The True Face of Jesus

I’m currently reading this book called “The Jesus Papers”, written by Michael Baigent. It’s an interesting book which I’m still reading so I’ll review it when I’m done. Dan Brown, while writing The Da Vinci Code, based some of his research on this author’s work. It questions the very existence of Jesus Christ, a figure so large in our lives, especially when we were children.

I especially loved the illustrations in this book for children: My Friend Jesus (see image below).

The book My Friend Jesus for children
The book My Friend Jesus for children

We grew up with the blonde image of Jesus, the very center of our Christian faith. We watched movies where Jesus glided across green fields talking to the children, preaching to the crowds and healing the sick. Even now, this blond long-haired image of Jesus hangs on the walls of our churches, of our homes, of our offices, of our Catholic school classrooms and halls.

The famous blonde face of Jesus. Image from catholictradition.org
The famous blonde face of Jesus. Image from catholictradition.org

The various movies over time have reinforced this image with the actors being long-haired and blonde, sometimes blue/green-eyed.

Actor Robert Powell played the part of Jesus in the movie Jesus of Nazareth in 1977. Image from http://www.rejesus.co.uk
Actor Robert Powell played the part of Jesus in the movie Jesus of Nazareth in 1977. Image from http://www.rejesus.co.uk

This could not be more wrong!

Quoting from the author of the book I’m reading:

Modern Christian illustrations depict the popular image of Jesus wandering around ancient Israel- the sun gliding his blond hair yet never burning his fair skin (I admit I had a crush on this very handsome image). Yet Jesus was a Jew: a dark Palestinian not a Northern fair European.

Jesus was born in modern day Palestine. He was a Jew, so it follows that he looked like everyone else did back then. History is written by the conquerors, so as the gospel was spreading throughout the image altered to that more appealing to the audience.

Advances in forensic science reveal the most famous face in history. That of Jesus Christ.

The true face of Jesus
The true face of Jesus

I know it’s hard to deal with, but you can read more about the True Face of Jesus here.. how they managed to reconstruct it using well, science.

P.S.

I know, I know… we are all used to the blond Jesus who’s so cute and whom we are all in love with; The sun gliding his long tresses, his dimpled cheeks always drawn into a smile.. but it’s time to grow up and face the truth; we have been lied to long enough!

Orange Kenya: My Experience

When it comes to mobile service providers in Kenya, Safaricom is the biggest and over the years has proved to be quite reliable. I’m a loyal customer, but when I got a dual-SIM phone ( A Samsung Galaxy Y Duos, which I will review later), I had a blank slot for an extra SIM card. After speaking to a few people, I decided to get an Orange line. I’ve used it for almost two weeks and I’ll write both the pros and cons of the network:

The Orange logo..

The Pros

Orange Money and Equity Account Linking

If you already have an Equity Bank Account, you can choose for the account to be linked to Orange Money. This means I can check my balance from my phone, do money transfers to all networks, top up my airtime from my bank account etc.

There is an Orange Money VISA card on offer, meaning you can use the card for payments as you would any debit VISA card, even if you don’t have a bank account.

Orange Data

So I have retained my Safaricom line for voice and SMS (I still use it for data occasionally), and settled on Orange data. Their 3G is pretty consistent, something Safaricom was beginning to suck at. Safaricom 3G was so intermittent, at times you could have 0 upload and 0 download speeds! So far with Orange it has been consistent, though some areas are still not covered with 3G and you have to switch to Edge even within Nairobi ( I was kind of deep in the heart of Eastlands then :-) )

Safaricom still has the widest 3G network in Kenya, but if you’re within Nairobi, you can be assured Orange has you covered.

Orange Internet Offers

I won’t say much but Orange has this 39bob unlimited internet per day, or weekly unlimited for Kshs 249… and other monthly unlimited offers. After a while, speeds decline when you have exhausted your fair allocation, but that should not deter you. I fear however, that they might cancel the ‘unlimited’ offer like Safaricom did.

Safaricom does have its offers too, but Orange is a bit cheaper. These offers for voice, data, sms, from telcos are many: Airtel, Yu, Safaricom, Orange. It would be fruitless to start analyzing which offers are better than the other. However, Yu still doesn’t have a 3G network so I wouldn’t consider it just yet.

i-Phone Dealer

Orange Kenya is the only network in Kenya that is authorized to provide mobile network service to iPhones. Not sure if they take advantage of this to market themselves though.

