Celebrating NairobiLiving.com at 10: 2006-2016 (Please RT)

Naiat10NairobiLiving.com will be celebrating ten years as a blog from September 2016. To celebrate this occasion, we shall be hosting a series of activities to commemorate this milestone.

NairobiLiving.com was born in June 2006 at a time when blogs and the blogosphere was still a new concept in Kenya. At the time, the blog was the definitive space to know what was happening in the Nairobi space in a variety of disciplines including the professional, the social and everything in between.

NairobiLiving.com’s creator James Murua was able to spin off its success to a newspaper column that was voted “Column of the Year 2009” by the readers of The Star.

NairobiLiving.com, which is a member of the Bloggers Association of Kenya fraternity, was nominated for best lifestyle blog at the Bloggers Awards of Kenya in 2015.

NairobiLiving.com on the road

NairobiLiving.com is celebrating its tenth year in the blogosphere with a road trip that will crisscross the African continent from July 1st to August 28th 2016. The trip will go through Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Somaliland, Uganda and South Africa using public transport; bus and plane.

The team shall go through ten towns/cities as we cover the continent. The towns are Dar es Salaam, Lilongwe, Lusaka, Kariba, Harare, Johannesburg, Hargeisa, Kampala, and Durban. The tenth city will be Nairobi the beginning and ending of the event.

If you want to take part in this activity either as a sponsor or even to ride along, please don’t hesitate to contact us. As a sponsor, there will be many opportunities on social media as well as on this blog to showcase your product. If you want to join us then you are guaranteed of a great time.

Kenya Photography Awards 2016 nominees announced

Jacques Pitteloud and Njeri Mwangi with another guest as they launch the 2015 edition of the Canon Kenya Photography Awards

Jacques Pitteloud and Njeri Mwangi with another guest as they launch the 2015 edition of the Canon Kenya Photography Awards

The best photographers this year have been nominated as finalists for the Kenya Photography Awards 2016. The announcement of the winners will be made at a gala event in Nairobi on June 19th, 2016.

Organized by PAWA 254 in collaboration with the Photographers Association of Kenya (P.A.K) and sponsored by Canon, the Kenya Photography Awards seek to not only reward excellence in the discipline but also promote and improve photography standards in the country.

The 33 nominees will be running in nine categories: News, Creative, Sports, Nature, Portraiture, Daily Life, Special category (Climate Change), Most Promising Young Photographer and a public voting category for People’s Choice. The full list of nominees are;

  1. News: Phoebe Okall, Kevin Onnoka and Daniel Mwangi Irungu
  1. Daily life: Adam Mower, Georgina Goodwin and Migwi Nthiga
  1. Sports: Thomas Mukoya, Suleiman Mbatiah and Larry Asego
  1. Nature: Sebastian Wanzalla, Mwangi Kirubi, Abdul Rahman Mutuma and Georgina Goodwin
  1. Portraiture: Brian Mwando, John Wambugu, Richard Allela, Selina Onyando, Migwa Nthiga and Joe Were
  1. Creative:Joseph Kyule, Iteba Alloys, Jared Maina and Larry Asego.
  1. Most Promising Young photographer of the year: Kevin Kariuki, Churchill Oele, Peter Ndungu and Patrick Kamau.
  2. People’s Choice Nominees:Adam Mower, Richard Allela, Brian Mwando, Joseph Kyule, Kevin Kariuki and Peter Ndungu
  1. People’s Choice category: the public will vote online for their favorite photo on (www.photoawards.co.ke).

The judging was led by Gary Knight, a British photographer, past chairman of World Press Photo Awards and co-founder of the VII photo agency, who was in Kenya to oversee the judging process.

“This is a key milestone in the photography industry. This year, we have seen a rise in number of entries from photographers, some taken from the simple smartphones to ones taken with high-end professional cameras. This shows that we have a lot of potential in the Kenya photography industry. For the first time, we shall be awarding the single and series entries separately. Category winners this year each take home Kshs. 50,000 and the runner’s-up will take home Kshs. 20,000. The overall winner gets an additional KES. 200,000,”noted  Njeri Mwangi, Chief Organizer, PAWA 254.

