Kinyaa.Com share your experiences

Archive: May 2012

Kenya is Not the Worst Thing that Happened to Africa

by simon

Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2012 02:16 AM

Kenya has seen leaders that disregard MoUs and go for second terms, leaders, who reportedly order killing of potential opponents, leaders who change the consititution to to the benefit of their own without a shade of shame but Believe it or not, there are countries in Africa that have experienced worse than this.

For example, Ivory Coast: Prior to the October 1995 presidential election, in a move that was viewed as being intended to prevent Ouattara's potential candidacy, the National Assembly of Côte d'Ivoire approved an electoral code which barred candidates if either of their parents were of a foreign nationality. What was that? This barred Outtara from running for the Top post in both 1995 and 2000.

Then come 2005, the sitting president, Laurent Gbagbo, postponed the presidential elections fisrt to 2006 then 2008 then 2010. Stealing an election is occasionally expected, but postponing it?!! That is going overboard.

Following 2010s elections, Ouattara, now eligible to run since they could not really prove the country of birth of his parents, was announced the victor after a second round with a 54% win. The Electoral Commission of Côte d'Ivoire however missed the deadline for declaring the results as papers were snatched from an official who was about to read the results on live TV. Gbagbo nullified the results of the major Outtara regions claiming there was cheating, despite both local and foreign observers agreeing it was a clean election. This gave Gbagbo a 51% win but put the country into war.

Gbabo was arrested by Outtara's forces in April 2011 and is due for trial  by the ICC for crimes against humanity. Reportedly he ordered massacres that saw big numbers in Outtara's mainly Muslim strongholds in the north killed.

Outtara is the current president.

Nevertheless, there is a lot of improvement required for us Kenyans. I know all good citizens know them all already so to just point them out for those in political offices, now and in future, they are:

  1. We dont want another 2007 election scene, that was enough drama to last centuries
  2. Kenyatta said Ignorance, Disease and Poverty are enemies, lets find out why he was unable to do something about it and pick it up from there.
  3. Read 1 and 2

Read More

Eastleigh and Eastleighs to be

by wanderikinyanjui

Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 06:17 PM

Today was my first day in Eastleigh! Do not even think that I came to Nairobi the other day. I have been in this city for a long time. I can tell you that Eastleigh is a unique trading center in Kenya. This where money flows literally. This is the reason why banks have recently rushed to pitch tents there.

However, the roads are very pathetic. I do not understand why an economic hub like this has poor infrastructure. Do these people really remit taxes?

Now to my point: It is astonishing that over 76% of shop owners and attendants neither speak nor understand Kiswahili. So where did they come from? The only people who do are the cart-pullers, beggars, hawkers and buyers. I thought that Swahili as a subject has been mandatory in both primary and secondary level. Please correct me if not true.

I am being told that this model is about to be replicated in other town centers. If you know any such center, please let us know in advance. 

Read More

Degrees, what about them?

by wanderikinyanjui

Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 11:06 AM

I recently came across an advert in our dailies for some tenders. There was one for supplying potatoes to one of the major hotels in the city.The pre-qualifications were way out of my reach! I mean how and where am I supposed to raise a collateral fee of Kshs 1M. This guys were insane. Let alone this , securing a Kshs 3,000 fee for collecting the tender document was unattainable. You can see I have great visions for my life. Potatoes supplier. But isn't this a long process that involves going to inefficient government offices for business registration and other stuff before I land my dream job?

I spend most of my day looking for a job. My friend Johny is a newspaper vendor. It is because of our friendship that I get to peruse all the newspapers. The first thing I do when I get a hold of them is to flip through the job sections. The employers seems not to be interested in mathematicians. The only positions are for sales representatives. Everyone, I mean all of them are looking for guys with marketing,sales,communication.......degrees. By now you have figured it out, holders of any business or arts related degree courses seems to be on demand.

Johny graduated with a First class in Actuarial Science from the University of Nairobi two years ago. He still looks for a job he was trained for. Does it mean that mathematicians and other scientist will continue languishing in poverty and joblessness? No. Are we going to achieve vision 2030 with a country full of BA holders in strategic positions that require thinkers while scientist are reduced to writing articles like this. I was trained to think big, design complex mathematical structures and solve humanity problems through science. However, here I am doing this.

Whom do you think have perfected the art of forgery? By the way is forgery an art or a science? Don't answer, just think about it. The famous River Road in the Nairobi CBD is full of who? You guessed it correct; degree holders. I mean this a place you can walk and literally come out with a Masters degree within an hour! I really do not know how they do it, but I can assure you that they are good. I once saw a forged bank statement for one of the leading banks, it was a perfect replica of the original one. What is funny or saddening is that the recipient of this fake bank statement document was 100% convinced. Many youths have resorted to criminal activities due to poor education system, lack of parental guidance and uncultured entrepreneurial skills. We all have business ideas but what happens to them? Yes you guessed it correct. They remain to be just ideas.

How many people have papers but barely look like they went through a school. A recent audit by PWC on the City Hall employees revealed that over 60% employees are incompetent. Cool. How? How did they pass their interviews? I presume that this result was majorly based on qualifications followed by skills. In this case, they did not have credible papers. So where did there papers go? Because they must have had them, of course during their interviews.

The always vocal and prominent Nairobi lawyer who is also a member of the Judicial Service Commission understands me a little bit. If the allegations are anything to go by, he managed to be where he is because of the so called fake papers from River Road. Waaah! This is awesome. This is just one of them. How many of them are out there? It is ironical because this guy has been in the public limelight for so long yet we didn't see that side of him. A River Road product. Waaah.

