Category Archives: mamamikes

Kutwa Tuesday: Corporate Mysteries

and other Bank Twits

Twitter is a micro-blogging tool that is really nifty for doing mini-posts, forwards and other remarks that (are on any subject) and are maybe not worthy of a full blog post. Here’s a summary of my week on Twitter where there was some interesting discussions, but so far yet to unravel mysteries at Kenya airways, Safaricom and Athi river mining? and some replies

June 15: nairobbery Reading about a Nairobi scam where people actually throw themselves on the windscreens of slow moving cars and later ask for compensation
Kenya central bank study shows popularity of MPesa; users rate it cheap, fast, reliable & accessible http://tinyurl.com/nozxe3

June 16: Media mystery: what happened to the Bamburi vs. Athi story? there were many reporters there but was story buried? http://tinyurl.com/n2k5o8 replies @nakeel It’s called the power of advertising and who pays your bills..

June 17: Economist says Africa’s next country South Sudan “will fail before it has even been born” http://tinyurl.com/kwlw9w
DT Dobie advertising that a Mercedes E200 kompressor is 1796cc and therefore compliant with new Kenya Government rules for Ministers cars
Anti-corruption initiatives falter around Africa http://www.nytimes.com/
Racial Discrimination at World Bank?http://bit.ly/fNXUy
CNBC TV show President Obama killed a fly during an interview. Take it away FOX
Is the Kenya rugby safari sevens tourney over-priced at 1,500 ($19) per season ticket? http://tinyurl.com/m9yhmb
Two new independent (non stockbroker) directors at Nairobi Stock Exchange – NSE Board http://tinyurl.com/n8qqvx

June18 KPLC is going to increase the birth rate in kenya if they keep failing to supply electricity.

June 19: Kenya and Uganda Catholic churches in a race to hell with simultaneous abuse scandals; media coverage in UG is NSFW http://www.redpepper.ug
Michela Wrong to visit the World Bank http://bit.ly/LpJHy

June 20 Discovering the mysterys of white cap, EABLs no.2 that survives recessions without any advertising
replies @coldtusker I didn’t say it ‘failed’ but IMHO its core consumer base isn’t GenX but my mzee’s generation. What happened to WC lite? White Cap’s demographics are skewed to stable, older, wealthier, ‘old dogs’ market. It has failed among the ‘younger’ drinkers. @Fintradecapital thats really true. Its drinkers r consistent.
I use nivea creams, but all their posters and adverts scream i am soooò not their target customer!
replies @uhusiano is cos they are all jungus? @coldtusker Are you thinking of doing a chaz bono? re: nivea – not their target market… LOL… @devonwhittle I’m also a Nivea customer, but their “skin whitening” products and ads worry me – @karuoro I use Nivea shower gel but prefer Vaseline lotion..find nivea lotions too..sticky (don’t know if that makes sense) @Ethnicsupplies I’ve never liked the smell @Shiko_Msa we the target customers that is. feel welcome. Even though they dont welcome we do.
Stomping through kilelewshwa – many apartment complexes have ‘to let’ signs

june 21 Safaricom selling cheap internet ready phones including nokia 1680 for $38 replies @alykhansatchu I was reading that @ thinking 13m Subs converts to 2m x $1.00 a day internet
@coldtusker also former Kenya Airways director is CEO air uganda. Seems KQ is now finishing school for sub-saharan airline bosses. replies @coldtusker Hugh Fraser (ex-KQ now CEO of Air Uganda) was in the very important Commercial Director post @ coldtusker Neil Canty (former CFO-KQ) went to Gulf Air though he has left them for another gig. Africa again?

R/T @airlineroute KLM to operate MD11s on Nairobi-amsterdam for Kenya Airways from july to september! What will the 777s be doing?

