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

Monday, August 25, 2014

The impact of Movitel on ICT in Mozambique


By Nguyen Thai Khang*


MAPUTO, Mozambique, August 25, 2

-- Arriving in Mozambique when the telecom infrastructure was very limited and only 35% of the population was accessible to the telecommunication services, Viettel – the Vietnamese leading telecommunications - has endorsed an initiative to popularize telecom services in rural and under-served areas in Mozambique.

This initiative regards telecom provision as a commodity, which should be accessible regardless of geographical location or financial capacity.

The company has invested in a network, service support and introduction of social programs to enable telecom services accessible to rural Mozambicans, as part of improving their overall lives and become its customers.

Viettel aims at a sustainable social development and benefit both customers and the company by bringing mobile phones to every Mozambican and broadband Internet to every Mozambican family.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

By 2030 Dar es Salaam and Luanda could have bigger populations than London has now

By 2040, Africa will experience faster economic growth than any other region and is expected to have the biggest labour force in the world

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, August 14, 2014/ -- CEOs around the world are increasingly recognising the untapped potential of sub-Saharan Africa. This is driven by Africa’s unparalleled demographic edge or demographic dividend. By 2040, Africa is expected to have the biggest labour force in the world and experiencing faster economic growth than any other region, according to a report issued by PwC


The projections are contained in the latest PwC ‘Global Economy Watch’, which puts the spotlight on the largest cities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Most major corporations are already active in at least one of the four largest cities in sub-Saharan Africa – Lagos, Kinshasa, Nairobi and Johannesburg.

But PwC economists believe it’s the ‘Next 10’ biggest cities in sub-Saharan Africa that should also be exciting foreign investors. The population of these cities is projected to almost double by 2030, growing by around 32 million people. In fact, latest UN projections show that by 2030 two of the ‘Next 10’ – Dar es Salaam and Luanda – could have bigger populations than London has now.

Cities are the typical entry points for businesses trying to expand into new overseas markets, because they enable closer interaction with customers in a relatively small geographic space, which in turn helps contain distribution costs.

Stanley Subramoney, Strategy leader of PwC’s South Market Region, says: “The report projects that economic activity in the ‘Next 10’ cities could grow around $140 billion by 2030. This is roughly equivalent to the current annual output of Hungary.”

This is a conservative estimate as no premise has been made for real exchange rate appreciation despite relatively strong projected growth in these economies.

“In addition to the trends with regard to high rates of GDP growth, rapid urbanisation and the so-called demographic edge that sub-Saharan Africa possesses, a number of other economic phenomena in the region are starting to appeal to the global investment community,” says Dr Roelof Botha, economic advisor to PwC.

These include the following:

•          Significant new discoveries of mining and energy resources, in particular gold and gas;

•          Substantial investment in infrastructure and capital formation by the private sector, which has witnessed an increase in the ratio of total fixed investment to GDP from 17.7% in 2000 to an estimated 23% in 2013;

•          Sustained growth in per capital incomes, which has led to demand shifts that are benefiting household consumption expenditure on durables, semi-durables and services;

•          The ability of a growing number of countries to raise financing for infrastructure projects on the international capital market, in particular Kenya and Rwanda. Both of these countries have recently managed to sell government bonds globally at single-digit yields, which obviate the need for excessive debt servicing costs.

As a result, a return was made last year to sound growth in foreign direct investment inflows (FDI)) into a number of key African economies, says Dr Botha.

However, there are three problems that could slow the pace at which the ‘Next 10’ biggest cities in sub-Saharan Africa grow, according to the report. These are issues that sub-Saharan countries have been trying to tackle for many decades with limited success:

•          Low quality of ‘hard’ infrastructure like roads and railways

•          Inadequate ‘soft’ infrastructure like schools and universities, and

•          Growing pains arising from political, legal and regulatory institutions struggling to deal with a bigger and more complicated economy.

“The challenges that policy makers face is to convert Africa’s demographic dividend into economic reality by overcoming these hurdles. History suggests this will not be a quick or easy process. Infrastructure development is a key driver for progress across Africa and a critical enabler for sustainable and socially inclusive growth. However, investors should form their own plans to mitigate these problems by supporting infrastructure skills and development programmes,” concludes Subramoney.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC).

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Scarlet Digital's got an animator on board!

