30 June, 2008
Kenya,s premier online interactive newspaper Kenya imagine is set to revamp its website to include among other new features daily cartoons from the cartoonist and blogger Patrick Gathara of "Gathara's world". i for one wish the editorial team at Kenya imagine great success.For sometime i tried my hand at writing for the magazine until i established this blog way back in 2006.
My only advice to the team is to watch the political content from degenerating into personality obsessions/ cults and outlets for tribal vitriols and filth.Indeed they must not go the way of MASHADA but allow for meaningful and up building content.An advantage of the Kenya Imagine website is that it allows a lot of literary talent to find expression in an international arena, budding journalists have used the website to showcase their demonstrated skill and aptitude before seeking formal employment and those otherwise gifted have also had an opportunity to express themselves unhindered!I truly appreciate such websites with domestic content that serve as an alternative to mainstream media.
On a positive note i have just been contacted by Harvard Based Mary Joyce of DigiActive to serve as their Kenyan correspondent.I am honoured in that regards!
UHUNZI is a local startup-iron smelting and molding foundry-cottage industry that is set to rock the international scene with innovative African products uniquely Kenyan.The proprietor of the Limuru based foundry Mr Adam Withey was exclusively interviewed by CNBC Africa's Terryanne Chebet on the weekly roundup program "Kenya This Week".The company makes use of scrap metal and used engine oil to create unique products that may seem ideal for corporate gifts,logos,name tags etc.
Traditionally the company used word of mouth to advertise their products but have now incorporated the use of a company website.The startup is famous for the polished metallic African mask /bottle openers which is doing well internationally and ensures that it pursues eco-friendly production policies by way of using recycled materials as its core inputs.The company is also harnessing the immense talent available locally from the youths especially from the low income neighborhoods.As it is the Government should encourage this kind of initiatives in promoting self employment.Their product portfolio for now includes:
- African Face Mask
- African Face Mask Bottle Openers
- Mettalic Logos and Door Plates
- Picture Frames
- Candle stands and holders etc.
P. O. Box 256, 00621
I was so impressed by their products and thats why i did this post to promote our domestic product and industries.Interestingly UHUNZI is a Swahili word for blacksmith!
27 June, 2008
Thinking of the budget, my career advice to those still in schooling and those desiring to enhance their careers is for the same to seek internationally reputable and accredited certification such as Cisco certification It stands to reason that by acquiring a reputable ICT certification in a relevant ICT niche one will be in a better position to harness the opportunities that will spring up in the near future.Indeed as countries and industries continue to transform and adopt networking technology and infrastructures, the demand for skilled IT professionals will rise immensely. Cisco recently introduced the new Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT) and the newly revised CCNA certifications, this programs will ensure that one has the needed skills to become successful in today’s IT job market.
The question that props up is since IT is a diverse and robust field where can one find sound advice as to which courses to pursue.Fortunately enough there are various colleges around that offer CISCO certifications and can advice one on this, however to go a step further CISCO has set up an online social network community at the following link Cisco certification where one can engage interactively with various ICT professionals in order to map out a career in Information and Technology.This award-winning program is much more than simply training classes. It’s a complete lifecycle of learning tools and resources that can lead to recognition, new job opportunities, and better compensation.
General Certifications Paths:One can pursue the following career paths in achieving Cisco certification first as an Associate,Professional and then Expert level:
- Routing and Switching: This path is for professionals who install and support Cisco technology-based networks in which LAN and WAN routers and switches reside.
- Design: This path is aimed at professionals who design Cisco technology-based networks in which LAN and WAN routers and switches reside.
- Network Security: This path is directed toward network professionals who design and implement Cisco Secure networks.
- Service Provider: This path is aimed at professionals working with infrastructure or access solutions in a Cisco end-to-end environment primarily within the telecommunications arena.
- Storage Networking: This path is for professionals who implement storage solutions over extended network infrastructure using multiple transport options.
- Voice: This path is directed toward network professionals who install and maintain Voice solutions over IP networks.