Unexpected dividend cheque from stanbic uganda ~$15 in the mail today #migingo
replies @PinkM How do you cash your Stanbic UG cheques?I haven’t cashed for 2 years now. Thanks.Will try that. I wish it was possible to bank at CFC Stanbic even for CFC a/c holders

Kenya retain rugby revens title, but Is that DJ CK on pitch with team at #safarisevens? He’s kenya’s top gate crasher replies @kenyanpundit hehehe, DJ CK was EVERYWHERE at the WEF in Capetown @kachwanya you just made me remember almost similar incident sometime back during Orange launch..yeah he somehow did that

June 22 Kenya’ anti-aid author envious of @dambisamoyo http://bit.ly/mBdFg
replies @kainvestor Many African anti-aid champions see sinister agendas in the success of @dambisamoyo. She wasn’t the 1st to write against aid >>>
Safaricom shares pick up after managers visit Europe & US fund investment firms http://tinyurl.com/lewfyn #safaricom #investorrelations
Family Bank 25th anniversary
President @mwaikibaki encourages banks to use mobile phones to reach beyond the 22% ‘banked’ kenyans
Have more twitter followers than feedburner subsribers; what does that mean?
people who vandalised the Kenya Railways Kibera railway, may also have got paid to fix it after http://tinyurl.com/c9ykra

June 23 Any well wishers to donate a PC or laptop to Mamamikes who were recently robbed? http://www.mamamikes.com/bl…
59% of small business owners rely on credit cards for working capital! scary http://preview.tinyurl.com/

Kutwa Tuesday

Revelations Chapter 11, verse 1 and 2: Hats off to the business daily for their exposes of the downfall of Francis Thuo stockbrokers. It is an anomaly that brokers don’t have to publish their accounts, oversee each others lapses and gallantly bail each other out, and that white collar crime is something only the faint hearted fail at (they even raided the stockbroker after the company died. I guess the customers of Nyaga stockbrokers will be paid off now that the investor compensation fund is padded with millions from the Safaricom IPO

Thai is good: Kenya Airways will double its service from Nairobi to Bangkok to six flights a week to cope with growing demand – and four will connect to Hong Kong and two to Guangzhou, China. Also msafiri reports that they will get a replacement 737-800 in October, to replace the one which crashed last May a- and another two 737-800 this year. I think they should reduced European flights and focus on Asia and Africa

Kenyan snub: There’s no Kenyan presence in the final list of sustainable banking award nominees of the FT/IFC. Earlier, only Equity Bank and Vodafone/Safaricom forBanking at the Bottom of the Pyramid were in but they probably canceled each other out.

ICT watchdog: an initiative formulated at skunkworks forum in March forum has come to fruition with news that the members will form a website to monitor the quality of ICT service in Kenya.

love your sponsors: Mama Mikes have a new venture – Channel Safari to market tourism in Kenya and were featured in the featured in the business daily

Something to Do

1. Donate

Through Mama Mikes and a bloggers for Kenya initiative.

There are also other other initiatives – like Save-A-Life, Kiss FM’s Jaza Lorry, the Nairobi Women’s Hospital, but beware of a revival of some NGO’s and unusual causes

2. Report Violence
Ushaidi.com is a tool for people who witness acts of violence in Kenya in these post-election times. You can report the incident that you have seen, and it will appear on a map-based view for others to see.

(3) Become a better tipper
Or, better yet, start tipping – because in Nairobi, tipping is something that we have left to tourists only.

Kenyans are woefully underpaid especially out security forces (some of whom had not been paid salaries even as they were asked to quell post-election violence) and yet they also guard our houses, million shillings cars, look after our families, serve us meals they can never afford, and never ask for more.

Many of them live in the very areas that relief initiatives are being formulated for – but just because they are not visibly suffering does not mean they don’t need our help. And while many of us are at the mercy of people whose ability to take our money we can’t say NO to (taxman, church, landlord, relatives), we need to spare a moment for those less fortunate who we interact with everyday, who also have lives and families, and are more at risk after working a full day. Yet we dismiss them so quickly, if they ask or dare to look like they are about to ask for help while at work.

So even if it means paying less tax or tithe, or having one less beer in order to spread some wealth around, get to know these people better and tip them well; waiters, maids, taxi drivers, bank clerks, and especially policemen – though how this can be done without being seen as bribing them – is a delicate task to accomplish.

Banking briefs

– Kenya’s leading bank, Barclays, is the first to acknowledge a distressed loans problem resulting from the post-election violence and standoff.

