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:
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!
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!
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.
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.
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
In a bid to reward exceptional bloggers and to also promote content creation in Kenya, BAKE will be organizing bloggers awards this year under the moniker ‘BAKE Blog Awards’. The idea is to recognize bloggers that post consistently, have great and useful content, and are creative and innovative.
There will be a submission phase starting March 15th where blogs will be nominated in 14 categories as below:
1. Best Technology Blog
Blogs that cover tech matters like social media, internet usage, consumer electronics, mobile phones, tech startups etc.
2. Best Photography Blog
Blogs that showcase original photos or have photography related content.
3. Best Creative Writing Blog
Blogs that feature original creative writing in the form of poetry, fiction and essays.
4. Best Business Blog
Blogs that feature business content like business development, entrepreneurship, startups, stocks, investments, banking etc
5. Best Food Blog
Blogs that focus on food, cooking tips, restaurants, wines and recipes
6. Best Agriculture Blog
Blogs that focus on Farming, marketing of agricultural produce, and environmental impact of climate change
7. Best Fashion Blog
Blogs that highlight current trends in Fashion as well as personal grooming, fashion shows
8. Best Politics Blog
Blogs that cover political issues in Kenya.
9. Best New Blog
Outstanding Blogs that were set up from March 24th 2011 onwards.
10. Best Corporate Blog
Blogs run by companies.
11. Best General Blog
Blogs that features content that is exceptional but doesn’t don’t fit into any of the other 13 categories.
12. Best Sports Blog
Blogs that feature sports content.
13. Tweep of the Year – Individual
The best individual twitter user in Kenya.
14. Tweep of the Year – Corporate
The best corporate twitter user in Kenya.
The submission phase will run until March 29th and then judges will choose their best 5 in each category. The judges will be drawn from the media and the blogging community.
After the judges pick their best 5 in each category, they will then be voted for by the public from April 10th. The winners in each category will be announced at a gala event on April 28th.
For more details about the BAKE Blog Awards visit http://bloggers.or.ke , the awards website, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about The Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE)
BAKE is a body that promotes content creation on the web in Kenya and represents a group of content creators who are of Kenyan origin, descent or are based in Kenya and want to:
Syndicate their content
Network among other fellow content creators
Get legal and communal representation from the Bloggers Association of Kenya
I promised the editor of the Ingwe Fan fanzine (a magazine by fans) that I’ll do a post about the magazine, the club and my love for both.
This is the second edition of the magazine and it featured a history of ALL the matches that have ever been played against Gor Mahia, since 1968 when Gor was formed. There are stats from way back then (a lot of research must have gone into this), snippets from newspapers of famous matches etc.
The inaugural match between the two sides was played on Monday May 6th, 1968. I just love this writing:
“William ‘Chege’ Ouma, Gor Mahia’s mercurial leader in attack, blasted two crackerjack second half goals to send reigning National League champions AFC to defeat in this action packed encounter…”
In 1975, Otieno Ndege was arrested by the police because he nearly caused a riot at Nairobi’s City Stadium. Nothing out of the ordinary, except Otieno Ndege was a dove! He was later arraigned before a Nairobi court. Excerpt:
“Otieno Ndege, a bird of no fixed nest, yesterday appeared before a Nairobi court charged with inciting the public to violence during the Kenya Football League match between Gor Mahia and Abaluhya on Sunday.”
Pick up the mag to find out how the story ended!
The magazine has some information about infamous defectors, player profiles, pictures from league matches, quotes from coaches, the club’s kit (home and away), and so much more (to use a cliché)!
There are also dates of the remaining AFC match fixtures that will be played this year!
There are pictures of fans, kid fans, footballers, anything related to AFC, and on that inner page of the last cover, a picture of an Ingwelet ( a female fan). Maybe someday I’ll be the featured one I do have a shirt, check it out… only that it’s not printed Savvy at the back, but the next one will. Get yours from Jawamed Store located at the Mezzanine-2 floor, Afya Center, Nairobi; Imbaare Stores at Kawangware; Buru Buru Tens in Eastlands and Pitson Grill in Langata next to Uchumi Supermarkets.
