Innocence

I once slept in a cell. I was in my mid-twenties, and found myself in a filthy cell in Nairobi’s Shauri Moyo. A bucket of poop was at the door, inside the cell, where the crowded inmates relieved themselves in the open. A drunken fellow had wrapped himself around the bucket using it as a pillow as other inmates occasionally had him slightly raise his head so that they can urinate on it, tiny sludgy muddy droplets of the toxic concoction splashing on his face. He just continued wrapped himself on that bucket overnight sniffling from an obvious cold. This bucket should be labeled “highly infectious waste” like that red bucket at Nairobi women’s hospital laboratory section waiting room which patients occasionally use to vomit in.

I had come from the Kinyozi, at around nine at night, where the estate barber had given me a clean shave. It was a Friday night. I was heading home 200 meters away, 500 bob in the pocket to last me the next week, as I went ahead with my job search. I was already 3 months in rent arrears, but the landlord of the seven story contraption of hundreds of single roomed houses in Eastleigh was so busy putting up more contraptions on swamps to even notice I had not paid up. But occasionally, he would write SMS messages threatening to evict my sorry ass. As I took a bend where Mwarimo had his popular mutura joint, a troop of police officers, thugs really, landed on me with kicks and blows and ordered I sit in a dark corner. We were many that night that were rounded up in the popular slums msako that is meted on innocent youths. As I tried to ID myself, that I was a peace keeping, not just peace loving Kenyan, my lips were met by a mighty slap that combined the teeth and tongue together. I swallowed metal. Why does blood taste like metal? I knew better than to protest. It did not take long before the Mariamu came, and took us to the station. Some of the boys managed to get off before we got to the station by bribing the police. The minimum they accepted was 500 bob. No way was I going to part with my week’s lifeline.

We were about fifty inmates on a 25 meter squared room. There were children as young as ten years in the same cell. Their crime? Scaling the perimeter fence at Eastleigh military airbase. The room was hot, filthy, and smoke filled with a tiny ventilation starting and ending on the roof. A favorite port for mosquitos. In the overcrowded room, butts of cigarettes changed hands, where only a single puff was remaining, with many just smoking the spongy wet saliva filled filter. Prisoner traders were trading the puffs at 10 bob each, as they excitedly plunged themselves in the pockets of new arrivals to rob them of whatever valuables they had not left with the police safe keeper on the door where we left our belts, one shoe, money, and anything you wanted the thieves masquerading as police to keep in safe custody. That is where I registered by 500 bob, belt, and cellular phone. The safe custody was a huge wooden box where everything anybody had was mixed together. From cellphones, to wallets, to belts to … anything.

There were two bread slice thin mattresses which were used by the borders. The mattress, which had no covers had patches of dried poop. Dried manure actually spread in a way that it looked like Weetabix. Dried curated poop that looked harmless. The boarding prisoners stayed in the cell for months without ever being prosecuted. One had been inside for a month. He claimed his employer had thrown him in for refusing to remit money he got on a return trip ferrying cargo in a lorry to which he was the driver. “The main trip belongs to my employer, the return trip belongs to me, otherwise I could just have returned with no cargo. I looked for that job”. He argued.

When the heavily armed AK47 cladding policeman came to refill the cell with more thugs, I begged to stand on the corridors for a minute to escape the hot smokey cell. He threatened to throw me on the next cell that had lunatics screaming all night long. That made me see our hotel room as paradise. I chose paradise.

We slept standing. We slept sitting. And most importantly we slept wide awake. There was no room to sleep sleeping.

We slept standing. We slept sitting. And most importantly we slept wide awake. There was no room to sleep sleeping. Families trooped in the police station all night long securing the release of their loved ones. The desperate paid as much as 10,000. Those who were good at bargaining paid 5,000. Those who were patient paid 2,000. The poor poor stayed in the cells. We did not attempt to bargain. As jobless as I was, I was still the breadwinner in my family. The only person I could call to save myself was myself. And my week’s keep 500 bob. There was no way I was letting that 500 bob depart me. That was my week’s savior, despite not being united with it since it was under the safe custody. I had let my equally hopeless and jobless roommate, Gyvon know I was incarcerated.

In the morning, after the roll call, cloudy warm tea was served with bread. We lunged into it with dirty hands with no care in the world that we had congress with the prison bucket. That is what hunger does to you.

