It seems as many commentators have said; Kenyans are always queuing for something. Last Wednesday we lined up for the referendum and it went well, today I started the day by queuing for the bus then when I got to the central business district I had to line up in the banking hall for some banking stuff.

Apart from the monotonous video adverts and the bank’s CSR videos nothing ever jostles ones heart and leaves a bad taste as when someone answers their mobile phones while in the banking hall.

Some of this people will hurriedly whisper on their mouth piece that they will call back. But then there are some people whom I must say at first really ticked me off but over time I just stand in awe and just laugh.

Just sample this

Phone rings and the ring tone are surprising when you see is hurriedly trying to get the phone. The ringtone is a rendition of Abba ‘dancing queen’ and the lady getting the phone is in her mid fifties standing next to her friend same age looking at her and asking in a not so quiet way ‘where did you keep that thing its making a lot of noise people are looking at us’

At this point the friend is obviously louder than the phone and people are just chuckling at the action. Oh if you happen to be in Africa and standing next to a lady past 50 years of age (my mother’s age mates), you will by default become a shelf as she hands you stuff from her bag while she searches for something.

Once the mobile device was found, using her bifocal spectacles she holds the device at arm length and tries to redial the missed call.

Lady ‘halo who is this oh it you………we are still in the queue……no do not give them any more sodas….. I don’t know but its moving…. ‘At this point the bank manager starts walking towards her. She is talking to everyone in hall now.

Lady ‘no there are only two on the counter… of them is Martha’s grand daughter……I cannot cut the line even if she is my niece’. At that moment the manager decides to serve them personal. As they walk away the friend just says ‘I told you that thing was making way too much noise…but I like the song how can I have it on my mine?’

Now sample the finest of all

Man is standing just behind 4 people before he is served phone rings… and he is not subtle and lets everyone hear his conversation

Man ‘Listen that man you brought to me was a thief…..instead of fixing my car her ransacked my car and stole my spare wheel……now tell him am connected and I will hunt him down and lock him and his family….I do not like thieves.

The man moves forward and stops using the phone at the counter but doesn’t stop being loud.

Man ‘I said I want 10 thousand…ati my cheque bounced….’ at this point the cashier is forced to be louder at him. ‘You have to see the manager this is your third bouncing cheque this month. And in a quiet voice close to a whisper the man seems to ask ‘why does the manager want to see me?’

Now to a device that I have been using, the Nokia 5330 TV special. It’s not a phone for the geeks or phone craze people but what it has is the DVB-H TV receiver at a very affordable price. Now 15,000 bob or $188 at any shop in Nairobi or other Kenyan towns. While it has no WLAN, HSDPA, GPS, no preinstalled document viewer, no smart calling, poor video recording; for its price the benefit from its use is worthwhile.

For me watching the 2010 world cup on this device was pure gold and I have no qualms with it on this front.

It appears that the Nokia guys are testing it and will before long launch hopefully a better version that will certainly not hang while surfing the net. That was one of my biggest problem with this device and I hope that is improved.


Friday 30th of July 2010 was as expected in Nairobi and other towns in Kenya. The Communication Commission of Kenya’s SIM registration deadline hard reached. The last minute rush was evident with queues of folks who took time off to register their Subscriber Identity Module or SIM cards.

So many people have been asking me why they need all this information about me. Aren’t the number and my name sufficient? Will they track my every movement… no that cannot be good for me?

Unlike the American or Europeans, who hate their government is in tax collection. Kenyans have a phobia with government period’. So for Kenyans when a government agency comes and give dealines to the aqusition of information that related to their identities question start.

An example, my friend laura is a very beautiful lady. Married and  doing well with her life, she however of late has not been in a happy mood. The reason was the randy nature of her husband. Story goes that she was to meet the hubby for urgent shopping excursion, what was being bought irrelevant.

Laura had been calling the hubby fervently for nearly 2 hours saying that he was stuck in a jam. Well hubby was actually stuck in a jam of sorts, having gone with another lady for extracurricular activities he inedvatedly left behind hiw wallet and could not settle his bills at the sport stadia cum motel.

Now as I sat to listen to laura the hubby called and asked me kindly to Mpesa him some money and to tell laura that am with him……you finish the story

So for the hubby will the registration of the SIM card entail a tracking of sort or will the other interested party such as a wife or husband have access to the other person whereabouts? Well the simple answer is NO.

In the simplest of terms the purpose of the registry is mainly to curb or control crime associated with this SIM card. Frtequent kidnapping and other extorting crimes have escalated in this region due the walk in walk out aspect of buying a SIM card from any corner, kiosk, or dealership.

If it was very easy for you to buy into the Mpesa, Zap, Yucash requirements then this shouldn’t be a hassle.

