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?”

“Lower.”

“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?”

“222.”

“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.

“30k.”

“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.

NL.com: 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.

NL.com: 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.

NL.com:

The Arsenal thrashing brought to you by Gillette

Its all good with Gillette.

Its all good with Gillette.

Supporting The Arsenal can be a very difficult job at the best of times. Since 2005 when Patrick Vieira lifted the FA and we all yelled with him (why do we do that anyway) it has been slim pickings on the trophy front. We got to the champions league final in Paris in 2006 but lost to a Ronaldihno inspired Barcelona after being ahead to a Sol Campbell header close to the end of the game. We also go to the Carling Cup final in 2011 where we met Birmingham and lost at the very last minute when goalie Sir Chesney and Laurent Koscielny conspired to allow that Naija striker Obafemi Martins to sneak in and lose the trophy. There have been some pretty bad loses too. 8-2 against the Mancs. 4-4 against Newcastle (we drew but I still count it as a loss of two points). Wigan 2-1 at the very last minute.

There have been some positives in spite of these few mess ups. Without the league, accessing the UEFA Champion’s League every year and getting to compete against the best in Europe (which in truth is best in the world) is a salve that helps to keep my mind away from the pleasure of yelling alongside as an Arsenal captain lifts a trophy. Halfway across the planet.

The 2013/4 season looked different than the others I have been experiencing. This vintage was very much like the previous league winning side known as the “invincibles.” The team stayed at the top of the table most of the season and it was a four horse race with Arsenal joined by oligarch funded Chelsea and petrodollar infused Manchester City and surprise package Liverpool.

It was Saturday that I headed to Marabou Lounge to watch what many considered the make or break game of the season for Arsenal’s title ambitions as they met Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea as you are aware is led by probably the most odious individual in world sport (yes, even more that the Nike boys – Oscar Pistorius, Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong combined). He has never lost at home in the league and we were up against it.

The event was brought by our friends from Gillette who have been associated with sports for a long time; Gillette World Sport Special is a huge part of my Saturdays as a younger fellow. Gillette are also the folks who also seem to add their blade numbers every so often as is shown by this wonderful tweet;

@mcalvey: *Gillette meeting*

Sales are down again-ideas? Jim?

What if…

*Everyone leans in*

9 blades.

Dammit Jim ya saved the company again.

I am not the Jim mentioned in this tweet by the way.

This time the team from Gillette had gotten Elias Makori to ask some of his friends to catch the game. The ones who I remember include Philip Etale who is ODM director of communication and regular contributor of that paper that smart people read. Also there was David Mbatia who I knew as a top dog at the K24 TV station although on chatting with him he mentioned that he had left very recently to be a consultant. It was times like those I missed Bogonko Bosire and his salacious Jackal News Website as if he was around we would have been given the behind the scenes story about why Mbatia isn’t at K24. The real reason this happened according to conspiracy friendly Bogonko would have been along the lines of a curse biting the executive because the company fired a pregnant woman. Ah well.

You don’t have to be told the result of that game. We were spanked 6-0. 6-0. That’s the worst performance I have seen from an Arsenal side since the 8-2 loss in Manchester before the Skunk took off to the Filthy Mancs. It was very depressing. The only thing going for me that day was that I interacted with many pals I haven’t seen in a bit; Nairobi moves so fast that when you look around you haven’t seen a pal or family member for one year.

Then there were the lovely Gillette girls. Optical nourishment never hurt any man.

The Arsenal title challenge ended on Tuesday when that ball went in off Flamini for Swansea to get a draw at the Emirates on Tuesday.

For those who complain bitterly about Arsene Wenger I feel your pain. The old man is no saint. I am still mad that he chose bottler William Gallas to be captain over Gilberto who was captain for Brazil at the time. If he had made that decision the fate of The Arsenal would have been very different from today. Of that I am certain. There have been many times I have been unhappy with his line outs and purchases. However he does have something going for him that I don’t have. For one, he is the one of a small elite group of football managers who has led a football team to win the English Premier League. They are so few I don’t mind listing them; Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho, Kenny Dalglish leading Blackburn Manager in 1995, Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea manager in 2010. Did I miss anyone? Yep. That’s one of 5 guys on the planet to pull of this feat in the premier league era. It’s not simple winning that trophy.

