Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Author of my Tomorrow - a love poem

The author of my tomorrow
Is a man who knows tomorrow’s news
He’s smart, slick and quick with his tongue
His books tell of a curious mind and he likes his full bodied wine
brewed in the folds and valleys that tell stories of Greek Mythology

The author of my tomorrow
Is a golden voiced story teller
He loves the arts and ancient history is his forte
Sheba, Cleopatra and Tutankhamun are names characteristic of his lingua
Telling of Kings and queens now fallen,
Then, names that shook kingdoms
But tomorrow he, the author, will be the King of my kingdom

The author of my tomorrow
Loves to laugh
Deep hearty quirky bursts of deep and dangerous loving
Stories dotted with triumphant boy tales of starry nights in the village
Telling of a past that’s bold enough to desire new memories
Tugging at hearts and revving golden oldies into sheer insanity
Loving, laughing, and lurking underneath, wanton

The author of my Tomorrow
Exists in my dreams and I’ve seen him on the street
But even in unreal reality, His tongue I taste with mine
His eyes; the mirror in which I see every breathing moment
The rise and fall of his chest guides my very breathing…
His hands, guide me to the path of glorious satiety
Me. Him. Us. We.
Tomorrow, Singing hymns of our jagged forever afters
Dreaming new dreams; making new memories….


Sunday, February 1, 2015

So he offered to buy me a Vitz

The highlight of my weekend was an abrasive young man who offered to buy me a Toyota Vitz.

The gentleman in question was obviously from a very well to do family. On any other day, I wouldn't have known it but he went on and on about his VX, his millions, how he went to the President's former school and, if I agreed to be with him, our children would go to a certain school which was not and can never be a polling station. (No Academies here)

My problem wasn't that he wanted to buy me a vitz, (well maybe a little)  it was the realisation that a man needed to launch 'economic warfare' to win over a strangely quiet lady listening to DJ Adrian on a Friday night. He spoke flawless sheng  and insisted he didn't have to wear 'Bling' to show that he is a well educated, wealthy young man.

Naturally I was put off, but engaged him  just to understand why money had to be such a central part of wooing.

In retrospect, Perhaps I was looking at this late night discussion the wrong way. Perhaps this wasn't even a discussion to be held in the backdrop of DJ Adrian's spinning in a rugby bar. Perhaps we, women of today have made sure that money is central to a conversation about love ... or lust, whichever suits you better.

The conversation, if raising our voices over the glaring music can be referred to as such, surprised me as much as it entertained me . How much really  is cash a factor when a man meets a woman, or ( if you were raising placards in Beijing, when a woman meets a man?)

I'm all for comfort and a wealthy life because the Good Book preaches Success. What's wrong with a foreign trip once a year to an exotic location; or shopping on the highstreet with my daughter (sometimes) in tow? But, that a man shoves his millions down my throat
(Not quite literally and a little exaggerated ) isn't the most attractive thing I have encountered recently. 

As an unmarried woman.( FYI after 30 you stop being single and start being unmarried)

Nairobi has it's fair share of amazing men, dead beat dads and the usual double dealing wenches (used here in the masculine as I cannot freely use the word I would like to use) all of whom I and many other ladies have encountered, but the choice to stay single makes absolute sense until a boy brought up well comes along. Either that or, I'm told, sometimes wives have teach them to grow up as well.

My young new friend told me 'There are no women made for marriage in Nairobi anymore'. Because all they care is about money and status. I asked him whose fault it was, if his idea of asking a woman out was to share his bank account details.

I've had the same conversation in the past with a young college boy who says he couldn't date a college girl because they're already spoilt by big cars, big money and shopping trips which a regular college boy would not afford.

Money talks.
But how much are we really part of that conversation?

I'm a hard working woman, and I'm told that's a problem; sometimes.

I've heard a story about a lady who sold her Prado and bought a Nissan March in order to 'Repackage herself' for marriage.

Thing is though, boyscand girls are brought up the same way, we go to the same schools, start jobs at the same salaries and grow at the same pace. So why should I be less ambitious? Why did this young man assume I didn't have a car (read Vitz)  and getting me one would be the beginning of a beautiful courtship?

Questions about money can never be conclusively addressed, and I bid him goodbye, however, I was plesantly surprised when he asked to walk me out.

I didn't drive out in a Vitz.