For more, talk to brands@scarletdigital.co.ke

51 countries, 60 direct reports, 60,000 customers, 4,000 employees, 14 aircraft, 2 young children and 2 dogs! Charles Brewer is the MD who loves leading all of that

At the helm of this business is Managing Director Charles Brewer, who has been with DHL for more than 30 years, has worked in all regions of the world and found himself in Africa for the first time three years ago.

“Like many who haven’t actually been to Africa, the perceptions I had were found to be very different in reality,” Brewer says. “Simplistically, Africa is the last frontier. It is the most beautiful, dynamic and exciting region I have had the pleasure to live and work in, and despite the very obvious challenges and occasional risk, I love being part of this exciting journey.”

His role, as MD, is to “motivate and excite my employees to deliver unbelievable and unparalleled service levels and to help our customers grow and be successful” and it is clear that customer centricity is at the very core of Brewer’s DNA.

So what does it take to oversee this many people and territories?

“We worry a great deal less about formal qualifications and focus far more on emotional qualities, experiences and abilities” – not surprising when you consider that he spends huge amounts of time on the front line and considers himself the Chief Energy Officer.

Every week you will find Charles in a different country in Africa – he could be with a courier in Rwanda this week, selling with a sales executive in Senegal the next, to sitting side-by-side with a Customer Service Agent in Lagos the week after. “If you want to know what your customers or employees really think about your product or your company, get to where the action is as often as you possibly can.”

A few years ago, just after Brewer arrived in Africa, he took the bold decision to completely de-layer the management structure, with an aim to bring everyone closer to the “sharp-end” and to significantly improve communication and speed of decision making.

“Africa is so dynamic and I just felt that we were too far removed and operating far too slowly”. All 51 countries now report directly to Brewer and the new structure has proven to be really successful.

“The new structure is very different and demands a very open, rapid and engaging leadership style but it is working really well, with quicker decision making, simpler communication lines and a significantly improved employee engagement level”. As an example, the couriers, who are key to the DHL service delivery promise, are never more than four levels away from Brewer and five from the Global CEO.

Think global, act local and TRUST!

One of the key lessons learned over the past three years and specifically as DHL went through the structural change, was the importance of trust. “With so many countries, all with different opportunities and challenges, you have to trust the teams on the ground”. What that means is using the global processes and procedures, but allowing a high degree of input on how best to execute locally.

To illustrate his point, Brewer describes a recent example were DHL was running a retail point of sale promotion to attract new customers to its ever-growing retail points. The typical approach would be to offer discounts and/or corporate give-aways to incentivise walk-in customers. The country manager in Ethiopia however suggested a much better idea – giving customers a chicken as part of the Easter celebration.

“When the Country Manager first suggested ‘chickens’, I had to laugh and genuinely thought she was joking, but she was serious and right – the promotion was hugely successful”.

It is big, but doable

DHL’s sub-Saharan regional headquarters is based in Cape Town, but Brewer spends a considerable amount of time visiting the company’s operations across the rest of the continent. “You have to be very visible”.

In a region as large as Africa, this is however easier said than done. Unlike Europe where one would struggle to fly a stretch of more than four hours, travelling across Africa can be gruelling. Just visiting each of the countries in West Africa can easily take two to three weeks.

“It has its challenges in terms of flight schedules and being away from one’s family, but it makes for an interesting experience and I’m still having lots of fun. Playing a small role in the African growth story is an incredible privilege and one that I am very proud of,” says Brewer.

As we leave his office I hear him call out to his assistant, “which lucky country am I going to next week?!”

ARTICLE VIA " How we made it in Africa'.

Africa's Trade with the US. Infographic by Standard bank

Friday, July 25, 2014

Launch of SOMA awards 2014

I was excited to Emcee the launch of the OLXSOMA2014 awards this Tuesday at the Norfolk hotel, quite an evening it was!

Nendo's Mark Kaigwa, Director Digital Communications in the Office of the President Dennis Itumbi, Dogital humanitarian Philip Ogolla and OLX's Peter Ndiangui all took us through their experiences in the Social Media space as Ogolla challenged us to think about the digital footprint we shall create.

PS: if you're single you're doing something wrong. There's a couple that met on OLX! Sell something 😊😊😊😊


Monday, July 21, 2014


Starting a company in Kenya has always been seen as a bit of a hustle and involving steps that are time consuming. This makes majority of entrepreneurs opt to go for partnership or sole-proprietorship type of business as these takes less time and less money and can change the model of registration while they have been in operation and understand the market.