By morning, my will was weakened, resolve broken. That is what incarsaration does to someone. Beat them. Break them. Then steal from them. Fleece them. These poor slum dwellers have nowhere to hide. The every reliable Gyvon was there. And Catherine representing my mum. Waiting in queue to hear my crimes, and the next cause of action.

These atrocities still happen today in slums in the name of msako. Say no to msako which imprisons young men in their own localities.


“A lion doesn’t concern itself with the opinion of sheep.”
― George R.R. MartinA Game of Thrones

“Did you think the lion was sleeping because he didn’t roar?”
― Friedrich SchillerDie Verschwörung des Fiesco zu Genua

“She slept with wolves without fear, for the wolves knew a lion was among them.”
― R.M. Drake

“Truth does not sit in a cave and hide like a lie. It wanders around proudly and roars loudly like a lion.”
― Suzy KassemRise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

“If ever you feel like an animal among men, be a lion.”
― Criss JamiDiotima, Battery, Electric Personality

“Only in art will the lion lie down with the lamb, and the rose grow without thorn.”
― Martin Amis

“A lion does not flinch at laughter coming from a hyena. A gorilla does not budge from a banana thrown at it by a monkey. A nightingale does not stop singing its beautiful song at the intrusion of an annoying woodpecker.”
― Suzy KassemRise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

“A Lion that hunts for survival in the jungle does not envy the one being fed in a zoo”
― Suhaib Rumi

“Should five slaves dictate to a king? If five baboons bark, must the black-maned lion tremble?”
― Wilbur Smith

“If a lion kills a gazelle, the Universe does not judge the lion as evil and the gazelle as good. The energy and matter of the gazelle is transferred to the lion. Because we are all connected as one, what appears to be death is in fact transformation and rebirth.”
― Russell Anthony GibbsThe Six Principles of Enlightenment and Meaning of Life

“Clever and civilized men will not stay home
Leave your homeland and explore foreign fields
Go out! You shall find replacement for those you have left
Give your all, the sweetness of life will be tasted after the struggle
I have seen that standing water stagnates
If it flows, it is pure, if it does not, it will become murky
If the lion doesn’t leave his den, he will not eat
If the arrow does not leave the bow, it will not strike
If the sun stands still in its orbit
Man will tire of it
Gold dust merely soil before excavated
Aloewood is just ordinary wood if in the forest

Travel by Imam Syafii”
― Ahmad FuadiNegeri 5 Menara

“Lions are neither predators nor killers. They just go for hunting like kings; because they are the kings!”
― Munia Khan

“The personal power of being confident and clear about our actions and saying what we know without holding back is described in the texts as ‘the lions roar.”
― Sharon SalzbergLovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

Adopted from goodreads on 6th November 2017


Do you want to change your life? Successfully create happiness, prosperity, abundance, fulfillment, and all your heart desires?

Psychologists say it takes 21 days to form a habit, including a new belief system, with repetition being key. I call this how to brainwash yourself.

Your mind is extremely powerful. It records what you are hearing or saying. It records all your life memories and events as mental movies. It does not hear NOT or NO. If you say I will not procrastinate, it hears “procrastinate“. It cannot comprehend the future. It only knows the present. That is why you should always see your goals as accomplished. It does not know the difference between imagination and reality. That is why we get scared at the movies.

You will draw to yourself the situations, circumstances, people, and events that match your dominant feelings, thoughts, and words. You usually think the same thoughts over and over again, and that is why you get the same results over and over again. It’s no wonder Albert Einstein said “Insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results”. So, how do we brainwash ourselves? I find the following four steps effective in brainwashing yourself.
Firstly,
1. Make a list of what you want in full details. This may be things about Lifestyle, education, adventure, or public speaking, whatever it is.
2. Visualize having already attained your heart’s desire. Maybe see yourself speaking at Engage. Begin to talk about what you desire as if it’s already a fact. Use your imagination as a child and pretend. For example, talk about your new found love. Talk about that residence in a top address. Talk about how you are a great public speaker. Stay away from any influence that contradicts your wishes. This can be negative people, negative movies, or even news.
3. Create an affirmation for your needs. For example, “I am”, or “I have” then add your need. For example, “I am a great public speaker”. Every day, recite the affirmation over and over again. Do this for a minimum of 21 days. Make sure it does not feel like work. “I am a great public speaker. I am a great public speaker”.
4. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat, until you believe it. Repetition creates new beliefs in the subconscious mind. For example positive affirmations work even if you don’t belief them at the beginning. You attract the things that you think about most often.