Even without the league no one has stayed in the elite of Europe for so long who for intents shouldn’t. More people have been given more money than him but he is there every year with his shoe string budget teams going to the second round of that tourney. Don’t knock that. Liverpool failed to win the league in 2008 and then faded. Its only now years after spending gazillions on players and changing managers that they are contenders. Even Man Utd are feeling the heat without their legendary manager; are you willing to bet that they will be in champions league next (winning the league is out of the question) year?

We’ll get them next year. Really.

Bloggers Awards 2014: Best blogs now ready for voting

vote300pxThe Bloggers Awards 2014 shortlist is out. Please go vote

The Bloggers Awards, a production of the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE), is one of the most important events where the Kenyan blogging community is concerned. It is the one space where people can get to know what blogs they need to check out and the new stuff coming out.

The Bloggers Awards short lists are out. This came after a rigorous process starting with nominations from fans of blogs followed by judges sitting and shortlisting those that most fill the criteria. The categories in this years awards are best in Best Technology Blog, Best Photography Blog, Creative Writing Best, Business Blog, Food, Environmental/Agricultural Blog, Fashion/Beauty/Hair/Style Blog, Politics Blog, New Blog, Corporate Blog, County Blog, Best Health Blog, Best Travel Blog, Best Entertainment/Lifestyle Blog, Best Sports Blog and Best Topical Blog.

The best overall blog goes under the Best Kenyan Blog and the list includes photo blog Mutua matheka.co.ke/blog, new entrant http://mydeardoris.wordpress.com, creative writer and perenial contender bikozulu.co.ke, food blog pikachakula.com and fashion blogger http://nanciemwai.com

Please go and vote for your favourite blog here.

Here is a full list of the shortlisted blogs.

Best Technology Blog
1. http://www.moseskemibaro.com/
2.http://emmanuelchenze.com/
3. http://techtrendske.wordpress.com/
4. http://techmoran.com/
5. http://www.kvrop.com/

Best Photography Blog
1. http://stevekitots.wordpress.com/
2. benkiruthi.com/blog3
3. http://mutuamatheka.co.ke/blog/
4. http://allangichigi.com/star/
5. http://www.gallerymichaelkhateli.blogspot.com

Best Creative Writing Blog
1. http://www.bikozulu.co.ke
2. http://www.mydeardoris.wordress.com
3. http://mkatenusu.wordpress.com/
4. http://www.donotfeedthebloggers.com
5. http://michaelngigi.wordpress.com

Best Business Blog
1. http://www.bankelele.co.ke/
2. http://sokodirectory.com/
3. http://www.kenyamanual.co.ke/
4. http://simplytakeaction.com/business/
5. http://inspiringgreatness001.wordpress.com

Best Food Blog
1. http://leotunapika.wordpress.com
2. http://healthylivingkenya.wordpress.com
3. http://happymealskenya.blogspot.com/
4. http://www.pikachakula.com
5. http://www.yummy.co.ke/

Best Environmental/Agricultural Blog
1. http://emmiekio.blogspot.com
2. http://rockesci.co.ke
3. http://www.panaac.org/blog
4. http://youngagrochampions.blogspot.com
5. http://www.farmingafrika.com

Best Fashion/Beauty/Hair/Style Blog
1. http://www.thisisess.com
2. http://www.kurlykichana.com
3. http://luciamusau.com/
4. http://www.ourstylekenya.com
5. http://nanciemwai.com/

Best Politics Blog
1. http://www.anjeru.com
2. http://kenopalo.com/
3. http://www.brainstorm.co.ke/
4. http://www.shitemi.com

Best New Blog
1. http://confessionsofayoungmummy.wordpress.com
2. http://www.magunga.com
3. http://www.tdsblog.com
4. http://kenyansnapshot.wordpress.com
5. http://www.wendywahito.com

Best Corporate Blog
1. http://crownpaints.co.ke/blog
2. http://www.olivia.co.ke/blog
3. http://storymojaafrica.wordpress.com
4. http://www.ihub.co.ke/blog
5. http://blog.batakenya.com

