Eating Haveli’s food via the Hello Food mobile app

A smiling Hillary delivers my eats.

A smiling Hillary delivers my eats.

There are some pretty good apps out there but the interaction that I have been having with most of them tends to be along the lines of me downloading stuff and interacting with it to no end. So you have your Instagrams and your M-soras and what have you. Then I heard about Hello Food. I didn’t really understand what it was but I’m always happy to investigate and check out a new thing at least once. My theory is that as long as it doesn’t kill (or generally harm me) then why the heck not.

I eventually had to understand the concept. You go to a list of restaurants and make your order. Once the order is made, they deliver to your home or office and you pay for your meal. No extra charges to you from the menu and I couldn’t be too bothered to find out how those Hello Food fellows are making their money. Someone is getting the food from the restaurant and bringing it to your door at no extra cost.

My personal experience? I downloaded the app from the Google Play Store then got the option to see restaurants serviced in my part of Nairobi. I live in South B so I was able to select from a variety of restaurants. They included Velvet Chocolate at Galleria, Langata Road, Cake City, Big 5 Ngong Road, Solar Garde, Urban coffee, Steers, Haveli and a bunch of others.

Having lived in South B for a while I decided to try the food at the Haveli restaurant which I am always seeing but never dared walked in. The place looks quite pricey but I was looking to treat my partner .

A look at the menu gave me many options. I got some Prawns lababdar which is described as special queen size prawns with lots of onions, tomatoes and fresh coriander in thick sauce (Kshs1,500)chicken tikka masala which is barbeque boneless pieces of chicken laced with special masala sauce (1,100Ksh ). I also asked for fried rice and other condiments which all came to Kshs4,200.

After getting the whole ensemble I went to another area in the app which is the checkout section where I created an account then started doing my check out proper. This involved giving my details and also those of how to get to my house as well as any special needs, allergies extreme stupidity etc, to make sure that those making the meal take care of my food. There were then two options for delivery; either delivery to an address or a pickup. I chose the “delivered at a chosen address” option then chose a payment option. In my mind there was only one; cash on delivery. I ticked that I accepted the terms and conditions and placed my order and sat back.

This is the Chicken Tikka ensemble. Yum.

This is the Chicken Tikka ensemble. Yum.

At 7:30pm while waiting to watch Rhythm City I was called by someone at the door of my apartment block asking for my number. It was Hillary from Hello Food with my eats and a smile. After payment I sat down with my partner in front of the feast before us.

Prawns lababdar and other treats.

Prawns lababdar and other treats.

The food was unreal. The folks at Haveli’s really really know how to cook. Seriously. I have no idea why I haven’t been here before. After this meal I knew that I will be going back to that restaurant even if it might be a bit rich for my tastes cash wise. Once a month is not a bad thing for a great meal. Or as a treat when I have done good by myself.

However the thing I loved even more was this app Hello Food. It allowed me to go shopping at any restaurant anywhere in my area without burning taxi money . It might be a game changer in my restaurant experience for ever if you ask me. Now all I need to do is to convince the folks Hello Food to get my Motor Sports Club nyama choma as one of the options for delivering; I will be so happy. Is anyone hearing?


The full list of Nairobi MCA’s

Ziwani/Kariokor  MCA Millicent Wambui Mugadi.

Ziwani/Kariokor MCA Millicent Wambui Mugadi.

Do you wonder who is your Member of the County Assemby (MCA)? These people called MCAs are the ones who run the county doing laws that govern it. They also all have a Kshs20 million kitty to manage on your behalf. If you have any question in your area of residence we have a list of Nairobi MCAs one of our friends forwarded to us; all 128 of them. The only one I know on this list is former Big Brother Africa contestant Millicent Wambui Mugadi who is the MCA of the Ziwani/Kariokor ward. You will note that there are 42 nominated MCAs in this list.