The iPhone from Orange

The Cons:

Customer Care

I don’t know who Orange have outsourced their customer care to, but it sounds like a small cubicle down River Road. It’s noisy and I can hear the other agents talking away and typing on their laptops.

Secondly, I think they need better training. While I’m used to the impeccable accents of Safaricom customer care center, you can hear the Orange agents stumbling through the words “Welcome to Orange customer care, how may I help you?”. It just doesn’t cut a very professional image.

I called about an Orange Money issue, and was told to call a toll-free number 1434 for inquiries. On calling that number, it rang about 5 times without a response and I was forced to hang up. It takes a while for them to respond on their twitter account, @OrangeKenya, and to solve your issues.

Is the Telkom Kenya Mentality Letting Orange Kenya down?

Most employees that Orange Kenya has were inherited from Telkom Kenya, back when it was a government parastatal. Some government workers are known to be lazy, under-worked and overpaid! Orange Kenya has been making losses these past two years, though the margin of loss has been dropping. Orange Kenya is still overstaffed though, and I think they’re still working on getting rid of a few more people despite massive retrenchments in the past.

Issues like fixing a landline, or a 3G sub-station that has been down for a while can take even months to fix!

So far, I’m enjoying my Orange data experience. Here’s to a peaceful co-existence with my Safaricom line.

The Samsung Galaxy Pocket Offer [Stocks are Out]

Update: I hear stocks have already run out, by 2pm! All in all, it’s a good phone!

I just learned of this offer and thought I could share with my readers. Samsung launched the Galaxy Pocket, a budget smartphone, in Nairobi this past Wednesday. The phone costs Kshs. 9,999 but today, you get two for the price of one. You could team up with a friend who needs a phone and cost share, ey?

The Samsung Pocket.. Image from gsmarena.com

Below are the stores selling the phones and I think the offer is limited while stocks last.

The selected stores are listed here;

P.S. Stocks have run out in Nairobi. Not sure if there any phone left elsewhere in the country!

NAIROBI

1. SAFARITEL, MAMA NGINA STREET

2. FONE EXPRESS HAILE SAELASSIE

3. MAKARIM, HILTON ARCARDE

4. FONE EXPRESS,NAKUMATT GALLERIA

5. SAFARICOM, BURU BURU

6. SAFARICOM, EASTLEIGH

7. SAFARICOM,NAKUMAT MEGA

8. AIRTEL,SARIT CENTRE

9. AIRTEL,KOINANGE STREET

KISUMU

1. KENSHOP,OGINGA ODINGA,

2. FONE EXPRESS,NYANZA NAKUMATT

3. SAFARICOM JUBILEE – OGINGA ODINGA

ELDORET

1. DHAVAL EMPORIUM, UGANDA ROAD

2. SAFARICOM OGINGA ODINGA

MOMBASA

1. JV SHAH,HOSPITAL STREET

2. FONE EXPRESS, NAKUMATT NYALI

3. SAFARICOM,REX – MOI AVENUE

4. AIRTEL, MOI AVENUE

The LG Optimus L3 phone

So you want a phone that is different, but still affordable? You want to stand out from the rest of Android phone owners, but your budget does not allow you to get a Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, LG Optimus 3D, Samsung Galaxy S II or the overrated iPhone 4S.

Well, here’s the option for you: The LG Optimus L3.

The LG-E400-Optimus-L3 Phone. The name is quite a mouthful! Image from gsmarena.com

And here are the reasons why:

Stylish

It’s a slick, palm-sized design that will easily fit into your pockets. It comes in both black and white, and I’m sure if you’re a chick you’ll dig the white design!

Battery Life

The 1540 mAh battery is awesome, offering well above a day of intense use – you can have 2 full days with push email and 3G and Wi-Fi turned on. The smaller screen and low power processor help but kudos to LG for bridging the gap between simple and smartphone battery life while keeping the phone lightweight at 110g.