Best Topical Blog
1. http://www.mummytales.com
2. http://blog.inkedbiker.co.ke
3. http://blog.gigwapi.com
4. http://www.lizlenjo.com
5. http://datascience.co.ke

Best Sports Blog
1. http://futbolchiqa.wordpress.com
2. http://www.michezoafrika.com
3. http://www.superfoota.co.ke
4. http://www.ilfabiano.wordpress.com
5. http://www.futaa.com

Best Entertainment/Lifestyle Blog
1. http://www.ghafla.com
2. http://www.niaje.com
3. http://www.afritorial.com
4. http://owaahh.wordpress.com
5. http://actors.co.ke

Best Travel Blog
1. http://www.kenyatalii.com
2. http://www.safari254.com
3. http://www.hazelvint.com
4. http://ecotourismdemystified.com

Best Health Blog
1. http://fitnessmovementke.tumblr.com
2. http://wambuiwaithaka.com
3. http://strengtheninghealthsystems.wordpress.com
4. http://sitawa.blogspot.com

Best County Blog
1. http://uasingishudecides.wordpress.com
2. http://www.nairobicityguide.net
3. http://county-411.com/baringonews
4. http://www.mombasahub.net
5. http://www.amazingkisumu.co.ke/blogs

Best Kenyan Blog
1. http://mutuamatheka.co.ke/blog
2. http://mydeardoris.wordpress.com
3. http://bikozulu.co.ke
4. http://pikachakula.com
5. http://nanciemwai.com

Karaoke nights for Kenyan wine Leleshwa

Patricia Kihoro is in this image <3

Patricia Kihoro is in this image <3

Kenyan wine Leleshwa has been doing a series of karaoke nights dubbed “Leleshwa Karaoke Nights” to promote their product in recent times.

I’m a huge fan of wine. A few years ago, It was suggested to me that I try and drink wine to modulate my drinking and I did this religiously for one year. The idea was that drinking wine would force me to slow my pace of drinking as that stuff has more alcohol than your typical lager.

It was at that time that I discovered that wine is a very good product and just for ladies like we are lied to in this town. Anyone can drink it. The wines on offer are usually South African, Chilean (this I don’t get seeing as Chile is so far), Italian and French. No Kenyan brands.

I recently started hearing about this new Kenyan brand Leleshwa Wine which is supposed to be representing our country in the world of wine. The company has been doing some pretty cool things to get the word about their brand across with a very intense social media campaign. As the centre of these campaigns is the “Leleshwa Karaoke Nights.” These are nights where participants take part in a singing competition and the participants don’t just get shots of tequilla but possibly a night for two at Naivasha Kongoni Lodge.

Some of the place the karaoke events have been happen include the Ozone Lounge, Aqua Blu and Shebeen Bar and Restaurant in Upperhill.The most recent of these nights happened at the Under the Radar bar where celebrities like Sanaipei Tande, Patricia Kihoro and Fena Gitu. And “Facebook king” dude Stephen Musyoka if he could be considered a celeb (I have my doubts).

Sanaipei Tande

Sanaipei Tande

Fena Gitu: Brikisho! Leleshwa!

Fena Gitu: Brikisho! Leleshwa!

Jake Kabundu

Jake Kabundu

Disclaimer: I am yet do to drink the wine so I cannot comment on the awesomeness of the drink.

Introducing the Smirnoff Fiesta

Patricia Kihoro <3

Patricia Kihoro <3

It looks like our friends from EABL have decided to make some mad noise the Kenyan night scene with the introduction of Smirnoff Fiesta. The Smirnoff part of the deal involves their well known vodka brand and the Fiesta part has less to do with sleeping and more with partying.

The concept is to have folks attending beach-themed parties where they can drink Smirnoff’s long mixed drinks Black Mamba, Jamaican Sunrise and Screw driver as well as the ready to drink Smirnoff Ice. Simple enough no? Well there’s more. These parties will around the country will feature a whole bunch of the Djs we see in the showbiz pages in Kenya like DJ Joe Mfalme, DJ Styles, DJ Riggs, and DJ Neerav. And they say there is no benefit for being in Pulse/Word Is/Zuqa/Spicy et al.