As for laura …. she became a pro and now the hubby is playing hunter….


It was supposed to be the African world cup but it doesn’t look that way. What is good though is the impressive hosting by the South Africans. To them I say asante sana.

So how have you been watching the extravaganza? Kenyans have been using all the mediums available. From television, radio, internet and the mobile phone.

My friend Staecy from Gorey Ireland was amused by something the other day. While on field work in Western Lake region of Kenya, she found me together with the driver and my cameraman intensely listening to the radio as we followed the commentary of the America versus Slovenia match.

For her this was a first since radio is not that followed in Ireland. I told her that in Kenya it’s followed a lot and in some cases it can cause injuries to someone who may block its use.

With the mobile phone incorporating fm radio, use of this device to follow the events of the world cup are somewhat animated. Some fans looking elated and others looking overawed by what they are listening to. Yes Nairobi looks animated with people plugged onto their radio stations while others now watching the proceedings through their mobile phones.

DSTV and Safaricom have partnered to with a TV services for mobile phones. Once activated the service provides you with the ability to watch selected DSTV channels like supersports where you can watch live football.

So if you are in Kenya you can follow the world cup in South Africa through which ever mode, medium and at whichever comfort.

For Staecy you have the freedom to choose.

Enjoy and let the best team win.


Yesterday I got some funny information that, ok  went like this ‘my wife’s sister’s best friend, whose father in-law drinking buddy who has a cousin living with a room mate who works for the milk company that delivers milk to the white house says he heard from the cleaner…..’

Yap by this time I was lost and trying to find my way out or go some where that made sense.

As it turns out many companies have come realize that information is not power but constructive information is power. How you use and relay that information is the key.

With all the hype about mobile money transfer in the news now the icing can only come when all likely things that can be serviced by this mode of payment is exhausted. Because mobile money transfer is essentially the management of DATA period. OboPay with YUcash is going to allow for internet payments, that’s what Essar says and with the passing of the Kenya Communication Bill last year, this will make for an easier time for anyone stay and leaving in Kenya in respect to E-Commerce.

So as bank begin to eat humble pie and beg us to open bank accounts with them ‘I told you’, they have realized that what is important to most of us is how much battery charge my phone has, since if I make a minimum of 4 transactions a day with Safaricom MPESA and you do this 7 days in a week and in during a whole month that translates to a minimum of 2800 bob as service fees even more than premium bank monthly fee.

Multiply this by just half of the current subscriber base of MPESA and the figure is nothing less than 9 billion shilling in a month and bank managers are now seeing the sense of ‘CROWD SOURCING’

I should expect more products or services coming under the mobile money transfer platforms. People in this region shrug at the idea of credit cards and only carry their ATM cards only during pay day after withdrawal the card is kept right inside the underwear drawer.

Therefore more financial companies will make their way into this very lucrative business. Nokia is doing so expect other players to come in.

Finally to the story of the season, nexus one. I like the initiative and the device. As expected it has to have bugs since it’s the first from Google. They are used to search engines and devices are for HTC, Motorola and the rest of that folks. But their vision is bright and since they want to connect things linked in a series then nexus one is the first step.

Back to my first story, ‘the cleaner who was having breakfast with the…you get the picture, you can either tell them that Obama likes chapatti or start the story from the guy who was asking for directions in down town Nairobi and he happened to know the person who sat with the person that was first told about Obama’s visit by the person who served the driver that drove the body guard to ………….


My friend has it, my neighbour has two; one for emergencies while former boss use to hum to it as he walked. But my sister has been incessant about it and asking for it as her birthday gift or Easter and if you forget Christmas. She is in that age that girls still seem to want to stay all their lives.

But then one day she got very pissed of at the world. Why you may ask me. Well it is all because, my Great Aunt Monica called for me to help her out with a small gadget. Sitting right opposite her during a recent family reunion, I walked over to where she was and she slowly removed from her very antic looking hand bag a state of the art Ipod.

I am not an ipod fan but the device was massive in terms of memory and storage capacity. Aunt Monica had forgotten to charge the ipod and needed my skill in plugging the ipod charger. My great aunt with an ipod didn’t excite my sister but it did make me curious to find out what she could be listening to.

Well there was a collection of Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Mugithii music and a whole audio version of the bible. Hmmm I wonder where she got the audio bible. Well it seems that a clever boy happened to talk to the area parish priest and sold the idea to him.

Now since the old folks at home like the scriptures how about making MP3 versions of the scriptures and selling them at a nominal fee from the church. Why the old folks loved his versions is because they had that home accent that they seem to understand.

So every three weeks or so the boy trots all the way into the country side and sells his versions of the scriptures to willing buyers.