1 Alex Ole Magelo – Speaker

2 Alvin Olando Palapala – Kitisuru

3 Jaffer Abdulahab Kassam – Parklands/Highridge

4 Stephen Kamau Thuo – Karura

5 Peter Isuha Vukindu – Kangemi

6 Beatrice Kwamboka – Mountain – view

7 Moses Ogeto Nyangaresi – Kilimani

8 Fredrick Njogu Njoroge – Kawangware

9 Obonyo Mike Guoro – Gatina

10 Elias Otieno Okumu – Kileleshwa

11 Clarence Kipkemboi Munga – Kabiro

12 Martin Karanja Kingethu – Mutu-ini

13 Peter Wahinya Kimuhu – Ngando

14 Samuel Ndungu Njoroge – Riruta

15 John Waweru Kinuthia – Uthiru/Ruthimitu

16 Anthony Kiragu Karanja – Waithaka

17 David Njilithia Mberia – Karen

18 Maurice Gari Otieno – Nairobi West

19 Alex Ouda Otieno – Mugumoini Ward

20 Dianah Kapeen – South C

21 Akuk Maurice Omondi – Nyayo Highrise

22 Boniface Kitavi David – Laini Saba

23 Fredrick Owino Obenge – Lindi

24 Alhad Ahmed Adam – Makina

25 David Njoroge Kairu – Woodley/Kenyatta Golf Course

26 Pius Owino Otieno – Sarangombe

27 Jackson Mwangi Ngare – Githurai

28 Patrick Ngaruiya Chege – Kahawa West

29 Pius Mwaura Mbono – Zimmerman

30 Peter Muriithi Warutere – Roysambu

31 Amos Mbuthia Mukami – Kahawa

32 Erastus Muiruri Mburu – Clay City

33 Isaac Njoroge Ngige – Mwiki

34 Martin Waweru Gichuhi – Kasarani

35 Kenneth Thugi Muroki – Njiru

36 Daniel Mbugua Mari – Ruai

37 Shadrack Juma Nyambu – Baba Dogo

38 Wilson Ongele Ochola – Utalii

39 Oscar Otieno Lore – Mathare North

40 Kennedy Oduru Nyambura – Lucky Summer

41 Maxwell Ochieng Ochar – Korogocho

42 Jairo Atenya Asitiba – Imara Daima

43 Alexander Mutisya Mulatya – Kwa- Njenga

44 Elkana Omoga Mauti – Kwa- Reuben

45 Samuel Kagiri Mwangi – Pipeline

46 Kennedy Okeyo Ngondi – Kware

47 Michael Wainaina Wanjiku – Kariobangi North

48 Peter Wanyoike Gitau – Dandora Area I

49 Stephen Murathi Kambi – Dandora Area II

50 Charles Thuo Wakarindi – Dandora Area III

51 Daniel Oria Odhiambo – Dandora Area IV

52 Peter Migwi Gichohi – Kayole North

53 Jackson Kiama Gikandi – Kayole Central

54 Elizabeth Akinyi Manyala – Kayole South

55 Samuel Irungu Mwangi – Komarock

56 Abdi Ibrahim Hassan Matopeni/Spring Valley

57 Benson Ligavoh Amutavi – Upper Savannah

58 Alfred Ambani Muhindi – Lower Savannah

59 Michael Ogada Okumu – Embakasi

60 Joash Omwenga M. Kengere – Utawala

61 Kados Paul Muiruri Kiguathi – Mihango

62 George Maina Njoroge – Umoja I

63 Kingsley Wellington Odida – Umoja II

64 Martin Kinyanjui – Mowlem

65 Robert Mbatia – Embakasi West

66 Njuguna Mwangi – Maringo/Hamza

67 Samwel Nyaberi Nyangwara – Viwandani

68 Ronald Melkizedek Milare – Harambee

69 Peter Anyule Imwatok – Makongeni

70 Kenneth Irungu Mwangi – Pumwani

71 Osman Adow Ibrahim – Eastleigh North

72 Nelson Marakalu Masiga – Eastleigh South

73 Martin Mugo Kanyi – Airbase

74 Athman Kamau – California

75 Julius Mwaniki Muchiri – Nairobi Central

76 James Mwaura Chege – Ngara

77 Peter Wahinya Njau – Pangani

78 Millicent Wambui Mugadi – Ziwani/Kariokor

79 Herman Masabu Azangu – Land Mawe

80 Manoah Karega Mboku – Nairobi South

81 George Ochieng Ochola – Hospital

