Tag Archives: Nairobi

Lessons from Huddah Monroe vs Joe Muchiri Tweef, #JoeVsHuddah

While nations like Guatemala, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya among others have successfully changed regimes through twitter, in Kenya, some grown adults struggle to add positively to this nation’s development agenda.

To them, a person’s contribution to society should only be limited to how sufficiently philanthropic one is willing to churn out crude words among other assortment of controversies.

Let me explain…

Earlier this week on twitter, we were treated to a circus that bordered plain insanity. It was hard to tell whether we were in a zoo of apes or human beings and for a second, I almost believed the evolution theory.

Lessons from Huddah Monroe vs Joe Muchiri Tweef, #JoeVsHuddah

A popular radio producer raised a question concerning the career of a lady who is popular in social scenes. The response he got was made of undiluted arrogance and outright inanity. How do you flood social media with your filtered images yet when someone talks about them, it becomes personal? As is said in Africa, a pretty face and fine clothes do not make a character.

The urban dictionary defines a socialite as:

“Someone who has money and doesn’t work, instead devoting his/her life to being “socially active.” They go to parties, gather media attention, and essentially “work” at being popular. This often comes at the expense of any meaningful contribution to society or culture.”
The allure of easy fame has driven many to abandon reason. Some have gone to desperate and extreme lengths just so that they might be in the limelight. You see, we will soon part irreconcilable with the days where success is about brilliance and hard work and one is celebrated based on the meaningful contribution they make to society. A new invention that solves human problems or an athletic ability that defies odds will be frowned upon.

Excellence in academics or awards in arts and music will be pedestrian. We will hopelessly begin to search for days when we rewarded an impeccable character that is beyond reproach and questioning. You see, those days are almost gone.
It’s extremely regrettable when people whom God has given abilities choose to abandon all that and travel the thorny, bumpy road of controversy. Instead of harnessing the mental power, they have surrendered to using fleeting looks to attract vain fame. And that’s what happens when you lower the definition of success to a point where sluts can easily access tools for cleansing their reputation through flashy images and an illusion of success on social media.

We know the profession you are involved in; a high-end trade of the flesh!! What is particularly sad is the fact that in the past, such acts were deemed to be too disgraceful to even imagine. They could only be carried out by the most shameless miscreants and even then, such people had to operate under the cover of darkness. But now, yellow journalism has sanitized the “world’s oldest trade”, dragged it into the limelight, glorified it through entertainment blogs and made it a noble career option.

Galatians 6:8

“For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap. For he who sows to his own flesh (lower nature, sensuality) will from the flesh reap decay and ruin and destruction, but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”

The values that built the foundation of this nation and spurred it to economic growth shall soon feel the full and final impact of the hammer of extinction. The end justifies the means, by whatever means possible, seems to be our widely accepted motto. Irreducible minimums for proper socially acceptable conduct are deemed uncool by some myopic individuals who lives for the moment. Wisdom has fallen by the wayside and manners are about to make a swift exit.

It becomes a national disaster when mainstream media glorify no apparent personal achievement apart from scandals, at the expense of those who rightfully deserve the limelight for their noble contribution in society. Instead of educating the nation about vision 2030, socialites now chart a discourse for national dialog. Where are the moral sentinels? How then do we expect to stir Kenyans to greatness if the content that excites us is that of junk? For a meager amount, one is willing to flash their dignity down the toilet and we regard them as ‘celebrities.’

And I close with a Nigerian Proverb,

“And If there is a character, ugliness becomes beauty; if there is none, beauty becomes ugliness.”

Follow the write @dannishodongo

Check out his blog: dannish.co.ke

The views and opinions expressed on this article are solely those of the author. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Capital Group, Capital FM Staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

Don’t Waste Your Struggle, #DontWasteYourStruggle

It has been 28 years since I was delivered on this earth and breathed its air in a midwife’s humble house somewhere in a little village called Ongeche in Kano plains. When I gave my first cry, I was flagged off to begin the race of life and the only guarantee was that it was going to be full of many uncertainties. And so the journey began. Born in a humble family, my mother converted the clothes she wore to a wrapping shawl so that I could be covered. The luxury of pampers and napkins were too superior for my humble butt.

Photo Courtesy: http://www.maierandmaierphotography.com

Photo Courtesy: http://www.maierandmaierphotography.com

The journey has been characterized with many ups and down. Swimming my way to school 2 kilometers away because of the floods and eating rice with its husks past midnight having waited for my mom to come back from the rice fields 5 KMs away. From putting sugar cane in tea because we couldn’t afford sugar, to eating plain kunde and mrenda for lunch because we had to balance the ratio of flour vis a vis when we wanted the luxury to eat a complete meal.

