Friday, September 29, 2006

Being A Kenyan

Before i whine further.

Drum Rolls

Telkom Wireless phone is the latest!. To hell Safaricom, To hell celtel!

You have lost touch with being a Kenyan, well slap you back to reality with a few tips. This post was inspired by a man in the bus today; he reminded me of how a typical Kenyan thinks.


Your capability to whine should be above reproach. All your problems stems from the fact that the government has not done something. You whine at the bank queues, you whine because the local askari clamped your car, you whine about the potholes in your estate, you whine about the traffic jams, you whine about corruption, you whine about greedy Mps, In short you whine, whine, whine until the cows come home.

And to make matters worse, you do nothing about it.

If I whine, I am just being Kenyan.


You dream when one of your own is going to be in power. You dream when you will ever get to a position where you can steal as much cash as possible and problems will go away. You dream of when a friend of yours will get to procurement and hence all tenders will go to you. You dream your children getting very rich and sorting all your problems; health, education of their younger siblings e.t.c. If a woman, you dream when the rich man will come to solve the poverty puzzle. You dream that as you are walking a limousine will stop by the roadside and ask you if you would like to go in. You strategically dine in Safari Park to make sure the right person comes and fulfills your getting rich dream.

You dream that the next president will be better than the current one. You dream that he will give you white collar jobs. That he will dish out money, forgetting those who made money last regime, have made more money this regime. It’s all about knowing where the money is.

You dream till you die. Never doing anything about it. Wake up Kenyans.

If I dream too much, I am just being the Kenyan


A weekend is not one without favorite nyama choma and beer. Wonder at Breweries 1 billion dollar capitalization. We drink, we make merry. If your birthday we just buy a few beers and celebrate. In fact if you are businessman, you can count your networking escapades in the dark areas of karumaindo bar down river road, at wee hours of the morning. That’s where they clinch the deals.
Again If I drink, I am just being Kenyan.

We are a drinking nation and proud.

More Peculiar habits

Chewing the toothpick long after the nyama is over 2 hours before.

Flashing anonymously

Fighting to get into the matatu and out of it (what’s the hurry brothers and sisters)

Picking the nose

Spitting saliva on the streets (yuck!)

Urinating in places written “Usikojoe hapa”

Always either asking the persons other name or where they come from, then proceeding to make jokes about the tribal stereotypes. Like “Nyinyi Wakikuyu mnapenda pesa”.

Having all these “please call me thank you” from strange numbers.

Borrowing other people’s newspapers to read in the matatu (I am a serious culprit). Go buy your own!

Looking for affiliations with high powered persons (Kibaki is my relative, just imagine)

Insisting on boarding an already full vehicle

Not belting up

Making heroes out of what would be societal rejects anywhere in the world

Throwing stones at real heroes

Asking for services to be rendered and refusing to pay for them (Being in the services industry, I know this one pretty well). Money first, services later! Wonder no more why prepaid services are in vogue. Even KPLC wants to start on prepaid. And for post paid, the deposit is hefty, you are well known defaulters.!

Insisting to be allowed to do something which is not allowed or is illegal.

Much be continued.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Celtel, Safaricom

Are Celtel & Safaricom milking our pockets dry? Talk is Expensive

If there is anything that gets to my nerves is Celtel Adverts. So today in the morning I saw a car with bright yellow and red colours screaming. Join. Our World.

And I couldn’t help wondering if Celtel has not hired a Tanzanian guy to do their adverts. No Kenyan advertising a Mobile Phone Company would come up with adverts such as those of Celtel.

And then does a Furahi day campaign saying calls are 11/= throughout the weekend. As I was preparing to buy a Celtel line it hit me I already call for the same amount of money in my Tarrific Tariff. Whither?

Losing out to Safaricom

I bought my first mobile phone in the year 2001. At that time the craze was Kencell. So you guessed right me and my family bought Kencell lines. And we enjoyed the clarity. But then the Per Minute Billing effectively killed Celtel. Friends from Safaricom would endlessly boast about Safaricom’s per second billing. Kencell subscribers felt cheated. You would talk for 1 minute, 1 second and get charged for the whole minute. By the time Kencell introduced per second billing, the damage was done.

In Kenya, there is one thing you cannot underestimate, the ability of family and friends to influence brands. The thing is mostly people communicate to their friends and families unless its business. So when we decided to ditch Kencell it was a major move. Everyone I knew who was a Kencell subscriber switched to Safaricom. Not even the poor network that persistently befalls Safaricom on Friday could re-switch the subscribers to Kencell.