82 Wilfred Oluoch Odalo – Mabatini

83 Peter Owera Oluoch – Huruma

84 Daniel Kithama Mutiso – Ngei

85 Andrew Macharia Mbau – Mlango Kubwa

86 James Kinuthia Waminja – Kiamaiko

87 Racheal Kamweru Nominated

88 Magdalene Mbogori Nominated

89 Elizabeth Sang Nominated

90 Rose Ogonda Nominated

91 Petronilla Achieng Nominated

92 Margaret Sewe Nominated

93 Celestyne Ongere Nominated

94 Rosemary Wairimu Macharia Nominated

95 Janet Muthoni Kimondo Nominated

96 Ruth Njeri Nyambura Nominated

97 Janet Wala Nominated

98 Imeldah Nafula Wanjala Nominated

99 Leah Mumo Matee Nominated

100 Christine Aloo Abuto Nominated

101 Joyce Bocha Nabwire Nominated

102 Rose Nancy Ludiri Nominated

103 Victoria Alali Angeni Nominated

104 Monica Waruiru Ndegwa Nominated

105 Karen Wanjiku Githaiga Nominated

106 Mark Ndungu Nganga Nominated

107 Amina Mohammed Nominated

108 Abdi Mohamed Nominated

109 Tabitha Akinyi Juma Nominated

110 Zulfa Hakim Mohammed Nominated

111 Benadette Wangui Nganga Nominated

112 Marion Njeri Githinji Nominated

113 Nancy Nyambura Mwaura Nominated

114 Dorcas Muthoni Njoroge Nominated

115 Hellen Katangie Nominated

116 Emmaculate Mbegwa Musya Nominated

117 Florence Achieng Athembo Nominated

118 Alexina Likono Moddy Nominated

119 Susan Karimi Njue Nominated

120 Jacquiline Awino Nyangala Nominated

121 Jane Muasya Nominated

122 Catherine Apiya Okoth Nominated

123 Hawa Dafala Absumum Nominated

124 William Abuka Nominated

125 Mercy Wanjiku Kariuki Nominated

126 Tabitha Wothaya Ngigirigi Nominated

127 Asaha Abdi Sosso Nominated

128 Carolyne Achieng Muga Nominated

Nairobi celebrates Social Media Day

Solomon Koko, James Murua, Philip Ogola and Kenny Kaburu at the event.

Solomon Koko, James Murua, Philip Ogola and Kenny Kaburu at the event.

So Monday 30thof June was Social Media Day. It was a day that Mashable decided was to be the day that we celebrate Social Media on the planet. Nairobi wasn’t to be left behind as Kenyans are quite well known for their being tech savvy.

The celebrations happened all day starting with a breakfast hosted by Dennis Itumbi the director of digital communication at State House at the Intercontinental Hotel. This was followed by several Google Hangouts being hosted at the Nailab and other venues. You can see all the events at the official event website here.
The end of the day was a gig at what was turning at the epicentre of the events the Nailab on Bishop Maigua Gardens on Ngong Road. The event was a cocktail which as you would expect in this town had a few speakers like Philip Ogola on his life as a digital humanitarian first with the red cross and then with the UN. His speech make one realise that social media can be a very useful tools in saving lives and should be taken very seriously.

Also speaking was James Wamathai who works with BAKE and his presentation was a report on the state of social media in Kenya. The numbers looked sound to me but as you can expect the people who work with social media seemed catch feelings when their brands were not in the top lists. Work harder guys.