Now someone once asked me how are Kenyans going to localize content especial on the internet? Well here is one such case and don’t get me wrong by suggesting that an accent change is all that is needed to localize content, but rather its all about making certain products appeal to the consumer without interfering with the original form.

For instance it would be really hard and near impossible to find a Mitsubishi Pajero in a Spanish speaking country why? Pajero is not a nice word. Anyway since you are on the net why not find out. Before I digress further all you need is a bit of intuitive action and create something out of necessity or if you can make it necessary.

On that note seems many people men especially invert the names of their girlfriends that appear on the contact folder of their mobile phones. So when one day Mike sent an SMS message to my friend Allan, the wife asked ‘is there something I should know my dear?’

Allan looked at his wife and said ‘what do you mean?’ Wife by now was in fighting mood ‘don’t play dumb with me Mike has been sending you love messages and you been acting funny especially in bed’ ahhhh


It’s that time of the year when you review what has been, how it was done and if you are going to do it again you would probably say what Bart Simpson would say ‘I don’t know! I don’t know why I did it, I don’t know why I enjoyed it, and I don’t know why I’ll do it again!

Well you went and bought that gadget after being promised that it’s what you want and that it does more than you think.

Sometime ago a dude sent me a comment saying that people from east africa and Kenya in particular are only interested in talking on their mobile phones. Why would you sell mobile applications to them who would buy? Well as it turns out many have bought the idea and like a watering hole people in the tech industry are flocking into Kenya to get a piece of the action.

We seem to be inventing and reinventing mobile applications and as the fibre optical cable slowly sips into our psyche, soon more applications that are web based will start emerging from the street of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kampala, Dar,….. and other towns in the region.

So yes you will do it again because that gadget made a big difference since it had that special application. I have been asked to give my top must buy gadgets for this festive season. Well I will give you more and tell you what you should have and share with your loved ones or even better show off next year before its becomes so last season.

MY FIRST AND TOP is that you should have SIM card that mobile money transfer option enabled. MPESA, ZAP and OBOPAY have made life so easy. You can buy, pay or even carry money as you travel. And what is even better most pubs now accept payment by this mode.

Second is any gadget that has any form of solar kit for recharging its battery. There are several in the shop so get of the couch and burn off those calories as you shop around.

Third is a wonderful gadget. The HTC Hero mobile phone. It is the best phone in the world according to ME. Other people have the option of disagreeing with me outside this blog my blog hahaha….. anyway the HTC Hero mobile phone is the best designed and complete android device in the world now and it beats the Iphone 3G hands down….. did I hear a word out there ….. So you think Iphone 3G is better well that’s you opion but HTC Hero rules.

The fourth thingy in the market, Yes fourth since the Iphone 3G took third and I have no problemo with that is the Nokia N900.  Now we seem to have a problem here where the manufacturer says it’s not a mobile phone but it’s more a mobile computer. Well its better than their current flag ship N97 and its faster and … its just a good mobile device and I would buy it to floss around. Well ist actually the MEAMO 5 operating system that stole my heart.  You can say that about gadgets ‘the Iphone stole my heart’ mmmm

Fifth are three phones that have the outstanding design, connectivity and you will not get disappointed with any of the three. The BlackBerry Bold 9700 which has an improved processor giving it fantastic speed; the new LG BL40 Chocolate is quite sweet. It has the sweetest design in the market has a full wide-screen 21:9 a first in the world. And finally it’s the Nokia 5530 Xpress, it has touch screen and it’s the unsung hero for the Finnish mobile maker for year 2009.

Finally this is the best mobile phone network in Kenya. It has MPESA, it boasts of the cheapest calling rate called AMUA, being on the net is soooo cheap and sweet like orange juice and my god its has the strongest network making it’s a wonderful world.

Seasons greetings to you all


I was to wait and see what our good mobile phone companies would do to make our lives all jolly during this time of give give give and spend.

Well nothing really surprising from any. I like quiet and not the yad yad yad that is synonymous with us Kenyans. We like talking and getting money for free especially during this time. So when someone tells me that you can win lots of money for just talking, no brother or sister of mine would resist such an offer.  However no one seems to like my suggestion so heres is what the networks are offering you, nothing exciting  all  drub  and  yawn.

The big Cahuna for now a Mr. Safaricom is slashing its prices on the gadgets like a Nokia N97 going for 45k fancy that anyone?

zain what can you say about them ?????   well am still waiting for a reply on my request for rewards points. Its now two weeks and nothing to cheer about.

Orange ——————————- yap. The 0ne bob thing is over. get used to that.

so maybe I should AMUA and live with calling people for 6 bob across networks for now. It works for me and even their charges for surfing is quite cool and cheap. May be Essar should become  EASY.  mmmm YU powered by Easy mmmmm