Showing posts from August, 2015

YALI Cohort 2 Chronicles: The French connection

When you are a Kenyan who speaks three languages –English, Kiswahili and Luhya (my mothertongue), it is not funny when providence thinks it apt to match you with a Burundian. That’s what happened when David Kamau, @TheRealKamauD , said we should pair up and introduce each other to the rest of the YALI clan. I ended up with Njari Jean (read John, because I can’t figure out how to make it sound like John when it is written). Now Njari is a guy who heads Yowli (it actually rhymes with YALI) but it stands for Young Women Knowledge and Leadership Institute. And I had to speak the little French that I had learnt overnight from my roommate Freeman Luboya. That is what YALI does to you… they throw you in some unfamiliar territory in front of 81 strangers – 162 eyeballs—and they expect you to dance on that stage flawlessly. Let’s just say, I tried. Because after the exercise, Pascal walked up to me and spoke to me in French, then Lingala, and when he saw I was just staring, he act

YALI Cohort 2 Chronicles: ‘Figure it out’

What does a journalist do in the middle of entrepreneurs, budding activists, organisers, and aspiring politicians, okay, should I say leaders? How does a journalist get in? How did you get in? These are the questions people were asking me, and like everyone else, I had a template response: I applied, I was accepted, so here I am. Some did not understand why I’d be here to study public management! Well, here’s the short answer: I cover politicians. I think I know politics. I also think I know baloney. Plus I think I know a little bit about legislation and public policy. I just want to know, why we tend to have very good politicians, but a hopeless development record. A hopeless government. That’s it. I was approached by people who asked me what “column” I wrote. I didn't have an answer. If you were me, well,  you can’t do anything but explain that you do news, analyses and features, and that you don’t have a column. That’s until a fearless participant walks to you and asks

YALI Cohort 2 Chronicles: Dress Code

I hate parties because of one thing: the rules! I get invitations to evening cocktail parties where I have to come dressed in “business attire”. In the evening!  I simply don’t attend. One, because I don’t touch alcohol; two, because it is after work, and I am usually too stressed at that hour to engage in light banter; three because I wear suits as a professional necessity, not because I am comfortable in them. See? So, guess what? On the first day of YALI Cohort 2, Intel East Africa threw a party and asked people to come wearing “native dress or attire from own country”. Basically, they were throwing a bash to tell us ‘Congratulations for making it’, but we had to dress in a certain way to showcase the culture of 14 countries: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia, Central Africa Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, and Somaliland. @YALIRLCEA learn form the past but don't live in it#yalitransformation

President Uhuru marks 37th anniversary amid fresh clamour for Jomo Kenyatta's mausoleum to be open to the public

President Uhuru Kenyatta will today walk to Kenya's most secure grave to honour the life and times of the man who sired him and gave him a big name which together with political serendipity have opened many political doors for him. The President who was born to power and who now rules Kenya plans to carry flowers for his father's grave, pay his respects and then attend mass at the nearby Holy Family Minor Basilica, according to State House. Tomorrow,I will lay flowers on the grave of our founding President ahead of a church service at Holy Family Basillica #RememberingKenyatta — President of Kenya (@PresidentKE) August 21, 2015 The pavement to the mausoleum is made of concrete slabs. On each side of the pavement just inside the gate there are 22 evenly spaced flagpoles, 11 on each side about two metres apart. The poles always fly flags of Kenya. The flags in nearly every other place can afford to fade or even tear as they submit to the weather elements, but these on