Also speaking were Social Media Awards Martin Muli and a gentleman from Hootsuite. Finally Sam Gichuru the Nailab founder gave a sort of vote of thanks. He also talked about the need to unplug from our devices and try and enforce gadget free spaces to that as humans we can start interacting. This is because this devices have been devised to make you addicts.
Away from the stage there was a good turnout of Social Media enthusiasts like Citizen TV’s Terryanne Chebet, Martin Gicheru famous for his Techweez blog, Kenny Kaburu, Stephen “Syoks” Musyoka the King of Facebook, Solomon Koko (love his column in The Nairobian), Microsoft device’s Lillian Nganda and many many more.
With a better turnout this year for the cocktail that in the previous year I suspect the celebrations in 2015 will be bigger and better.

Tonight we are all Nigerians, Tonight we are all Algerians

We are One.

We are One.

It’s a big night at the Brazilian World Cup this evening. The matches involve France playing Nigeria and Germany playing Algeria. It’s a proud moment for any of us who have been following the matches from this little rock called Africa. This is because two of our sides are still in the round of 16 to play against the best in the world.

Tonight we forget our petty jealousies. We forget that story about Maghreb Africa and the rest of us. Whatever they tell you about Algeria, remember that the country is part of the continent. They competed with teams in an African group and then played in a playoff against Burkina Faso and therefore went through. They are our representatives. And even if they aren’t as melanin filled as some of us they represent us. They are our lighter skinned cousins and even though they are playing against my all time favourite World Cup sides Germany family comes before favourites. They are the family members who took part in the African spring a few years ago that swept the Northern part of the continent we can home leaving few administrations untouched. Arab spring? Nope. All the serious revolutionizing happened in Africa, the Middle Eastern operations were just a knee jerk reaction that failed to work out if Syria is any indication. So I’m with my cousins from Algeria.

Tonight we forget our petty jealousies. We refuse to get embroiled in our weird love hate relationship with Nigeria. They say that one out of every five Africans is a Nigerian making it the biggest country in Africa population wise. And Nigerians never forget to remind that special place they have in our continent. Add to the population thing and now they have the biggest economy in our continent after rebasing their economy beating out the former big dogs South Africa. (We should really rebase our own economy by the way, if we add in the price of Vera Sidika’s skin lightening and her weaves we will start competing with South Africa at least).

We Are One.

We Are One.

Today we remember that even if sometimes the brashness of the Nigerian can get under your skin you have to remember that are like our bigger brother. And while our bigger brother will piss us off sometimes when the neighbor kids try pull something in the estate we will stand with him. He is our bigger brother. And if we are to be honest then we have to state that we admire our brother for his achievements in the arts and other field. We also admire our brother when he stands up for us when no one else will. And Nigerians have stood by us. They celebrated almost more than us when Barack Obama won his election. They celebrated when Lupita won her Oscar. They celebrate with us when our sons and daughters win Olympic gold in the long distances. So they support us.

We represent the continent in the Olympics and they represent the continent in the World Cup. So it’s only fair that we return the favour. We are brothers After all. We suffer similar problems; hapless administrations that have no idea about how to deal with terrorism related issues. Boko Haram and Al Shabaab are competing against one another for who can deliver the biggest body counts with the former outstripping the latter in a big way. As we wait for them to #BringBackOurGirls and release the #KasaraniConcentrationCamp we come together with our big brother. We stand with our big brother when she lost her sons and daughters who lost in the bombings in Abuja recently. We mourn with her and celebrate her sportsmen just like we celebrate her singer and daughters.

So today we forget our petty differences remember our similarities and support our own.

Mungu ibariki Africa.

Proudly Africa.

Getting the new South African Visa (a personal experience)

Or Not

Or Not

So a few months ago I needed to go to South Africa for my own shugulis. I was surprised to learn that they had changed the way that one has to get a visa to our brothers from down South.

Turns out that now I needed to download the Visa forms from the new portal and then apply for it. You then have to go to the West Building on Parklands Road (almost opposite Hospital Hill Primary) to the offices of VFS. For two weeks in that country you will need to supply;

  1. A letter of invitation from a South African individual of organisation – I was going to visit my family to I asked a “close” member of the family to send me an invitation. Check.