– From IHI blog; tired of bank charges? Consider a shariah account since they won’t incur frivolous charges that build bank profits.

Paper banks : Is the Nigerian banking model, which Kenya is going to emulate with increased share capital and consolidations, built on sand and bilking shareholders?

Other observations
– China speaks on the Kenyan political crisis blaming the west for imposing democracy on Africa.
Mobile phone wars continue with Celtel shockingly low rates, while market leader Safaricom won’t compromise and keeps making money
– Hawkers who expected to be evicted from downtown Nairobi, on December 28, now enjoying continuing business with the political uncertainty in the air
– It’s not quite as staggering as Marion Jones or BALCO scandals, but from this month on a whole bunch of expensive, long hitting, golf equipment, widely used in Kenya,(including some Callaway, Titleist and TaylorMade), are now illegal. If caught using them you will be disqualified from a tournament or match event.
– Rapidly growing and expanding Fly540 airline taking a dig at Kenya Airways – with an advertisement that their propeller powered aircraft (ATR72) are more environment friendly than KQ’s jets
– Advertisers taking down the politician billboards that littered the city
– As fuel prices pass the 90 shillings a litre, will some petrol pumps in the country be able to process the sale prices over 100 per litre (3-digits) which are around the corner?
– Where’s the prophetic prophetic Mutahi Ngunyi gone to?

Opportunities

Kenya Airways: Head Of Marketing & Corporate Communications, In-flight Performance Manager, Load Control Officer, Head Of Is Development (IS) , Systems Administrator, Training Officer – Fares & Ticketing, Qualified Pilots, Multilingual In-Flight Attendant, Customer Service Agent
– Sales positions at KCB. download form here.
– Director of research at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. D/L is 31/1

Mama Mikes & the World Bank

Money, food, transport have been in short supply in many rural areas affected by the violence. Equally crippling has been the lack of communication capability where there has been no electricity (poles brought down/lines cut) or shops (closed/looted/overpriced) selling mobile phone airtime.

People in urban areas have been sending airtime up-country by the thousands to stranded friends and relatives, while others from overseas (and even within Kenya) have turned to Mamamikes – who apologize for some logistcial delays and problems that may have been experienced in the transfer process.

DC opportunity
World Bank Summer Internship Program; apply online before January 31.

Anniversary Redux

Thanks for all the great comments on the 3rd anniversary post.

I’d also like to salute Kenyan Pundit, an inspiration to taking blogging mainstream, on her 4th anniversary (also the first blogger I met).

I’d also like to salute site sponsor Mama Mikes on their
new blog – hopefully that will spur more local companies to take up corporate blogging.

I’d also like to thank other financial bloggers who help share the burden of disseminating and discussing financial information as it occurs here – and these include Cold tusker, Fintrade Capital, Kenya Capital Investment Group, Nairobist, Odegle Nyang (who’s able to mix in political angles), Pesa Tu, Riba Capital, Aly Khan, Ka-Investor and Tanzania Common Cents to name a few.

Thank you for all the people who ay that they have been inspired to start blogging

You said, you said
– More AGM’s: absolutely! In fact, anyone who goes to an AGM is welcome to submit a report here
– Monetization; absolutely, always on the lookout for more sponsors. But this site will remain free. Even the WSJ and New York Times have realized that free content is the way to go
– Background: white/ black does not matter. But I’ m shocked that there are people having trouble reading the white screen.
– Job postings: will continue. They have been useful to some, but not to others
– M I hear you on your points.
– More writing on economics and inflation local development, other African countries, entrepreneurship – Yes
– Politics? No, I’d rather not, there’s enough elsewhere
– Partnerships with other bloggers? Women perspectives? I’d appreciate AGM reports, and any other posts of note for republishing. It’s amazing who know more about economics than you do and where you can learn more from unexpected sources. E.g. talking to Binyavanga Wainaina in Arusha I was amazed by his views on the work ethic and entrepreneurial potential of the Chinese companies and Eritrean nationals. He should write more on economic issues along with literature!

Any other suggestions, e-mail is on the about page