To finish off, lemme quote the editor:
“In this issue, we trace the history of our rivals (Gor) in an age when MOST journalists spend oodles of time talking about the English Premier League. “ If you’re a journalist who falls in this category, be ashamed!
“We fill our pubs while they fill their stadia” (English Premier League).
The editor says it’s ok to watch the EPL and other leagues, but we must not forget our own local teams just because they have been going through tough times- bad leadership, bad results, unmotivated players, brokenness.. even Sir Alex Ferguson says:
“Success in football comes and goes. … Real fans stick with their teams through thick and thin. It’s not just about winning, it’s about loyalty.”
You should be ashamed if you keep saying “Arsenal damu!” “Man-U damu” and you don’t even know who won the Kenyan Premier League last season. Let us develop our own league.
I first met Cdooh back in 2010 at the Microsoft imagine cup. He says I inspired him to start blogging, I know he’s doing his best. He’s a techie to be, studying software Eng? @Maseno. Read his blog here. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to catch up with him, I didn’t even know when he left!
I said hi to @ifortknox . Also got some catching up to do with this guy but where is the time!
Turning to my right I saw Coder Idd Salim with baby-soft styled hair. He says he got his hair made specifically for #bake. Okay he didn’t say that but was it a coincidence? I think it made him look 17!
Next to him was Dennis Kioko from CIO Africa. You gotta check out that magazine if you’re serious about “technology, business, leadership”. We had a lot to talk about and the ladies seated on either side of him didn’t look er.. too happy so I got introduced to them. Aki I forget names!! But I haven’t forgotten your beautiful faces!
I went round the place, saying hi to UrbaneKenyan- he looks buheri wa afya in case you are wondering. Wiselar and Robert Alai were having a heart to heart so I left them to it after a quick hello.
Got introdiced to Nittzsah, I love the way she writes. In another life I would’ve written like her!
I’d met Binti M last year and it was definitely good to see her again. She says when she first met me she thought id be tall and skinny … most people think that. Anybody know of a lengthening and slimming remedy?
Banks, the ever cool banker, was already there. You just gotta love this guy, last I checked.his blog was ranked #1 in Kenya. I said last I checked so don’t bring your stats now
Guess who was a judge at the Microsoft imagine cup where I met Cdoh? Roomthinker himself! His blog is hilarity redefined … he was quite jovial that evening, drinking something brown looking but for all intents and purposes claims it was Soda. Sprite to be precise.
Wanjiku then came and once she introduced herself I was like “oooh aaahh you’re the Wanjiku! ” and when I introduced myself she was like “aaaah you’re Savvy! “. Roomthinker looked a bit jealous because I had not gone like “oooooh you’re the roomthinker” he he
For someone who claimed to be high on oxygen, she was hyper. She refused to share her source of Highness though
Ngeny was around.. hadn’t seen him since last year and I always consult him with blog issues. He’s the one who hooked me up with a link to the Rwanda internship fyi.
I checked my tweets and saw @pitzevans had arrived. I love the beauty of his words, even when you don’t understand what he’s talking about you have to read. I had a long talk with him.. he knows his martial arts, don’t mess with him ..
Startup Kenya walked in with a beautiful Annabelle by his side. I remember her name because I asked her twice and promised I’d not forget it! I’m always smiling whenever I’m chatting with this entrepreneur!
Mwirigi too was here.. if you must know he’s the biggest Nokia and car fan I know. He led me across the room to where some Nokia PR ladies sat.. it was a pleasure meeting them. I asked them about hooking me up with a Nokia so I can test n review Ovi apps .. compare n contrast with Android.
Kahenya, Kachwanya and Collins the lawyer were in the house. We were in the presence of Kenya’s best! Collins is he of A Nairobian’s Perspective blog.. check it out. His companion was one beautiful lady who didn’t talk much.. I hope we didn’t bore her some of us are always on the talk talk
Archer Mishale was off ladies that night.. but he claims that doesn’t mean he’s now into men. Hmmm.. it was the first time I was meeting him even though I’ve been reading his blog since 2007!