Come Kenya 2008, power prices are set to hike by almost 24 percent in the next one month!How Sad!!!!.I bellieve when the original Narc was campaigning to grasp power from the ruling party KANU in 2002 one of their campaign manifestos was that the cost of power in Kenya was higher than Nigeria/ Egypt amongst other Countries within the region,they promised price cuts in order to attract investors, hardly 10 years down the road no price cuts but price hikes! worse the Government subsidy of 60 cents for first 50 units consumed by a domestic consumer has been scrapped effective July 1st 2008.The inflation rate is currently at 31.5% food prices, transport costs have doubled in barely two months, are we heading the Zimbabwean way?
The increased electricity tariff's charges announced by the Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday are disheartening, perhaps they lend credence to the loose talk that some parastatal's funded the elections with public funds and are now seeking to recoup! The move is said to have come after some lobbying by KENGEN & KPLC to review the tariff's.Smell the fish???...The fixed standard charge for domestic consumers has been raised from Kenya Shillings 75 to 120, thats 60% increase.For heavy power consumers the fixed charge is now Kshs 11,000, with an additional energy charge of shs 4.10 per kilowatt hours(kWh),then there is 16% VAT, Fuel Cost Adjustment Levy(which will be fluctuating dependent on world oil prices)Electricity Regulation Board(ERB) levy at 3 cents per kilowatt ,REP levy and any such other Levy these guys can come up with, where are we really heading?
I thought we are looking foward towards industrializing and growing a robust economy, but if the production costs are so high who will come to invest here?at the same time if I.T is to be an engine of cost and technology is electricity dependent ,by hiking prices are we not in some way inhibiting growth in this sector.How our leaders lack foresight, instead of making things easy they make them hard!and our technocrats in these parastatals are not helping either!I'm lamenting as a Kenyan and you should too, if not wait for next months bill from Kenya Power and Lighting Company and remember you will still have electricity fluctuations,power outages, rationing,faulty or exorbitant bills, etc...poor service for higher pay-thats Kenya for us!
25 June, 2008
There are various issues that few bloggers tend to recognize such as:
- The importance of Google/Alexa page rank and how to improve it!
- What content to capture!
- Plagiarism and or duplication of published material
- Search Engine Optimization/website optimization(Peperuka has a post and tips on it though there is one myth therein that you loose page rank each time you give out a link thats a fallacy!)
- Keyword Density
- Link building and Link Baiting
- Basic HTML and how to insert metadata
- Which blogging platforms to utilize i.e word press or blogger or typepad etc
- Blog Aggregation/blogging tools, pagerank checkers!
- Syndicating content
- Monetization of blogs(Google Adsense or Adwords are not enough, a dollar a month may not be worth it!)
- Legal Liability, "fair use" policy and Defamatory content
23 June, 2008
1. Mercy Muruni of Even Angels Fall
2. Web bandit of NairobiLiving.com
3. Collins Mbalo of Nairobian Perspective fame.
The show highlighted the emergence and growing trend of many Kenyans in creatively expressing themselves through the blogosphere! Truly loved it and we are thankful for CNBC for taking this bold and rare step of highlighting this past time and wonderful activity of blogging .Kenyan bloggers keep on blogging hope to get the clip and upload it for you in case you missed it!
Finally, the curtain came down falling on Tusker Project Fame Two with the Ugandan beauty maestro, contestant and songstress Esther Mugizi bagging the 5 million Kenya Shillings price, a prestigious recording contract with the biggest recording label and company in Africa Gallo Records, make up and grooming from Ashley’s Beauty College for 6 months, a medical cover worth 10 million with Resolution Health and a free laptop and butterfly connection from Kenya Data Networks
The finale was the most impressive star studded event ever performed on live TV within the East African region! With guest performances by, AY of
Each of the four final contestants performed the following songs:
4th Runner up-Victor
2. “Apologize” by one Republic
3. “Good Times”-Luther Vandross NB truth be told Steve or Jacob should have made it to this stage, Victors performances were non-impressive, he had simply reached his epitome and couldn’t get better than that !he just was not good enough
3RD Runners up –David Ogola Performed
1. “Koth Biro” by Ayub Ogada the Successful Nyatiti playing British based Kenyan Musical Maestro
2. “Cry Me A River” by Craig David-Performance here was under par excellon!