Customer Service

Safaricom’s customer service may not be the best but it was always free. I cannot remember the last time that number 100 went through. Kencell started on a wrong footing of charging for customer service. I haven’t used a Kencell line for ages but the day the company decided to stop charging for customer service, it was crap. Enough said. Not to mention Safaricom’s numerous customer care centres in town which took Kencell a while to implement. Wrong start, AGAIN.

Campaigns & Social Responsibility

It is not lost to me how much money both Celtel and Safaricom are investing in these two areas. In fact every major event in town with massive media coverage has to be sponsored by either. Once Barclays’ shareholders complained that the company was spending too much on Corporate Social Responsibility.

CSR is too important to the society but can’t some of that money that Safaricom is spending on campaigns and CSR be used to lower down calling charges. Sometimes Safaricom will lay out for a whole week about 2-3 pages of adverts in the papers. And a whole page advert in the newspaper costs quite a bit! And yet we pay exorbitant charges to these mobile companies.

Don’t get me wrong, CSR is a major boost to the society but should it be at the expense of the customers. Does that not amount to Robin Hood theory? Some causes are worth, some are not. They have to put stringent measures to know which are. I am a strong advocate for CSR but my pockets are suffering.

This month I bought a magazine called Business Post courtesy of BKNN (Bankelele News Network). The EABL is worried that a Kenyan discretionary income is up for grabs. A person will now opt to buy a Safaricom Scratch card worth Ksh. 100 instead of a beer which will cost about the same amount of money. Of course that saves our livers.

But you see communication in Kenya is damn expensive! Telkom’s unreliability does not help. But again there is Flashcom and Popote wireless. Can everybody hook up with Flashcom or Popote and be home early then Safaricom will lower their charges. But we can work around that one too.

“Please flash me when you are home then I will call you back”

I am such a Kenyan!!!

Digression 1

Nakumatt supermarkets did a great job for the St. Francis Kids the orphan home in Karen. They donated 67 Mattresses. So CSR does help the society. Don’t get me wrong.

Celtel Launches a One Tariff

Peculiar Habits of the Kenyan people:

It is in itself a milestone for Celtel to launch a one tarrif for the East African Region. Though I don’t know why particularly the tariff was launched but my main guess would be to attract more customers. Safaricom and Celtel are in a cut throat competition for subscribers.

But there is this habit Kenyans have. They will buy two lines, Safaricom & Celtel. When its time to call Celtel they put the Celtel line. So my guess is as good as yours; when the Kenyan wants to call Celtel Uganda, they put the Celtel line, talk and slip back the Safaricom line.

Mr. Gerald (CEO Celtel), you just like Michael Joseph have to understand peculiar habits of the Kenyan people.

And Kenyans call during the night

Business men and high profilers hook the post paid deal which charges them Ksh.10 for each minute they talk.

Small digression
Imagine talking for one minute costs Ksh. 10, one hour 600/= and 24 hours 14,400/=. And you say Talk is Cheap!

The local mwananchi like me does not attempt to call during peak hours unless there is an emergency. I remember with nostalgia when calling after 11 p.m. was 5/=.

Please let us call after 11 p.m. for 5/=. Attention: Michael Joseph

Monday, September 25, 2006

Random Things

By the Way

Thanks to all who prayed for me, i no longer retain the seat in the jobless train. I should have written earlier. I guess human's propensity to proclaim all things wrong is stronger

Of Touts and telling your age

With Touts, there is no hiding how old you look.

When you look straight from high school, they will proclaim

"Sema Siste, unaenda"

When you are a bit older (5 years from then)

"Madam, harakisha!"

When you give up to the aging, and the waist is much wider

"Mathey faster faster"

What an easy way to deduce how you look instead of prodding the boyfriend to answer that one for you.

Of Githongo
In my last post, there are those who said that Githongo wasnt lying. Obviously i dont think he is lying. He is just not telling the whole truth. And those who think that Githongo has nothing to lose, think twice. It is near elections time in Kenya. His time of releasing his dossiers are very opportune.

And just how much weight do UNSIGNED STATEMENTS or anything matter to anyone.

Of Obama

What he said was so courageous. It is useless for anyone to try to compete. Attention: Mr. Ogego.


Its useless to ride in the same bus as Ruto,Kamotho et al and claim you can do anything for Kenyans. Anyone with the same or different opinion?

Of Quotes

"Failure is the inability of a man to reach his goals what they may be"

And Why Leo and Marcus Rocked

Obviously the debate on Seanice has brought good tidings. Check Leo out!

