Nairobi which is famous for having the world’s only game reserve in a large city is the capital city of Kenya, with a population of about 3.5million people as of 2016. The official languages in Kenya to which all Nairobians can converse in are Swahili and English.

Climate:
The climate is warm and temperate in Nairobi, but there is a significant amount of rainfall during the year. Winter days, between June and August, are mild with slightly cooler evenings. The drizzliest months are March to May. May and June can have high of 20 degrees Celsius, and lows of 12 degrese Celsius, with rainfall of 16cm.

Electricity
In Kenya the power sockets are of “type G” British BS-1363 type. The standard voltage is 240 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. See https://www.adaptelec.com/index.php?main_page=document_general_info&products_id=213

Trade:
Kenya Shillings (KES) is the currency used. Forex bureau at Nairobi City Center offer the best conversion rates. Major currencies are accepted. If you are coming from outside East Africa, you may have to carry with you any major currency.
Major credit cards and debit cards branded ATMs can be found everywhere from malls to gas stations. They disburse local Kenya Shillings. This page from the Central Bank of Kenya shows the prevailing exchange rates https://www.centralbank.go.ke/forex/
You can shop with your Credit Card or Visa/Mastercard branded card in major shopping malls and hotels.
Mobile Money is a widely used form of payment, with the world famous MPESA from Safaricom being the market leader.

Communication
You will need your Passport to register into any cellular network. Safaricom has the widest coverage of all cellular networks, and is the largest company in East Africa. Airtel and Orange also have good coverage. These three cellular networks offer competitive data packages. You can buy their sim cards from the airport and major malls at between $1 to $2.

Transport
Taxi hailing companies like Uber, Little cab, Mondo ride, and Taxify are established in the city with stiff competition between them. Safaricom owned Little cab, and Uber are the market leaders. Their apps are available on Android and Apple App stores.
There are many taxis in Nairobi City which you can use to move around. You are advised to inquire the price before starting your journey.
Public city buses shuttle from the airport to the city center, at a cost of KES100, which is around $1. The buses are in operation from 7am to 8pm. Public transport in the city operates from major terminals, roads, and bus stops. The cost for moving between different parts of the city would range from KES50 to KES150 ($0.5 to $1.5).

Tourist Attraction.
Nairobi National Park, located 7 Km south of the city offers the widest variety of tourism attraction sites.
1. Safari Walk: With its raised wooden boardwalk that allows for uninterrupted views of the animals, the Safari Walk is a show case for Kenya’s Parks and Reserves, allowing visitors to discover what they can expect to see across the country. Visitors can see a sample of the country’s rich animal life including the rare bongo, white rhino and albino zebra as well as big cats, antelopes and primates. It is also home to some 150 species of local trees. The non-resident fees is $22 for adults and $13 for children.
2. The Nairobi Animal Orphanage is located in the Nairobi National Park. It serves a treatments and rehabilitation centre for wild animals. The Orphanage hosts lions, cheetahs, hyenas, jackals, serval cats, rare Sokoke cats, warthogs, leopards, various monkeys, baboons and buffalo. Various birds can also be viewed including parrots, guinea fowls, crowned cranes and ostriches. The non-resident fees is $22 for adults and $13 for children.
3. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is located at the KWS Central Workshop Gate, off, Magadi Rd, Nairobi, Kenya and is open to the public for one hour every day, from 11am to Noon. During this time the orphans arrive for their midday mud bath and feeding. Entrance to the orphanage for the visiting hour requires minimum contribution of $7 US dollars / 500 Kenya shillings per person.
4. Nairobi National Park: Nairobi National Park established in 1946 is the only natural game park in a city. It is located 7km south of the city center. I. Animals you can see at the park are Zebras, Giraffes, Antelopes, Impala, Wildebeests. There are also several Lions, Cheetas, Hippopotamus, and Rhinos. The park is highly recommended for anyone who loves Safaris. The non-resident fees is $43 for adults and $23 for children.
5. Nairobi museum located 1km from the city is open all year long from 0830hrs -17300hrs.
6. Giraffe Center is located in Karen, 5 Km from Nairobi
7. Panari Sky center along Mombasa road, 7 Km from the airport on the way to the city has a large ice skating rink with hourly skating sessions.
8. Mamba Village is a crocodile sanctuary Located 12 Km south of the city