Reserve company name
Ksh 100 per name
3 days


Stamp memorandum and articles of association
Statement of nominal capital

1% of nominal capital + KES 2,020 for stamp duty
5 days

Pay stamp duty at a designated bank
Ksh 100
1 day

Sign the Declaration of Compliance
KES 200
1 day

Register with the Registrar of Companies at the Attorney General Chambers in Nairobi
KES 7,000
7-14 days

Register for taxes at the Kenya Revenue Authority
1 day
No fee

Make a company seal
2 days
ksh 2,500- 3500.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Kenya's tech start up ecosystem

This week I had the opportunity to moderate and MC  Pivot East Africa 2014. The yearly event seeks to receive amd award pitches from app developers,  both Web and mobile.

What an incredible event it was, a first for me. It was inspiring to see about 20 start ups across categories such as utilities,  enterprise, finance, social and entertainment share their ideas on how they want to make a difference given the opportunity they have seen in the market.

In between the pitches we had 'fireside chats' that Focused on issues facing the industry that's still in its infancy stage compared to other developed tech cities across the world with a comparative  look at Telaviv,  Berlin and of course Silicon Valley. 

One of the fireside chats I moderated focused on the hype vs substance debate across the tech start up ecosystem in Kenya, with topics ranging from sources of funding and the almost controversial role of NGO funding in the start up ecosystem and it was interesting to see experts attempt to draw the fine line between fluff and the benefits, if any, of hype.

The other fireside  chat I moderated was focused on trying to unravel the link between innovation, entrepreneurship and the economy in which former ICT permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo was a key panelist.  His passion shone through as he spoke with pride about how 'opportunity entrepreneurs' are the ones that will disrupt the markets, create apps that will be world beaters,  create jobs and as a trickle down, lift the economy.  I asked about the role of 'replicative entrepreneurs,': that's me and you and everyone whose done Dubai, Turkey imports and quails, yes, Quails. FYI, We have little impact on real economic growth. 

My take home this week was that we need to pay more attention to the tech ecosystem. There's some young people doing amazing things and all they require is a little encouragement, incubation, acceleration and investment whuch will give them the not only the confidence but the capacity to create world beaters.thing. 

I must say it was a proud moment for me as I was listening to the seasoned voices of tech guru's like Mathew Papakipos of Facebook and Jonathan Levi,  a serial entrepreneur and Angel investor from Silicon Valley listen to and praise the contenders,  aggreably surprised that the start up entrepreneurs were a lot better than expected.

I will tomorrow share some stories about specific apps that really got me goose bumpy!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Of #hashtag activists

Dear Activists,

Perhaps I have never really understood how activism works, you see I am just a journalist.

It disturbs me each day when I recall how 276 girls were kidnapped in Nigeria, something that took the world about 3 weeks to notice.

Over lunch a few weeks ago I mentioned to a friend how I was at a complete loss following the overflow of "Hash tag activism" that even got the attention of #Flotus among many other leaders locally and internationally.

But several weeks later, only 50 girls gave been reunited with their families,  (I hope to God that it is true) leaving 226 still missing. The offial number communicated in 219 girls still missing, I don't know what happened to the 7.

Now the world has gone silent on #bringbackourgirls.

If this doesn't call for change of tack in the world of activism,  then you should hang your brand new boots because there's no *walking* on those twitter streets.

Once upon a time, Noise = Activism,  but the world has changed since then.

The same strategy Cleopatra used to win over Kings and Kingdoms isn't what Angela Merkel would use woo anyone anymore,
no one bathes in milk and honey anymore.

However, I agree that there are forms of activism, depending on sector, target market and agenda that twitter could do well in, saying calling for calm, or in the case of the Arab spring, connect and create a unified front for citizens.

We will not find the missing #Malaysianflight on those lean 140 word streets.

I believe I can safely say, and I hope you can agree with me; that Twitter hashtags will not #bringbackourgirls nor #FreePeterGreste.

In Kenya though, they will make your posterior trend,  worldwide. I digress,  like a true a Kenyan.

The New age activists will have to go back to the drawing board and find intriguing and fresh ways of creating social change in the Social Media world to reflect current trends, here at home and please do check across the pond as well.

Sigh.Just a few words from a #hashtagaddict

Yours in respect,

Terryanne Chebet.

PS: picture attached was forwarded to me via WhatsApp. If you created it I'd like to attribute it to you, please send a message. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

National Dialogue and it's babies


I'm sure your in-tray, your Excellency does not need an envelope from another anxious Kenyan.

