180 DAYS OF NYS IN NYALENDA

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180 days of the NYS in Nyalenda, Kisumu. 4,000 youth job opportunities, 23 of everything. Latrines, police posts and health facilities. Thanks President Uhuru for these glad tidings. Visit Kisumu again

Originally posted on Discover Nyalenda:

This being my first blog after being told by one Dennis Nyakach of Amazing Kisumu blog and Ominde Daniel, Kisumu’s Top socialite that my “see more” facebook status updates qualify me for a BLOG. So here I am. I don’t know where to begin this blog post but begin I must. H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta set foot in Nyalenda, the first president to set foot in Nyalenda at a place called Oboch to a phenomenal welcome that the country did not expect, Kisumu being a Raila Odinga stronghold, setting the standards high  for welcoming visitors to Kisumu (from which Migori should learn, we don’t  throw shoes at visitors). Son of Jomo was so delighted,I could see it in his eyes, he was like a child given a new pair of pants for Christmas.

IMG_20150421_114942The president’s mission in Oboch,Nyalenda B Ward was singular,to launch a Youth Empowerment Programme. Accompanied by Kisumu…

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Thirteen Counties around L. Victoria forms Economic Bloc #DevCon2015

President Uhuru Kenyatta launched on Tuesday (during the second annual devolution conference held at Tom Mboya labor College Kisumu) a road map by thirteen counties in Lake Victoria basin aimed at catalyzing the region’s economic development through targeted joint investments.

“The Lake Region Economic Blueprint” coordinated by Deloitte & Touche East Africa is expected to act as a one-stop shop for investors seeking opportunities in the region. It identifies seven strategic intervention areas namely:

Agriculture, Tourism, Education, Health, ICT, Financial Services and Infrastructure. For each of the intervention areas, the blueprint has designated a flagship project to be implemented in the region.

The flagship projects are:

an agricultural commodities exchange, a regional bank, specialist hospitals and educational centers of excellence in each county, creating a Lake region ring road and tourism circuit.

The bloc is made up of Bungoma, Busia, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Kisii, Kisumu, Migori, Nyamira, Siaya and Vihiga. Three other counties, Bomet, Trans Nzoia and Kericho have agreed to be part of the regional blueprint making a total of thirteen.
The blueprint is expected to enable individual counties that are sometimes too small to leverage economies of scale, to jointly implement large projects. With the launch of the economic blueprint, the counties now plan to set up a secretariat to coordinate its implementation.

In the Coast region, governors of Lamu, Kilifi, Kwale, Mombasa, Tana River and Taita Taveta Counties have already formed an economic union. The collaboration is aimed at solving various challenges facing the region including resuscitating tourism, education and taking advantage of the maritime component.
In the North Rift region, six counties have also been discussing the possibility of forming an economic bloc to exploit resources and investment opportunities; combined, Turkana, Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot and Trans Nzoia include counties which are robust in either cereal and horticultural production or minerals such as petroleum and limestone.

The Presidency to visit Kisumu next week for #DevCon2015

His Excellency the President of Kenya @UKenyatta is set to make his official maiden visit to Kisumu City next week to the second Devolution Conference, DevCon2015 being held at Tom Mboya Labor College from April 22-24.

The local residents are having a lot of expectations, and will be following his speech to hear the decrees, statements the head of state will be making. He is touted to open the conference, while his deputy @WilliamsRuto

Mr. Kenyatta has never visited Kisumu City officially since he ascended to the presidency, this visit will therefore mean a lot to the local business community as they plan to reap big from the 6,000 strong delegates and development partners who will attend this event at the lakeside city.

The very first time UKenyatta passed by Kisumu was during the burial ceremony of the late Teachers magnate Okuta. He just made a stopover on his way to Ahero for the ceremony.

The first Devolution Conference was held last year in Kwale county, and was hosted by the Council of Governors and the Ministry of Devolution and Planning, just as this one will be.

If you are in Kisumu, please make sure you attend the conference.