To recap, make a list of your desires, visualise having achieved your desire, recite your affirmation, and Repeat.

Remember, it takes a minimum of 21 days to create a new belief system.

 

A Toastmasters CC2 Organise your speech, delivered on 1st November 2017, at United Kenya Club, Nairobi, Kenya. NB. Most of the actual speech was paraphrased, and did not follow the script written here


I was having a conversation with @MercyMutemi, and it came to the elected representatives in Kenya who have got into power despite being implicated in grant corruption. “Yaani. We love thieves. Love them. Love them!”, Mercy exclaimed. This led to this social explanation on why we love our looters.

The Tragedy of the Commons.

The tragedy of the commons is an economic problem in which every individual tries to reap the greatest benefit from a given resource. As the demand for the resource overwhelms the supply, every individual who consumes an additional unit directly harms others who can no longer enjoy the benefits. Generally, the resource of interest is easily available to all individuals; the tragedy of the commons occurs when individuals neglect the well-being of society in the pursuit of personal gain. (Source: Investopedia).

Ok, let me now put the Tragedy of Commons into context where the normal villager can understand. This is if you have ever been to a grazing field. In most African societies, we have common grazing fields. All villagers graze on common grazing fields. This is what we call community land. But because the land has no ownership, we overstock livestock, deplete the pasture, until there is no enough for our livestock, and our animals die. On the other hand, if you have your own land, say 10 acres, you will be careful not to overgraze or overstock. So you will partition your land into paddocks, and ensure your animals graze in the paddocks using a pre-determined timetable not to deplete the pasture. That is the perfect example of the tragedy of the commons.

The tragedy of the commons: We only care if our MCA, MP, or Governor stealing from us. But if our Minister or President is stealing, he is our tribal hero. He is increasing the size of our paddocks.

What is the political relevance?

If a politician from our tribe is stealing, we have some untold pride. They are grazing on the community land of other communities thus not affecting us. We are sad if a politician from the other tribe is stealing from the common basket of all communities. We are sad when our governor steals because we are all from the same tribe in a county. The governor is grazing alone in our communal land, and denying us opportunity also to graze. All this translates into the convoluted book by Michela Wrong of 2010 who quoted whistle blower John Githongo philosophy of “it’s our time to eat”.

In a nutshell, the idea is this, if the politicians are stealing from the National coffers, then they are stealing for us, and denying other communities [enlarging our paddocks]. Which is good for us. That is the narrative some politicians use in their campaigns. They tell the electorate they stole from government to bring to them. Perfect psychology that sells to the majority simpletons in our midst. When one of our own steals, we say “wacha ajisaidie na pesa ya serikali”. We never see it as our money. Its on a bigger budget pool that we cannot comprehend. We don’t even know how it is distributed. That is the main reason we love our thieves. We love our thieves, that is in no doubt. Check the results of your last elections, and see how many politicians who looted public resources are back in positions of power and influence.

@lordmwesh


Tesla Model 3 now on roads

Tesla unveiled the Model 3 in 2016, with Elon Musk promising a cheaper electric car than the Tesla Roadster and Model S.

In July 28 2017, Tesla hosted its delivery event for the first batch of 30 Model 3s pre-ordered in 2016. During this event, they released a bunch of information regarding the price, options, features, and specs of the Model 3.

David Imai, Senior Manager, Exterior and Interior Design at Tesla described the Tesla  as designed in a way where  “form can follow function without sacrificing comfort, performance, or styling”, because the cars have been build from the ground up.

The Model 3 starts at $35,000, but with options the price can get as high as $59,500. This dies not include taxes for your final destination, or country.