But things are thick, and you probably feel the heat a lot more than we do. But I am getting anxious sir.

I had a conversation with a friend today and we spoke about Economic Sabotage and where that can lead us as a country. You see sir, I've been following the conversation about #KenyaRising keenly since 2006, when we first began to fully realise and define the growth the country had had since 2002, when President Kibaki came to power. There's a host of things that are feeding into a full blown economic sabotage, MRC, Alshabab have already done well in that regard.

2007 is a memory I wouldn't want to awake, for you, for me now for the millions of Kenyans who have tried to rise above the fateful bloody days. But it happened, and close on it's heels the global crisis happened. We were back to scratch as a country. We saw investors flee, but shortly after, you as in charge of Finance and the government at the time lured them back, one at a time. But now sir, you're quickly going back to ground zero.

Here's a glance of what we have gone through this and last week.

1. Saba Saba has been declared a mass action day- not by you. Should go to work on that day?
2. Satao was killed, Kenya seems to have lost the fight against poaching.
3. 50 people killed in Mpeketoni, general anxiety if the same will happen elsewhere.
4. Tourism is on it's sick bed.
5. Unemployment means more and more Kenyans have nothing to lose, and could take the streets.

Your CS of Treasury is on a road show abroad, enticing investors to buy our Eurobond. I can only imagine how their perceptions are being shaped this week.

Sir, perhaps you and Baba need to sit down and brew that cuppa tea for the sake of the country, even though I have mixed feelings about his recent libretto. Figure of speech, sirs.

As you and your team work on a plan out, we are hoping for a master plan, as the interest of all Kenyans is the peace and stability of our wonderful country; not just for us, but for the investments we badly need from the international markets that will take our country to the next leave, given your ambitious blue print.

Let not our ego's come in the way of ensuring that your people are safe and secure. Just a reminder of that election promise, sir.

Please do whatever you must, whatever will make you sleep well at night, for the sleep of millions of Kenyans depends on you.

Not that you didn't know that , your Excellency.

PS: We miss Boinet. I'm sure you feel the same.

Your's in respect.

Borrowed Budget? Thoughts on 2014/2015 Kenya National Budget

Thursday was one of the busiest days in any Business Journalist's calendar.

However Budget day, 2014, in today's form is no longer the secret it always was under the old constitution.

By April the estimates are out, and most accounting/audit firms and economists begin to do their analyses of how Government will spend it's monies.

For a government that has been criticised to live above its means, we were keen to find out how the Cabinet Secretary, Henry Rotich was planning to raise the 1.8 trillion shilling 2014/2015 budget.

Most economists agree however that we as a country are still within manageable debt levels as far as international standards are able to go by, therefore the question of whether we will borrow the money and the impact of this did not feature as much of a question.

These were the key issues I wanted to centre on:

1. Is this a growth focused budget?
2. Is the budget deficit a real problem, REALLY ?
3. Are we convinced that treasury will achieve it's targets?
4. Has the CS convinced us enough in how he plans to fund the budget?
5. How safe will the CS play in reflection of the current national emotions?
6. Is Jubilee working towards delivering it's election promises?

Henry Rotich played it safe. Extremely safe if you asked me.

Common consensus was that it was a Mwananchi budget,but my question was

"Was it a Mwananchi budget or a budget from a government that was too AFRAID to squeeze it's citizens even more?"

There was a sigh of relied when there was no mention of new sin taxes, which is usually the first culprit. However multinationals will now take a chunk of the heavy lifting with tightening around multinational transfer pricing.

(Definition of 'Sin Tax'
A state-sponsored tax that is added to products or services that are seen as vices, such as alcohol, tobacco and gambling. These type of taxes are levied by governments to discourage individuals from partaking in such activities without making the use of the products illegal. These taxes also provide a source of government revenue. - Investopedia.)

The winner, everyone agreed was the manufacturing sector. Later that evening I hosted the Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohammed at the Business centre and asked him these questions:

1. Industry has the capacity of creating millions of Jobs, apart from the industrial parks mentioned in the budget statement, there wasn’t much else in regards of creating growth opportunities in the sector
2. How do you suppose these industrial parks will work and what should Kenyans expect?
3. High costs of energy remains a key challenge to manufactuers, In his state of the Nation address the president talked about adding 500MW to the National grid, today there was mention of geothermal allocations, when can we begin to feel the impact of investments in energy?
4. An estimated 15 million Kenyans are today unemployed a large number of them are young people, what can we expect from your Ministry this fiscal year to play your role in creating opportunities for young people?
5. Customs bonds on Industrial sugars and wheat have now been removed, what exactly does this mean and should local players worry about that?
6. Imported steel products will now be taxed import duty raised to 25% as a means to protect our local steel factories, what is the immediate impact of this?