After sitting for my KCPE, an admission to Lela Secondary school was secured and I reported. While the normal practice for many students revolves around shopping and being able to choose the school they want to attend, mine was different. My brother, who was 10 years older than me surrendered his shoes to me so that I could use them for school. Herding neighbors’ cows over the weekend for a meager amount for pocket money was routine.

Four years later, overwhelmed with hunger and deprived of energy, I stepped into the KCSE examinations room because we had slept on an empty stomach the previous night. I questioned the relevance of education in my life and if at all it was necessary. The 2 pairs of uniforms that had been bought for me when I was admitted in high school were the same ones I finished high school with.

But my life took a detour on 28th February 2007 when I gave my life to Christ. And my perspectives changed. Here are some of the lessons I’ve learnt from my life:

Don’t waste the struggle

Regardless of what you have gone through; a terminal illness, poverty, hunger, death of loved ones, loneliness, lost investments, addictions among other painful experiences, you must understand that as fire is to diamond and gold, trials, and tribulations are meant to purify us. While we are in the midst of the storm, things might not be clear but once the storm subsides, its value becomes clearer. Therefore do not lose faith in the storm, do not give up along the way, do not throw in the towel because if you do, the current pain you are feeling would have been wasted. As Maya Angelou once said,

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

God is good

One of the questions that many of us have asked is this; if God is good, then why is there so much pain in the world? And that’s a justified question that I asked on October 10th 2010 when I lost my brother in a terrible road accident, he was only 25 years old. Recently, I lost a good friend who was only 22 years old, she had just completed her undergraduate studies at Daystar University and she was waiting to graduate on 27th June 2015 (Read her story here).

Yet in the midst of all these questions, one fact remains; God is good. He has sustained me in my lowest moments, he has bound my broken heart when the spears of pain threatened its very existence, He has been a faithful friend who sticks closer than a brother, He has wiped away every tear from my eyes, He has amazed me by his constant provisions and favor. He has forgiven my sins and wiped away my transgressions, my cup overflows with his goodness; He has poured on me the oil of gladness and given me a double portion for what I lost. I don’t have the right qualifications to be working for the leading radio station in Kenya, neither do I have the right background for the job I currently have. I don’t think I had the right qualifications and money to take me through a degree program in Daystar University, arguably one the best Universities in Kenya.

But God’s favor can take a lame man and make him dine with kings. He can take a reject and make him acceptable before men. He can take a man from obscurity to prominence. He can take a village boy and plant him right in the state house. And that’s the God I serve, he specializes in doing what no man can do. That which has been declared impossible by men, he makes it look like child’s play.

Be Patient

For a while now, I’ve been struggling to find meaning and relevance in my job. I’ve been feeling like I’m in a career maze and finding my way out has been seemingly impossible. I’ve been feeling trapped in a career that I don’t see myself pursuing in the long run. I have tried my hand in numerous things [to get out of this maze], but it seems like my all my efforts are becoming futile. So earlier this year when I started blogging, the new hobby brought many prospects and I felt like finally I had found my way out. But five months into my writing hobby, incredible things have happened, yet I still feel like they are not happening at a faster speed so that I can do that which I love i.e. telling stories and impacting lives.

It hit me this morning that success is a collection of experiences. The job I’m currently doing is meant to impart in me relevant skills that I will need when I’m doing what I was made to do. It took Joseph 13 years in prison for him to be molded by God so that he could have the right character for the prime minister’s position in Egypt. David first was a shepherd and then he waited for 15 years to be king after Samuel anointed him. As the adage goes, easy come easy go. God is not in the business of sending short-lived blessings your way. And he knows that sometimes what might be good for you in the future can turn to be poison now. And therefore I will wait, trusting that he who holds the future knows best and nothing gets him by surprise. And as he says in his words, the blessings of God makes rich and adds no sorrow. As Helen Keller ably puts it,
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

Forgive

In this life, many people will hurt you both unintentionally and intentionally. However, the choice to let go lies in your hands. Throughout my life, I’ve hurt people and I’ve been hurt too. Sometimes these experiences numb you and therefore you turn cold. And as it has been said, hurting people hurt people. But as you grow older, you realize that life is too precious to hold on to any grudge. As it has been said, holding a grudge is like drinking acid and expecting the other person to get burnt by it.