Nice week ya'll

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

When It Rains

When It rains in Nairobi

It rained in Nairobi yesterday. And…………..

It rains money

The matatu hike their fares. How else would you explain that? Only I missed the pebbles that could come with rain.

It rains money

Where do all this umbrellas come from?
“Mwavuli na mia”

And the rain takes away the lights

It is more likely that during this time, lights go out.

And the cars do not move. Huge Traffic Jams

Ooh rain rain….go away go go away .

John Githongo

We do want to believe you
We do recognize your great act of honor
But J.G, will you please stand up
Tell us, who is it you are fighting
It no longer appears
That you were fighting corruption!!

Mama Africa

Your cultures savage they say
Your beliefs archaic they add
Your practices barbaric
Ooh Mama Africa
What do thou have?

Some excerpts from a book I read

For now is all I have

Tomorrow is the day reserved for the labour of the lazy.
I am not lazy
Tomorrow is the day the evil becomes good
I am not evil
Tomorrow is the day the weak becomes strong
I am not weak
Tomorrow is the day the failure will succeed
I am not a failure

I will act now

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Fifth Estate watch

It’s at that time again of the blog calendar that we turn to politics.

I sympathize and still do when the Standard Group (SG) was invaded early this year by the hooded mercenaries for I ABHOR violence and the acts can only be termed as pure barbarism and as archaic.

However recent readings of the same newspaper and its sidekicks could send my sympathies out of the window as we settle down to an ODM-sympathetic newspaper.

Unfortunately the media cannot criticize itself so we have to create a “FIFTH ESTATE” called Blogland.

Its kinda the NARC splinter group is being fed to us by force. It doesn’t matter who is in it. It doesn’t matter their ideologies or where they are coming from or where they are going if anywhere.

In the KTN news, we have 2 news items about ODM and then another one on Raila and ODM on a day when there is a graduation at the University of Nairobi. I remember a while ago when there was a graduation; about 3-4 news item was allocated to the graduands and the ceremony. Or is it that the station is experiencing shortage of reporters to go to other events and that’s how they end up with one news item split into 3. I pity the news anchors who have to read the news for they have no say. I mean it’s disturbing.

In the Standard the following day, we have 3 pages of coverage of the ODM and the so called de facto leader and you pause and think. Someone is being paid here. Not that I am saying there is anything wrong to cover any political party as you may wish but that only doing so compromises the said paper’s objectiveness. In any case the election is a year and some months away.

Their ability to bring news is highly suspect now. I mean long time ago KTN used to have very interesting features but now?! ODM-ritocracy has caught up with them and they are so for vendetta until they won’t realize we have all switched to Channel 5 East Africa TV or better still for those who can afford DSTV is selling like hot cake. I mean you would rather watch National Geographic than listen to some of that.

But one thing I know for sure, ODM is not Moses or whoever it is that led the poor Israelites to Canaan from Misri (Misery).

We have a party with same script, different casts. Only this time they even carried William Ruto to the casting site. How obnoxious!!!!!

The only man I kinda got respect for there is Kalonzo and even after the Kalembe Ndile incident I lost quite some amount of respect. Did I say I abhor violence? For those who may not know Kalembe was almost caused to grievous bodily harm on the former foreign minister’s ground for being a government sympathizer in an opposition zone. WTF???

I am even getting sick of writing this. The dirty work has to be done anyway.

The idea behind a newspaper is to report news as and when they happen. And a free and fair media is one that is without interference from either political party, individuals or group of persons or even tribal affiliations.

I recently read in the Drum Issue of September that a Liberian Minister lives well below 2 dollars per day and his salary is Ksh. 4,000 as they try to rebuild the country. That is when for the first time in many years I appreciated the Former President Moi. I mean Charles Taylor could as well have been running a country full of minerals and without the scars of colonialization but still he didn’t spare the damn country.

So it’s at that point I stood to wonder, for what reason did we hate Moi so much? Then I looked down to see though Moi had run down the country for many years (that’s a point we can’t argue on), he had not behaved like Charles Taylor or Mobutu Sese Seko. Those are men who deserved death by the electric chair.

Yet for all fair purposes we are ahead; we don’t need to import people to come and be minister or key educational chiefs. Moi did actually do something only he didn’t do it too well. And some of the evils we have to deal with were started by Kenyatta and entrenched by the man. But still there are some good things about him which were down played. I mean the Nation Media Group(NMG) who at that time its Editorial Policy (whatever that is) faulted all the things Moi did. I couldn’t even remember a good thing about him. Because the newspapers didn’t find anything good in the man and so didn’t I.

