KCB Lion’s Den and My Entitlement


Source: KCB Blog

I just watched KCB Lion’s Den for the 1st time last evening (24th Oct). Interesting, i thought. Being the default reaction that you have to something that you can obviously criticize but think you should reserve your comments on. Being a Kenyan Tweep (Twitter User) and an elite member (By my own declaration) of #KOT – Kenyans on Twitter, i felt that is my job, nay, my duty to tear it down for all it is or purports to be. Seriously, it is a horrible copy of the western versions Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank. The ‘Lions’ are not as eloquent and it comes off as a bit rubbery. They are trying too hard, i thought to myself and i think some of them are not even proper role models.

Of course, besides the fact that it is a copy of the western versions, i had no real data to support the other opinions that i would have very strongly put forth. But i did not. Why? to be honest,i wanted to watch a bit more to get more material for my – what do i even call it – rant? mudslinging? entitlement speech? Whatever i would have wanted to call it, it would not have been kind to the the sponsors (KCB), the Lions (google them) and the entrepreneurs who were presenting their ideas and products to the lions in hope to get funding.

However, i watched, i stopped looking for loopholes and i sort of stepped back to look at the whole picture. I obviously have no experience in TV production so i had no authority on that topic, my bank account will not allow me to be a Lion so i will not say i would have done a better job than them. I literally found myself at the end of it holding nothing against the show. There is of course the argument that as the consumer i can demand for better, but there goes the entitlement again. Better what?

There are people, however, i could relate to, i released as i watched the show. The entrepreneurs. Not because i myself are a trailblazing entrepreneur but because, they are better than me. Yeah, i know i may get stripped off of my #KOT badges of honor, but i will say it. The guys that made it to the show are better than me. There is not a day that passes that i do not think of a business idea, whether I am building on a old idea or coming up with a brand new one. Almost all of these ideas have been shelved or abandoned or written off as stupid. But that is all they have been, ideas. The guys presenting to the Lions (And lets not kid ourselves, some ideas were utter rubbish) have taken a step that i, and many others have not. They have dared to take the idea to the next level, a business. They are out there pitching what they believe and are determined to see thorough. Maybe not all will be successful, but a good number will be set on a the journey to realize their dreams.

The other interesting thing i picked from the show was this; traditional financial institutions may not fund ideas, but there are people out there who are willing to pay for them. Sure they will want a stake in your business, but that is the beauty of it, IT IS A BUSINESS! So whether the Lions in this show or other guys out there, one thing is apparent, ideas, if good enough have a monetary value. So, when i was able to look past all the useless things i was focusing on, Lion’s Den taught me a lesson and i will hold on to and hopefully i will dare to take a step.

What are your thoughts?


Mobile Money and social media

This was inspired by a tweet by @ahmedsalims. He asked, what are the opportunities of QR codes and M-PESA (rephrased). At first of course I went like, how would that even happen? M-PESA is SMS based, QR codes are ‘pictures’. and for a moment there I have a million (exaggerated figure, i hope you get that) reasons why that idea was a little far-fetched. But you know Ahmed, he has big ideas, and already laid-out action paths. This is what he had in mind, using QR codes to pay bills via M-PESA. he gave an example of paying for coffee. Still far-fetched? i guess you too, like me now have a well of ideas of how that could be implemented. Ahmed also went ahead to propose the use of check-ins. If by now you don’t think its a great idea, quit reading, or wait, i guess i could convince you further.

I proposed an app, yes, an app. a Safaricom app, if you may. IT peeps correct me if i am wrong but tools like foursquare can be integrated into an app, right? That and a QR code reader, right? Here is how i think it should go. have a Safaricom App with all the things that we love about Safaricom and would love to have on an App but also M-PESA paybill. this is how i see that playing out, you walk into…let’s use Ahmed’s idea…a coffee-house, make your order etc etc, then on your Smartphone you go to your Safaricom App and check-in to the coffee-house. At that point that just lets the world (including Safaricom and the coffee house) know you are having coffee. After a nice cup of cappuccino, a slice of white forest and large amounts or  small talk, the lovely waitress brings you your bill, on it a breakdown of what you owe, normally an amount that make you remember why coffee and cake is unhealthy…financially, then at the bottom a QR code, generated by the cashier for your transaction. you scan it and it loads the bill details on the screen and an option to pay via M-PESA. You select yes and it takes you straight to the M-PESA paybill option where then you will be required to enter your PIN and voila!! The transaction is done. You get a confirmation SMS and the cashier gets a notification that the transaction has been closed.