 

On his part, Canon Central & North Africa Managing Director, Roman Troedthandi noted: “It is an honor to be the main sponsor for the Kenya Photography Awards for the second consecutive year. We congratulate all the nominees and we are happy to announce that Canon will be providing workshop for all the nominees and also running a check and clean service for all the photographers on the awards day.”

Mafans 5: Watching the UEFA Champions League Final 2016 in Naivasha

Team Mafans

Team Mafans

This blogger watched the UEFA Champions League Final between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid at the Inka Homes in Naivasha as part of Mafans 5.

Mafans is a football group of Kenyans that has been going on strong for the last decade. Mafans is a word which has been gotten from the term “fans” and then given the Swahili touch of “Mafans” or many fans. The group is comprised of professionals from a variety of fields who have a love for sport. The prime focus of the group is the English Premier League which is as any commentator is huge all over the planet. The group also discusses other sporting events that are happening in the world of sport both locally and internationally.

This blogger joined the group in 2008 or thereabouts and it had already been going on strong for a while. At that point the group was run as an email group where folks would share their opinions on the games with insults flying around on match day and after as folks reacted to results. After a tragedy, the group went into a bit of a hiatus only to reappear a couple years ago. This time round, the group would return as a Whatsapp group which was even more personal as we all know.

The group has been hosting events to network and get to know one another as we started the second phase of Mafans. These events tend to happen when really big football matches are happening and there had been already four of these events. The biggest football match in European football was happening on May 28th, 2016 and the group decided that this was as good a time as any to do an out of town edition of Mafans. After much discussion, the first Mafans not happening in Nairobi, the fifth in the edition, would be happening in Naivasha. The designated place for this event was the Inka Homes which is off the main road of the town with all the camps and resorts.

This blogger was busy on the Saturday so couldn’t join up with the rest of Mafans who were driving into the venue. I opted to use public transport to the beautiful town by Lake Naivasha in the late afternoon. It’s been a while but things haven’t changed that much in the last few years if you are planning on using this method. You head to the Oillibya on Ronald Ngala Street where you pay Kshs250 for a matatu to Naivasha. From here you head out of the city through Kirinyaga Road, past Globe Cinema Roundabout, through Westlands and onto the open road. You pass Limuru town which is cold as a mother followed by going through the Great Rift Valley Viewpoint where you see breathtaking views into the valley.

So I got off the matatu in Naivasha town and check the directions I had been sent. Err, go to a place with a name that sounds like a “tractor” in Kikuyu then turn left into some pot hole filled road and you get to a wall and there you are. As I am doing my math, a friendly boda boda rider approaches me and I explain my dilemma; he offers to take me there for Kshs600. Now I use the boda boda aka motorcycle taxis a lot in Nairobi and when a guy says that the price is that high I know that it’s far. I didn’t even bother negotiate; as long as he dropped me off with causing me harm I was game. I hopped on and off we were into the Naivasha night.

Past the highway with the Subarus which had stalled on the side of the road we went and eventually I made it to the designated place to watch the game. Here I met the main organizer Githii as well as Onserio aka Mwalimu and Murigu aka Holmes and a few other characters. As I settled in with the food and the beers the rest of the gang checked in; Doreen, the two Caros and more. Even the founder of the group Masese aka Maxexe was sported in that group. And Fidel. And.. And… It was a full house.

Eventually the match started and the whole group was keenly following the proceedings on the screen. Many were weirdly enough supporting Atletico Madrid but their support was not to deny Ronaldo and his Real. They would go on to lift their 11th Champions league crown on that night. With the end of the match the party begun and went onto the early hours. I remember sleeping around 4:30am; way past my bed time J.

Thanks to all the work done by the team behind Mafans 5. The tireless organisers Githii and Edna. The “sponsors” Kiprop and Brian. Those who attended. I can’t wait for Mafans 6. Wherever and whenever it will be.

Doreen

Doreen

Murua

Murua

Maxexe and Edna

Maxexe and Edna

Holmes

Holmes

Githii

Githii

Emmy

Emmy

Carol

Carol

Fidel

Fidel

Kenya’s best bloggers in 2016 awarded in swanky ceremony 

Dr Wandia Njoya with Aisha Ali

Dr Wandia Njoya with Aisha Ali

The best bloggers in Kenya was awarded in a ceremony at the Radisson Blu in Upper Hill, Nairobi on Saturday evening.