( I will post the interview herein)

This time round, I thought that the Capital Gains tax would be introduced. Kimunya tried. Githae tried.Let's just we cannot attempt to tax the wealthy and get away with it. Dead and buried for now.

Here's a look at the definition of Capital gains tax;

A type of tax levied on capital gains incurred by individuals and corporations. Capital gains are the profits that an investor realizes when he or she sells the capital asset for a price that is higher than the purchase price. (Think stocks, for instance)

There was also no mention of VAT or any new taxes introduced despite a general argument that it would be the easiest way to plug the budget deficit.

My analysts in studio agreed it was a budget with little excitement, nothing daring or innovative therein.

Going forward, analysts argue that innovation in taxation is badly needed, and that the tax base can be so much further widened without necessarily squeezing Kenyans even further.

As you chew sugar cane over the 'Mwananchi Budget' remember the CS spoke of reviewing the Tax Regime. So, it's perhaps all about timing.

Watch out for these going forward:

Excise Duty Bill
Review of Income tax act

Highly likely that these will be an avenue to sneak in new taxes. maybe, maybe not. You know what they say about predictions!

Dear Yummy Mummies, let's cook with our kids

Last time I wrote about the issues a working mother faces, It was picked up by a blog and taken way out of context.

It went from being something I was feeling terrible about to "She thinks she is the only one who feels this?"

It pained me to read some really hatefull comments, and have since learnt not to go through with it, but I still strongly believe most working mothers go through exactly what I blogged about last time, and it eases the burden to share what we are going through as mothers.

Anyway, motherhood is a calling, (take that!) no matter what our jobs are, and I know that every working mother wants to have the best relationship with her children, and be the best mother she can be.

This year I decided to start cooking and doing DIY crafts with my daughter as one of the ways in which we can truly bond and for me to create a better relationship with her. I have learned with time and hindsight that mothers have the greatest influence on their children, and I want to be the kind of mother my daughter will always thank God for, love and bless as she grows up.

These thoughts began as I recalled growing up back home in Kitale.

The best memories I have with my mum are around making Mandazi's, planting, weeding beans and peas on our little shamba or weeding flowers as a family.

I recall how on Saturday afternoons we would sit under a tree and mum would oil our hair with 'School Girl" liquid paraffin oil and plait us 'matuta line'.

Other memories include selecting and chopping down a Christmas tree as we had cypress trees at home. We were village kids so no lights and other fancy stuff, but just the act of doing it together is what reminds me of what glued us together as a family, and eventually became the building blocks of a good relationship between our parents and us children.

In the world we live in today, we sometimes are not able to do all the fun things we did with our parents but we can surely re-create them.

These days I try to spend evenings with my daughter making whipped body butters, where we experiment with Shea, Coconut oil and different essential oils. She has now learned to whip and enjoys being able to use the body butter she has made to oil herself. Beyond that it has introduced a new bonding session in our home. We find recipes online for simple foods that she can help me with prepping, among other new ideas such as a movie night once in a while as a family. (yeah just us)

Anyway, I came across this book and wanted to share it with those yummy mummies who want to experience love in the kitchen with our young ones. It's available in most bookstores as I had seen it a couple times before I got it, and your kiddies will absolutely fall in love with the simple to make yet amazing foods.I am now looking for an African foods cook book so we can explore different recipes from around our beautiful country and continent.

Mad love to all you Yummy Mummies!

PS: I still enjoy a glass of wine at my favourite rooftop spot.

Friday, June 13, 2014

This post is not about Vera

I would have sworn the light skin debate belongs in 1983.

Dead and buried together with culottes and Kenya Uniform long and wrinkled skirts or Irene Lipstick, a cheap favorite way back when it was fashionable to wear lipstick only on the lower lip.
Make that a lipstick that was green and turned red on application.

I would have safely assumed that skin lightening is dead. Buried 6 feet under together with words like Cutex, 'don't touch my toes' or tinga tinga, which was village speak for 'Tractor'.

The #bleachedbeauty tirade of tweets and blogs recently perked a desire to rethink values. The good old values that taught us how to be girls, ladies then women.