The images below sent by our friends from the Hidden Agenda at the Sarit Centre this past weekend are the only reason I posted up this. Enjoy.

Smitta's latest assault on his liver.

Smitta’s latest assault on his liver.
I thought Shanky Radics stopped drinking...

I thought Shanky Radics stopped drinking…

Collins Nabiswa still hasn't recovered from that Liverpool mauling.

Collins Nabiswa still hasn’t recovered from that Liverpool mauling.

 

Smirnoff mixologist Elisha prepares your preferred girly drink.

Smirnoff mixologist Elisha prepares your preferred girly drink.

The guy on the left always has his mouth open and tongue out. Still recovering from that hot chilli meal from 2012 I guess.

The guy on the right always has his mouth open and tongue out. Still recovering from that hot chilli meal from 2012 I guess.

 

DJ Joe Mfalme can't believe folks still poke others on Facebook in this day and age.

DJ Joe Mfalme can’t believe folks still poke others on Facebook in this day and age.

 

Its been raining Nairobi. How else is a brother to get around.

Its been raining Nairobi. How else is a brother to get around?

 

A chat with Scanad Ghana country manager Jebet Amdany

Jebet Amdany

Jebet Amdany

Jebet Amdany is the country manager of Scanad Ghana but she has Nairobi roots. Over the last 15 years she has worked in advertising with top brands like FCB, Saatchi & Saatchi affiliates in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. She also founded and run a radio station Radio Simba (which was bought by the Standard Group who rebranded it to Radio Maisha).

NL.com: Lets start at the beginning. What do you do for a living?
JA: I work for an Integrated Communication Company (advertising, PR, digital)– Scanad Ghana which is a part of Scangroup.

NL.com: What education did you have to end up with where you currently are? Primary, Secondary school, college?
JA: Wow! In my profession you can study practically any field to get where I am! Consolata Primary School; Loreto Convent Msongari; United World College of the Atlantic (UWC) – Wales; Corporate Governance – KCA University Kenya; Advanced Management Programme (AMP) – Strathmore Busines School –Kenya and IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain; I’m a member of the Chartered Institue of Public Realtions (CIPR – UK) – Makini College. Currently studying Entrepreneurship at China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) which will culminate in Shanghai, China in March. I have qualifications and experience in– Broadcasting, Marketing; Strategy; Lobbying; The Effective Director (TED) and Leadership and of course the University of Life!

NL.com: So how did you land in the job you are currently in?
JA: I asked Bharat Thakrar the group CEO of Scangroup for the job!

NL.com: How was it running Radio Simba? What did you achieve with that experience?
JA: Excellent experience, did it for 7 years from scratch. Most difficult & scariest thing to do. Most rewarding to see African music resonate so well with audiences & even get sponsorships for it! Great fun! One must do many adventurous things that stretch you beyond your imagination!

NL.com: Who is an African?
JA: One who embraces our “Africanism” and adapts to the 21 Century without losing our values. Are you one of them? YES O!

NL.com: Why did you move to Ghana?
JA: I moved to start my African experience and journey and preparing myself for the biggest African job! Being a CEO of an African wide organization

NL.com: What is life in Accra like professionally and socially?
JA: #AccraLife as I like to call it is different from home. Professionally I run a much smaller business revenue wise and client wise. It’s a market that’s waking up to communication especially traditional advertising. Digital communication seems to be growing. Socially, I met at least new people every month – I feel quite lucky! I have a friend who is always introducing me to new people.

NL.com: What is a typical night on the town in Accra for you?
JA: Out for dinner with friends, I’m always looking our for new restaurants; once in a while I may go dancing.

NL.com: Away from work, how do you unwind in Nairobi?
JA: In #AccraLife – swimming, walking, reading, going to the beach and watching movies

NL.com: This month sees what is called Nairobi Restaurant Week. What do you consider the best food in Nairobi? Quail perhaps?
JA: In Nairobi, my favourite restaurant is China Plate at the Chancery Building on Valley Road. in #AccraLife I do enjoy Santuku a Japanese Restaurant; Michelangelo an Italian Restaurant and Azmera, Ghanaian food restaurant

You can follow Jebet #Accralife adventures on her blog Jebet’s Musings.

