Ladies and gentlemen, from the same director who brought you ‘So you think you can tweet’ and ‘the yangu-ni-yangu curse’, comes yet another hard-hitting blogpost.
Ofcourse, as always, I need to warn the ‘professionals’ and the ‘image’ people that this blog post might be ridden with the ‘N’, ‘F’, ‘P’ and ‘C’ words.
So, go to the ICT Board website for some clean articles.
Also, I will talk alot about white people. And also about Black people. You have been warned.
We have a problem as Africans. We really do. But fuck Africans. Let me talk about Kenyans. Then after that, I talk about hii ujinga inaitwa TEDx. Kenyans first.
The self-hating Kenyans
AW describes Kenyans as people having post-colonial hang-over. Go to The Stanley and you will see waiters dressed in the same FASHION the colonial ‘fathers’ (mzungu ni baba yetu) taught them how to. “This is the way you MUST dress for food to taste good”. We have NO other way to dress. Dress in African regalia and Pizza will taste like Githeri.
Then comes the ‘Una-behave kama mzungu’ crap. When someone orders only the expensive drinks, lives in a nice place and only wears Armani and Prada, they are quickly labelled ‘Wanajifanya walami’. Ofcourse, this is because of the inferiority complex we have.
I have seen, still see and will always see Kenyan women fall over their 5 dollar heels nearly dropping their 2-dollar wigs to ‘onekana na chali mlami’. Everyday, we hear the blood-boiling and flabbergasting ‘Naenda Majuu’ crap. People will happily pay over the odds to go live in the deep-freezers called Europe/America washing toilets, than stay back home and hustle. Why do you think all these ‘investors’ are here if kwao ni kupoa hivyo?
Why do you think CNN etc show BAD images of Africa in the news? Aids, Starvation, Wild Animals etc? It is so that there is no exodus from those god-forsaken places to Africa, because once you go African, you never go back. Africa is the Shiiiite!
Most people I know (from iHub, Clubs etc) have 2 English accents. 1 they use in everyday lives, one they use to speak to a mlami. Pathetic. I say. Really. I am Salim. Ukikasirika ita polisi. We hate ourselves too much that we have a Grade C accent ya kuongea na watu wa kawaida/raia, and a Grade A1 accent to speak to ‘out gods’.
But hey, osssirait.. issorai… who knows, they might skip lunch and give you the KSHS 10M they spend on lunch daily and change your life. Walami wana doo. Selling your soul and dignity us a worthy price to pay. right?
I remember last week when Anderson Cooper of CNN said he had caught a stomach-bug from Africa and I was correcting the numb-nut stating that Africa had 53 Countries (54 if you add South Sudan, 55 if you add CapitalFM and 56 if you add Mama Jeff’s). I was TL-attacked by our very own telling things to suggest that we should accept what the mlami said and that correcting a WRONG cooper would affect tourism in Kenya and call for US sanctions. iGaveup.
This TEDx maneno
So. What is TEDx.
TEDx was created in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading.” The program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level.
At TEDx events, a screening of TEDTalks videos — or a combination of live presenters and TEDTalks videos — sparks deep conversation and connections. TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis.
Layman’s definition by Salim:
TEDx is an event where inventors and ‘ideas people’ get to showcase their awesomeness. The issues discussed should have impact on general life and profitability. That is noble. More like PivotEast. But the aim being to attract attention and, possibly, funding; not winning a category prize. Good.
Good. FOUR issues arise.
- Who, apart from local IT companies with financial doping, can develop/showcase such an idea. We are in a culture where we MUST grow organically first to gain any sort of recognition. Every Kenyan start-up is labelled a FAILURE before it even sprouts, then the few that make it, start getting hypocritical support and partnership deals from co-orporates and donors after they show traction.
- The best of our resources are hustlers. Code4Food mercenaries. Instead of having the resources to put in 8 hours of quality work a day towards TEDxable solutions, they spend 1 Hour max every day doing DEVELOPMENT and 7 hours hustling for coins. It is a rat-race. Those who have the resources, on the other hand, are just all talk. We should do this. We will do that. Ohh, we are so clever. Then comes the irony. The brainies hate the other group because ni mafisi, the resourceful can’t work with the brainies because they cant be controlled.
- We are a sleeping and talking country. With no focus. Adding to the above. Let me give you a perfect example. Instead of VirtualCity with USD 1M from Nokia focusing to create a niche, they developed 12 other systems all ending with ‘R’. That is why our Ugandan pals with EasyOrder won PivotEast. Because the Kenyan version, developed over 2 years ago, slept. Pathetic. Those with resources have no brains.
- Just like the Diani trip of ConnectedKe, TEDx will become another ‘I think we should do this’ event. Then 2, 3, 4 years down the line, we are busy complaining about these foreigners who come to iHub, buy local techies coffee and banana bread from Pete’s, listen to their ideas (since we like talking a lot to show these people how clever we are) then, get funding from their home and start KENYAN companies doing the EXACT same thing you discussed over coffee with. Ohh, that was your idea, next time, STFU, boycott all these events, and CODE.
I believe that until we have SOMETHING worth showcasing, we should just SHUT THE FUCK UP and code. We are not ready for ideas like TEDx and DEMO. No wonder MobileMonday is a fruitless hype-event.
We like attention so much. It is a shame that the most profitable Software companies in Kenyan are resellers. We should all be ashamed of ourselves. We are software hawkers. Not makers. And still tunajiita wanoma.
Then comes the Catch 44. The coders will always have ‘unfinished products’ because we have no initiatives like COAFS (Coding on a full stomach) to see ideas supported on the last-mile. Investors want a working prototype and a solid revenue model before they invest. Sometimes, revenue model come as a result of a working product (e.g. facebook, youtube), as dictated by usage patterns.
No one will FUND you to develop a product in Kenya on risk. So there is SO MUCH investor money lying around because all we have are pussy-investors who don’t want too take a risk worth more than coffee. On the other hand we have VERY GOOD systems 80% done because the remaining 20% needs an investment. “Wewe ukimaliza system, tushoo tulete doo”. And the beat goes on.
Back to code.