It was a full house as bloggers and their families and friends converged at the newest five star hostel in town to see who would emerge the best amongst them in the different categories. The evening where everyone was dressed in African wear (it’s a style) saw the who’s who of the Kenyan blogosphere mill around before the ceremony started on time.

The trophies were handed out to the various categories with the winners going home with trinkets like the Galaxy A5 Phone, Intel Laptop bag, Samsung Gear VR and Mettā membership, Dinner for two at Tatu Restaurant at Fairmont, the Norfolk, two round trip tickets to Mombasa on Jambo Jet, Huawei GR5 Phone, and Samsung Gear VR. They also received large amounts of Safaricom credit.

At the end of the evening, the best blog in Kenya went to Biko Zulu with an overwhelming win over Owaahh, Lyra Aoko, Niaje.com and Techweez. This is not the first time for the popular Biko to go home with the best award as he has been winning the creative category award since the awards were started.

The full list of winners is;

  1. Best Technology Blog – http://www.techweez.com
  2. Best Photography Blog – http://benkiruthi.com/blog3/
  3. Best Creative Writing Blog – bikozulu.co.ke
  4. Best Business Blog – bizna.co.ke
  5. Best Food Blog – kaluhiskitchen.com
  6. Best Environmental/Agricultural Blog – farmerstrend.co.ke/
  7. Best Fashion/Beauty/Hair/Style Blog – luciamusau.com
  8. Best Politics Blog – info.mzalendo.com
  9. Best New Blog – theycallmedaktari.com
  10. Best Corporate Blog – ihub.co.ke/blog
  11. Best Topical Blog –mummytales.com
  12. Best Sports Blog – futaa.com
  13. Best Entertainment/Lifestyle Blog – ghafla.co.ke
  14. Best Education Blog –creativesacademy.wordpress.com
  15. Best Travel Blog –safari254.com
  16. Best Health Blog – couchhealthandfitness.wordpress.com
  17. Best County Blog –lifeinmombasa.com
  18. Best Religious or Spirituality Blog – ernestwamboye.blogspot.com
  19. Kenyan Blog of the Year – bikozulu.co.ke

 

Social Media and Journalism discussed by media practitioners at #SomaConnect

Joseph Bonyo, James Murua, Tim Njiru, Denis Itumbi, Philip Mwaniki and Ezekiel Mutua.

Joseph Bonyo, James Murua, Tim Njiru, Denis Itumbi, Philip Mwaniki and Ezekiel Mutua.

Social media and journalism was discussed by media practitioners at the Soma Connect event at the Nailab at the Bishop Maigua Gardens in Nairobi on Wednesday, May 11, 2016.

Soma Connect is a monthly event where Social media and its effects on different aspects of Kenyan life professional or otherwise is discussed every month. The event, which happens on the second Wednesday of every month, has discussed various topics in the past; last month for instance the discussion was in Social Media for development with speakers like Zawadi Nyong’o and Philip Ogola.

This month, the topic on the table would be Social Media and Journalism and the headline panelists were Kenya Film Classification Board CEO Ezekiel Mutua, Office of the President’s Director of Digital Dennis Itumbi and Nation Media Group’s NTV business editor Wallace Kantai. They would be supported by Citizen TV news editor Joseph Bonyo, Nation Newspaper’s Philip Mwaniki and blogger James Murua. They would all be moderated by TV presenter Tim Njiru.

It was designed to be in two phases. The first phase in the evening started with Itumbi, Mutua and Kantai moderated by Tim Njiru (the moderator is one of those guys you call with both names). Kantai would be leaving soon as he had a bulletin to worry about but he still gave his contribution. His presentation spoke about his concern as to whether he will still be useful as a journalist where everyone is a content creator with their phones. Itumbi on his part spoke about journalism and how it has changes since he was first a journalist and when he left first as a freelancer and eventually to government.

Finally Mutua who is the most spoken about government employee in recent times with his role at the Kenya film and classification board. His was an explanation of the role of the organisation that he currently led as well as how they are working.