Food, Restaurants and Entertainment
Nairobi is a cosmopolitan city. It’s cuisine you can be found in any big city anywhere in the world. The staple food for the inhabitants is Ugali, which is stiff porridge, usually accompanied by green vegetables and stewed meat. Past time for many Nairobians would include eating nyama choma (barbecued meat) accompanied by Kenya’s popular beer Tusker over the weekends. Although tap water is generally clean and treated, visitors are advised to take only bottled water. Tipping is not mandatory, but it is between 5% and 10%.
Popular restaurants and entertainment joints include
1. Java restaurants – a chain of finest Kenyan coffee located is several locations within the city. Want Kenyan coffee beans? Try them.
2. Carnivore Restaurant, Fogo Gaucho, and Safaripark hotel which are popular with their “all you can eat barbecue”.
2. Brew Bistro, and Sierra who brew their own beer.
3. Klub house (K1) Parklands
4. Florida Night Club

Accommodation:
Nairobi has several hotels with different ratings from five. AirBnB is also popular among budget travelers.

Shopping and Antiques
You can get Kenyan traditional antiques at City Market at the city center. Other places would be the nomadic Maasai market which moves to a different location every day of the week. It operates from 8am to 6pm. Here are the locations.
Tuesday: Westgate Shopping Mall in Westlands (the upper car park) (relocated to Kijabe street opposite the Norfolk Hotel)
Wednesday: Capital Centre on Mombasa Road near the airport
Thursday: Nakumatt Junction Shopping Mall on Ngong Road
Friday: Village Market in Gigiri (the upper car park)
Saturday: The High Court parking lot in the city center (behind the Hilton)
Sunday: Yaya Centre in Hurlingham

Malls: Nairobi has many huge malls selling all popular brands. You can try Sarit Center in Westlands, the gigantic Two Rivers in Kikisuru, Garden City along Thika road, among many others.

Security
Like any large city, Nairobi has it’s security challenges, but it’ s nothing out of the ordinary. You should avoid deserted alleys in the city. Also avoid flushing valuables like jewellery and money.

Is there anything you need to know about Nairobi? Is there any addition to make the blog post more informative? Leave a comment.


The Blockchain Workshops came to Nairobi for the first time in December 2016.

Enthusiasts flocked to the event at Strathmore University. The attendance was made more of blockchain techies, programmers, lawyers, and bounty hunters :). Well, most of us just had a vague idea of what blockchains were. Maybe they are bitcoins, or are they crypto-currencies? And of course 99% though of them as alternative currencies.

What we refused to understand is that blockchains is a technology that allows distributed immutable smart contracts. The nodes performing the distribution get points for participating in the blockchain grid. And those points are what are generally called crypocurrencies. And the process of writing the distributed ledger for any blockchain transaction is what is called mining. You get some sort of points when you mine. Depending on the network you use, the point can be called a bitcoin, an ether, etc. Well easy, is it not?

Well, my explanation my be off hook. So here is what Wikipedia has to say; “Blockchain is a distributed database that maintains a continuously-growing list of ordered records called blocks. Each block contains a timestamp and a link to a previous block. By design blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data – once recorded, the data in a block cannot be altered retroactively”

Prof. Nii Quaynor, one of the Internet Pioneers in Africa set the scene by showing how adoption of new technology happens around the world. It seemed just like in the adoption of the internet, Africa was alos lugging behind in embracing blockchain technology.

The blockchain legends were around. The one who generated the most interest was Vitalik Buterin, the 22 year old co-founder of Ethereum. Ethereum is a publicly assessable, distributed blockchain computing platform that implements smart contract functionality.

So I had to engage Vitalik. “What is your take on hard forks, especially the hard fork that was done on Ethereum when DAO was hacked. Does that jeopardise the credibility of blockchains which are billed to have distributed immutable transactions. Example if we implement a banking platform, or land registry system using Ethereum, the public will just claim transactions are reversible”.

Vitalik’s answer was measured and calm, very pragmatic I must say from a 22 year old. He said that systems have to be adaptable. And as the popularity of blockchain technologies mature, including ethereum, it will be more difficult to apply hard forks. And hard forks are a matter of political decisions.

The public was surprised to learn from the government of Kenya, through a statement read on behalf of the Minister of ICT Joe Mucheru that the government is working with IBM to deploy blockchain applications in government service. Three areas they are working on is land, education, and medical records.


The 25th Africa Network Information Center (AFRINIC) meeting will be held from 25th to 30th November 2016 at Sofitel Imperial hotel in Mauritius.

Tutorials will be held on Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), IPV6 foundation training, Internet Number Resource Management, and a session on increasing participation at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in the African Region.

The session on AFRINIC Government Working Group will explore ways of involving more African governments and multilateral organisations in Internet Governance efforts.

