January 24, 2017

Bob Collymore: The joy and pain of running Safaricom


When Mr Bob Collymore received a call to become the CEO of Safaricom, his first instinct was to seek advice from people he trusted. At the time, Mr Collymore, who turned 58 on Friday, was the head of Corporate Affairs for Vodacom based in South Africa, a position that had exposed him to doing business across Africa. He had also gained considerable experience as a board member of Safaricom. His first call was to his good friend Mr Peter Matlare, a man who had cut his teeth in the corporate world and had since risen to become the CEO of…

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NJOKI CHEGE: Never has there been a more incompetent driver like a Kenyan woman


There is no other way to say this. Most Kenyan women are terrible drivers. Female drivers are awful the world over but Kenyan women have driven it a notch higher. They are horrible. Most Kenyan women cannot drive at all. But first, a disclaimer: To those ‘powerful women’ who email my boss’s boss, demanding for my dismissal for writing the truth about women, please note, I used the word ‘most’ not ‘all’. You, dear all-powerful women with powerful husbands, do not need to read this, for you need not drive. What are chauffeurs for? A majority of Kenyan women cannot…

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Commentary: Why Kenyan women should start paying dowry


Thursday is club night at Ruiru Golf Club, situated along Thika superhighway. On club nights, golf club members play in a competition among themselves but guests are welcome. Most club nights are in the middle of the week, usually Wednesday. Some clubs shift the day to Tuesday or Thursday to accommodate neighboring clubs and increase attendance. Ruiru is an old club dating from 1921 going by the records hanging on the walls. At this time of the year the course is quite dry but great efforts are being made to harness water and use it to irrigate the fairways and…

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Kenyan mum narrates: When baby blues turn new mum into a monster


When Samoina Wangui could not get her three-week-old son to sleep after a night of crying she became restless and as the cries got louder, her anger was roused to the point that she slapped the infant. “I took off his shawl, stared at him in the face, shouted something I can’t remember, and beat him. At three weeks, his fragile bottom bore the brunt of my frustrations. No one could understand what I was going through – the bitterness, anger and frustration. The more I beat him, the more he cried, the more I cried. I couldn’t take it…

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Eldoret street woman’s story: They rape me but they don’t know I have HIV


The woman sporting a short crop on her head approached me and asked whether I could share the story of my life on the streets. I didn’t know what she was talking about, or what she meant when she said “my life on the streets”. It is hard for me to separate the street from my life, and so I told her that I’d just tell her the story of my life. Period. I will just speak, and she will do the writing later on, joining the strands of my barely incomprehensible narrative to make something out of it. Some…

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Inside the world of the Kenyan shylock


Were it not for the ‘INSTANT CASH ON ITEMS’ sign in bold red hanging by the doorway, Terry’s shylock stall would pass for a regular electronics shop. Her business is registered as a shop because she hasn’t met the legal standards required to call it a microfinance institution. In sharp contrast to banks and other lending institutions, there is no steel and glass, neither is there a leather couch or a coffee vending machine here. The shop is on the ground floor of a building along Ronald Ngala Street in Nairobi, sandwiched between a movie shop and an informal library….

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Meet Elizabeth Marami, Kenya’s first female marine pilot at only 27


Elizabeth Marami is Kenya’s first female marine pilot. She is only 27 years old. That still doesn’t impress you enough? How about this, then: Women in the maritime industry account for only one or two per cent of the world’s 1.25 million seafarers, according to the International Labour Organisation. Elizabeth is one of them. She goes to the deep sea for 18 months at a go, often being the only woman on board container ships that only have men. She scored A plain in KCSE exams and was awarded a scholarship to study law at the University of Nairobi, but…

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[VIDEO] Oooops! sorry, you are not HIV positive, Pregnant Kenyan woman told


It was 4pm on July 27, 2016, when Fredrick Omondi, 40, walked in on his wife just as she was about to drink a glassful of poison. The contents in the glass looked like milk, but milk did not let out such a strong odour. Fredrick lunged at his wife and knocked the glass off her hand, sending it crashing on their bedroom floor. A week earlier, his wife, Esther Mwakazi, 34, had been diagnosed with HIV during an ante-natal visit at Diani Health Centre, Located in Ukunda, Kwale County. The news had shocked and distressed Fredrick, because as far…

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Broken: My battle with depression


By Eve Kibare When I was growing up I knew I was going to be successful. I loved school and my grades were in line with my dreams.I imagined having a family, a beautiful house, a nice car, gorgeous kids and taking family vacations, everything looked so real.I just couldn’t wait to grow up. Last year, as the year was coming to an end, I almost lost my job and things didn’t get better after that, so I decided to quit my job and figure my life out. Everything wasn’t going according to plan. I finished school, got good grades…

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KQ retrenched me, but I am a different kind of a pilot


Joyce Mbugua drives her matatu as if it’s a plane and she’s its captain. It’s clear that she picked up a lot from Kenya Airways (KQ) after working there for six years. “I joined KQ in 2006 as a customer service agent,” says Joyce, a 37-year-old mother of one. KQ afforded Joyce and her family a lavish lifestyle. “Life was good! We were very comfortable. We travelled out of the country a lot.” However, in September 2012, Joyce was retrenched from her job. She was a check-in controller at the time. Neither she nor her 454 colleagues saw the retrenchment…

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