Memory

It has 1GB of internal memory, which can be expanded by SD-card up to 32GB. I haven’t seen a 32GB memory card just yet, but I’m sure it’s out there! The good news is, it comes with a 4G memory card. That’s months worth of pictures and a week’s worth of songs! Which reminds me, I have spare 2GB memory card I’m selling. Any takers? :-)

Android 2.36

It runs on Android 2.36 Gingerbread, which gives good performance on the 800MHz processor. I know 800 may not be much, but it’s a small phone with small screen and 384MB RAM and that is enough power to satisfy the phone’s needs. It’s quite responsive and it also doesn’t take long to boot.

3MP Camera

With a 3 Megapixel camera, you can take pretty decent photographs. Download the Instragram app for Android and have the fun of your life, if you are a picture person!

Good-looking User Interface (UI)

The UI looks and feels better than most Android phones. LG customized the phone without messing up with Android too much, so it’s a smooth and easy to use phone. Quite responsive too.

Cost

This baby is yours for the lowly asking price 10K. The phone is available at all LG preferred retail outlets e.g. Cormcorp countywide, LG showroom at the Junction, LG Service centre at piedmont plaza.
The price is 11,999 but it is currently offer now at those locations for 9,999 plus a free 4GB memory card! Go on, try something different today, like a new phone.

P.S.

Get the exact specifications of the phone on GSM Arena

Read a review in the T3 website

Read a local review by @Joliea

Pivot East: The Date is Rapidly Approaching

Pivot East is this year’s edition of the region’s premier mobile apps / developer competition conference held successfully in 2011 under the name Pivot 25. It will culminate in a pitching conference on 5th and 6th June 2012.

The competition has five categories, each with five finalists pitching to a rich audience for a 10,000USD prize money per category winner.

Pivot is an m:lab initiative to bring focus on the Mobile developer and entrepreneur community in East Africa. This year’s theme is Innovation and Enterprise.

The ticket price is Kshs 7,300 and can be purchased in a number of ways.

Here are the finalists in each category:

BUSINESS AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT CATEGORY

Get-it! App
An App that Facilitates restaurant goers to know the location of restaurants on the go. By Sail Ltd

Dairy Sacco App
A mobile credit tool on agricultural cooperatives that provide inputs and merchandise to their members on credit against produce deliveries. By Infocentra Ltd

SMS Offline and Online virtual Market place
A platform that integrates money transfer and delivery of goods and services. By Bei Nafuu Ltd

Easy Order

SMS based ordering and supply chain management application that simplifies the way customers order for goods from manufacturers and distributors. By Easy Order Operations

SMS Based Health Insurance Members Verification

Verification system for health insurance of members when they go to access services at hospitals.By Multics Systems Co.Ltd

ENTERTAINMENT CATEGORY

TUBET
Enables users especially football fans to place and collect bets. By Squad Digital Ltd

Ma3racer
A racing game set on the busy Nairobi highways. By Planet Rackus Ltd

Mingle
A chat app by Dotideas Technology Ltd

Angry Kenyans
A satirical mobile game aimed at mocking the Villains in the daily life of Kenyans by Xema Labs Ltd

Tough Jungle
An action game app with an African jungle setting by Elan Telemedia Ltd

MOBILE SOCIETY CATEGORY

MPrep
An SMS-based study solution for students, teachers, and schools by M-Prep Ltd

eLimu
An ed-tech initiative that is focused on Primary School education by Elimu Foundation

StorySpaces
A digital storytelling portal by The Kuyu Project

mpoultry
Brooder poultry monitoring using a mobile phone by MLFocus (U) Ltd

Sarura
An application which provides weather updates and agricultural advice to farmers by Osca Connect Ltd

UTILITIES CATEGORY

Crowdpesa
Location based service that enables its users to find the nearest Financial and Retail services. By Space Kenya Networks Ltd.