  2. A return airline ticket – I am a die hard member of Ethiopian airlines so I had the said ticket. Check.

  3. Payment of Sh6,000 (I know its slightly less but all you get is Kshs150 change) – OK. It used to be free now I have to go now I have to pay. Whats that about? They claim visa is free but I still pay. Who is the the money going to I wondered? Answer: VFS. Check

  4. Bank statement – Three months bank statement. It was here that my exorbitant bank charges came into play as to get those I have to pay about KSh9,000 to procure these from the bank. Thats because my stupid bank CFC Stanbic (Yes I am moving) charges me Kshs590 per page in the statement. At this time I am wondering whether going to SA will be worth it.

  5. A picture – Lemme take a selfie. Check.

Now that’s me going to a building thats NOT the South African High Commission to get a visa to another part of the African continent. Sigh. I made it into the building and saw that I had two options – turn right for the VFS office to get the visa for Schengen countries or turn left to get the visa for South Africa.

The security guys gave me a number after frisking me for what people frisk for and then I sat with the rest of the watus. Interestingly the point of the number was lost on me as I had to sit in line and as people go to the counter I had to move with them.

As the line was long I opted to pull out my phone to do some work when an officious looking gentleman came through and insisted to us all. “No phones! No gadgets!”

Let me get this straight. We are sitting in a building that is not anywhere near the South Africans at a  company called VFS that had been given the outsourced job of taking my money and I have to twiddling my thumbs for at least twenty minutes. Me a Kenyan with things to do and I am away from the office and have finite time and my phone is a vital part of my communication system. And I have to stop? For what? I have never felt so insulted.

Eventually I handed in my documents and was asked to come in either four of five days. My flight was on a Sunday so I picked my passport on Friday. To my surprise my passport had been only given a ten day visa while my airline flight had indicated that I had a 14 days round trip. What was the point of giving in an airline ticket you wonder? I have no idea. I asked about it and the lady said that this is how the document had come from the embassy and if I wanted to change it she could do nothing.

I made my way to SA and a few days after being there I made it to their home affairs offices in Jo’burg and asked if my visa could be extended by 4 days. Not three months or anything crazy like that. FOUR DAYS. The kind lady there told me that if I was to overstay on my visa I would be fined at point of entry.

When I was leaving the country I was fined by the gentleman at the airport; R1,000.

So lets recap.

17,000 for the visa before I have even left the country.

R1,000 (by now its like Kshs5,000 at the rate that currency is going) fine for overstaying.

That’s money I didn’t need to spend and could have spent in the economy. I guess the SA government prefers its money in fines.

What really gets my goat is that I have to go through the European VFS system to get a visa to an African country. A country which was given the mandate to run the FIFA World Cup four years on the premise that it is an “African World Cup.” This South African being the an African country must be like when Bill Clinton became US president as “first black president” until the real first black president emerged.

It has emerged that I am not the only one who was unhappy with the treatment by our brothers. The government of Kenya has also unveiled its new regulations for South Africans coming to Kenya. No longer sauntering to JKIA and getting a visa stamp after paying US$50.

Tit for Tat.

The Joys of Fathers Day in Kenya

Kiss TV's Grace Msalame salutes the father of her kids @ndichupm.

Kiss TV’s Grace Msalame salutes the father of her kids @ndichupm.

Father’s Day is one of those invented holidays that are now slowly becoming a staple of our urban landscape in Nairobi. It lies alongside other days that we have brought close to our hearts alongside Valentines Day and Mother’s Day.

So how do we do fathers day in this town? Well Kenyans are as social media savvy as the rest of the rest of them so you can know what they are up to by examining their various channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The rest of the social media sites are sadly still trying to catch on with the rest of these big three.

On Sunday, Kenyans stared the day filling their Facebooks and Instagrams with images of their parents. On Facebook, the preferred modus was to change the person’s profile photo with their dad in cool poses from their childhood or as they are today. Those who couldn’t be bothered to upload their photos would just share the ever popular Happy Father’s Day memes that had already been designed by God knows who. Others opted to unleash the fathers of their kids who have been in the shadows celebrating them for their amazing work as partners and husbands and fathers to their kids.

