, you must give them what you promised them otherwise they can make things impossible for you by raising your cost of winning the next election. Our hidden economics for you.