The Fund for Internet Research and Education (FIREAfrica.org) will hold a session training their grantees on Leadership skills, project management, and pitching to investors.

An interesting development will be the launch of AFRINIC’s new IPv6 testing and certification platform available at http://certi6.io.

The hallmark for all Regional Internet Registry meetings is usually the Policy Discussion Working Group (PDWG). The PDWG will discuss four policies among them Inbound Transfer Policy, Soft Landing policy Overhaul, the proposal to Transfer IPv4 Resource within the AFRINIC region, and Internet Number Resources Review by AFRINIC.

The last day will have the Special general members meeting, where members will vote for Special Resolutions for AFRINIC Proposed Bylaws Changes, and elections of members for the AFRINIC Governance Committee.

The Agenda of the meeting is available here: https://meeting.afrinic.net/afrinic-25/agenda


My experience with Jumia. When it first launched a few years ago, I thought they had misspelled the Swahili word “jumuia” which means community :), so this guys are clever, they redirected jumuia.co.ke to jumia.co.ke. That is when you know a company is serious on business.

Well, I’ve always considered myself an innovator, even though I hold no patent. Jumia, the online store has been around for a while, taking all advertisement space online. Who uses this service? One Sunday Morning in early July, while relaxing in the village where I was visiting my mum, I decided to try it out.

On my phone, I went to jumia.com which swiftly redirected to the local shop jumia.co.ke. (Why do users always go to the a .com domain while the world has over 1000 top level domains?) I added a shirt. It looked good. Slim fit at Ksh1999 ($20). Then checked out. The shopping cart had an option of payment on delivery, with delivery cost of Ksh300 ($3).

After confirming my order, I thought of buying a trouser too, and another shirt. I did just that, but the system did not have a way of merging the first and second order. So I added the first shirt on the second order to avoid paying double for delivery, and checked out. Total cost for the three products was Ksh6000 ($60). There was no option to cancel the first order. I wrote to support asking them to cancel the first order. Being on a Sunday, I did not get any reply.

Coming Tuesday, I got a call from Jumia’s two different delivery riders for delivery of my products. Both the first and second order. “But I cancelled the first order?”, I politely notified the first caller.

Well, the second order was delivered to my doorstep on a Wednesday to which I paid the motorcycle delivery guy the whole Ksh6300 (cost of goods and delivery), and excitedly went to fit my new acquisitions. The merchandise came in two packages, they were clearly from two different shops.

Jumia online shopping in Kenya through jumia.co.ke

I received two packages from Jumia

I loved the first shirt, but the second did not fit (I’ve been growing fat, but I’m still in denial mode), and the trouser did not resemble that which was advertised. It had too much accessories, what we call madoido (effects) in Swahili. The rider had already left. I wrote to Jumia requesting for a return for the non conforming products. I was politely reminded to ensure I have confirmed the conformity of products before payment.

Jumia’s return policy says you must return the goods within 7 days, and they inspect the goods to ensure they are in their original form.

After several days and emails, the returns were picked. After more emails, the refund was effected via MPESA to the mobile number on file, and they did not charge the cost of the courier picking the rejected products.

The MPESA refund message from jumia’s payment partner

KGQ8BIGH2Y Confirmed.You have received Ksh3,898.00 from ECART SERVICES KENYA LIMITED 873250 on 26/7/16 at 7:38 PM New M-PESA balance is Ksh5,265.90. Buy goods with M-PESA.

Well, e-commerce is here with us. And it’s working.


For several generations, Kenya will never have a revolution.

we are not divided on ideological lines. Just look at what happened in 1990 when we thought the opposition had Moi by the horns. Come 1991, we had aligned ourselves in tribal cocoons, denied mzee Jaramogi his moment of fame, and lost the “revolution” for the next 10 years.

We had a brief chance after 2003 to galvanise the county into nationhood but the experiment failed miserably. We were more than eager to support only our own(s). Ask if our owns are eating enough like other owns.

Currently, the writing is on the wall. Locals from the west loathe those from the East and the reverse is true. Not on ideological lines. Pure heavy unfounded hate. When you cut, it will bleed. We hate the tribe collectively, not the thief politician. The masses are hearded around like livestock. That is why one side will say “Uthamaki ni witu, thamaki ni ciao”, to quote David Ndii.

And that my friends, is the recipe for a Civil war. The revolution is naught.

There is a big difference between a revolution and civil war. See what happened in the Balkans or Rwanda. The common man was killing the fellow common man because he is of a difference heritage. That is civil war. Look at what happened in Russia when Tzars were diposed. Or French Revolution when the King was exiled and Queen hanged. Or what happened in Cuba, and Tunisia. That is a revolution. Kenya nearly achieved a revolution in 2003.