Why I’ll be voting for the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards

Oyunga Pala with Dorothy Ghettuba up for for Best New Media - Online Video.

Oyunga Pala with Dorothy Ghettuba up for for Best New Media – Online Video.

I’m not a big fan of online voting as such. However, when I find a decent reason I will always be there voting. There couldn’t be a better reason to vote than the Africa Magic Viewers Choices Awards. These are awards in TV for cinema, TV and other categories making 27.

So why am I voting? Well there is quite a healthy representation of Kenyans in the awards. Here is a list all Kenyans or Kenyan based nominees and their category.

Best Movie Drama
Edwin Maina Kariuki – Nairobi Half Life

Best Movie Director

Tosh Gitonga – Nairobi Half Life

Best Actress in a Drama
Veronica Waceke – Higher Learning
WacekeBest Supporting Actress
Valerie Kimani – Higher Learning

Best Supporting Actor
David Mulwa – Higher Learning
Ian Mbugua – House of Lungula

Best Documentary
David Campbell – Shamba Shape Up

Best Indigenous Language Movie/Series (Swahili)
Edwin Maina Kariuki – Nairobi Half Life

Njoki Muhoho – Mama Duka

Best Online Video
Dorothy Ghettuba, Oyunga Pala – Next Big Host

Best Cinematographer
Christian Almesberger – Nairobi Half Life

Best Art Director
Barbara Minishi – Nairobi Half Life

Best Lightning Designer
Mohammed Zain – Nairobi Half Life

Best Make-up Artist
Elayne Okaya – Nairobi Half Life

To vote please go to www.amvcaawards.dstv.com.

Kenyan Blog Awards 2014 submissions now on

AwardsWe all know the Kenyan Bloggers Awards no? Well the submissions for the Kenyan Blog Awards 2014 are now on. The awards now in the third year reward bloggers that post on a regular basis, have great and useful content presented in a creative and innovative format.

So if you have a regularly updated blog or know of one please go and give then props at blogawards.co.ke/submit From January 10th to February 10th.

The categories to submit include:

1. Best Technology Blog; Blogs that cover technology matters like social media, internet usage, consumer electronics, mobile phones, tech startups etc.

2. Best Photography Blog; Blogs that showcase original photos or have photography related content.

3. Best Creative Writing Blog; Blogs that feature original creative writing in the form of poetry, book reviews, fiction and essays.

4. Best Business Blog; Blogs that feature business content like business development, entrepreneurship, startups, stocks, investments, banking etc

5. Best Food Blog; Blogs that focus on food, cooking tips, restaurants, wines and recipes

6. Best Environmental/Agricultural Blog; Blogs that focus on the environment and agriculture.

7. Best Fashion/Beauty/Hair/Style Blog; Blogs that highlight current trends in fashion, beauty and style.

8. Best Politics Blog; Blogs that cover political issues in Kenya.

9. Best New Blog; Outstanding Blogs that were set up from January 24th 2013 onwards. – Consider JamesMurua.com people…

10. Best Corporate Blog; Blogs that are run by brands/companies.

11. Best Topical Blog; Blogs with a clear niche that is not represented in any of the other categories. – Consider Nairobiliving.com people…

12. Best Sports Blog; Blogs that feature sports content.

13. Best Entertainment/Lifestyle Blog; Blog about Kenyan lifestyle and the entertainment industry.

14. Best Travel Blog; Blogs about travel.

15. Best Health Blog; Blogs about healthcare and healthy living in Kenya.

16. Best County Blog; Blogs that are based in a County and that feature content from a specific County.

17. Kenyan Blog of the Year; Best overall blog by a Kenyan.

For more information on the Blog Awards, kindly visit blogawards.co.ke

Orange Telkom Kenya, Chief Corporate Communications Officer George Mlaghui

Orange Telkom Kenya, Chief Corporate Communications Officer George Mlaghui

Orange Telkom Kenya, Chief Corporate Communications Officer George Mlaghui

George Mlaghui is the Chief Corporate Communications Officer at Orange Telkom Kenya. The experienced communicator gave us an exclusive interview here at Nairobiliving.com.