The Instagram crowd went wild showing the most Parentage per square pixel. It was so much that you would have assumed that it was Parent’s Day at your favourite kerosene feeding Secondary Boarding school.

The most assuming Father’s Day reactions came from Twitter. After tweeps had had their fill of the Kenyan media business with #SomeoneTellKeMedia the next thing was Fathers Day. There were two major schools of thought in the tweeting; One celebrated the good men who were great fathers and the other remindede dead beat dads that all the messages of the day were not meant for them so they should just walk on. Nothing to see here dead beat dad, walk on…

The positive messages were pretty encouraging to the fathers who have been working their butts off to feed their kids and not complain too loudly when their child wants a PSP when they already have the Wii. The second set of messages were the one’s where the daddy issues were so pronounced that you would have thought it was “Dead beat dads suck Day” by the volume. Some stood for the fathers like our very own @BintiM with tweets like these;

So how did you spend your fathers day?

Meet Elisha Kamau, President of Rotaract Club of Muthaiga

Elisha Kamau

Elisha Kamau

Elisha is a Public Relations Practitioner. He helps clients communicate effectively so that they spread the right messages about who they are and what they do. He has a deep passion for PR. A part time writer for The Standard Online, he is also a travel and a social media enthusiast.

1. How long have you been in Rotaract and what made you join?

I have been a member of Rotaract Club of Muthaiga since 2011 having been referred to the club by my friend. At the time, I was looking for a group of people with shared interests and pursuing common objective. I’m really glad that I found what I was looking for. I have made so many new

friends ever since and also dragged a bunch of close friends to the club as well. It gives you an opportunity to polish your professional and leadership skills…and oohh yes you network a lot.

2. What are some of your more memorable experiences in the society?

I have participated in very many projects in the country. The experiences are memorable. They range from mentoring young ones in high school through career talks to participating in community service projects in Kenya and Uganda. The key thing I like about Rotaract members is the ingenuity of members. We have no social classes at Rotaract. Everyone is equal. Through the club I have met very many notable figures in the society. We do all these activities to engage Rotaract and change lives but the most important lesson I have learnt and live by is what we like calling the ‘four way test’ – Of the things we think, say or do, is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? This has really changed my life I must say.

3. What benefits does being a member offer to an individual and to society?

Being a Rotaractor means serving your community, networking, making friends, and building international relationships. Rotaractors support each other in any part of the world and I have seen this through the friends I have made in Uganda and Ethiopia through Rotaract. But the greatest lesson is leadership. For example, as the President, I’m now expected to deliver through volunteers. It’s very different from being a boss at work. You have to learn and master the art of inspiring leadership in everything you do. I also expect to deliver value to the club members especially through the different avenues of service at the club – Professional Development, Community Service, Club Service and International Service.

4. You are the president of Rotaract Club of Muthaiga. Were you elected and how does it work in that organization?

A Rotaract Club President serves for one year. The year starts in July to June 30 the next year and elections are held before November 30th are encouraged to go through so as to be ready for Presidency. Before I became President, I was the Vice President and before then served as a Club secretary. That way, I also got to. There is a rotational system that members learn through other people’s leadership style and this has prepared me to lead volunteers as I appreciate the demands.

5. Now that you are president what are your plans for the club on your term?

In Rotaract, our motto is Service Above Self. It conveys the humanitarian spirit of our members. Therefore, I need to help my club fulfill strong service to our community and also build themselves professionally. This is through partnering with other Rotaract Clubs, and corporates where possible, to implement at least two notable projects to change lives.

In addition, I have a great opportunity to let people know about Rotaract. I’ll keep sharing what Rotaract is all about so as to help people understand it better. We intend to partner with other Rotary Clubs to implement several community service projects.

Arsenal Winning FA Cup > Real Winning the UEFA Champions League

Nairobi goes bananas for The Arsenal.

Nairobi goes bananas for The Arsenal.

So last night we enjoyed the spectacle of one of the most amazing champions league finals in history as Atletico Madrid went down fighting to Real Madrid in Lisbon, Portugal.