It was a great discussion that we were enjoying with Itumbi revealing that he would earn peanuts, not actual peanuts, of around 20k a month with Baraka FM before working with Voice of America where his fortunes changed. This was because he had a decent salary with the American firm whilst doing extremely lucrative freelance work with a South African firm. This led him to believe that the age of social media might actually more of a boon than journalists want to imagine as the market for their content as it is more valuable. It was instructive for any journo who wanted to leave the madness of a newsroom, its pressure and the pay that could be better.

The second phase of the discussions saw Wallace Kantai leave to do his interview therefore Mutua and Itumbi were joined on the stage by Bonyo, Mwaniki and Murua. Bonyo explained how in the broadcasting business had being changed by social media. Today Royal Media has set up a system that mined data from the field using social media unlike in the past where bulletins were decided in morning editorial meetings. The system has become more fluid to ensure that they aren’t missing stories. They have also focused on Day 2 journalism which involves more analysis which is why you will see more “talking heads” in the evening telling you what you might have missed.

It was a full house.

It was a full house.

Mwaniki explained how in spite of the announcement of doom of print newspapers because of the Internet and specifically social media the genre still has life. This especially applies where verifying of news stories and day 2 journalism is concerned. On his part Murua explained how Social media has changed the business of blogging as social media now helps the blogger in various ways. The social media is content for the blogger as well as being a way to promote one’s content. One can also sell content that is on their social media channels.

With the panelists having finished their presentations, the chats with the audience started and they were robust. A great evening was had by all.

See y’all next month folks.

Martin Muli

Martin Muli

Our event emcee

Our event emcee

Manu Dibango rocks Nairobi at #KorogaFestival

Manu Dibango

Manu Dibango

Manu Dibango was the headline act at this month’s edition of the Koroga Festival hosted at the Arboretum Grounds on Sunday 8th May 2016.

I’m a huge fan of the Koroga Festival which is hosted on the first Sunday of every second month in Nairobi. The organisers usually fly in an international music act from another African country to perform alongside well known Kenyan acts. I have been to quite a few and even blogged my experience about the live music event when singers like Simphiwe Dana and Oliver Mtukudzi gave us music one will rarely hear played live in Nairobi.

This Sunday, the headline act was set to be Manu Dibango the Cameroonian musician who has been performing to sellout audiences all over the world for over half a century. This is a man whose song Soul Makossa was so big that Michael Jackson famously paraphrased it in the recurring phrase “ma-ma say, ma-ma sa, ma ma-coo-sa” at the end of his 1982 release “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.”

In his career, Dibango has worked with everyone in the business you can imagine and the list is diverse. They include pianist Herbie Hancock (USA), trumpeter Hugh Masekela (South African), Youssou N’Dour (Senegal), King Sunny Ade (Nigeria), Salif Keita (Mali), Angélique Kidjo (Benin), Ladysmith Black Mambazo (South Africa) and a hell of a lot more. If there was a serious artist, this guy has worked with them.

The day of the concert was very cool. The night before had been a wet affair so concert goers were advised to go with closed shoes and some warm clothing. So we all walk into the venue, get tagged and there are X-News newspaper being handed out to concert goers aggressively. What was that about I wondered?

We all walked in and got to enjoy the two aspects of the Koroga Festival as all acknowledge; the social and the music side. On the social side, I was catching up with a helluva lot of people who I hadn’t seen in yonks. I have to admit that this is one of the spaces where you meet folks in an open and convivial environment as you partake of drinks and snacks with family.

The music side of the evening was even better. We were wowed by singing by June Gachui and saxophoning by Parseen Edward who were joined on stage by the ever popular Kaz. I knew that Maurice Kirya the Ugandan singer was around when the ladies I was chatting to suddenly up and left me at a table alone looking like a dummy. I’m looking at you and your crew, Njeri.

The highlight of the show was Manu Dibango of course. Here was the 82 year old singer with his multicultural band as they blasted hit after hit new and old. The audience was a bit of a Nairobi audience, they know the name and want to see him live but they didn’t know his songs. They weren’t his true fans but those who loved him joined those who were here for the ambience and had an epic afternoon.

Who’s next team Koroga? All photos used in this post are courtesy of the team at Koroga. Thank you.

