Category Archives: Longhorn

Idea Exchange: Malkiat Singh, Blog Payouts, Biko, MAVC

Malkiat Singh: For more than 30 years, school children in Kenya have learned using books produced by an author who seemed to have an endless list of titles under his name that was super- human in breadth  – that many wondered if the man actually existed. 

This week Malkiat Singh, surfaced to sign a deal in which he transferred the rights to 43 titles of his ‘Improve Series’ for Kshs 83 million (~$955,000) to Longhorn Publishers

At the event, he spoke of his journey from when he published his first book in 1970 and went on became a full-time author in 1975 and then to set up his own publishing outfit – Dhillon Publishers in 1993 that has produced over 100 titles.

Biko Zulu: At the recent Story Moja Hay Festival in Nairobi, popular lifestyle writer and blogger, Biko Zulu gave an interesting master class on creative writing with ideas for writers on how to be unique, grab attention, and tell a good story.  He also spoke of his plans for the future, including a revamp of his blog which has some very popular posts like this Letter to Kenyans Abroad!

Currently available writing, and other opportunities include: 

ALAcademy: African Leadership Academy seeks to enroll the most outstanding young people with the potential to lead and impact the world through their courage, initiative and innovation. The Academy receives 4,000 applications from most African countries each year, and the deadline for the first round this time is November 30. 

Afrinolly is a short film contest with BuniTv. Upload your short movie or documentary by November 30 to be eligible for 3 prizes of $25,000, $15,000 and $5,000.

The Commonwealth Writers Prize is a short story prize from the Commonwealth Foundation awarded to established and new writers across the Commonwealth. Just write your story of 2,000-5000 words story on whatever topic and you could win UK pounds 2,500  or 5,000 UK pounds. More here and the deadline is 30 November.

The Google Cloud Developer Challenge runs from October 22 to November 21with prizes that include Android devices and up to $20,000. Details here.

EDIT: Google also has an Africa Connected challenge in which content creators can win $25,000. Deadline is October 31.

Green Card The annual US Diversity Immigrant Visa 2015 program a.k.a green card lottery is now open making available 55,000 diversity visas to a randomly selected group of applicants. Deadline is 2 November. 

Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA)invites African entrepreneurs and innovators to propose projects that unlock new African potential in (i) Agriculture & agribusiness, (ii) Environment, energy & water (iii)  Health & well-being, (iv) ICT applications (v) Manufacturing &  service industries. The winning submission will be awarded a prize of $100,000 with two additional $25,000 ones for the runners-up as measured by business potential and social impact. Deadline is  31 October.

Making All Voices Count is a $55 million global initiative that supports innovation, scaling-up, and research to deepen existing innovations and harness technologies to enable citizen engagement and government responsiveness. Some prizes will be in the area of innovation (40 grants a year of $15,000 – 60,000), Scaling (16 grants per year of $60,000 – 160,000), Research (open and granted research) and Global Action.

It is open to applicants from 12 countries in Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, and Mozambique) and others in South East Asia – and ideal proposals should touch on gender, grassroots, and government, and must be submitted through the website by November 8, 2013.

EDIT: TRAC is the Trademark East Africa Challenge Fund that offers grant funds of between $250,000 – $350,000 to private companies in support of innovative projects that can boost trade in both East Africa, and the region’s trade with the world. Details here and the deadline is 18 November 2013.

Young Achievers Awards is an annual event where young successful Ugandans are recognized and awarded for their excellence and initiative in the areas of business, science and technology, agriculture and outstanding talent and leadership. Deadline is 30 October and details are here.

 Share other available opportunities here.

Longhorn at the NSE

On May 30, book publishing company Longhorn Publishers listed 58.5 million shares at the Nairobi Shares Exchange (NSE) at a price of Kshs. 14 per share, becoming the 59th  company on the exchange.  While they are said to be the first publisher on the exchange, they are not the first new media /creative company at the NSE.

Longhorn is 35% owned by  Centum Investments and the current NSE MD, Peter Mwangi, mentioned how he had sparked the process of leading Longhorn to list when he was the MD of Centum (formerly ICDCI)  as he gad seen that the company which had good growth, business plans, and management could end up as a company that could list at the exchange.

Longhorn is mainly a school books publisher with school publishing interests in Kenya (government is the largest book buyer) , and has  subsidiaries in Uganda and Tanzania (never been profitable), and their titles are now distributed in Rwanda, Malawi, and the Chairman also some titles are now sold via Amazon Kindle.

Centum and the Longhorn Chairman, Francis Nyammo in total own about 79% of the company and have undertaken not to reduce their combined shareholding to below 51% for the next two years.