Ticket costs are at KShs 17,100 for one individual participant and will cater for your conference lunches, drinks and materials. It excludes your transportation and accommodation to the conference.

You can apply to participate by following this link: DevCon2015

The Obama Road

Yesterday I took a road trip to Siaya County, and in my travails, I passed through the miraculous place on earth – Kogello Village.

Currently, Kogello Village, Nyangoma in Siaya County is undergoing a lot of preparations to make the homecoming of its son – the President Barack Obama of the most powerful country in the planet earth; a reality.

Last week also saw high profile GK personalities viz CS Phylis Kandie visit the hometown to make sure all plans are ready and in top gear, since the prodigal son – Obama is finally coming home to build his Simba (every Luo man must have one).

Just so that you don’t get lost during the homecoming, make sure you keep your eyes onto this road sign, as it will lead you straight to the Obama’s homestead.

The longest name for just one road :)

Obama Road

See you in July.

#VisitKisumu #VisitKogello #ObamaHomecoming #ObamaToBuildSimba

Why Kisumu Gangs are an Economic Sabotage

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Kisumu gangs, how can we tackle this plight? We’re losing a lot of economic gains if they can’t be dealt a deathly blow.

Originally posted on Say it the Way it Should:

Kisumu will be hosting second devolution conference next week with every investor eyeing the city. The re-emergence of two criminal gangs in the lakeside city of Kisumu should be a concern to both national and the county governments.  China Squad and American Marines cause trail of disaster characterized by fatal riots, hijackings, looting, and harassment for protection money. The County must now understand that it cannot realign its economic status while the security docket is entertaining a bunch of criminal gangs. Most worrying is the battle between the two groups for economic dominance.

The traditional industries in Kisumu such as sugar cane, fishing, and cotton farming have all declined resulting into joblessness. Politics is a major influence with handouts from which these criminals survive. Of importance is county youth program as part of national flagship. Assessment on the impact of the gangsterism on the program implementation is key. Theories peg…

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The jinx that was the KShs 1,000 note

Dear person who dropped (or threw away, I wouldn’t know for sure) a Ksh 1,000 note that I found lying by a roadside,

Hello.

When I picked up that currency note, my soul was utterly glad and I hummed songs of thanksgiving and praise. I had seen God’s magnificent grace. He had used you as a vessel that would transport me from abject pauperism to abundance and excess, and I was greatly overwhelmed.

“Get half a kilo of steak from Wa Gikonyo’s butchery, then get a 2kg packet of wheat flour, a 1 litre bottle of cooking oil and some fruits and vegetables,” I called home and made orders. “I will pay.”

Then I went to my phonebook blacklist, unblocked a number and called it.

“Ha! So finally you call!” Went the voice on the other end in a snarky tone.

“I know I have been owing you 200 bob that you have been harassing me about…”

“Is that why you blocked me?” Interrupted the voice on the other end in a snarky tone.

“Who in the bloody buckets are you, you arsehole, that you harass me over such an insignificant amount?”

“Excuse me?”

“I will pay you! I will even make it 250! Money is not a problem anymore!”

“Oh?”

“Yeah, you ugly, dense, revolting creature!”

And I promptly hung up after ensuring they heard my loud, prolonged and very dramatic sneer. Oh, please! A message from Safaricom reminding me of an unpaid Okoa Jahazi debt came in just then, and my eyes still hurt from the violence with which I rolled them upon reading the message. “I can even top up with Ksh 500 airtime right now! Stop bugging me with a mere Ksh 20 worth of airtime debt!” I angrily hissed at the message. I contemplated suing the company for sending me such a demeaning message, especially then that I had immediately become a member of the Upper Class, and would even move to the green leafy suburbs where I belonged, and enroll my child in a high-end school, and then I would (finally) start participating in Kilimani Mums discussions. I brushed the lawsuit thought aside, though, and thought that enrolling for yoga would be better, so that I could learn to breathe better and maintain my composure when I recieve messages like that, which are meant to raise my blood pressure and puncture my Zen.