When the debate was at its peak, I sent out a tweet that said "change your values,not the color of your skin".

If you think this blog is about Vera Sidika exit stage left.

But since I have already mentioned her, I will let you know like her spunk.

It takes a gutsy woman to be confident in the fact that she is not answerable to anyone but herself. She took street cred to a new level and caused Kenyans to rave and rant about her. Making me a statistic too.

The unfortunate thing about the lady whose posterior reminds me of my grandmother's cooking pots is that the image she has created of herself blocks us all from seeing beneath the lightened veneer. Pun intended. I digress.

As a young girl, I wanted to be like the women on Ebony magazine.

They were beautiful. They were successful. They had beautiful men for husbands and eye candy for boyfriends. They were American, and I was the scrawny girl from Kitale still struggling to balance on 2 inch high heels after years of wearing rubber shoes from Bata Kenya.

You see, the pressure to look and be like Janet Jackson or Jada Pinket was an internal war I fought with my heart and brain.

I closely watched Aaliyah and purchased tank tops to show off my dashboard like flat tummy.

I shopped at Mtindwa with my cousin June armed with a mental image of the clothes that were on the Channel O divas . Girl group SWV was a huge influence back then in how we dressed and talked.

I also wanted to be Kelly Rowland of Destiny Child.

I began to tweeze my eyebrows, the first experience left me with tears and a swollen brow. But I was patient, kept at it and even bought my own tweezers.

Voila! One say, as I walked down the road from South C water training college I came across Ponds.

Let me educate the younglings.

Back then, every colored face powder was called ponds. There was Luron, which was my first brand and then Island Beauty which was slightly costlier. I now realise both brands still exist but have redesigned their look and feel to something sexier. Luron took me a step closer to JLO's flawless skin. In close chase we discovered lipgloss, eyeshadow and mascara which were stocked by the Ebrahims store on Moi Avenue. We were upwardly mobile baby!

With time, we realized that the fairer you were the better you ranked on the boys priority hit list.Then skin color became a discussion. It was clear the boys preferred the lighter skinned maidens.

With that the ladies learnt that in the beauty stores, there was anything for everything (you know, like 'there's an app for that'). There was Cleartone, and some preferred the more efficient 'Mediven' an over the counter cream that was supposed to treat eczema and psoriasis.

Girls did that. My mother would have however killed me if I tried to, so I watched from a healthy distance while she made yucky mixes of sour milk, honey and maize meal for us to apply on our pimply adolescent faces.

So, listening to Kenyans vilify Vera created mixed feelings for me. I do not in any wsy support skin lightening but on one hand I remembered the journey every woman goes through as she seeks to find herself.

That journey comes with boys, menses, pimples, light skin and self esteem. Or lack of thereof.

The discussion therefore that we should be having now is, who will ensure that our children are comfortable in their own skin in this day and age where there's an app for everything?

Who will step into the shoes of our mothers and bring up daughters who will brave the journey of womanhood without wanting to be divas and socialites when they grow up, instead of actuarial scientists and entrepreneurs?

Fact, we wanted to be teachers when we were growing up. Today they want to be video vixens. (I'm still dealing with my 8 year old Imani who still wants to be a clown when she grows up.)

We live in times that requires girls to know that beauty is what happens beneath their skin.

We need to redefine our scope for beauty and assert that our black is beautiful.

It's now up to us to change our value system and not the color of our skin.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Shaping conversations about Financial Freedom

I attended a rather interesting launch by Old Mutual Kenya last evening. What they are trying to do is something I believe can evolve into a movement and not the constant usual annoying one sided conversations done by insurance sales people.

You see, today, I hardly pick up the calls of several insurance people because a majority of insurance sales people are trained to be long winded and annoying. But, whichever way we look at it, insurance is an almost sure route towards financial freedom.

What Old Mututal kenya is trying to do is to change the conversations around why it is important for us as parents and young adults to begin to secure our financial freedom.

I was asked to speak for a quick minute, and here are the thoughts I shared.

"Conversations about Finance, Economy and money in Kenya and many places across the world are generally carried out by Men.

Yet across a huge number of Kenyan households it is the women who control the purse strings, working day and night to ensure her family does not sleep hungry.

What a paradox.

I want to be part of the generation that wants to take Kitchen finance to the next level. Where women are not only empowered to have financial freedom and the financial security of their families, but to be bold enough to want to invest; to be bold enough to want to be wealthy.