Is there any system in place that can be used to confirm the authenticity of these papers? These certificates are nothing but papers.Our leaders have also resorted to getting these papers either from River Road or from well established institutions through blackmail or underhand deals. Enough on fake certificates.

Many employers complain about their new hires on how they don’t have necessary skills. Did they bother to check whether their papers presented to them were genuine? Or is utterly on institutions of higher learning inability to equip them with those skills? Or are these employers only hiring marketers to be in charge of operations! Don't curse me, this is just an example. There are guys who have studied operations as an art and others as a science. Who is more suitable here? Again it is an example for gods sake. You don't expect to use a spade instead of a spoon in eating, or do you?

Our universities should be tracking their graduates and do a study to determine market viability of their products. Through this study they will be able to refine their degree courses.

I have an old bicycle at home. If I could sell it I would start a small business of selling potatoes. Let me look for a buyer. Ooops! My phone is ringing, it could be a possible employer calling. We will continue with this later.

Read More

How to climb the corporate ladder

by simon

Posted on Wednesday, May 09, 2012 11:38 PM

By Ben Fletcher

Ben is Professor of Personal & Organizational Development at the University of Hertfordshire.

Here are at least two kinds of Corporate Games involving climbing ladders that get played: most people confuse the two.

The first is 'The Ladder Game'. In this, it's all about going up. To do this all you have to do is to find the right squares that propel you up the ladder most rapidly. That is not as easy as it sounds because you cannot see the board - only the next step. Unfortunately, some never do the right thing - they make the wrong choices (believing that luck plays a part) and have to plod through their career a few steps at a time. Some even think the 'Lad' bit in the name of the game is relevant. Some stay put through lack of drive and talent.

The second game is called 'The Snakes and Ladders Game'. In this game you can do the equivalent of going down, as well as up. What is more, there are a lot more snake heads nearer the top, and a lot further to fall. All players are playing the second game, but most act as if they are in the first. They forget the traps. This article is to remind you of them.

Let me start with you rookies to the job recruitment game - the new folks on the block. You assume that ambition is good, and that climbing the corporate ladder is the obvious career goal. Both of these are reasonable assumptions, but you must not forget that your raw talent needs honing with experience, and that this experience needs nurturing in the right companies with good market credentials, good training policies, and plenty of ladders for the right players. Raw energy will help, but do not forget that it is not a game for one (some will have started the game long before you), and that you have to give other players a turn sometimes, too.

Here are some of the other rules in the corporate ladders and the snakes game. Consider them the career equivalent of the birds and the bees.

The ladders - the things that propel you upwards with some speed - are not always what you think. They appear to include:

  1. Impression management and self-promotion 
  2. Networking with the key people 
  3. Determination to succeed/single-mindedness whatever it takes 
  4. Ruthlessness to have an impact 
  5. Taking more risks than others 
  6. Looking very active and fast-moving Management of 'others' in pursuit of you cause (politics and diplomacy) 
  7. Making sure the successes are logged to you and the failures to others 
  8. Getting 'close to the sun' (your bosses) or visibility 

The snakes always seem to appear from nowhere, but are important too. They are things that might knock you back in the promotion stakes. The snakes - for many aspiring corporate climber - appear to include:

  1. Honesty and saying it like it is, or should be. (It gets you into trouble) 
  2. Working smart and determining your own list of priorities for success in the job, instead of just pleasing people and doing what they say. (People see lack of commitment) 
  3. Taking account of the ethical and moral dimension in business decisions. (It costs deals) 
  4. Taking a minority position if you believe it is right, or a detached view. (Others see you as outside the team) 
  5. Taking responsibility for the mistakes you or your team makes. (It gets you noticed for the wrong reasons) 
  6. Doing a good job quietly and without looking for the boss's eye. (Your achievements go unnoticed) 
  7. Bringing attention to the problems others have not seen in a decision. (People think you jealous and want to hijack the situation) 
  8. Having a balanced life outside work. (You should do what the others do) 
  9. Saying 'no' when you have a different priority list. (It isolates you) 
  10. Commitment to your colleagues and team. (You need to move with the stars). 

One thing might surprise you, but will not on reflection: the things that appear as the ladders are actually the snakes.

In the longer term, playing the corporate ladder game according to the rules in the first list, will fail in a good company with good management. And in the end it is those companies that you will want to be in. For example, many falsely believe that 'sucking up' to the boss gets you places, but that is only true in the worst managed organizations. You should not want to work in these kinds of places. So make a careful selection yourself.

There are also many negative short and long term consequences of playing by the rules of this game: poorly channeled effort, spending time on activities that do not develop your talents and skills but make you look good for a short time, having to second-guess what is in the mind of others, perhaps portraying an impression that is not really you, backstabbing other competitors (your friends even), personal isolation, making enemies, the unexpected urgencies that break cherished family time, the personal loss felt by partner/spouse of being always 'second'. The list could be much longer.

If you really want to climb the corporate ladder you need to play by different rules. Yes, you guessed it, those things that look like the snakes are really the ladders. The 'snakes' of the second list turn into ladders when you really take the responsibility for your performance, instead of playing others' games. If you want money, status and the feeling of achievement you need to take account of them. Real achievement needs to replace pretense and appearance. Real integrity needs to replace managed impressions. Yes, of course some people get up the snakes, but they always have to cling on hard - they are not what I call the True SuperAchievers. To get there you need to get 'FIT for business' and to learn to get smart rather than chasing the demons (see HOW to think, live and work powerfully).

Read More

Log in to start posting on Kinyaa.Com

Blog Search


  1. Categories

My Posts