I wonder what will happen when come 2008, we have the ODM ruling and they continue to practice the same corruption and tribalism. Will they now keep quiet? Will their editorial policy change? Will they become the now Voice of Government (VOG) by name Citizen TV and Radio?

For heavenly sake, I would challenge the newspaper to take a hard look at the leaders they are fronting. Give us their credentials or Lack thereof. Show us why they think they should occupy Bunge and State House. List their achievements at constituency and national level. Why what? That’s what the average educated and not so educated Kenyan is looking for. Put them on the spot for their deeds and misdeeds. Why the fox will have turned the cat? Why they have to change goal posts and political parties at the same rate I change my underwear.

Do they even know why they are the leaders in the first place? Do they know what Wanjiku, Atieno or Ndambuki wants? Do they understand we are tired of looking for greener pastures elsewhere? We need them here!!!!!!! Kenyans outside would want to come back where they are free to do anything. To be free of racial discriminations, to get jobs near their homes and without ridicule.

And politics has everything to do with it!!!! They need to know we are tired of feeding their big stomachs on our taxes; we cannot afford to fuel their guzzlers and build them palatial homes.

Don’t flaunt to us persons and make them look like angels. I imagine such persons being one Mutula Kilonzo (the President’s Lawyer) who is stinking rich and has a reputation worse than Kiunjuri he of the famous K-street scandal. (You can read between the lines).

Let them give us Leader speeches. Like that Obama presented to Kenyans at Taifa Hall in the UON. Not some things like “Kalonzo na mpira na Kibaki anafunga”. It is time Kenyans refuse to be treated like idiots. We have moved from “Mulu Mutisya kind of public addresses”. We no longer laugh at “hanging bottles” meaning lights jokes.

We can only sympathise with Njenga Karume’s Wananichi or is it wenye inchi for his apparent lack of education.

I can imagine attending a rally that a man by the name Danson Mungatana warns people that he is such a man that when it comes to women he talks of “Tutawazalisha Mapacha”. That is total B/S. or Kiraitu Murungi’s careless statement “it is like raping a woman who is only too willing” triple BS.

Don’t create them leaders for us; let’s see how they were made. You talk of the rainbow dream,. You know very well there is no such dream. Sometimes I wonder for whom does the media speak for? For whom?

The media is so corrupt, so tribal and so compromised and it is so evident .Clean your house first. But it is obvious; a monkey cannot adjudge matters of the forest.

It is not hard to find out that the management in NMG read from the Mount Kenya region and for the Standard it’s well the lake side and its environs. So who shall speak for the people of Ukambani, the people of the Coast Province and NEP? And that alignment defines their editorial policies.

And I will challenge the media to rise above the political wrangles, party affiliations, and tribal sickness and stop being used.

It is high time they tell it like it is. No one is going to kill them. Coalitions as we have come to realize are just like marriages, that one party become worse after the coalition cake has finished and that person either puts up or shuts up for the coalition to work.

Don’t give us coalition politics again and make it look like it’s a match made in heaven.

I know without doubt that the euphoria in 2007 will be created and hyped. It makes good business sense. I mean we have to know the party whores. Those whose political careers are broken because they cannot affiliate themselves with hooliganism (the politically correct word here is “going to the grassroots”) and rowdy youths (remember William Ruto and YK92).

And then those are the same people you want to govern us again? With their criminal records? Have you forgotten that William Ruto was a teacher who rose to be quite a rich man when he played the formers president’s side kick? Has your memory faded to the point you cannot remember the deaths caused in that 91-92 scandal.

Do you need any memory techniques because there is some where I can get them for free? I have the same problem too only mine does not affect the nation.

Do you need to be reminded that just 3 years ago, Kanu and LDP were strange bedfellows? That very few marriages work for the second time. Their marriage didn’t work out and it will not work and we will be back to the basics in 2008/9.

While the youth well young people meet to front their political agenda, as they do sometimes; believe me they don’t make headline News. But something as small as some fools looking for a registration certificate or Ngilu announcing she is ditching Kibaki who cares. Inakaa masaa ya Ngilu imeisha ya kuwa president. I got mad respect for that woman though. I like what she has done in her ministry of Health.

We know the media is a business outfit but its not like they have any competition anyway.

I like what the NMG and SG do when they bring us those pull out on careers, finances and hell there is a lot more in their newspapers. I mean if you totally can ignore the first 4 pages you will find abundance of opportunities and entertainment (read horoscopes, crossword and what is showing in the movies).