Mafuta Go
Helps users find the nearest fuel stations with the prices and Services that best suit their needs, by AppsDivision Ltd

6ix degrees
A system that allows users to back up all their contacts and later restore them when need arises, by Binary Science Ltd

mTracker
An app that enables users manage security of their possessions by Fomobi Solutions

m-verified
An application for Verification of documents legitimacy by Mobilab Ltd

FINANCIAL SERVICES CATEGORY

MobiKash
A mobile commerce platform that is agnostic to mobile network operators by MobiKash Afrika Limited

mCollector
An App based on the use of Mobile Money to send bulk payment from a group to the MFI by Software Group Ke Ltd

Pay4Us
An App that unites mobile money and micro-finance by offering financial collaboration by Zege Technologies Ltd

SchoolBursar
Streamlines the process of receiving and managing payments at schools through M-Pesa by Fomobi Solutions

Chamapro
A platform that helps informal financial self-help groups and savings clubs digitize their information management and record keeping by Bityarn Consult Company Ltd

My Two Cents?

None of these ideas are new! Ideas are really worth nothing, it’s the action that counts. They are all good ideas, but they must be nurtured and there must be a business case for each. How the idea will be pitched to the judges will also matter a lot in selecting the eventual winner of USD 10,000 per category.

The winners of Pivot 25 last year were incubated at mLab, where in a year’s time they should have results to show for it. Have they? Did mLab carry out an audit of its ‘incubatees’ to see how well they are doing? Will this be discussed at Pivot East in two weeks time? We need to learn from the last year and see how we can improve this year. I’d like to see at least one success story present at this year’s Pivot East. Or 5 success stories!

About mShop

mshop.co.ke

M-Shop was one of the apps that won last year. It is a utility app for buying bus, movie, event tickets among others. Guess what? It is currently selling Pivot East tickets!

Get the app by going to mshop.co.ke/download and try it out today!

You can also follow the app on twitter @mshopKenya and like the Facebook Page for updates and offers.

The Nokia C1-01: My Review

It’s been a while since I used a feature phone, let alone reviewed one. I used this phone for about 5 days while I waited to return to the sane world of smartphones.

This is Baby C, The Nokia C1-01. Image from paperpk.com

Opera Mini

It’s the cheapest phone with a ‘good’ internet connection that I could find. It comes pre-installed with opera mini so you can start surfing right away. It has an Edge connection (2G network) but it’s pretty decent for a phone that size because its data requirement is minimal. You can do the usual sites: facebook, twitter, gmail comfortably.

Camera

I don’t how many MP it has but either way, the pics are the type give you a headache when trying to view details, so let’s skip the review. It’s probably 1.2MP

Radio

I could listen to X FM pretty well, so can’t complain. Standard Nokia headphones, standard port so you can play music on external speakers.

Music

A good music player, and since it has a slot for a memory card, I could listen to music in peace on my way home to and from town. It’s a long journey to Utawala, and the bus usually has friendly people who want to talk. Earphones will get you out of conversation.

Apps

It has the usual games… including Solitaire and Snake, except the snake is too big so not very responsive! You can download Series 40 apps from the Ovi Store so knock yourself out.

Size and Lightness

It’s a sleek phone, felt tiny in my hand considering my previous phone was a Samsung Galaxy S II named Calypso, but that is a story for another day.

Cost

Picture this: it’s raining. Heavily. It has taken me one hour to get to town from Strathmore, only to find no buses at my stage. I need to make a phone call but I only have a SIM card. I don’t have cash, my money is in MPESA. So when I asked the guy at the shop what’s the cheapest phone with internet, and we tend to trust Nokia brands for lower end phones, I decided to get the C1-01. For Kshs. 5,000. I’m ready to sell it for Kshs. 4,000. Any takers?

Anyway, I have moved on to a new phone: The Samsung Galaxy Y Pro Duos. It’s the one on the right that’s both QWERTY and touch, and runs on Android. Will review it soon. I haven’t named it yet and suggestions are welcome!

The Galaxy Y Duos and the Galaxy Y Pro Duos. Image from fonearena.com

The Inaugural BAKE Bloggers Awards

The first ever Kenyan bloggers awards went down on Saturday 5th May at the Serena Hotel in Nairobi. Larry *pause* Madowo was the MC, and among the attendees were Paul Kukubo the CEO of Kenya ICT Board, Nzioka of Safaricom ( I forget his title ;-) ), the head of Red Cross Kenya and many other awesome people including yours truly!

@Wamathai pauses with Pinky Ghelani, one of the judges of the bloggers' awards

Here’s the List of winners, which I copy pasted from bloggers.or.ke!

