Accepting and Moving On

Dear readers,

I must apologize for the blog going doing for almost 4 days this week.  The same thing happened last year although downtime then lasted for a week!

After a lot of back and forth, chatting, emails, phone calls and credit card payments, I now have full control of my domain and that is the most important thing.

Let us pretend that there was a time lapse and my posts from September last year to February 2014 never existed. Hopefully I will soon get them back. I have back all my posts since December 2010 when I first blogged here, sans the media (images/videos). WordPress backup fail? I don’t know.. but backup is important, I should have a weekly schedule, lesson learned.

I promise you this will not happen again, dear reader. I am urging you and I, urging us, to move forward. Posts from now onwards are going to have images, as usual. I am still tweaking my blog so the settings, plugins, appearance, widgets etc look like they were before and it will take some time. Please bear with me.

In the meantime, the posts will keep coming, two or three a week, as usual. Let us accept that somethings bad things happen, and we need to move on.

Accept and move on..

Accept and move on..

THE WHITE MASAI- BOOK REVIEW

When Binyavanga Wainaina wrote the essay “How to Write About Africa“, he had writers such as Corinne Hoffman in mind. Corinne came to Kenya for holiday with her boyfriend Marco, and fell in love with a Masai. Technically, it was a Samburu moran but who’s to tell the difference? Well, even after she learned he was not Masai but Samburu, her title of the book still remains “White Masai”. White Samburu doesn’t have the same ring, does it? Besides, her intended audience can hardly tell the difference between one African and the next, let alone a Samburu and a Masai.

The White Masai Book Cover

The White Masai Book Cover

If you look closely, you can see the family picture on this book cover

I must say, I liked reading the book. The writing is simplistic, but the story is moving. Many might scoff at her actions, but how many (Kenyan) women will leave their comfortable (if small) apartments with running water and electricity to go live in a manyatta in the scorching sun of Barsaloi?

When she first came to Mombasa, Corinne met Lketinka by chance and they became friends. She was attracted to him, and this is how she describes him: “a tall, dark brown, beautiful exotic man lounging on the quayside looking at us.. with dark eyes. My God, he’s beautiful, more beautiful than anyone I have ever seen.”

“..in the last rays of the sinking sun, he looks like a young god” etc etc

After her holiday was over and she was back in cold Switzerland, she realized she had fallen in love and decides to come back to Kenya to find Lketinka. Only that he is no longer in coast. He was a genuine moran, not the faux-masai men you find in coast. Disillusioned by talk that Corinne will never come back for him, he’d given up on earning money from doing dances for tourists in the hotels, and had gone back home to his livestock. Lketinka hadn’t gone to school so he didn’t know English, Corinne was German-born and knew little English either, but they managed to communicate.

After coming back to look for him, and not finding him in Mombasa, she got into a bus with a friend to Nairobi, then to Nyahururu, and from there another bus to Maralal. From Maralal to Lketinka’s home is another adventure altogether. Eventually, she traces him down, and Lketinka welcomes her, “Corinne, you come back for me?”

Not to give away the story, but she settles into the manyatta life, eating tough meat, being a moran’s wife and all.. but not without hardships and challenges. She finally weds Lketinka, a big successful Samburu wedding and also a civil ceremony, and gets a beautiful baby girl, Napirai.

Is there a happily ever after? Well, read and find out. It’s a romantic, simply told story of a daring and determined woman.

A collage of Corinne and Lketinka's life

A collage of Corinne and Lketinka’s life

In 2005, they made a movie about the book, to positive reviews worldwide and she went on Oprah and all that.

MOBILE EAST AFRICA CONFERENCE – 12TH & 13TH FEBRUARY

The Mobile East Africa is a conference that brings together stakeholders in the mobile industry in Kenya (telecommunication companies, information technology companies, entrepreneurs in the tech space etc) for a wholesome discussion on the current trends, the past and the future of the mobile space. Formerly, this conference was known as Mobile Web East Africa and is in its 3rd year running.

Mobile East Africa 2014 is taking place at the Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi, Kenya on February 12th through 14th. The event will kick off with a ‘Leaders of Mobile‘ keynote session featuring executives from IBM, SAP, Airtel and Safaricom. Former Permanent Secretary of Information and Communication Dr. Bitange Ndemo will also be joining the panel, which will analyse the future progress of the mobile ecosystem in East Africa.

World-renowned mobile expert Tomi Ahonen has been confirmed to deliver a special address during the Mobile East Africa 2014 main conference on 12th & 13th February, as well as a dedicated full-day workshop on Friday, February 14th. Forbes ranked him as “the world’s most influential expert in mobile” in 2012; Mr. Ahonen has spoken at more than 300 conferences in over 60 countries and his cumulative audience totals over 100,000 people. He is the author of 12 bestselling books on mobile and digital communities and consults to Fortune 500 companies around the globe, helping to define their mobile strategies.

The other speakers at the conference include Jumia Kenya, iHub, Virtual City, Bongo Live, Ghafla!, Smile Tanzania, Bozza, Every1Mobile, FrontlineSMS, Praekelt, Sponge, KINU Innovation Hub and Zilojo. Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Omidyar Network, MTech, and Google are just a few of the many companies sending representatives to the event.

You can register for the conference here.