Monday, May 16, 2011


I am in Nairobi in the hopes of learning a little something about social media from the Kenyan scene. It's pretty exciting actually- in regional terms the social media scene doesn't get any bigger than this and hearing from Kenyans about how they go about it is an opportunity I could not pass up. Might tweet or blog interesting tidbits if I get the green light. Oh, in case you ever despair of being a broke and ignored blogger in Bongo, listen: there's folks out there looking for people to throw money at. It's a good time to be a social median, know what I mean?

In case you're wondering about the title, I have been shivering since I set foot on KQ and don't expect to warm up again until I am back in Bongo. No doubt about it, I have the physical temperament of a swamp rat. I have to say though, the city is impressive. Bright lights, paved roads... public parks with green manicured lawns. Hey Nairobians, what say we exchange city council members for about five years, eh? You can have all of our mayors for free, however many we're afflicted with, and you don't have to give them back either. In fact, just go ahead and keep them- they make wonderful living sculptures for public spaces but we have a surplus of that going on in our government offices.

Oh, I have noticed that almost everybody speaks Kiswahili these days. Cool.*

For a bit of fun, I tested the Tanzanian Charm Offensive on a couple of folks today. Immigration guy fell for it, he even welcomed me to the country with an "enjoy your stay" - after silent treatmenting the two Kenyans ahead of me in the line. The taxi rank guys practically gave me celebrity VIP treatment. The taxi driver, however, was thoroughly immune. I have to say, Nairobians are a little susceptible to the TCO. Johannesburg was much, much tougher- especially those angry people who insisted on speaking to us in Zulu even after we told them we weren't Safrican. Dude. A lot of latent anger going on down there. But then again, I am not sure they knew exactly where Tanzania is. **

I have got to get to Kampala, Bujumbura and Kigali soon...

*Cool because that means that on average Nairobians are bi or trilingual at the basic minimum. Which is always better than only operating in one language of business.

** It's that huge landmass that you fly over on your way to your holiday in Zanzibar on the non-stop SAA flight. :) Sorry, but that's what you get for saying that you're going to "Efrika" every time you contemplate travelling north of the Limpopo. Aw hell, there goes my SA visa eligibility...


  1. just remember, "walking" is a crime in Uganda. Have some ndagala in Buja for me (and watch out for the hippos!)
    Any takers on the multiple mayors? if not, perhaps a study tour and can leave them stranded there!!
    Are you at the ihub?

  2. @jetsetter: these are Nairobians we're talking about. They wouldn't buy a goat in a sack, let alone fall for a transparent ploy to dump our toxic municipal governance on them. But i love the study tour idea... :)


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