Then I flipped my hair and added a bit of lip gloss on my chapped lips, and took a hell of a selfie. My self-confidence was back. My hope for the future was back. My will to live was back. And I walked with a spring. Life was good. I had Ksh 1,000 in my purse. Oh, unknown person who dropped a Ksh 1,000 note that I found lying by a roadside, how good things nicely come to those who wait! Oh, how God’s timing is the best!

My first stop on my way home was Wa-Gikonyo’s. With a smile, I asked him how his day was, how business was, how his family was, and how his health was. He was perturbed and confused, but I didn’t care because I was happy. And rich. With an even wider smile, I inquired if some things had been taken on credit from his butchery and shop. He confirmed so and gave me the total amount due. I beamed. I glowed. I reached for my purse and took out the only money I had, which was the Ksh 1,000 note you dropped and carefully handed it to him. He did some quick calculations on his calculator, opened a little drawer, threw the note inside it and started counting my change. But then, he hesitated. He took that note and lifted it to his eyes, as if he wanted to look through it. He studied the note. I smiled. He scrutinized every inch of it. I praised God. He turned it over and over and thought deeply. I whispered “Thank you Jesus.”

“Wewe madam hii noti ni fake,” Wa-Gikonyo finally announced after he was done with his thorough examination.

I will not go on to tell you about how my world furiously crumbled into a pile of dust the moment I heard those words, or how my hopes and dreams died a sudden, horrible death, or how my life is now in danger and I live in fear after re-blocking a particular phone number whose owner has a snarky tone in their voice, or how I need therapy to help me cope with the post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dear unknown person who dropped that fake Ksh 1,000 note that I found by a roadside, you are wicked.

Yours Sandy, via Facebook

Which Idiot Commercialized Our Beloved Ugali?

I wrote this at four in the morning, after Nyaumuri decided to conduct a perpetual feasting on my conscience. You see, she is my mother, and has made my heart her home for a while now. But on days (or nights) like these, she prefers a change of environment, so she navigates upwards into my head. By days like these I mean when my friends on social media all of a sudden turn all poetic, much to the awe of other friends and a million mothers receive million poems with every passing minute (okay I’m not sure if they actually do receive them). I see Nyaumuri too, with every single line I read and wish that the mothers so much praised on Facebook get to see every line their sons and daughters can conjure up, just for them. Anyway folks, just hope you logged off your computer to actually send a message of love to the woman, trust me there are millions of my ilk who’d pay a lifetime for that moment alone.

Now first things first, which idiot commercialized ugali? On a very serious note, who even thought of that? The sharpest memories of Nyaumuri bring back a block-headed lad (of course she thought I was block headed) sitting beside the fire with his homework, while she expertly turned and the tilapia from the pan. This would be the case daily unless I did not have homework, because otherwise I would be out with my cousins battling out who would be the next Ronaldo (the original Ronaldo). If I was in the field playing-and we did play in the dark still- all my Ronaldo dreams would of course be cut short just like any others’.

‘’odhiamboooo’’ – Luo accent,

Now this is one thing you never wanted her to call out twice, because if she did you’ll spend the first five minutes of grilling answering how many times you were called, and for how long, and why it took you so long. All these should be corroborated with sufficient evidence. ‘’aaaannn’’, comes the reply ‘’Kel ane wiyi maduong’ no kae’’ (bring that long head of yours over here)

It still surprises me how we never took offense at such names with our mothers, however much our friends and cousins laughed out loud at you while you heeded the call. Mothers. This call would go a long way in inculcating the remedies for all the crimes I committed during the day, including spending half the day kwa kina Tawfiq watching Salman Khan and Puri e Boss.

I would then be ‘released’ to go and wekelea maji kwa jiko and this I was expected to watch till breaking point, or in a more common language, till the water boiled. Okay let’s not make this a big deal, we all know how to cook ugali, right? Definitely not all of you, judging by the number of ‘shoddy jobs’ I’ve sampled as of yet. It is a simple task, I was made to believe. Everyone’s taste for the delicacy is to a large extent informed by the very first ones they had in life, and we know all our mothers are the best cooks, no?.