June Gachui

June Gachui

Parseen Edward

Parseen Edward

Maurice Kirya

Maurice Kirya

 

Manu Dibango: The main reason I’ll be attending Koroga Festival

manud

Manu Dibango is an icon where the African music scene is concerned and he will be performing in Nairobi on Sunday at the Koroga Festival. He won’t be performing alone. His supporting acts will include Maurice Kiyra, June Gachuhi and Different Faces which is fronted by saxophone genius Edward Parseen. While I love these performers and would happily go to a concert just with them, the headline act is something very different. He is Manu Dibango.

Manu Dibango is a very special person in my human experience. He was really big in Kenya with his hit song Goro City which was played a helluva lot over the 1980s. It was even sneakily used as a soundtrack for a TV that for some reason I cannot remember. The song reminds me of a conflicting time for the nation It was the period when people suffered with their space as a paranoid president Moi ensured his authority was felt.

At the time as I was a child becoming a teen, I was fervently passionately nationlist; I was one of the many who were under the Nyayo spell. We would happily share what the president did on the playground. He was the guy who carried the biggest boulder as they build gabions to prevent social erosion; whose dad could lift a bigger one. He was the guy who drove that Nyayo Pioneer car around Nyayo stadium; whose dad could drive it the fastest.

Apart from the huge cult of personality around the man from Sacho, it was a time when music from all over the continent was rocking the city I grew up in. Mory Kante’s Yeke Yeke blared from vehicles and matatus. Radios would be hear blasting Sam Fan Thomas’ Noa. Fela Kuti’s Lady was rocking it still almost a decade on. This was the period Goro City was making its mark and I wouldn’t mind hearing it live. It would be a great time to remember the time of my youth; when I was still young and idealistic.

If this period comes back through song, the trip to Arboretum with the threat of rain would have been totally worth it. See you on Sunday people.

Advance tickets only. Get yours here.

Kenya Photography Awards 2016 launch

KPA Call for entries Poster (2)Photographers Association of Kenya (PAK) jointly with PAWA 254 have today launched the 2016 Kenya Photography Awards.

Now in its third year, the awards will see photographers submit their photos on the Kenya Photography Awards website between March 24th, 2016 to April 30th, 2016 under 8 different categories.

The categories are: News, Sports, Nature, Daily Life, Creative, Portraiture, Most Promising Young Photographer and People’s Choice.

The awards seek to recognize skill, talent and hard work among professionals and rising photographers in the country.

“We are glad indeed to be launching this edition of the awards this year. So far, we have seen significant growth in the photography industry in the country through collaborative efforts from various partners. There is a lot we need to do to bolster the sector. The awards will go a long way to ensure that we not only appreciate photography as an art but also support and motivate young and upcoming photographers to pursue excellence in this trade,” noted Stephen Nderitu, Chairperson, Photographer’s Association of Kenya.

He added: “I would like to encourage all photographers to come all out and share their best photos under the various categories and together let us celebrate talent.”

On his part, chief judge, Gary Knight, noted: “Last year, we got some really impressive shots and so this year, we will be looking for much more. We encourage all photographers – young and old to participate in this contest and let us see more and more amazing photos this year.”

Below are the timelines for this year’s awards:

Submissions: March 24th, 2016 – April 30th, 2016

Judging: May 2016

Announcement of Nominees: May 30th, 2016

Winner’s announcement: June 2016

In 2015, the awards attracted over 1200 entries. Past winners of the Kenya Photography Awards include: Thomas Mukoya (News and Sports), Alice Oldenburg (Daily Life and Nature), John Wambugu (Special Category “Climate Change”), Peter Ndung’u (Portraiture and People’s Choice), Siegmund Kamau (Creative and Most Promising Young Photographer). The overall winner for 2015 was Alice Oldenburg.

The Kenyan Blog Awards 2016 enters voting phase

kenyablogawardsThe Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) has announced the nominees in this years’ Kenyan Blog Awards. The unveiling will also see the opening of the third and most active part of the awards; the online voting phase.