Mark Kaigwa sauntered in and went round the place doing salutations …
Kachwanya, the current chairman of bake calmed guys down, asked for lights to be turned up and requested Collins to brief us on some bake legal issues. I was seated nearby so I’m one of the few who heard what’s going on. Get some info here (Wanjiku’s blog ) and ask any queries in the comments section.
As Collins talked I espied Anyiko (KBC Grapevine) and Jacque Ndinda who’d just come in and waved at them.
After Collins had talked, there were introductions to be made. Mwirigi took the role of loudspeaker .. you say your name he amplifies it and repeats it across the crowded room.. Blogs_Kenya got one of the loudest cheers. Good work he’s doing on Twitter. I’d like to meet one kenya_tweets too, hopefully next time!
So as I talked to the guy next to me, I realized he’s nine other than ink2bikes. A biker complete with the tattoo on the arm. We talked bikes.. I can’t wait to own one! A pleasure meeting u biker ..
People started leaving soon afterwards .. seems bake was a stopover for Friday night! However in sure next time guys will stay longer.
I finally met NonieMG who used to think I’m a guy! Now you see why I had to include gender in my Twitter bio?
Milo came in then but I don’t think he was coming for bake, or was.he? Dunno but I love his blog and so it was fun to see him!
KevDaNative! Met him briefly as I was doing my goodbye round. That’s when I also met ex school mates and @FaybabyN.. sometimes I miss those Kottet days! Okay not so much, just a little.
Someone said Akenyangirl and I look somehow alike … so now I have a tweet-sister! Not to be confused with twin sister .. she offered me help when I got arrested. Yeah, I’ve been arrested before!
The lovely Swabrah (her name sounds gracefully Swan-ish, right?) was here too.
The guy behind whive.co.ke was here too. We didn’t get to say much, as you can see I was everywhere and nowhere at the same time!
I had a brief chat with Warothe who doesn’t like the limelight so I should not even mention that he was there.
Like every normal person, I have my down days. Days when I don’t want to get out of bed, days when I don’t feel I can face the day. I question my very existence and wonder if there is anything of worth I’ve done. I ask myself if I’m good enough at anything really, if I should even be living at all. I ask myself what kind of blogger I am etc. I like the feedback from readers, because most people say nice things
Sometimes if I get a task and immerse myself into it, and if I achieve something by the end of the day, I will feel good about myself. Other times, I may do that and still go to bed feeling like a failure! Yes people, I have bad days too, dark stormy moments. I know I sound bright and cheery on this blog but that is not always the case.
…is a narrative of a brave, cheerful student girl. Savvy (the author’s name in the blog) studies at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya. However, the blog is not about her studies but about all other interesting things. And this girl definitely knows how to write! Her style is daring, descriptive, open and full of wonderful self-irony.
Well, I can’t argue with that!
Savvy goes clubbing with friends, observes life and people around her, writes about idlers on street corners, sugar daddys and Chinese copy phones. One of my favorites is a blog from her weekend trip to visit a friend in Uganda – I felt as if I had been there with her!
I’m sure you all felt the same
I loved the blog Harambee Stars vs. Ugandan Cranes, in which Savvy sneaks out of church to be in time for an important football game:
“I’d bet heavily on the game: I was going to change my twitter name from Savvy Kenya to Savvy Uganda, and possibly my nationality too if the stars lost to the Cranes.
Having left church around noon, and changed from my dress to jeans and carried a borrowed vuvuzela, I got into a matatu around 1p.m. to town. Now, my small brother was in possession of the tickets and had been at the stadium since noon. He was giving us (my other bro and I) one hour to get to the stadium or he’d sell our tickets. I kept telling him am almost in town even when I was stuck in traffic because the Chinese constructors (contractors?)had decided Saturday was the best time to divert traffic to roadside paths.