The end product coming from just maize flour and hot water was a thick, no thick is not the word, stiff mountain of moderately squeezable mass of kuon. It was easily rolled into balls (the size of your hand greatly mattered in this case because while some people rolled tennis balls others rolled footballs). To certify the balls, they should not penetrate the spaces between the fingers upon being compressed, quite manually. They should then issue a return velocity, same as take of velocity upon being thrown at the wall, and those were mud walls my friend. Kuon was the heart of every meal, forget kimbo.

So why all this noise at a task so simple? I tell you it’s not as simple, try sampling every hotel you come across in your town and tell me how many certified kuons you will count. None I can assure you. I’ve been attributed to having eaten in every corner of the campus and even Nakuru town, including those days they fed us on donkey meat. Come on, I did not say I’ve eaten donkey meat, I just meant the rate at which we used to stop by just any eatery in Nakuru and Naivasha during our Handball tours, donkey meat must have somehow found its way in our systems.

Totty all of a sudden grew fat and his bald head acquired a string of hair (or two) while Eric attained this Johnny Bravo shape, so much for the gym. Jeff Oloo never changed, his alcohol must have countered the excess proteins that comes with donkey meat. You’re asking about me? How I changed? One of the Njokerio donkeys gave me an unsuspecting kick one day, guess that’s a change. I must have been the largest consumer of their kind I presume, given the magnitude of the kick, sema aibu ndogo ndogo.

The worst ugali I must have eaten was in Naivasha town, our very own dingy inlets in school try my friend, I can tell you that for a fact. Try eating from a posh stage eatery in town and tell me if you won’t leave Bahgwanj and Sons hotel cursing. These are people who’ll serve you the very best of meat stews complete with a shoddy attempt at kuon. Again which idiot commercialized kuon? Having hammered Jkuat handball team in their backyard, the big boys stop over at Naivasha to ‘pigia mwili pole’.

We do have funny eating habits in this team, Steve must always have a soda before every meal, even when all he wants is a soda, he must have a soda before a soda. Totty has the tendency of buying Ugali from one eatery and transferring to the next while in search of managu, with the ugali in his hand. Hillary, the only luhyia brother in the team will roll up his sleeves before matters kuon and during instances where he has a short-sleeved t-shirt, he’ll take it off, either way, something always has to be rolled. Wycliffe and jeremiah will just take tea, at night. If Jeff hadn’t bought a bottle or two while in Nairobi he’ll convince Clement to join him in search of a ‘wines & spirits’ outlet.

So on this day we are sharing a table with Hillary, quite a team of kuon experts. What is brought before us would make some woman plead with the husband not to bring a second wife should she be the culprit. I mean, the thing was cold, half baked mass of flour and clearly lacked shape. No spiraling vapor from it and from the look of things, a fly would sink in it if it perched -so according to Dr.Matasi’s physics- it also lacked adequate surface tension. At the present rate the government will be forced to issue out special ‘kuon permits’ only to hotels proved as to having consistently served its patrons with kuon worth calling for ‘kuon saucer’ later on. Should you hear of these plans, let the government of Kenya know that my kuon sampling services will be dully availed at the disposal of the good ministry for food (is it even there friend?). So which idiot commercialized kuon?

Kuon-Ugali in Luo.

Kisumu County – the new hub for holidays and conferences

Since 2007, Kisumu has been seen as a hotbed of violence. But not anymore. The city is fast turning into a hospitality hub as locals and foreigners flock the town for holidays and conferences.

There has been an influx of leaders who have preferred holding their conferences in Kisumu. These have included governors, business leaders, parliamentary and county committees and constitutional commissions.

Officials from neighbouring counties including Siaya, Homa Bay and Busia county governments have also been spending weekends meeting in Kisumu.

Leaders and businessmen say increased interest in Kisumu is also due to the fact that the city serves as a central location for six counties.

