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 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?


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

8 thoughts on “Something to Do

  1. Anonymous

    say banks, the cbk has introduced what it callsa business continuity mangement plan for all concerns licenced under the banking act. effective march and brought along with a circular or letter detailing instruction.its on the cbk website.dyu think its linked to the tensionprevailing ama its something kosher? pierre.

  2. Anonymous

    Banks, you caught me. I’m a lousy tipper back home – but I somehow find myself tipping when abroad only to realize later that a 5 Euros tip is like KSH 500/-(something a Kenyan would really value – but an every day thing in Europe)!

    The Chinese tell it like it is. Africa needs genuine democracy – not an artificial “Copy/Paste” system of governance. The west has no genuine interest in African affairs – except when there is chaos.

    Raila Odinga sat in Opposition side. This is a good sign for investors worldwide. It shows the man is ready to fight it out in Parliament. If ODM does it wisely, Kenya will progress to Democracy faster than any African state by building solid, incorruptible INSTITUTIONS and LAWS! We are watching 2012 – is not far away.

    SAFCOM – March 2008! Just enough time for political temperatures to go down… and gives us time assess the investment climate in Kenya. Can’t wait!!

  3. coldtusker

    The chinese would rather Kenyans kill each other… all the better to “export” 1% of their population to Kenya.

    Tipping: I find it a pity that Kenyans don’t tip in Kenya BUT tipping should be limited to certain professions where “individual” service counts. I try to tip whever possible BUT not to police (erm, that is more than likely a bribe!!!).

    Bank Tellers: Not a good idea. In any case they are considered “well-paid” by Kenyan standards. Tipping someone who handles your money could be a minefield.

  4. observer

    China is a mostly homogeneous country with the Han making up 90% of the population. China does not have to deal with the complexities of competing interests along ethnic lines. The drive and need for democratic structures to resolve less complex social issues like this in not as pressing as it is in Kenya. Class issues are in my opinion much easier to address easier both politically and economically. In Kenya where we have class issues masquerading as tribal issues creates a deadly and very complex situation that we seem incapable or unwilling to confront.

  5. bankelele

    E-Nyce: They’re not funny. But read something in NYTimes today that they have about 300m workers earning less than $1 /day, so it makes sense

    Anon: thanks for the link, looks like disaster prepardness in case of a riot

    Anon2: we need to tip more. Hopefuly party wars move to parliament from this day, though i suspect parliament will be adjourned till May

    coldtusker: you caughte me there (i) only good individual service warrants a (generous)(tip (ii) bank workers should not be tipped (I humbly withdraw my hand), but the police, YES!

    Observer; good points. The elecion has exposed so many fault lines in Kenya, I wonder if China can relate or we should just shut up and get back to work

  6. observer

    I think at this point we should just get back to work and wait out this madness. I have come to believe that our current crops of leaders are only in tune and interested with the worst of what is in us.

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