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Showing posts from September, 2013

The KSh. 600,000 instant Kenyans, visas and Kenyan Somalis

In the past month, I've been to three countries outside my home country, Kenya - Sweden, South Africa and Turkey.

I remember making one observation to bloggers I travelled with to South Africa - that embassies consistently have lots of people of Somali origin applying for visas. In fact, you are likely to mistakenly think that the embassies are outside Kenya.

See, Kenya has 40 million people, and lots of tribes, including its own Kenyan Somali community. The Somali aren't among the top 10 largest tribes in Kenya. It therefore does not make statistical sense that they are among the top, if not the top community that applies for visas on Kenyan passports.

Yes, I did get curious and try to look if they might be refugees applying for visas in Kenya. Rarely, all of them seemed to have Kenyan passports.

The only plausible explanation then was that Somalis, who account for a large percentage of the business community in Kenya, were applying for business visas. But again, sometimes y…

Brief encounter with Johannesburg

Coming from Nairobi, Johannesburg is big! Rather, Nairobi is small.
I mean, Jozi, as they call it, has 1 and a half times the population of Nairobi. As if that is not enough, it is almost thrice the size of Nairobi in land area.

The sheer size of the city was not evident in the air, as we landed through the clear skies, as Captain Mungai landed the Kenya Airways Boeing 737-500ER, whose leg room would be rivalled by 14 seater matatus back in Nairobi.

I would not have remembered Captain Mungai's name, had he not executed a landing to remember. It appeared that the plane touched down with one pair of the rear landing gear, with the other touching down shortly after, such that the plane lurched to one side for a split second, before regaining composure. It is as if the plane had spotted something shocking, say an ex. It also brought an understanding of how planes veer off the run-way and get stuck in the mud.

 Landing in the day and taking off in the day, there was no opportunity for…

A Kenyan's view on visiting Stockholm, Sweden

My directing editor at CIO East Africa, Harry Hare, seems unconvinced with my criteria for judging how much a country is developed. It is based on your view of the cities at night from the air. The more the yellow of street lights and other lighting, and the easier you can map the city at night from lighting, the more developed it is. That certainly holds true for Stockholm, and much of Sweden's neighbour as I could see (Poland).

Well, I have a new development index. Food. Yes, a country with more variety in what they place in the plate in front of you, and more variety in what it tastes. There's lots to pick from the menu on Sweden, starting from a variety of seafood from their neighbouring sea, to mouth watering Italian Lasagne, to choice steaks and sausages, to their herbivore salads, which the Swedes seem to more than love.

They don't come cheap though. In the old town (Gamla Stan), we ventured into a home restaurant. We did order the mouth watering Lasagne above, and …