So today as part of a gift to my new year, I let go of everyone that hurt me. I forgive unconditionally, I open a new chapter of freeing everyone trapped in my mind because I’m also just a beneficiary of forgiveness on the old rugged cross some 2000 years ago.

Things might not go as planned

When I was 19 years old, I had drawn the grand plan for my life. I was to graduate by age 25, be a middle level manager of a giant corporate body by 26, marry and own my first house by 28, have my masters degree and our first born baby by 29, among other grand plans. In short, some of the goals have come to pass while some have not. But I am not discouraged at all. I have peace because life has detours. I’m still hopeful that I will achieve them in due time.

Conclusion

The future is bright, in fact it’s so bright that sometimes I get blinded by it. My passion for leadership stems from the life that I lived and knowing that everything rises and falls on leadership. That’s why I will write about politics until that day when Kenyans will choose leaders based on the content of character and what they can do for us.

I want to travel the world doing human stories, I want to touch people’s lives as I live my purpose, I want to write and write more. I want to tell the stories of that refugee in kakuma and I want to be the hand and feet of Jesus when tragedy strikes. I want to be the greatest father who ever lived to my future children and the greatest husband to my future wife. I will die empty having poured out all that God has put within me.

The greatest joy in my life will be to go to heaven and find a standing ovation as my name is engraved in the hall of fame. ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness,’ are words that I long to hear from God the father.

The article was first published here: dannish.co.ke

Follow the writer: @DannishOdongo

 

Why Konza should be Kenya’s capital city

Konza Technopolis

Konza Technopolis

Because that’s where the Government belongs; far and removed from ordinary people. Seriously though, wouldn’t it make much more sense if the country separates the administrative and commercial capitals? Many countries, including Tanzania, Nigeria and South Africa have moved the seat of government from their largest cities. So it will not be unprecedented.

 

The Konza project is a noble idea but it is also ambitious and built on a false premise. Personally, I am not convinced the proposed 8.5 billion dollar Konza technopolis is viable in the current form for two main reasons;

 

First, technology is not an end by itself; it is a means to an end. For the tech industry to thrive there needs to be a vibrant economy that includes all other major sectors of the economy like banking, construction, agribusiness and academia. We understand the master plan has provision for some of these sectors but the government is only selling the techcity vision. Our ICT industry is still too nascent to be burdened with such a huge responsibility. Only two IT companies are listed in our securities exchange. Even if we were to grow this industry ten-fold in the next 15 years, it would still be insufficient to sustain a city.

 

Maybe, as the government projects, the bulk of the firms at Konza will be multinationals with an eye on the region or the continent. The MNC’s still have to ask a few critical questions; what is the competitive advantage of Konza? Will we get tax breaks? Are we closer to our market? Is the operating environment better? Is there a supporting environment? The existent of a vibrant economy at Konza is not only a source of clients for tech companies but will also service the tech companies and their staff.

 

Second, the whole concept of ‘build-and-believe’ as opposed to demand-driven growth is built on quick sand. This is the type of grandiose planning that has seen the government of Angola develop a housing estate with 20,000 houses with 20 schools and over 100 shops in Kilembe – 30 kilometres from the capital Luanda. Sounds like a very good plan; only that Kilembe is a ghost town. The citizens have either not seen the need to move to the new beautiful development or it is out of reach for the majority of average and poor Angolans that were to move in after completion of the housing scheme. And that’s just phase one.

 

But this ‘political projects’ can be avoided or redesigned to allow for need-based development and organic growth. If we made Konza the administrative capital of Kenya and Nairobi as the commercial capital, we will be on track to seperating our politics and economy, a much needed change in the country.

 

Brasília is the largest city in the world that did not exist at the beginning of the 20th century.

Brasília is the largest city in the world that did not exist at the beginning of the 20th century.

This will mean we move key government ministries and departments to Konza including state house. Imagine the effect that would have on traffic. The government will develop a housing estate for civil servants and schools for their children. Since the demand will have been created, teachers will find it sensible to move to Konza and a whole independent economy will start to emerge encompassing the financial, manufacturing, hospitality and tech sectors.

 

Embassies will relocate their offices and staff from Nairobi to Konza to be closer to the seat of government. We can learn a lot from Abuja, Pretoria, Dodoma, Brasilia, Navi Mumbai and many other cities that have been developed to be the capital cities of their respective countries. It is well documented that planned cities contribute significantly to the economy of the country and perform way above older cities in almost all indices including infrastructure, condition of living and amenities.

 

But what do we do with all the government offices in Nairobi? We can convert them to be county offices or sell to the business community. Konza might just be the solution to what ails Nairobi.