It’s not a fight of brother against brother, but fighting the corrupt system. I sit in the villages in Kenya and the vitrol thrown around by locals from one section of poor Kenyans to another section of poor Kenyans is retching.

And that my friends, is where our political leaders across the divide want us to be. Not fight the system. So that when they are in power, its their time to eat, as the nobodies fight proxy tribal wars.

Our new constitution was very good because it tried to save us from ourselves. For once, it envisioned independent institutions like Judiciary, executive, parliament, police, different commissions, etc. Real checks and balances of power. But what are we doing with all those checks and balances? We are diluting them, and transferring all the power to one person.

I remember with soNice discourse guys. Walu, you got me all wrong. There is a big difference between a revolution and civil war. See what happened in the Balkans or Rwanda. The common man was killing the fellow common man because he is of a difference heritage. That is civil war. Look at what happened in Russia when Tzars were diposed. Or French Revolution when the King was exiled and Queen hangged. Or what happened in Cuba, and Tunisia. That is a revolution. Kenya nearly achieved a revolution in 2003.

It’s not a fight of brother against brother, but fighting the corrupt system. I sit in the villages in Kenya and the vitrol thrown around by locals from one section of poor Kenyans to another section of poor Kenyans is retching.

And that my friends, is where our political leaders across the divide want us to be. Not fight the system. So that when they are in power, its their time to eat as the nobodies fight proxy tribal wars.

Our new constitution was very good because it tried to save us from ourselves. For once, it envisioned independent institutions like Judiciary, police, different commissions, etct. Real checks and balances of power. But whatarewe doing with all those checks and balances? We are diluting them, and transferring all the power to one person. I remember with sorrow the words on one Michuki “we don’t need a new constitution. What we wanted is to remove Moi from power. Now that he is gone, we don’t need it”. What he ment was that so long as one good person is in power, he can have all powers. But what happens when one bad person is in power?

Lord Acton put it so clearly, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority.”


The security firm ESET has warned on an increase of infected e-mails containing a malicious zipped attachment called Nemucod. It downloads ransomware, for example, TeslaCrypt or Locky. When opened, it encrypts the data on the victim’s computer and demand ransom for decryption. The virus has been detected in Europe, North America, Australia, Japan, and Africa . According to an Intel security report, global ransomware cases increased almost 170% in 2015. Bitdefender, an internet security company, found that almost half of the victims surveyed across Europe and the US have paid extortionists to recover data .


The Eastern Africa nations in March 2016 formed a network to tackle Cybercrime.

Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia have formed the Eastern African Cybercrime Criminal Justice Network. This will help exchange of information between law enforcement agencies among members on issues pertaining to the fight against cybercrime. The network will facilitate learning on best practices, and harmonisation of national laws. It will also provide technical assistance needs in the area of international cooperation to combat cybercrime. The initiative was championed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Commonwealth Secretariat.


I once met a mysterious guy at a dingy coffe house “ABC coffee house”. The coffee house was located somewhere between KTDA Plaza and development house along Moi avenue in Nairobi. He gave me some random wise words that still resonate today. The crowning moment of his speech came at one of my lowest points of my life, little education, jobless, in a strange land, and business doing badly. He said “success is like a road. It’s a journey you have to travel. The road must have corners, although corners do not last long, and neither are they longer than the straight paths”. That was way back in April of 2007.

This reminds me that it’s not the big things that coubt, it’s those small steps you take in life that propel you to greater heights. Remember, first you have to row a little boat.

