Ok. Skiza kwanza.
Na uskize poa. Juu hii story ni mezesha. Na, as always, ukijam, nakam na bread. Na nikichelewa, ita karao. And I don’t translate any Swahili I use in my blog posts. I am not modern like that. Knoworamseng (unaelewea ninachosema?).
Today, boys and girls, I will talk about the foreigners who leave their countries, jobless, poor and emaciated, come here for 3-6 months, start a company with words like SMS and Mpesa, then make it big, start driving big cars and fcking all the fine biotches we got. I will also speak about the Kenyan veterans who just sit it out with their dicks in their hands, as they watch this madness manifest itself.
Those who know me, know that I am the kind of a geek that appreciates and encourages good competition and claps at the opponent, if/when outdone. Facing tougher opponents is the only way to better oneself.
Also, facing favored opponents in their own home-turf, is something we can do little about. We can just sit, admire, smile and wave. Smile and wave. But facing FAVORED opponents, in OUR own turf, is another story.
Kenya is at the ‘TechScene adolescence’ stage. Techies are facing a very confusing state of affairs as new opportunities open up. Totally unprecedented three years ago. Suddenly, by just having a good prototype, you can attract TV Interviews, Newspaper full-pages and have radios going bananas and labeling you the ‘Next Bill Gates’. Ni kama adolescence like I said before. Unamea tu fudhi sita na unajiona bigwig.
As part of the Kenyan culture, our primitive energy makes us automatically worship any mzungu. Still, we love foreign and swear by it. Nothing made in Kenya, apart from Miguna Memes and Twitter insults gets the attention it deserves. We are a really pitiful lot. Shooting down m-Vitus other people have worked on diligently all day, while some of these mVitus just need a LITTLE tweaking to become world-beaters. Ofcourse, after a day of a mixture of smart and hard work (hard because this is Kenya and I am black), I go to twitter and contribute to being Kenyan. Matusi na tweef za ujinga. While the world overtakes us. But sisi ni wakenya. Hatuna spidi. Au sio?
“So, Salim”, you ask, “What is this foreign sorcery that you speak of?”. I happen to be one of the longest serving Members of the iHub community and I am priviledged to be seated at the center of the action.
I have seen it with my own eyes and witnessed it first-hand. One or 2 mzungus come for a holiday in Kenya. Just to try their luck. They normally introduce themselves as bloggers/journalists/researchers. iHub has a concentration of all the talents you could ever ask for in Kenya. Biz people, techies etc. So in a clever 2-hour coffee session, one can get ANY information they need on the Kenyan market. It is scary.
I remember speaking about one incident in a tweet. PesaDroid had been at their business for quite a few months. Their app was featured in many local IT competitions. Then, one day while having lunch near iHub, I get a business card from an employee of one of the foreign firms that had just received funding to ‘create IT solutions to help Kenya and Africa’. “Here. Go to our website and download our Mpesa app. It enables you aggregate your transactions”, He said. “But that is EXACTLY what PesaDroid does.”, I asked them. “We are better than PesaDroid”, they responded. Nikanyamaza nisitukanane.
So, i thought. Here is a US-funded ‘Local IT company’ with gazillions of dollars, cloning a local app. We all know how it works. First to advertise BIG becomes the Market-share holder. What will happen to PesaDroid. Young local pioneers who don’t have the endless resources that the foreign threat has.
I could go on for days with examples. But I have to finish some App here before some foreigners get funding to duplicate it.
Before all the ‘experts’ start lecturing me about ideas not being exclusive yadda, yadda, I will state that this is a case of UNFAIR advantage. The world is not fair? Let us make it fair. This is OUR country. These are OUR developers getting fleeced.
“He, Salim enyewe umejam, sasa tuambie juu ya hawa sleeping giants baba”, you order. I see you deep in thought. I also like getting deep. Tuendelee.
Ofcourse, all things being constant, we are our own enemies. Acha nianze na mimi. @angryKenyans is half-baked and I have not found time to finish the aesthetics. Partly because I am chasing funding for the COAFS movement I plan to start in Feb 2013. COAFS = Coding On A Full Stomach. An initiative in which developers who have purpose and promise will be incubated in the setup. For 3-6 months, their transport, rent, rave, food, credo will be catered for. So that they don’t have to hustle like I have to. The focus ONLY on code. More on this later. InshaAllah.
So, as you wait for me to succeed in that so that you can call me ‘lucky’, or to fail so that you can laugh (or is it LOL in twirra, ari waaar?), ask yourself. Why do we need Google to handle our GKBO? Why do we need google to invent a Matatu Payment System for us? Is it easier for Google to walk to Safaricom than Njuguna? How long shall they kill our prophets?
Power is not given. It is taken!
Back to code.