Now you see what I mean when I say the idea is not too far-fetched and Ahmed was, as always practical? this could be replicated in many other retail outlets, clothing, food, utility bills ETC, what’s more it reduces the chances of sending money to the wrong person/merchant, it increases use of M-PESA, its makes transactions so so simple and of course you can see how it be used to beat queues in supermarkets and such places that just make you feel like you are on Thiker road (yes, deliberate pun).

The world needs a Safaricom app, and M-PESA would go so far with one


***This article was drafted and never published in 2011 when QR codes still had hope, Safaricom had no app and a few other factors that have since changed to render the idea null.

Age of ‘#Reactvertising’: How Brands reacted to #PoleKwaMwirigi

So, while Mexicans were celebrating Cinco de Mayo, Kenya was celebrating something entirely different.

For some, it was Sharon Mundia’s engagement while for some it was the roast of Bobby Mwirigi and we have Currie_Powder to thank (or blame).

For those who do not have the back story, it may all may not fit here, but Sharon is a hot, celebrated fashion blogger (she also works for Capital FM and has a segment called Our2Cents) and Bobby is …a blogger, car enthusiast, Lumia ambassador, BAKE Co-founder (I Think). Currie_Powder is a tweep and lion herder and a respected member of #KOT trolls club and #TeamMafisi (Also great conqueror of Kola Boof). Bobby, allegedly has a huge crush on Sharon and ‘everybody’ knows.

This is how it all started, with a tweet (and I believe a Facebook also) from Sharon about her engagement, which as we would all expect, probably, broke Bobby’s heart.

Soon after that, Currie_Powder picked it up and started the campaign #PoleKwaMwirigi

Given Sharon’s popularity, of course, a lot of people clicked on the link(s) and shared and retweeted. This may have caused the site to crash.

What followed was a flood of tweets, memes, videos etc, all making fun of the situation. They are all too many to add here so I will just add the brands that participated.
Some brands did a good job while others missed. This is the new age of advertising, some people call it “Real Time Marketing”, others call it “Reactvertising” (sounds a bit cheesy but I swear I did not coin it). So whether the following tweets live up to the above titles or not hinges on how relevant the brand made the situation to their brand or products. Otherwise, it is just an attempt to remain relevant…

The tweets are not in any order, here you go.

Capital won with this

Swahili Beach may have been the first to find the fiance on twitter and tag him

Ebru Africa (slow clap, subtle and nice)

Kenya Re (well that was unexpected…But well in guys, well in)

Exclusive VIP (guys…well…ok)

Merica Hotels (ok…just Ok, you pushed it a bit)

Chase Bank (Slow clap guys, slow clap…well played)

Philips East Africa (hehehe, not expected but nicely done)

Kenya Sevens (LOL, guys, easy with the tackles, be nice!)

Durex Kenya (smooth…very smooth)

More from Capital FM (hehe, they went HAM on this)

Pizza Inn (nice)

My Road Traffic (I think you tried a bit too hard)

DStv (good word play)

GP Karting (when you get trolled by GP Karting, you need that drink. But also drinking and driving guys?)

Yup, Capital was on a roll -The Jam 98.4

Lumia East Africa (Lumia Ain’t loyal! LOL)

Kenya Airways (subtle…but not subtle yet hilarious)

Of course, KCB Group had to. LOL

AAR Insurance (these guys just took it and ran with it)

And this one is not a brand but it just won, well in Governor

Oh, and for those interested on how Sharon reacted to the trend, he got ‘friend-zoned’.

So which other brands might I have missed?

Which brands do you think won the newsjacking battle? I am with Brand Mwirigi, his mentions and impressions on the hashtag on his handle and the hashtag must be crazy

Why my friends some times ignore me. Laura and Tony Stark

IronMan on Illustrator

My Attempt to draw an Ironman mask

I am an Ironman fan, a huge one (yeah i have gained weight…Ok, kind of always had it.) I even tried to draw the mask, see image above. Yeah. That is illistrator for those wondering. So anyway, A friend, Laura (might or might not be their real name, that’s not the point) Knows i love such movies, actually we first met at a movie theater, her and I,  for Avengers, now for a little anticlimax to the hopeless romantics, we met for a movie, we drink together occasionally, the end. oh and we go for movies, and drinks..more drinks really… but, Laura hit me up on the Snitch app, or as you may call it, Whatsapp. (ain’t it a snitch?)