This follows a grueling exercise, by judges, who sifted through a hopping 4,899 blog submissions that were received. The judges who were tasked with selecting the best 5blogs in each category are:

  1. Mikul Shah, Director at EatOut
    2. Ahmed Salim, GM at Qube Ltd
    3. Terryanne Chebet, Senior Anchor & Associate Editor at Citizen TV
    4. Muthoni Maingi, Digital Manager at Safaricom

The nominees for this year’s awards include  magunga.com, bizna.co.ke, lyraoko.com  and pendolamama.co.ke. Voting in the awards begin today and will close on 1st May 2016.

To vote for their favourite blog in the Kenyan Blog Awards, Kenyans should visit blogawards.co.ke/vote. Votes will be limited to one vote per person.

The Kenyan Blog Awards were launched on 8th January, which also coincided with the launch of the submission phase. Blogs were submitted in the competition until 10th February 2016. The judges then took over and selected their best 5 in all the categories.  Winners of the competition will be announced at a gala event on 7th May 2016.

And the nominees are…

  1. Best Technology Blog
  1. Best Photography Blog
  1. Best Creative Writing Blog
  1. Best Business Blog
  1. Best Food Blog
  1. Best Environmental/Agricultural Blog
  1. Best Fashion/Beauty/Hair/Style Blog
  1. Best Political Blog
  1. Best New Blog
  1. Best Corporate Blog
  1. Best Topical Blog
  1. Best Sports Blog
  1. Best Entertainment/Lifestyle Blog
  1. Best Education Blog

 

  1. Best Travel Blog
  1. Best Health Blog
  1. Best County Blog
  1. Best Religious/Spiritual Blog
  1. Kenyan Blog of the year

 

Kenyan entertainers invade morning TV and radio

Sauti Sol with Ghost and Gidi

Sauti Sol with Ghost and Gidi

If you want to see some of the most happening acts in Kenya, one of the best spaces to enjoy them are morning radio and TV shows.

I only recently returned to Instagram and discovered that it had become a huge ecosystem with fans in Kenya in the hundreds of thousands. In some instances this social media channel has become even bigger than Twitter.

The biggest users of this social media are mass media and the entertainment community. A very good example was shown this very morning when some of Kenya’s more well known acts were featured on popular media.

Sauti Sol, the biggest band in the country where pop music is concerned, for instance were the guests on Radio Jambo. This breakfast show hosted by Ghost and Gidi is arguably the country’s biggest show at the moment. Also featuring on the station were legendary act the Kassangas of Anne and Japheth who owned the gospel music scene in the 1990s.

Not far from Radio Jambo, Kiss 100’s breakfast show which nowadays goes by the moniker The New Kiss aka #TNK with Kalekye Mumo and Shaffie Weru were hosting a different kind of entertainer. They hosted @Miss_bokland and @serahmolly who are stars of the new viral sensation that is “Nairobi Diaries.” The show that screens every Monday evening on K24 TV features some of Kenya’s most well known socialites; this is a term we use to refer to attractive young women who are seen around media circles but aren’t known for actual jobs.

Nelson Mandela of Sarabi on K24 TV

Nelson Mandela of Sarabi on K24 TV

Talking about K24 TV they were hosting one of the hottest acts to come out of the country Sarabi. These kids are going places with their music and their new documentary.

Across town, Radio Maisha with their morning show Alex and Jalas were hosting Dela Maranga who has become something of an international sensation after her Swahili cover of Hello the mega hit by Brit Adelle. She was promoting the upcoming Sportspesa Festival which she was a performer. Sing it with me… Sportspesa inanyonyaa….

Also featuring in the morning entertainer stakes was Makadem, the singer that has quietly become the King of the new Benga of Kenya. He was featured playing his trusty Nyatiti.

So there you have it. If you want to get your finger on the pulse of what is happening in Kenyan entertainment, you want to get an Instagram account and following all these acts. Its hella fun.

On this post you will see some of the posts the media houses or acts made on their accounts. My Instagram account is @muruajames

Alex and Jalas with Dela Maranga

Alex and Jalas with Dela Maranga

Makadem at Citizen TV

Makadem at Citizen TV

 

Gidi and Ghost with Anne and Japheth Kassanga

Gidi and Ghost with Anne and Japheth Kassanga

Shaffie and Kalekye with the ladies from Nairobi Diaries

Shaffie and Kalekye with the ladies from Nairobi Diaries

 

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