3. “Purple Rain” by Price-This song brought out David’s good R& B Voice-He has a future musically we will watch his space!
2nd Runners up –
1. “Welcome” by Papa Wemba
2. “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera
3. Soul Classic “No Romance Without Finance” Wendy Kimani is already a winner by all standards just that one person had to carry the crown but she is talented and has all that it takes to be a superstar. If she was in Mnet Idols she would be among the finalist contestants!
Tusker Project fame just like fine wine is getting finer and maturing with age but the following suggestions would be in order for the production team:
v Next time host the show in another East African Country for a truly East African feel and fairness in the competition
v Re-model your voting system, strangely though it seems the voting system tends to favor the hosting Country ,Weak candidates make it to the top four strong contestants are eliminated early which is highly unfortunate
v Change the Judges and Teachers-Please audition openly for these positions
v Tusker Project Fame location/house should have an in-house studio built, expose the students to a studio environment. It’s saddening to note that of the 71 days in the Tusker Project fame house not even one day did the students spend in a production/recording studio unlike their counterparts in the MNET Idols competition. This may be the main reason why the Idols contestants are more refined singers and performances. Remember the students will spend more time in the recording studios if they are to be successful singers and performers.
v Next time hire me as a consultant and publicist: This blog had more than 5,000 unique hits due to the competition! And yer I know you were reading this, the judge’s comments were much telling! As for my readers I will still keep you entertained visit this blog regularly for insightful and interesting content!
20 June, 2008
However,to be honest enough i find social sparks to be the better option, why for example in early January my blogs Google page Ranking was around 5, when i started writing for Payperpost i lost google ranking to nil, since then i have worked twice as hard to get to page ranking two.On the other hand SocialSpark is :
-100% Real Opinions
-100% Search Engine Friendly
Which means one does not loose page ranking or fare badly!The opportunity prices may range from $5 upwards so the deal is good to go!
If you are an African Blogger looking for opportunities to monetize your blog Sign up to SocialSpark today ,its your interface to advertisement opportunities!At the same time the real opinion policy requires that a blogger be totally honest about a product or opportunity and not to falsely content.Indeed SocialSpark itself has no restrictions on how the blogger expresses his/her genuine thoughts on an advertiser's product or service. It's up to you to pick the Opportunities that best suit you and your blog. If it doesn't feel right, if you don't own the product, or if you can't be honest social sparks requests one to pass on the opportunity. Dishonest or completely off-topic posts can ultimately hurt your blog's credibility in their ranking system.Is that not cool.
Another added feature of Social sparks is that it is also an online social community website, hence it is possible to interact with fellow bloggers, share advice, tips and opinions. One can also get to visit fellow bloggers or advertisers website ,which is quit a unique feature!Its unfortunate though that few corporates in Africa are utilizing online advertisements in this manner but that will have to change in the long run!
17 June, 2008
Indeed we have quality bloggers here in Africa and it is time we recognized them for their efforts !Kenyan bloggers rock and its time the Country appreciated it.Afrigadget is a website run and maintained by a group of Kenyan bloggers to name but a few Juliana Rotich,Erik Hersman, Steve Ntwiga,David Were among other notable Kenyan bloggers!Once again congratulations are in order!
I would like to get a discussion on this issue going on at this blog.As a blogger who has subscribed to payperpost and social sparks, i have found it increasing difficult to process my payments and this means that many Africans (see davidajao's post )just like me are loosing money due to the limited presence of this most important service.Payperpost recently informed me that each payment they sent came back with a response that one can only send but not receive payment in Kenya.That is queer considering their site in listing which places one can access their services in Africa states that one can send money to Kenya (Paypal Approved Countries Link)
There are actually quite few countries privileged to send, receive and withdraw money among whom include India,United Arab Emirates,Indonesia, Slovakia.Romania,MalaysiaBulgaria ,Latvia etc. As for Africa im yet to hear of a Country you can send, receive or withdraw money not even South Africa...i stand to be corrected!Noteworthy is that in September 2007 the Paypal blog boasted of the new international withdrawal functionality i.e at http://www.thepaypalblog.com/weblog/2007/09/paypal-introduc.html but that really was not good news as the status quo is still the same for Africa.We were left out as always seems to be the case.