I look forward to engaging with women in a society that is ready to think beyond bread and butter, one step at a time.

I host a TV magazine show called The Business centre, and despite it being a business news show, We have deliberately taken a strong stance towards Entrepreneurship with TV features such as 'What it takes' which shows anything from 'what it takes to run a matatu business' How to import a car to sell' among other features that will not only inform but provoke our audience to begin to think entreprise and start to move away from the mentality that one must be employed to make it.

This ropes in entirely with my passion for changing our society's financial discipline. I believe that a change of mindset is what we need to secure our future, to explore investment possibilities, adapt financial planning and discipline and deliberately plan to create wealth.

I am Terryanne Chebet and I want to #dogreatthings

Friday, May 30, 2014

The case of the toothbrush

I've become a sucker for toothbrushes recently. Let's see how the dictionary defines it

a small brush with a long handle, used for cleaning the teeth.

No big deal huh? Maybe not.

If you are a single person who just met a possible match, well, a toothbrush is a lot more than just, well, a brush with a handle used for cleaning teeth.

Let me explain.

Over a cup of tea with girlfriends last week, the case of the toothbrush made it into our monthly fix of girl gossip. It was a relief to learn that anyone who's in the dating market has experienced the case of the toothbrush, very much like the case of the ex, one that remains a grey area in a budding relationship.

So, let's say I met someone recently, a love interest that has caught my eye. Mr. Dark and Handsome cooks, opens doors and takes me for cheese cake and coffee in the suburbs and lovely English brunch at a posh cafe that has ducks floating about in the front water point that creates the perfect blend of love and happily ever after, much like the life of an expat wife who wakes up to make croissants for breakfast, has tea with her girlfriends and a spa date in the afternoon. I digress.

Anyway Mr. dark and handsome cooks, maybe, or has a chef that comes in once or twice a week and fills his fridge with food that makes me feel like enrolling into the Fairmont hotels cooking school (It doesn't exist but it should.) Being the gentleman that he is, he invites me over for lunch at his house.

Then there are 3 toothbrushes in his bathroom. One Blue and the other Pink, and maybe green.

But, Mr. dark and handsome lives alone.

Do you ask about the Pink toothbrush or assume one toothbrush would be too lonely to sit in the cup alone? Do you take a picture and whataspp it to your friends? Do you be a girl and automatically sulk and start looking for an earring or lady products in the bathroom? The toothbrush, I have learnt is and is not an indicator. It is a single cause of anxiety for thousands of single people out there.

What if he's just like every other human being who has a toothbrush or two in the bathroom that doesn't seem to belong to anyone in the house?

So, lets save the earth and dump the toothbrushes we don't need, in doing so, you will have played your role in not breaking hearts...

Disclaimer: Pictures are not mine. Mr. Dark and handsome may or may not exist, but he has a 5 star chef. Plus: I do not want to be an expat wife.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Let's talk Housing

What a year it has been, all 2 months of it albeit!

So we kicked off the Citizen Business centre on the 19th of February, basically a centre that discusses all things money. The show airs every Wednesday at 9pm on Citizen Television.

First Wednesday we talked housing, in specific, mortgages and the deep hole it has thrown a number of Kenyans into.

In the backdrop of a housing sector that was left to the Private Sector after the Bretton woods institutions convinced the government to opt out of housing, affordable home ownership became a myth. The markets run free and millions of Kenyans who would have benefited from an otherwise clear government housing plan were left out. Jericho, BuruBuru and all the other government or PPP programmes disappeared with the 80's.

So Mortgages came to create a solution, but for many, became a curse. Truth be told however, Mortgage in itself is not hell, but understanding how to make it work for you within the interest rates available has been the biggest challenge for Kenyans.

We drew a chart showing monthly payments ranging from 2 million to say 15 million shillings at an average rate of 18% and did an amortisation that showed how much one ends up paying should you stick to the minimum payment plan.
Startling figures, which however can be managed by taking a long term mortgage plan and paying in the shortest time possible, if not one could end up paying unto 3 times the original cost of the home. However, the cost of the house would most likely appreciate over the years,to way above what you pay for. In retrospect, that's exactly how property dealers have made a killing in recent years, so there's a sigh of relief somewhere there.