The UEFA Champions league has served up some awesome finals in recent times. In 2005, Liverpool traumatised AC Milan coming from 3-0 down to win the game on penalties. In 2012, Chelsea were on the way to losing in the finals to Bayern Munich before Didier Drogba popped up and scored the headed goal that cemented his name in Chelsea folklore forever. They won on penalties with only Juan Mata missing his penalty.

Last night was similarish. Atletico Madrid coming off winning the Spanish La Liga scored the first goal early in the first half soon right after Diego Costa of the placenta treatment was hauled off injured. Then it was a long game of attacks by Real to get the equaliser led by an underperforming Cristiano Ronaldo and a largely ineffective Gareth Bale. At the very last minute Sergio Ramos scored an equaliser that led to extra time which Real won with three goals from Bale, Marchelo and Ronaldo. Great entertainment. The only thing for me was that the comeback reminded me weirdly enough of that Arsenal champions league finals loss against Barcelona in 2006. That still hurts.

But do you know what was even more awesome as far as this blogger was concerned? The Arsenal Vs Hull FA cup final game last Saturday. The game started even worse for the gunners as Hull rushed into a 2-0 lead and the fightback showed that this club is a serious contender for honours in the new season. The game ended 3-2.

The reactions on the streets of Nairobi were crazy. I walked out of the pub I was reviewing for my column on Moi Avenue and was accosted by a wall of Arsenal fans with banners on the streets. Seeing as I had a few minutes and this looked like it could be a juicy tale I followed them as they went to the front of Nation Centre to celebrate The Arsenal winning a trophy. They were a lot of them at the front of that building yelling, “Si Uchawi! Ni mazoea! (Its not witchcraft! We are used to it!). Also in the chants were praise for the club in general, Arsene Wenger and Aaron Ramsey. That was the most fun I had had in a bit (I don’t get out much).

Meanwhile the reactions to Real Winning the champions league (or Citeh winning the league) were not to be seen. Therefore I am quite correct to state that;

Arsenal Winning FA Cup > Real Winning the UEFA Champions League

How long since Arsenal won a trophy? 8 days. #WengerOut

How many Kenyans go home with more than Kshs100,000 a month?

How many can spend Kshs74,000 on whiskey a night like our Joe Muchiri?

How many can spend Kshs74,000 on whiskey a night like our Joe Muchiri?

It’s getting crazy on the money front. The other day I went to buy some tomatoes and I was informed that I would have to spend Kshs20 for three measly ones which when I got home turned out to be rotten inside. Bummer. Then the price of everything is creeping up slowly. Matatus are going for Kshs10 or Kshs20 extra on every route in the city. But even with the escalating prices there has been a general feeling that Nairobians are making more money more than ever. This is shown in not just the pricing of goods but also in the media. We hear of people who are making millions every month in shows like Young Rich on K24 and The Entrepreneur on KTN.

So it costs more to live in the city while there is evidence of moving forward. But the reality on the ground could be a bit different front what the chatter is coming from all quarters. So just how many Kenyans go home with Kshs100,000 every month. Is it five million? Ten million? 1 million? In a nation of 40 million plus that wouldn’t be such a wild figure right?

Which leads me to a guy I met in Choma base in 2010, let’s call him John, who my good lady friend introduced as her new boyfriend (in those days she had a lot of boyfriends, she is now married bless her). We started chatting about the big discussion at the time which was how the economy was booming. In my opinion we were doing well and the evidence was the cars that were flying off the shelves so fast that as soon as there was a new prefix it was it emerged. KAZ, KBA, KBC, KBD, KBE. They were moving faster than hot cakes those vehicles so that meant, in my true “Nairobi is the bees knees” mode, the economy must be booming right?

He smiled and asked me, “Is that what you think? How many Kenyans go home with more that 100K?”

“I don’t know. There must be like 3 or 4 million,” came my informed answer.

He laughed. Really hard. It was one of those laughs where one ends up holding their gut with one hand as they slapped their knee with the other one. He was almost crying in his mirth.

“What’s so funny man?” I asked.

