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.

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~

Take time to listen…you could be saving someone’s life.

Give me your thoughts…like i give you mine…

Every day I try and be grateful for everything I have especially the gift of life. I may not be the richest person in the world, or the person who has fulfilled all their dreams but I’m grateful to be alive. It’s a gift we often take for granted while we really shouldn’t.

After today, I’m very grateful for the people who are and were in my life who took time to listen. Whether what I said made sense, was utter garbage, was selfish or was kind. The bottom line and most important thing is that they listened to me. For a good part of my teen life, I was a troubled child. I felt alone, unwanted, unloved. I got into depression by 15 and was a cutter. Life made absolutely no sense to me, I was led to believe I did nothing right and I had no confidence or self-esteem…I was a useless waste of space. My parents never told me that I was worth something, they were busy fighting over who was the better parent and insulting each other till the sun went down. I often thought to myself…why am I here? I am better off dead.

In all this, I found myself going to my friend’s house a great deal. I loved her mother. To me she had all the imperfections that made her perfect. A woman who loved her drink and smoked like a factory chimney. She was perfect. I watched her communicate with her daughter with envy and I wished that my parents were the same. She could sense there was something wrong with me and slowly I began to open up. She was a voice of affirmation. She made me believe that I actually was somebody. She listened. And I am grateful. She is part of the reason I am alive. She made me believe and I am grateful.

Today I went to see her and found her with a friend. After a while, her friend began to speak of how useless her son was. As much as I wanted to reach out and choke her…I sat there in silence and wondered if she knew that she was probably part of the problem. I know her son…he’s a quiet young man. Recently, my friend brought it to my attention that he was a cutter and was troubled over something he never shared. After his mother left, I was left with my friend’s mom and we began to discuss what was wrong.  He had all the signs I had as a teen and I told her that he was in trouble. If he didn’t find an outlet soon he would either be six feet in the ground or in a prison somewhere.

The boy had been neglected since she got a baby. She put him at the back of her mind. He feels left out; he feels alone, he feels unwanted. Every day, he goes home and goes straight to his room and blasts music blocking out everything else. They do not communicate. They are as good as two strangers who live in the same house. His father is a distant man, to him being a father is sending a cheque for fees and giving him the finger. Once he went to see his dad and asked for fare and his dad put him down. Told him that he was no good of a son and that he could walk home…after all…he was a man. I heard this and felt sick…I wanted to cry. I knew there was a problem and had to make my friends mom understand that she had to do something.

I then reminded her of how great an outlet she was when I was going through my hard teenage years. Too many times in our lives we come across people who are crying for help but we are either too busy, too clueless or too ignorant and selfish to listen. It does not cost a thing to listen. It does not cost a thing to reassure and give comfort to a person. You never know what you are saving! It could be self-worth, love, talent…anything. I recently met a remarkable man whose head was filled with untruths about his talent… about things that he could do but was told he couldn’t. For a while…he believed in what they said to him…until I saw some of his talent and I broke down. I was moved to tears yet I consider myself quite tough. He was excellent at what he did. I had to tell him he was…I had to make him believe he was worth something. I had to make him see himself in my eyes.

I may not be a parent, but I have had enough experience as a child to tell you this, your child needs your attention and affirmation. They need your support through every ‘Phase’ (for lack of a better word) they go through. As a parent, you must find or have something positive to say about your child. Appreciate them for the good they do and discipline with love for the wrongs they do. Too often we find that a child took their own lives and we ask why…after all, he had everything…WRONG! There was something major missing! You as a parent didn’t see the signs and neither did you the class mate, the best friend or the acquaintance. You buried your head in the sand when they began to act out and you called them stubborn or a brat when they did things out of the ordinary. You need to realize that it came from somewhere… and most of the time it’s that you and I failed to listen. Someone said to me that when a child feels unloved, that’s a heart you can’t fix and even if you do succeed…it will take hard work on your part. I appreciate all the kids who grew up like this and turned out bruised but alright! Those who became stronger after their trials.

A wise owl sat on an oak; the more he saw the more the less he spoke; the less he spoke, the more he heard; why aren’t we like this wise old bird? Take time to listen…you could be saving someone’s life.

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