Standard Model 3

  • Unit price: $35,000,
  • 220 miles range (354 Kilometers range),
  • 5.6 sec 0-60mph (96kph),
  • 130 mph top speed (209kph top speed)
  • Full self-driving hardware
  • Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity
  • Free over-the-air software updates
  • Full LED lighting
  • Eight year, 100,000-mile battery warranty

Long range model 3

  • Unit Price: $44,000,
  • 310 miles range (499 Kilometers range),
  • 5.1 sec 0-60 mph (96kph),
  • 140 mph top speed (225kph top speed)
  • Rear wheel drive (the beginning configuration)
  • Premium upgrades
  • Three customization options: wheel size, exterior color, autopilot features

Options for Model 3

  • Long range battery – $9,000
  • Paint: Black, midnight silver metallic, deep blue metallic, silver metallic, pearl white multi-coat, red multi-coat (all colors but black cost $1,000 extra)
  • Wheels: 18″ aero or 19″ sport for an additional $1,500
  • Upgrade interior for $5,500 – Heated seating, two rear USBs, wood decor, 12-way power adjustable seats, premium audio system, tinted glass roof, auto dimming and heated side mirrors, LED fog lamps, center console with storage for docking two smartphones
  • Enhanced autopilot – $5,000 – Match traffic conditions, keep in lane, automatically change lanes, transition from one freeway to another, exit freeway and self park
  • Full self driving capability – $3,000 plus Enhanced Autopilot – This isn’t available now

For a while now, there have been rumors of Bitcoin war. The two camps have been sparing for over a year, and the fight is scheduled on 31st July 2017 Midnight. The winner will be announced on August 2017. That whole month will be used to evaluate the winner.

The War

This fight has been necessitated by a number of proposals for technical changes to Bitcoin – that is User Activated Hard Fork (UAHF) vs User Activated Soft Fork (UASF)

The User Activated Hard Fork (UAHF) is a proposal to increase the Bitcoin block size scheduled to activate on August 1. The UAHF is incompatible with the current Bitcoin ruleset and will create a separate blockchain. Should UAHF activate on August 1, there will be a new blockchain spewing out new coin associated with that Fork.

The User Activated Soft Fork (UASF) is a proposal to adopt Segregated Witness on the Bitcoin blockchain and could result in network instability. It is scheduled to activate at the same time as the UAHF on August 1.

If you have your bitcoins in any BTC wallet, be sure to find out which side your wallet is cheering, because that will decide the value of what you will be holding after the war is over.

Why have 2 different forks?

SegWit

The problem that the Bitcoin platform is facing is that as more and more transactions are being conducted, more blocks have to be added to the chain. Blocks are generated every 10 minutes and are constrained to a maximum size of 1 megabyte (MB). Due to this constraint, only a certain number of transactions can be added to a block. The weight of the transactions, represented by the blocks, is weighing down the network and causing delays in processing and verifying transactions, in some cases, taking hours to confirm a transaction as valid. Imagine all Bitcoin transactions that have been carried out since the inception of Bitcoin in 2009 sitting on the blockchain and still piling up. Long term, the system would not be sustainable if a radical change is not made.

SegWit is the process by which the block size limit on a blockchain is increased by removing signature data from Bitcoin transactions. When certain parts of a transaction are removed, this frees up space or capacity to add more transactions to the chain.

Segregate means to separate, and Witnesses are the transaction signatures. Hence, Segregated Witness in short, means to separate transaction signatures.

Read more: SegWit (Segregated Witness) Definition | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/segwit-segregated-witness.asp#ixzz4nTOn151q
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SegWit is an update for Bitcoin Core. It is assumed that this update will solve the problems. But some users, mining firms, i.e. Bitmain, and companies, i.e. Bitcoin Unlimited, do not support this idea. So, the realization of SegWit can split the whole system of Bitcoin. Some users and miners will accept new standards, but others can use the older version of Bitcoin code. So, different variants are considered to avoid this and save the one Blockchain of transactions.


When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all of your thoughts break their bonds. Your mind transcends limitations; your consciousness expands in every direction; and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person than you ever dreamed yourself to be. – Patañjali the compiler of the Yoga Sutra


A lion is fully capable of capturing, killing, and eating a field mouse. But it turns out that the energy required to do so exceeds the caloric content of the mouse itself. So a lion that spent its day hunting and eating field mice would slowly starve to death. A lion can’t live on field mice. A lion needs antelope. Antelope are big animals. They take more speed and strength to capture and kill, but once killed, they provide a feast for the lion and her pride… So ask yourself at the end of the day, ‘Did I spend today chasing mice or hunting antelope?’

— Newt Gingrich


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.


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