The discussion was driven by the MD of National Housing Corporation Wachira Njuguna, the CEO of Home Afrika, Njoroge Ng'ang'a and the Head of Mortgages and Personal Banking at Jamii Bora bank, George Adulu. As we set the pace of the conversation, it was pretty clear that the housing market as it is currently has locks out millions of Kenyans, leaving only little breathers through construction of your own house or renting until Jesus returns.

The blame game between Government, Banks and Developers was glaringly obvious.
While Kenyans blamed the banks on interest rates, Developers blamed the government on cost of construction and lack of amenities such as roads and sewerage which push up the cost of building homes, while to NHC, questions were raised about the reality of building affordable homes as well as accusations of corruption and nepotism in allocation of the so called affordable homes.

So can housing be really affordable? How can a country of 40 million people have just about 21,000 mortgages? Could there be alternative financial products that are financing mortgages that have not been included in the system? How many Kenyans really own their own homes? Has the Government absconded in it's duty to provide Kenyans with affordable homes, who is taking these expensive mortgages and how are they paying for them?

In looking for solutions: Can NHC be turned into a fund reminiscent of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae? Can our socially nurtured perceptions change to allow us to build prefabricated homes which are more affordable? Can the housing market be regulated?

These are just a few of the questions we sought answers to at the Citizen Business Centre.

In other news, I visited the Koto Housing project being spearheaded by Moses Nderitu. The house is to to take 14 days, start to finish. I am so curious and waiting for Open day to go see the final product, another solution for affordable housing, ground breaking if you ask me.

so.. If you missed any of the past few shows, Wednesday is date. See you then, at 9pm.

You can also follow me on twitter and instagram @terryannechebet for updates of that and all other discussions on the Business Centre and more.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2013..It's a wrap.

MY 2013:

I love prams. Beautiful ones pushed by doll heeled mummies and beautiful daddies in grey button up sweaters laughing on a Saturday afternoon, blue skies headed for a picnic in a park. Because I am a dreamer. I love the musky smell of the night life with disco lights, blue lagoon shots, noisy drunks, sequined dresses and beautiful strangers.Because I know how to have a good time, and in 2013 I had a fair share of both, rule out the designer prams though.

I watched TV too. Series mostly. I like Scandal. The truth is that I have a girl crush on Kerry Washington; her exquisite wardrobe, her powerful walk and her good yet so wrong super passionate relationship with the President,her wardrobe reminds me of Lucy Liu in Cashmere mafia. I like devious maids and their interesting lives. Complex,maybe a little like mine. Someone called my life fast paced. I call it exciting. And it is. It was in 2013.

I went to Church, regularly. I prayed and I read the bible. I sinned too. But God knows I am not perfect. One or two other people know that too. I fought with strangers and received calls I never thought I would ever have to. I broke hearts too. I am not proud of that.

I have a 7 year old daughter who is the apple of my life. We play laugh read for each other and fight. A lot. No. We don't fight, I spank her and I make rules. She doesn't always like the rules and one time she told me "why do we have so many rules in this house?" I told her life pans out that way. You make a decent living by being disciplined, focused and honest. I also told her I will stop spanking her when she turns 9. Until then a lie gets 5 spanks. The other rules have their own punishments, too many to write here in. But she loves. And Loves. Deep, pure and selfless. I love her to death.

But I rewarded her as well. She does brilliant at school and I am that proud parent taking pictures of my daughter on closing day. I thank God for that. I always prayed that my daughter would be bright and I always thank God. But she is also a chatter box, we've had problems in school for that. Work in progress. When she turns 8 perhaps she will slow down. We don't do Wee, however much she wants to. She reads each night at bedtime and she prays. She wants a sibling.The Prams have nothing to do with it until he puts a ring on it. He, also may or may not exist.Figure of speech.

Complex defined 2013. Complex friendships, complex triangles, complex contracts, complex start-ups, complex relationships and yes, Complex men. But I love the simplicity that comes with complexities. It's black and then it's white. Some have been grey and those are the ones that made the most sense, what a paradox.

I also went on my first "Eat Pray Love" trip. I chose Long Beach California for 11 days.I am sitting in a new friend's office smoking Hukkah and drinking Oolong tea as the amazing team goes on with their work. Loving people inviting a stranger to sit and enjoy with them. I love that about the people here. I didn't do the beach and tour thing even though the water front is 10 minutes away.I wanted to live like a regular Long beachan and just enjoy.

I took my time away to think about 2014 and decided it will be My year to live and Love, and a little less complexities.

I start a new job this week too.Back to Citizen TV after a short stint at K24 :-) Again. Much love for 2014.