I believe that maybe Paypal does not recognize the potential and opportunities available in Africa and it is time we trumpeted this cause and let them know they are loosing out and costing us!If you are a blogger, website owner or administrator please link to this post or do a post and link to this post so that we can get them to do something about this.Our inactivity and passive view of such important matters limits our opportunities to effectively trade in the world wide web!
Paypal was founded in 1998,San Jose California and now boasts of operating over153 million accounts worldwide ,available in 190 markets and 17 currencies all over the world except in Africa.Due to its inadequate presence in hinterland Africa,the E-Commerce provider is losing out on massive profits which it could rake in due to emerging robust markets in Africa.Other services such as Alertpay.com may just exploit this lacunae.That may not necessarily be the case if Paypal responds to our request.Please add your voice to this cause by linking and commenting on this post or digg this post vide the link i will provide shortly.We most definately need Paypal to provide all its services and benefits in Africa and soon!
Paypal we also need to send, receive and withdraw money in our bank accounts in Africa too!The faster the service is provided the better.Africa's commercial and economic systems are far much better than the war ravished economies in Eastern European Countries to whom Paypal has given preference in their snailspeed worldwide expansion program!
Here's another link showing why we need Paypal: from Blogger Jasonbagleyin South Africa, dont you just feel his pain in the post?
Please Digg this at: http://digg.com/business_finance/Is_Paypal_Effective_In_Africa
16 June, 2008
From sixteen contestants down to eight –Tusker project fame Two nears its grand finale and after this weekend’s performance and audience voting four contestants will remain in the Tusker project fame 2 academy. The excitement state is exponential and competitor performances drastically improved.Getting to Know who the winner will be is now on the horizon!
) apparently with a song dedicated to his mother who was among the audience entitled “Ng`ang`ana Mama!” encouraging mothers to persevere against all odds. His performance this time however was not as good and I hope it doesn’t cost him; perhaps the trip to Kenya Ugandaand lulled him a little bit. Tanzania
- Next Was Esther of Uganda-she is a favorite to win this competition based on potential, stage performance, visual and crowd appeal etc. Her song which more or less borders on soft rock and pop is credulous, quite something and unique and she set the tempo for the rest of the performances. Of all the students she seems to be the one who takes her assignment most seriously and has never been on probation and that is good! Her song was entitled “Power To Be” and is a motivational song that I hope will be used by the UN and other like minded organizations to rally the empowerment of the Girl Child, Women and the marginalized. They indeed can have just like her the power to be anything they want to be if they are given opportunities-Thank you
and East African Breweries Limited for bringing to fruition such talent! Tusker Project Fame Academy
- Inspector Feli Performed “Nakosa Love”-He has a tremendous voice, the performance was at all time peak. The song was motivated out of his life situation and truthfully, Felly is going places-the crowd appeal tells it all! The bridge and chorus of the song is quite nice i.e. .Nimekosa Love Baby wewe, Umeniwacha bila Furaha, baby, Yeh yeh .Moyoni sina Raha-Baby yeh yeh.”
- Hemedi Performed the Song “Brown Color” which has some ingeniously infused a tone of reggaeton cum R&B .His Performance was alright though Ian tended to differ(Ian you must be reading this blog, you got the cue- your tone tells it all but don’t get lost in your doing it) .Nice song ,catchy chorus
- Linah(only Tanzanian lady left in the House)- its time she left the academy, her song “Africa Vumilia” is well composed but the people behind her grooming do her great injustice. Her visual appeal on a scale of 1 to 10 is 3; her hair style and stylist need to go! They dressed her in oversized African Regalia and she was such an eyesore and like everyone else feels she has no control over her voice and just tends to be loud. Jacob Nnsaali should have been in the house instead of her, and then things would be interesting!
- Steve from Uganda performed his R&B classic “Stand By Me” .The song has such a sassy finish-it is quite something-good talent there!
