Monday, July 30, 2012

Leadership, Caroline Mutoko and why I'm happy about KTDC




I am fascinated by leadership.

I constantly ask myself what it is about leaders that make them stand out, or how they manage to be the ones charting out the path for others to follow. How do they convince others that their plan, strategy and ideas are what others should believe in, and take them up as if it were their own, with such passion and infectious energy?

When I heard that Caroline Mutoko had been appointed the chair of the Kenya Tourism Development Corporation, my leadership alert perked.

Caroline Mutoko is a leader. No doubt. We have seen her in action, on the streets, on Radio, and when recently watched her on CNN's African voices, I wondered, how one person can garner so much leadership essentials, and how she manages to not only run a high level career, maintain a genuine patriotism for a country whose leaders she constantly contests, and still be a doting mother.

Now, Tourism is topmost in the Kenyan agenda. Ms Mutoko displays through her steel hand a constant thrust for excellence. People who have worked with her speak of her unwavering resolve in pushing boundaries. We need such leadership at government level.

I hope Ms Mutoko takes up the position.

If (when) she does, I will be among those cheering her on, hoping that her infectious vitality will be felt in the not so much known KTDC. I hope, also that she will be part of the leadership that will examine and rewrite Kenya's tourism strategy, as we are, without a doubt still playing way below our league. I hope she will steer KTDC into the ICT century, to take advantage of the online world and to create new conversations about Kenya.

I hope Caroline will help create a visible brand out of the organisation that facilitates the growth of investment in Kenya's tourism Industry; it is the cradle that births the millions of dollars that come in every year to our economy.

I hope Caroline will lead a team that shares in her sense for determination and tenacity as we have seen her do in other matters.

My fear though, is that this is a Public Institution, and it may swallow her the way I think it has done to MIT’s Fiery Mugo Kibati, of Vision 2030. I digress.

Nonetheless, I have learned that every organisation requires a leader that is constantly seeking sustained excellence, one who will transform it from good to great. By appointing her, the government has stamped her leadership status. I know, that these are the leaders we need to take Kenya to the next level.

I wish Caroline the very best.

Friday, July 27, 2012

I celebrate Kenya

I started a discussion on twitter this afternoon, tagged #Icelebratekenya interesting what tweets came out of it.

I think I should be part of the Brand Kenya team. I could do it for free (I lie) but you get me, right? No, I don't want to go to the Olympics, I don't even like crowded places. Thanks. I digress.

Timing is everything.Given the Kenyan team's departure to London, there is this profound patriotic spirit that is now hovering around.

Most other times, we are such a fragmented nation, torn apart by not only tribe, but also by economic disparity and a growing techonology gap, where the rate of urbanisation is leaving most of rural Kenya in the last century.

But, today, and in the next few weeks, Brand Kenya should have maximized on this grand spirit, that may not be here for another few years.

So, this afternoon, we tried to celebrate those things that make us Kenyan. Here are a few tweets.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

Dear Ian, 10 years, but always in my heart.


Gal this is Ian,

Wanjohi gave me your address jana and told me that i have to talk to you. Don’t know what but all in all how have you been?
I am just from job hungry and worn out and the only thing that is ringing in my head is kitchen then bed.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Bye!
Njoroge.

This was a letter written to me on 6th March 2002, from a young man i was seriously growing a crush on. His name was Ian, and he had the most beautiful eyes.

This was an email he wrote to me when a mutual friend (Wanjohi) made fun of how much he thought I liked Ian.

I did, and after this email, were more emails and phone calls to his home in Sigona, or he to my aunt's house in Buruburu where I lived then; way back when landlines ruled the world.

We were both students at the Alliance Francaise, but he was way ahead of me, and was already pretty fluent in French, he had even taken up a part time job teaching French in a school in Westlands.

We would have several lunches together at a restaurant next to the Alliance Francaise, he always made me laugh, even with my little crush, I was most comfortable around him.

Then the phone call came, from Wanja, telling me Ian was involved in a road accident and had died on the spot. I was outside the Alliance Francaise, hoping, as usual that we'd bump into each other and have a good laugh.

That was 10 years ago.

I cannot remember the date that he died, but this and last week, I have thought loads about where he would be today, the young ambitious, handsome man that he was. Would he be a daddy now, with handsome little boys that took after him? Would he be a business man? A top shot in some big multinational?

I always knew he would make it big, that we would grow old and be great friends, or maybe more even. But God had other plans. Perhaps, as they say, he is in a better place.

As these thoughts dominate my mind, I have thought about my friends and family, people that have made such a great impact in my life by just being there, and now, more than ever, I will remember to show them I love them, because life, as we know it, is too short, that is what memories of you remind me.

So, Dear Ian, sometimes I still hope I’ll bump into you on the streets around the French Cultural centre, or that the phone call about your accident was a dream; that I will wake up one day and someone will tell me that they found you somewhere.

But; my take out from that experience is that I will show the one’s that I love, how much they mean to me, before they’re gone…

Love you long time.

Chebs.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Just to see you again




I want to see you again

To feel my heart beating again
quicken with latent, sensual response
That a woman only feels for her man

That smile, sneer, smirk...

shimmering anticipation
splintering excitement

As your gaze burns into mine

shadowy darkness
silken warmth

utterly, irrevocably male
I'd love to see you again
Then smile at the memory