“Four million? Are you crazy? You couldn’t be further off the mark.”

“Was I too low? Is it like six million?”

“No. Again you are wrong. Go lower.”

“Lower? Three million?”


“Two million?”

“This will take all night. Its just under 20,000.”

You should have seen the look on my face. This John guy must have been smoking some seriously good Malawi gold. People in this town were balling. Right?

“You must be joking. People are blowing up in this place.”

“Really? Who are these people who are balling?”

“People. You know…”

“Ok what types of people go home with more than 100k. Tell me.”

“Well the MPs are balling.”

“And how many are there?”


“So these ballers you are using are 222. Who else?“

“Then there are all these guys in the big corporations.”

“How many companies do you think can afford to pay over 100k and how many people would be paid this huge amount in each of them?”

I thought about this one hard.

“Well I’d say all the company in the NSE bourse can afford to pay people at least 100k. I’ll suggest that on average 10 of the highest paid executives in each of the firms are paid more than that sum. So calculating that say 100 companies in that level of operations pay 10 staff that’s 1,000.

“So now you are at 1,222. Lest be kind and make it 2,000 shall we?” John suggested.

“Sawa”, I countered. “That’s 2,000 people making more than 100k.”

“And the rest?”

I tried to pad the rest. Farmers in the rift valley, athletes collecting cash from marathons abroad, artists who are making mad cheddar, tour operators, cell phone dealers, bums on the beach in the coast. I never got beyond 5,000 Kenyans making more than 100k a month net.

“So you see that people aren’t making as much money as you think they are?”

This really bugged me.

“But these cars are being unleashed like there is an offer. What is that about?”

“Aha! You see my job at the bank is to give loans to people looking for them. I have been signing off loans like crazy this year? Many of the cars you are seeing on the streets are there after I have signed off loans.”

“Wow. That’s just crazy.”

“It’s not crazy. How much is your net take home right now? ”he asked me.


“Come to my office. I have 500,000K to give you.”

In 2012, it emerged that there are 16,000 mortgages account in Kenya. Tafakari hayo.

Q&A with CfC Stanbic Manager Willis Angira

Willis Angira is a big fan of The Arsenal.

Willis Angira is a big fan of The Arsenal.

Today we take exclusively to Willis Angira. Willis is currently the Communications and Events Manager at CfC Stanbic Bank but he has had stints in media both in Kenya and the UK.

NL: What schools did you go to help in your journey as a professional starting from Primary, Secondary and college?

W.A. As the son of a primary school teacher, my initial educational journey was synonymous with my mum’s teaching career. I started off at Arya Primary School in Kisumu city for seven years and later sat for KCPE at Kibuye Mixed Primary School. I proceeded to Kisii School for my secondary school education and joined Kenyatta University thereafter for my undergraduate degree – Bachelor of Education majoring in English and Literature. My postgraduate studies saw me travel to the United Kingdom, to the University of Wolverhampton where I studied Human Resource Management and later media at The Radio School of Excellence in Reading. You worked in media for many years. How was your journey in that esteemed profession?

W.A. Believe it or not my journey in this esteemed profession started off at the state broadcaster KBC where I was doing an internship, before being snapped up by KTN barely two months into the internship to replace the then business news anchor Patrick Maigua who was leaving for the BBC. It was my first paid employment in Kenya and was really exciting at the time. I later left mainstream media in Kenya as I relocated back to the UK but continued serving the esteemed profession as a correspondent for the local TV stations particularly NTV for whom I reported on the London underground bombings and the grilling of the former Ethics PS John Githongo’s by the PAC while he was in exile in the UK. What were your highlights in the media business? What were your lows?

W.A.: My highlights in the media business are several. Firstly when I carried the Commonwealth torch in the UK as a trainee broadcast journalist with Grimsby TV and secondly my second stint in the media being part of team at KTN covering the historic 2013 general elections. My low would have to be when I quit KTN the first time. I was young and eager to make it to the very top in broadcasting in Kenya and for me it was a big blow having to stop doing what I really loved and was passionate about.

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