But on politics, leadership and governance; They have totally failed us.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Taking stock

From my own point of view


I am happy to report that this year so far, I have been lucky to avoid damn thieves. This could be due to the high police presence in the city. However just recently my mobile phone was almost stolen

I was going home in a matatu when just near the River Road corner, as I was texting back someone, a menacing thug attacked my hand and held to my phone. I was lucky to clutch to my phone with both hands and protect it. Talk about being a real Nairobian!!! And I still have my phone which I love very much thank you. I only have a scar to show for it

I give hat tips to Mr. Michuki and Hussein Ali; I forgive all their ills in handling Artur issue and other infamous undertakings because everybody forgets all the efforts they have put combating crime.

I lost property in 2003 and 2004 to thieves when the sweaty man called Chris was in charge of security and I believe that it was not a strange coincidence that lost during his tenure.

I would not be in a position to comment about most Kenyans but I have a feeling though I still walk clutching my handbag tight to my body, we are having an improved security.

NB/ Avoid Tom Mboya Street and River Road.


I am not sure corruption has reduced at all. I talked about it in my last post.


There is a general rise in the rate of employment among graduates. Be it contractual or permanent work.

Sometimes getting employment is a personal effort and certain factors that make jobs a distant reality is the lack of experience required by employers. To solve this it’s important to actively seek internships and work up on interview skills and presentation.

Also, take advantage of Graduate Trainees offered by top companies. Though it is hard to get, some people do actually get them. I know several of such people. My main undoing in not getting into this Traineeship sorta of thing is I SIMPLY CAN’T PASS AN aptitude test.

Current Graduate Trainee Programme

KRA is seeking graduates who have a minimum of Upper Second Hons in
Business Administration (Finance Option)

Apply to
Senior Deputy Commissioner
KRATimes Tower ,
P.O. Box 48240-00100

Obviously there are rumours that the intake is ridden with “WHO DO YOU KNOW” but I always say you never know. With God everything is possible.


This year alone we have had two IPO’s

Kengen and Scan Group

New listing

And many more expected.

Despite earlier frustrations with the stock brokers; I confirm it is still possible to make some money on the stock exchange only if you understand the stock market.

In Kenya, leave the financial details to financial planner and fund managers. Some of that information is completely inapplicable in the stock exchange.

Jua Kali stock trading my way

In January 2005, the Suntra Stocks published a report that stated the time to sell Kenya Airways shares was then. They have a word they use when the share has reached a maximum price and advise the investors. The share traded at Ksh. 18-22 then. Obviously that was not to be, the share beat odds and is currently trading at Ksh. 118 as we speak.

This is how the Kenyan stock exchange operates

Rumours can break or make a share. Leave the market fundamentals. If today Titus Naikuni got out of Kenya Airways; expect a price drop. I have no information if the share is under/over valued. It happened when Okello left. So watch for management changes.

January to April is the time to buy shares. At this time, dividends have been declared and the excitement has waned, profit/losses effects have also waned.

Note when dividends and profits are declared; share prices go up accordingly. The higher the dividend the more the share price goes up.

July to November is the time to sell the shares if your purpose is trading. Why? Because I have watched and seen it’s at this time, prices go up mostly when the company announces half year profits and interim dividends.

But if you are interested in investing in shares for a long time, you have to watch for the fundamentals. If terms like P/E Ratio, EPS, MPS scare you, don’t invest on your own. You can lose money and that’s not a cliché.

The current bullish stock exchange is something to take advantage of but too be careful.

You never know what will happen in case of regime change. Part of the reason why I think Kibaki might be re-elected is there are too many people making money on the bourse and a disturbance in regime may undermine the efforts. Of course others view it differently

And now to buy my brand new computer, courtesy of Kengen!

YES–SME Opportunity

The Ministry of Trade and Ministry of Youth together with UNDP has a programme called Youth Employment Scheme-Micro small Enterprise


Unemployed but seeking self employment
University Degree completed within the past 3 years
MBA (an advantage)

Investment is only Kes 10,000

Further details appeared on the Standard August 29th 2006

Apply by 22nd September
UNDP-Kenya-Expanded Opportunities Unit
30218-00100 Nairobi

An opportunity you obviously cannot miss.


This one has gone all time low now. Drivers are speeding like they is no tomorrow and the faulty matatus are back on the road. Seems to stay now. Whats wrong with matatu guys. Can't they simply obey the law?

Enjoy your weekend everyone