- Victor “Linah ‘s “boyfie” in the academy sang a similar song to her’s entitled “Africa Inuuka” or Africa Arise a good inspirational theme song maybe for the African Union, 2010 World cup in South Africa or the next edition of the All African Games(ambitious a little bit there). To some extent Ian maybe right Victor does not have that great voice after all but he does well with what he has got!
- ‘Huggy Buggy’ Wendy performed a classy neo soul entitled “Me and Myself “betrays her egocentricity and tendency to be obsessed with self! Her dalliance with adolescent like Hemedi in the academy does her more harm than good and depicts her as desperate albeit immature babe! The song is quite a contrast –there seems to be no relation between cool and calm and rainy afternoon as rain is always associated with a flurry of activity-planting, lightning, scurrying about, love liaisons etc but that notwithstanding the song is nice and can be much better if she takes things as seriously as Esther does then she has a career and a future.
14 June, 2008
I have just received a sign up request to Join htp://www.afraha.com Kenya's new and fast growing social community website and wasn't that a pleasant surprise!For one this informs me that online ingenuity is increasing in Kenya and that homegrown web utilities are starting to emerge thanks to the work of local techies!
The social community network of choice at the moment for many Kenyans and Africans is www.facebook.com or http://www. myspace.com (i remember reading about some local celebrities such as Mercy Myra, Attitude David Mathenge aka Nameless,Robert "RKAY"Kamanzi"Ogopa Deejays etc launching their profiles on myspace as social community website of choice) but that is bound to change if more emphasis is placed on promoting local websites.The content exchange will especially have a local appeal and thats why i would encourage all Kenyans who venture online to join homegrown social websites and help generate revenue for local startups.One will just be amazed as to the kind of revenue such social websites such as Facebook generate for their shareholders because of our presence there.Whereas people join social community websites for various reasons i personally joined Afraha in order to promote local products and develop a network of friends who will particularly prove to be a loyal readership base for this blog and identify with its content.As noted in my Geovisite widget the combined total of overseas visitors far much surpasses the visit by locals and that has to change!
To move us to shame one just needs to visit a South African social community website such as http://www.blueworld.co.za to see how South Africans are promoting ,enjoying and relishing their domestic websites.At Blue world one is offered the opportunity to create a profile of oneself so that friends can find them online, write blogs, watch,share and upload videos,view the hottest and the latest clubbing photos and learn where to be @ .i.e hottest event.The possibilities of an online social community website are immense, if only our local celebrities,musicians, entertainers etc could harness the power of such tools unbeknown to themselves?We are now in the 21st Century where the internet is the medium of choice to advertise your self.So if you are a Kenyan and you are proud of local startups join meby signing up at Afraha.com!
12 June, 2008
The budget speech reeks of an ambitious infrastructural development program.He has also announced efforts by the Government in introducing two bills, i.e low income housing bills and Landlords and Tenants Bill(Perhaps to replace the current Act) in order to address the issue of affordable housing for low income earners.That sounds as music to the ears of hard pressed Kenyans.More updates will follow i.e
- Bread & Rice-0 rated(VAT)
- Vat on Cement reduced from 45% to25%
- 0-rate VAT on motorcycles of below 2500 cc(boost to "boda boda motorcycle industry"
- 0-rate supply of air travel services in Kenya in line with international practice
- 0-rate import duty on printers purchased with computers
- 0-rate import duty on gymnasium equipment imported for use by hotels
Nairobi Barcamp 2008 is here again and guess what unlike last years program where the official program time was only two hours at Strathmore University ,this time its a whole 7 hours from 10 a.m to 5.p.m on Saturday,June 21st at Nairobi,s Jacaranda Hotel in Westlands.I am attending to participate and now preparing a brief on it!
I hope to see more bloggers, I.T.enthusiasts, Software programmers, etc and the media better be there!We are growing big.So who are on the sponsors list(for now):
- Google Kenya
- Wanainchi Online
Please see the wiki at http://barcamp.pbwiki.com/BarcampNairobi08 and oh, just to entice the freebies lovers-free t-shirts if you register now!