NL.com: What schools did you go to?

GM: Let’s start with primary schooling; completed that level at the Loreto Convent Mombasa, proceeded to complete my high schooling at the Aga Khan School Mombasa, thereafter went to Daystar University to pursue Communications with a bias in Public Relations and Electronic Media.

NL.com: When did you decide that you wanted to be in communication?

GM: I loved the arts while at the Aga Khan; not to mean I did not love my Sciences and Math – I liked those too! Nonetheless, one could say it was a case of the inherent gene; the apple not falling too far from the tree… my parents are into very ‘verbal and expressive’ professions. My father has been in the Insurance industry for slightly over three decades while my mother has been teaching, with a specialty on languages, for a similar period; they talk a lot, on a daily and I guess the same bug bit me. That ‘bug’ saw me remain loyal to Creative writing, debating and music clubs while at high school. It was while participating in the Public Speaking category at one of the Academic Olympiads that the Aga Khan Schools in East Africa held, from time to time, that one of my teachers told me that I had a career in Communications; the specific path would be for me to choose. That began the roller coaster ride that has led me to where I am; twelve years later.

NL.com: How did you end up working with Orange?

GM: My first comprehensive internship which turned into my first paying job was for an ICT firm, while still in campus. I was intrigued with what I saw; a fast growing business with lots of potential that most definitely demonstrated the future of communications and commerce – data; going ‘e’. I was hooked there-on-out and immediately knew that ICT was my niche as far as being in the PR field was concerned. I moved to agency thereafter but the ICT bug still clung to me. Therefore when the opportunity came to move to Orange, I did not hesitate to leave agency life and head on back to corporate, back to my first love – ICT.

NL.com: Orange was the only company that lost market share in last year’s mobile industry statistics. What could have happened?

GM: Some background information; these are quarterly reports that are released, a few months after the data is collated. The last report was released in October 2013, reflecting the state of affairs for the last quarter of 2012/2013. We are now in the third quarter of 2013/2014, waiting for this financial year’s first and second quarter statistics to be released. The figures you refer to were compiled at a time when regulatory requirements put in place compelled the operators to switch off all unregistered lines as well as counterfeit mobile handsets from their networks. This affected all operators at the time. Nonetheless, we remain focused on our growth strategy, with the long-term focus being to increase market share; this will be reflected in the next statistics report(s).

NL.com: Where is the mobile industry headed locally vis-a-vis international trends? Or are we the ones leading the pack? Where is Orange likely to leverage where these trends are concerned?

GM: I would prefer to pan this out a bit. Mobile phones account for close to 90 per cent of all telecommunications on the continent. Two key drivers of access to mobile telephony are prepaid services and lower tariffs, which make it more affordable to the lower-income brackets. Internet enabled devices have now ushered in the era of Internet-on-the-go and we now see the uptake of Internet in the country increasing year on year. With this uptake, e-platforms are gaining popularity with more consumers making online transactions and accessing services online, presenting opportunities for start-ups and established businesses alike.

Globally, this growth in mobile technology has been galvanised by superior platforms: third generation mobile technology (3G) and now the advent of Long Term Evolution (LTE) or 4G. Kenya is not far behind as the country is already looking into the roll out of 4G. Futuristically speaking, mobile network connectivity has paved the way for the convergence of telecommunication services, becoming the proverbial highway that allows for access to a wide range of opportunities that can be accessed through the Internet and associated applications.

NL.com: Away from work, how do you unwind?

GM: I am lover of music; most kinds bar a few genres. You will catch me listening to my own selection on most evenings with a book or magazine in hand. Other days will see me take long drives just to clear my head; that usually finds me in unfamiliar territory but hey – that is how I get to discover new places.

NL.com: This month sees what is called Nairobi restaurant week. What do you consider the best food in Nairobi? Quail perhaps?

GM: This will sound biased but I have never really loved food from the city. However, I recently discovered Cresta Barbeque (on one of the drives to clear my head) that serves my favourite dish; cassava ugali served with fried cassava leaves in ground nut sauce; one word – divine.

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