Below is the list of winners in the different categories, who won through the votes that you cast (you being the reader and voter!):

1. Best Business Blog

bankelele.blogspot.com

2. Best Agriculture Blog

emmiekio.blogspot.com

3. Best Creative Writing Blog

www.crazynairobian.com

4. Best Fashion Blog

www.nanciemwai.com

5. Best Food Blog

healthylivingkenya.wordpress.com

6. Best General Blog

muruginjehia.blogspot.com/

7. Best New Blog

www.my254.com

8. Best Corporate Blog

blog.batakenya.com

9. Best Photography Blog

www.mutuamatheka.co.ke

10. Best Politics Blog

www.dennisitumbi.com

11. Best Sports Blog

www.michezoafrika.com

12. Best Technology Blog

www.moseskemibaro.com

13. Best Tweep – Corporate

@KenyaRedCross

14. Best Tweep – Individual

@KoinangeJeff

All in all, it was a successful first event, and of course next year it will rock much bigger! I needed an evening like that after a Saturday where AFC Leopards lost to City Stars 3-0, and Liverpool lost the FA Cup final to Chelsea!

P.S. Check out more pictures on the BAKE blog!

KenyanStar, For All Your Sports News

I’ve been keenly following the website Kenyanstar.co.ke for sports news in Kenya. If you ever tried reading sports in the main newspapers, The Standard, Nation and the like, you get a few sketchy pages of local news and splashes of pages covering the English Premier League!

The Maasai Cricket Warriors

KenyanStar also have a print edition and I picked the latest copy with an interesting cover story: The Massai warriors who play cricket. Here’s a colourful picture I got from this blog:

The Masaai cricket warriors are tall, colourful and handsome, I think they are bringing IT! :)

Aliya Bauer is the brainchild behind the now famous Masaai Cricket Warriors, a team that is currently fundraising to go to South Africa for the Last Man Standing Tournament.

This is just one among the many stories in the 4th issue of the KenyanStar magazine. Aside from a few *LOOSING typos (well, they were more than 4 of those and it got quite annoying, I blame the editor!), it was an interesting read. I’m even in one of the pictures PICTORIAL section, I’ll let you figure out which one when you pick your copy of the mag!

KenyanStar Issue 4..

Disability is Not Inability

In their third issue that had the most handsome footballer in the KPL Jonas Paco on the cover, the main story of KenyanStar featured disabled athletes who are able to do much despite various limitations. The Kenyan Paralympics team is busy training for the Paralympics (equivalent of the Olympics.) I don’t want to give away the entire story!

Jonas Paco on the cover of Issue 3.

The pictorial of the 3rd issue features pictures from the Safaricom Sevens that were held at Nyayo! Lovely pictures, including one where the Samoans were doing the Haka. Sadly, Kenya, though we were the hosts, did not win the Sevens despite winning like the past 4 Sevens.

Kenya Rugby Sevens: How Far They Have Come

The second issue of the KenyanStar had Eye Candy Biko Adema on the cover. He plays in the Kenya 7′s rugby team. In it, they follow the journey of Kenya’s rugby team has come to glory these days. There is also a feature on the Kenyan El Classico pitting Kenya’s two biggest football teams: Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards. The pictures make my day each time! The pictorial section focuses on the Bamburi Rugby Super Series. Check them out if you get the chance.

Biko Adema graces the cover of the second issue!

Top 10 KPL Players
The inaugural issue of KenyanStar, which was out in April of 2011, had PPO Erique Masika on the cover. For those who do not know Masika, he was a former Gor Mahia defender who was bought by AFC Leopards for a KPL record transfer fee of Kshs. 450,000. He’s now firmly in the den looking good in blue!

He was rated the number one player then, according to the author of the article.

Eric Masika, our star defender along with Jonas Paco

Anyway, if I was to recommend a sports magazine in Kenya, and I do not know of any other, I’d take Kenyanstar. They cover all sports news, be it hockey, basketball, cricket, swimming, athletics, football, rugby etc. In all levels, from village teams, to schools and colleges, to professional leagues. Here are my four copies :-)

All four issues of Volume 1 lying on my bed ..