Just see the excitement the event is generating among fellow bloggers at this post at http://whiteafrican.com/?p=1034
11 June, 2008
http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2007/03/more-on-reverse-pin-numbers.html and also because of your wonderful comments:Seems to be an hoax and i will be checking it out with my bank just to confirm,if tis true this post will be deleted.hanks for looking out!
This is a must read and a most important piece of information in case you are carjacked or kidnapped and forced to withdraw money from your bank ATM please do the following:
machine, you can notify the police by entering your Pin # in reverse.
For example if your pin number is 1234 then you would put in 4321. The
ATM recognizes that your pin number is backwards from the ATM card you placed in the machine.
The machine will still give you the money you requested, but unknown to
the robber, the police will be immediately dispatched to help you.
This information was recently broadcasted on TV and it states that it is
seldom used because people don't know it exists.
Please pass this along to everyone possible.
Yes !Indeed please share this information to all your friends ,associates and relatives!may just prove handy one day!Please note that this applies only in Kenya (i dont know about other countries!)
It is a painful blow to Kenya to have lost in death Honorable Kipkalya Kones the Minister for roads Member of Parliament for Bomet and Honorable Lorna Laboso the assistant Minister of Home Affairs ,Office of the Vice President ,member of parliament Sotik Constituency.My words to the family is that may they take heart in this grevious situation in the words of Acts 24:15 ;" and I have hope toward God, which hope these [men] themselves also entertain, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous"The departed just like Lazarus are now asleep in death, they are not suffering in any way nor are they in heaven-they have returned to the dust but will be resurrected from the dust on Christs trumpet call/time of restoration of all things!
Back to the issue of airsafety in Kenya i believe that the lives of Hon Kipkalya Kones and Lorna Laboso and so many other persons ought not to have been lost like that.Aviation safety seems to be looked down upon! Most of our planes are rarely serviced or are cheap second hands bought from shoddy places.Again flying is not only about the aircraft but also the air controllers who are ill neglected.It seems for most part of the journey our pilots "fly blind"
i.e without ground support !Even when they fly low they are rarely warned or monitored by ground controllers.Its only a couple of years back that this ground controllers went on strike because of poor pay and most were sacked despite their years of experience and expertise! The Government cannot continue to shun such important issues because their own lives are involved.If no comprehensive reforms in the aviation sector are carried out immediately such incidents will continue to occur with much loss to us as a country!
06 June, 2008
Without digressing from my theme, im back to be pleasantly surprised by a comment from one of the readers of this blog that it has been featured in one of Kenya's new top glossy magazine "THE ADAM ".I will be getting a copy later on! More than that i have received a request for a TV interview on one of Kenya's new popular tv business channels and i feel honored(i promise to upload the video once the interview materializes so watch this space).I recently watched the news and saw one of the bloggers going by the name Alex Kagwe of the blog "Alkags.com" being interviewed on KTN and i was pleasantly suprised.Earlier during the week i was further happy to know that Kenya's post election violence hot spots monitoring website "Ushahidi.com" had won the Netsquared Conference N2Y3 mashup challenge an award worth $25,000.Sadly the mainstream media missed to highlight that important bit of news.That just goes to illustrate the power of blogging! And i urge fellow bloggers and the mainstream media to recognize that blogging is not just a part time activity, a hobby etc but also can be a serious occupation and source of information.
Indeed positive media attention on bloggers in Kenya is readily welcome!As it stands Kenya is still under utilizing its bandwidth and if ICT is expected to be one of the key drivers in achieving economic growth and the goals stipulated in Kenya's strategic plan dubbed "vision 2030" then the internet should play a greater role.Blogging is indeed one arena of spurring on this growth, generating wealth,creating self employment(the worlds most expensive blog is worth more than a billion dollars!) etc.Therefore to create interest and generate public participation traditional media plays a key role.With the added attention i hope more and more of the corporate fraternity will take advantage of the blogosphere to brand themselves and advertise their products.Indeed it is not enough to have a website ,blogs provide an interactivity channel with the consumer market that needs to be rapidly exploited!