In other news; The Oreo is an incredible thing, but that's a story for another day.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Following the announcement on 9 January 2015 that Old Mutual Holdings Limited, a subsidiary
of Old Mutual plc (“Old Mutual” or “the Group”) had acquired 23.3% of UAP Holdings Limited
(“UAP”), the Group today agreed to purchase a further 37.3% of UAP‘s existing share capital,
thereby increasing its stake to 60.7%, subject to various regulatory approvals.
Old Mutual has notified the Capital Markets Authority (“CMA”) in Kenya of the offer it has made
to and the acceptance from The Abraaj Group, AfricInvest and Swedfund, who collectively
hold 37.3% of the shares in UAP. The notice includes an application to the CMA for an
exemption from having to make a mandatory offer to all UAP shareholders under the CMA
The consideration of KES 14.2 billion (approximately USD155.5 million) for the additional 37.3%
stake will be paid in cash and will be funded from existing Group resources. The transaction is
expected to complete during 2015.
Rationale for the transaction
Old Mutual has identified East Africa as a key region within sub-Saharan Africa in which we
need scale. East Africa has strong economic growth, attractive demographics, improving
infrastructure and a nascent and under-penetrated financial services industry.
The majority stake we have secured in UAP, combined with the existing Old Mutual businesses
in Kenya, will provide the Group with the scale and product breadth to capitalise on the
significant growth expected in the region. In Kenya, the largest and most advanced East
African market, insurance penetration remains very low, at 3.16% of GDP, but with gross written
premiums predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 18% through to 2020.
Julian Roberts, Group Chief Executive of Old Mutual plc, said: “We are delighted to have
secured a majority stake in UAP. East Africa is a core growth market for Old Mutual and this
transaction is a critical step in Old Mutual becoming an African financial services champion
and further progress on our strategic agenda to transform the Group and improve its
sustainable growth profile.”
UAP has a strong position in East and Central Africa and a product offering that is highly
complementary to our existing businesses.
In Kenya, UAP has the third largest Property & Casualty ("P&C") market share; the second
largest health insurance business; a substantial property investment portfolio and a fast
growing life insurance business. It has established and diverse distribution networks including
via brokers; an agency force; direct sales; bancassurance; digital; and supermarkets.
In Uganda, it has the second largest P&C and health insurance businesses, and the third largest
life business. It also has P&C businesses in Rwanda, Tanzania and South Sudan, and a
brokerage business in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It has more than 650,000 customers and in 2013 made KES 2.2 billion of operating profit before tax, gross written premiums of KES
12.7 billion and had a net book value of KES 13.9 billion.
Dr Joseph Wanjui, Chairman of UAP, said: “This is an exciting development for our business and
for our clients. The combined strengths of Old Mutual and UAP will give our customers unrivalled
access to a full suite of financial services. Our partnership with Old Mutual is aligned with our
vision of creating a revolutionary African financial services company that delivers what
customers want and where they need it.”
Ralph Mupita, Chief Executive of Old Mutual Emerging Markets, said: “Following the
conclusion of this transaction, we will have invested nearly USD300 million in the region since
2012. Combining Old Mutual and the UAP businesses will provide us with the capability and
scale to offer fully integrated financial services including life, healthcare, P&C and banking
Peter Mwangi, Group CEO of Old Mutual in Kenya said: “Both Old Mutual and UAP have
operated in the Kenyan market for over 80 years and each has a very rich heritage in the East
African region. This partnership brings together the talents of two highly skilled and passionate
teams dedicated to the realization of our shared aspiration to positively impact the lives of our
Background to the transaction
Old Mutual Emerging Markets has allocated R5 billion ($500 million) to invest in financial services
operations in sub-Saharan Africa. We deployed R700 million of this in buying Oceanic Life and Oceanic
General Insurance in Nigeria during Q1 2013, Provident Life Assurance in Ghana during Q4 2013 and
Faulu Microfinance Bank in Kenya in early 2014. In 2014, Nedbank, Old Mutual’s banking subsidiary,
exercised its rights to subscribe for a 20% shareholding in Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI)
for $494 million, creating the largest banking network in Africa, comprising more than 2,000 branches
and offices in 39 countries. It has also invested $24.4 million in taking a 36.4% stake in Banco Unico in

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Introducing Keyara Organics

A few years ago I began to dream about owning a personal care product so I began to engage a couple of people in the Industry. I wanted to know everything I could about bath and body products, what sells, what doesn't, what gaps exist and where I could begin from.

Today, I'm grateful for the great insights I received from all those I spoke with. After all the discussions, and years of back and forth discussions into the wee hours of the morning, I found my space. I wanted to create something that was authentic, beautiful and African in its mould Natural and most importantly, Globally competitive.

What drives my passion is a need to see an African, home made brand that will rise beyond a cottage shop and retail in international personal care shops.

This finally, led to the birth of Keyara Organics, a dream that has been a long time coming, we want to play in the Global playground.

I'm eternally grateful to God for answering my numerous questions and giving me the courage to keep on keeping on. To my family and friends for never giving up on me, and for constantly asking me what a journalist was doing trying to be a manufacturer and better still, helping me find the answers to questions about life and balance.

To my Inner circle, thank you for listening to my dreamy stories. To Imani, my lovely daughter who believes she is employed by Keyara Organics, thank you for the love and the critics and thank you for being Keyara's biggest fan.

For my mentors, you challenge me to be a better person everyday. Thank you, you have held my hand through it all, even when I was too afraid to tell you what I was unto.You help me awake my inner giant.

And to life, for seeing me fail, and with that, teaching me to rise up, be stronger, more ambitious and grateful.

To Imani, my lovely daughter who may be too young to understand why mum loves to do so many things, yet loves all that I do, and believes she is employed by Keyara Organics, thank you so much for the love and the critics and thank you for being Keyara's biggest fan. You inspire me to be a better mum everyday.

Introducing Keyara

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


All about filters ...I almost don't know where my nose starts! #HTC #M8