To try is to risk failure, not to try is to guarantee it


According to investopedia.com, leadership is the ability to make sound decisions and inspire other to perform well. My definition of Leadership is the intrinsic ability to bring out the best in all team members by putting the group’s different talents to work for the betterment of a situation. Leaders are trustworthy, and demonstrate to their followers that they trust them. A leader is able to see a better world and convince others to join in his vision.
Leadership includes inspiration, confidence, courtesy, a clear mind, and respect to others. Empowering followers is paramount to success of the leader. Leadership also includes giving guidance, and consultancy. Leaders have the ability to share their vision, purpose and passion with others so that others can do remarkable things that they didn’t believe they could do. Some people have described this phenomenon as the reality distortion field. A good example is when Henry Ford directed his engineers to cast an engine with 8 cylinders in one block. The design was drafted but the engineers agreed, to the last man, that it was an engineering impossibility to cast an 8 cylinder engine in one piece. But Ford persisted and it led to the famous V8 motor.
Leaders have foresight to see the future needs of an organization and they have the commitment to move with the vision, making the leader greatly respected.
An icon of the 21st century that I greatly admire his leadership style is the late Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple computers. His resilience when odds were against him, his unrivaled work ethics, his humble upbringing, his ability to question the status quo, his vision to change the world, and his unwavering believe that whatever man can conceive, he can achieve. This is a man that had major carries setbacks, but he bounced back to the topmost positions in corporate America with indisputable financial and popular support to Apple products, with a cult following to boot. This is a man, according to his own words “put a dent on the universe” thought the revolutionary products he produced. He said “My passion has been to build an enduring company where people were motivated to make great products”. Sarah McInerney of Sidney Morning Herald observed that Jobs was a passionate advocate for his vision and incredibly effective at communicating this to shareholders, customers and staff.
A statement I find great inspiration from was a 1997 advertisement by Apple Inc called Think Different where they refer to the leaders who change the world as “The misfits … The round pegs in square holes … The ones who see things differently, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people, who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do”.
If you look at all the inspirational leaders of the near past, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jnr., Mother Teresa, and Henry Ford, you will see the same traits mentioned by the Apple Inc advertisement. These are People who believed they could change the world, and they did.

I have learned several leadership lessons in my line of work, and from observing successful leaders. My favourite lesson is never to stop learning. The more knowledge you acquire, the more you’ are able to solve life’s problems either in the organization or at a personal level.

Lesson two is that a leader needs to seek for advice. We should realize that we don’t posses the sum of all human knowledge, and when we seek for advice, we will see the world through another persons view. Consultations make other team members feel that they are appreciated and meaningful in the overall scheme of things. Good leaders are those that can listen. It’s puzzling how LISTEN is an anagram for SILENT!
Lesson three is being decisive because after you have lived the greater part of your life, you will only regret the things you never did. Decisiveness is based on the premise that better to try and fail than never to have tried at all. Decisiveness also means that there is no one way of doing things correctly. Different leaders can take different approaches and still arrive at the same goal.

Lesson number four is confidence which can also be termed as burning the ship. This is best espoused by the Spanish Warrior Hernán Cortés who is claimed to have burned his ships during battle so as to cut all sources of retreat for his troops. Confidence entails moving as if failure is not an option; as if failure does not exist. Confidence is the unwavering belief that you will succeed whatever the challenges you face.

Lesson number five is team work. Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said “We must all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall hang separately.” Team work is the principle that you will achieve more in the long run if you cooperate in tasks than if you work alone. If you go alone, you will go fast, but if you go as a team, you will go far. A good demonstration is a Marathon race where athletes run in groups, with pacesetters leading the pack. This way, the race is faster, covers greater distance, and the athlete that keeps to the group is likely to win the race which is a gruelling 42 kilometres. In the contrary, the 100meters race is very short, but the athletes run with individual effort, at super-human speeds. With such individuality, you cannot go far.

Lesson number six is having ambitious goals. Without ambition, man has no difference with other primates. James Collins and Jerry Porras in their 1994 book entitled Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies called this principle Big Hairy Audacious Goals “BHAGs”. A leader should understand reality but give hope to the team, dream big, and pursue those dreams. All the greatest inventions in the world from the Piano, to the light bulb, to the Airplane were all because of ambition.

Lesson number seven is concentrate on one task and give it undivided attention. When you are distracted from your goal, you will loose focus, your target might take forever to achieve, or it might be superseded by other events. Apple Computers have employed this lesson very successfully by concentrating on very few products, but at the same time ensuring that the few products they concentrate on have the best quality in the market.

Lesson number eight is encouraging growth within the team, and boosting others self esteem. When the team is empowered, it means that you can perform more since even with the absence of a key individual, others will be able to fit into those shoes, and the performance will not be affected. Encouraging growth also helps with succession. A company with good succession ensures Knowledge is transferred between team members.


I got a call from a stranger selling a product with the marketing cliche “become wealthy and healthy”.

I was curious on how the Caller got my number. As she giggled, “You are our corporate customer on Bank B remember, I’m so and so”.

I politely declined the offer, but I’m just wondering how far our data is used by unscrupulous employees. Do these corporate companies (banks, hospitals, insurance firms, telecoms …) understand what data protection is and the liabilities they face if there is a breach? Suppose I used my call log to launch a formal complain or even sue the bank!

What does the current law in Kenya say?

How does this affect you? Identity theft is real and here with us. Anybody that can get access to full information on your identity can easily wipe your bank account.