Kenya Chamber of Commerce branch chairman Israeli Agina says the tourism sector in Kisumu is also expanding because of improved security. “This is attracting visitors and conferences into this town,” he says.

“Security is better compared to Nairobi and Mombasa which have been hit by Al-Shabaab. This explains why Kisumu is attracting many meetings and investors,” Mr Agina adds.

He says modernisation of Kisumu International Airport has also opened up opportunities in the region, not only in terms of trade but tourism as well.

“Kisumu is now connecting the East African region. Passengers from Uganda can now easily connect through the Kisumu airport to neighbouring countries,” Mr Agina said.

And starting April 22, Kisumu will be hosting the second conference on devolution which leaders say is a pointer to the fact that the town is becoming an ideal tourism destination.

Some 6,000 delegates from the 47 counties are expected at the three-day meeting.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie says Kisumu is strategically placed to attract tourism to the Western circuit.

“The ministry has realized the western circuit is the next frontier for tourism. But we also want to market it as a part of Kenya that was not fully exploited,” Ms Kandie told stakeholders when she paid a courtesy call on governor Jack Ranguma on Wednesday.

Mr Ranguma said the development of western Kenya as a major tourism hub had just but begun. “We will select key areas we will develop and ensure they are on the international map as tourist attraction sites,” Mr Ranguma said.

ACCOMODATION RATES

Kisumu East MP Shakeel Shabbir and Kisumu Hotels Managers Group chairman Robinson Anyal say the city’s improved image is also due to favourable accommodation rates, hospitality and good climate.

And to Mr Shabbir, aggressive marketing strategy by county leaders has added to the trick.

“Many parliamentary committees are now bringing their sittings here. As local MPs, we are encouraging people to visit this place and we are happy with the response,” he said.

Improved infrastructure has also been central by easing movement of goods and services.

Mr Omar Ahmed, chairman of the County Public Accounts Forum that hosted its annual meeting in Kisumu last year, loves the town’s climate.

“When Kisumu was suggested as the venue for our meeting, we quickly agreed. This shows how much the town is growing and as MCAs, we are happy to support it,” said Mr Ahmed, the Kaloleni MCA in Kisumu.

Kisumu boasts of additional hotels providing ample space for conferences and seminars. The city has eight hotels and several guest houses.

Mr Anyal said they are in for big boost during the devolution conference. “We are finalising plans to host the delegates. We are expecting increased bed capacity in hotels such as Royal City which recently expanded. Five others are undergoing renovations ahead of the conference,” said Mr Anyal.

Taxi operators and car hire firms have also not been left behind – they are also registering increased profits.

Mr Alex Kavaya, the proprietor of Kairi Tours and Safaris says unlike the notion that Kisumu is a violence hotspot, residents are hospitable and warm.

“Business for taxi drivers has seen an increase in profits owing to the fact that people are now warming up to Kisumu. We are expecting more,” he said.

Nyanza police boss Willy Lugusa attributed the latest interest in Kisumu to improved security. “Our efforts to maintain law and order have helped attract many people to Kisumu,” he said.

Mr Lugusa says security arrangements for the conference are complete adding delegates’ safety is assured.

“The high-level personalities that will attend the conference gives us even more work. But we are up to the task,” he said.

Report by Everline Okewo, Silas Apollo and Patrick Langat.

via Daily Nation.

Wii Got Talent Search in Kisumu City

Wii Got Talent is an initiative by art enthusiasts to offer a platform for upcoming and established artists to showcase their work. Realizing that around us there is an abundance or talented individuals who never have a place to display their work, it is hoped that the venue will not only encourage creative individuals to display their work but also to work with art lovers, producers, academicians and corporate who support artistic activities.
Every week starting from Tuesday to Thursday, there will be auditions, followed by a Saturday when live performance and display of art is set on stage for the public. While this is in progress, drinks and food will be available at the resident pub.
All stage performances will be audio and video recorded for academic and publicity purposes. The management hopes to participate in promotion and guiding artist to success.

Wii Got

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