This is how the conversation went:

Laura: when are we going to watch Ironman 3

Ironman poster

Ironman poster. Image credit: http://danhacker.tumblr.com  

me: You know, the world would be a much better place if Ironman was an animated movie educating children on the benefits of taking iron-rich foods, the hero can be a spinach. But now.its all violence and destruction and the selling the idea that the world is a hopeless place with super villains and our security solely lies on the existence of philanthropic billionaire playboys like Tony Stark,

when we come back to the real world we find that all billionaires don’t care about saving the world, they are killing it!  and we have no super heroes to save us. So movies like this just make our lives more miserable for the super hero in real life is the villain and we have no hope. And we are still ignorant on the benefits of iron… But yeah.

Of course we will attend the premier, I would not miss it for anything. You get the snacks and tickets, I get to carry them. Deal?

Laura: *Logs off Whatsapp*

So yeah, That is how i end up alienating people. Damn you Tony Stark!!! For Ironman fans, you may have already seen it but you know a real fan will not get tired of seeing it again. Here is the official trailer. May 1st mark your calender.

Ironman 3

official Ironman 3 poster, I think

What does it all Mean?

“either this life is meaningless, or its meaningness eclipsed by a series of events that satisfy for the moment but once yo’ moment’s passed yo’ moment’s the past, poof! dude you cant revive it….”

the above having been said by a musician (Crossmovement), and once you’ve heard it you can’t help but think, what is the meaning of life??is my life meaningful??do i follow one-minute satisfaction and once its gone move to the next??
indeed, life may, sometimes, seem meaningless.

More often than not we find that our lives are shaped by those around us, the society that we have been brought up in and we tend to behave in the manner that our all-knowing tribesmen of previous generations have set.

Did you ever wish you took charge of your life, not born in a tribe, made the decision on who you want to be, chose your name, what course you take, what to have for breakfast or even just your favorite color????
Did you ever feel you live your life, not as you wish, but as acceptable by standards your weren’t party in setting??

Ever wished that your life had more meaning to you, and not just to those around you??
welcome to most people’s lives, the trend in many aliving. the norm.

what brings meaning to one’s life? what definition do you have for ‘the meaning of life’? is the definition generic or is it relative?

As human beings we better than all other beings with respect to our ability to reason, think, consider, love, feel, exist in realms beyond the 3rd dimension. as such we cannot let ourselves believe that we are what we are today by chance, or as explained by Darwin’s theory of evolution. Personally, i don’t think i have the same descendants  as toads, squids and the hyena. that’s why any other explanation coined on the basis of intelligent design is more palatable to most. we really cannot (and should not) force everyone to believe in one religion and believe in one version of a supreme being. But, it would be nice if everybody gave credit to a Creator, a Supreme Being for our existence. if we look around beyond what we humans have destroyed, everything else is perfect, evidence to intelligence unlimited. its only fair we give credit where its due.

Having the above in mind, the master mind of existence must have had a reason to establish the foundation of the earth, set the conditions suitable to sustain life and more importantly give man a brain (and yes feminists, that includes women too). He must have had an answer to the meaning of life to have created it…

what is the meaning of life?

P.s. Atheists, this is not your cue, so…yeah, move along

Post originally written on 26th November, 2007, edited only for grammatical errors. Author might have changed his view since but regards the post as noteworthy.

Truths of life you can relate to

Thought Catalog

Everyone gets drilled with certain lessons in life. Sometimes it takes repeated demonstrations of a given law of life to really get it into your skull, and other times one powerful experience drives the point home once, forever. Here are 88 things I’ve discovered about life, the world, and its inhabitants by this point in my short time on earth.

1. You can’t change other people, and it’s rude to try.

2. It is a hundred times more difficult to burn calories than to refrain from consuming them in the first place.

3. If you’re talking to someone you don’t know well, you may be talking to someone who knows way more about whatever you’re talking about than you do.

4. The cheapest and most expensive models are usually both bad deals.

5. Everyone likes somebody who gets to the point quickly.

6. Bad moods will come and go your…

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The beauty, morning one | Kisite-Mpunguti

This gallery contains 4 photos.

I may have indicated that this was my first trip in coast but some of you may have dismissed it as a way of getting pity follows on twitter. It was not. Which was a good thing because, yeah, no … Continue reading

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

 To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,

Old time is still a-flying;

And the same flower that smiles today

Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven the sun,

The higher he’s a-getting,

The sooner will his race be run,

And nearer he’s to setting.

That age is best which is the first,

When youth and blood are warmer;

But being spent, the worse, and worst

Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,

And, while ye may, go marry;

For, having lost but once your prime,

You may forever tarry.

~Robert Herrick~