By the time I finally got to the stadium, it was 3.30pm and my brothers were already inside. Somehow, we managed to communicate and they wrapped my ticket around a small flag they’d bought and threw it over the wall of the stadium. Of course, there were few spiderman wannabes who scaled the wall but since I had my ticket no need to resort to desperate measures.”
I couldn’t miss that match now, could I?
And on and on it goes, I definitely wrote a thank you email to this lady who made my day then, and still continues to do so whenever I re-read it.
Savvy is a middle-class, well educated African, who clearly wants to do something meaningful in her life. What will become of this interesting young woman?
How about the president of the East Africa Republic 20 years from now?
A number of readers have emailed me over time, asking me questions like, what inspires you? Well, life does. Wherever I go, there is always something worth blogging about. Whatever happens in my life can always be put into a certain way so that it’s interesting to read. As you should already know: it’s not the story, it’s how the story is told.
That being said, most of the emailers (if I may call them so) wanted advice on how to blog, what to blog, and such like tips. I’ve decided to compile my top ten blogging rules:
Blog about something you are passionate about. Be it sports, the weather, your wife and kids, your job, your life. That way, you won’t run out of steam over time, you can write for years and years about your subject/main theme. Sometimes you may want to blog about an event/show/elections or anything temporary. That is also okay, some blogs are only relevant for a time. I choose to write about my life because as long as am alive, there will always be something to write about.
2. Regular Updates
Make sure you update your blog frequently, either weekly or bi-weekly. Unless you are very very interesting, no one is going to come back more than twice if they come and find the same stuff they left. Also, ensure there is a subscription button on the blog so people don’t have to come to your site to check for updates. Blog updates will be sent directly to their mail.
3. Writer’s Block: What to Do
I just talked about regular updates above. So what do you do when you have a writer’s block or you’re too busy to sit down to write a proper post? Well, wordpress helps. Google too. Just search these two sites and you’ll get tones of advice.
Personally, I like to get a captivating picture, like the one below, or I copy-paste an interesting email forward, such as this or this.
So you start a blog and you expect to get 1000 hits per minute. It’s not gonna happen that way. Unless you’re Paris Hilton posting a sex tape. Don’t worry if at first, there is no traffic to your blog. It takes time (even a whole year) to build traffic to sustainable levels. Do not give up if you find no one visited your blog for a week. As I said, it’s all about passion. If you’re passionate about something, you’ll continue writing about it even if no one is reading.
5. Motivation: Reason for blogging
If you’re looking to make money from blogging, I think you’re choosing the wrong hobby. If making money from your blog is your main reason for blogging… I don’t have words for you. Honestly, I blog because I just have to write, and right now, I wouldn’t dream of putting up ads on my blog.
However, I’m not saying you can’t make money from blogging. I’m just saying that’s like a side benefit, a byproduct of good blogging. I know money makes the world go round, so find a day job.
The main challenge in blogging is generating traffic. First you let your friends know, then they’ll tell their friends who’ll tell their friends. There is also facebook and twitter, which are very important in generating publicity to your blog. You can have facebook automatically import your new posts as you publish them. Share the link on twitter and tag people if you have to.
Reading other people’s blogs and leaving comments on the posts you read together with a link back to your blog is also a good idea, kind of like a network of blogs, you know? My earliest readers were other bloggers.
When your readers leave comments, it’s only fair to respond to them. That way, they feel appreciated and loved. Okay, maybe just appreciated. Even the haters, I think the moment you have your first hate comment, that’s when you know you’re becoming a successful blogger. Provide an email address so that readers who want to say something to you can do so.
Do not take credit for something you did not write. If you copy-paste from someone else, or lift photographs from a certain site, please give credit to the original authors/creators. Do not copy the format or the way some other blogger does their writing, bring something fresh and new to the blogging scene and we’ll keep reading your work.
9. Platform/Theme/ Layout
Choose a blogging platform that’s awesome, like wordpress. Or blogger. Or I don’t know what else. Choose a short but memorable URL- that’s the address of the blog.
When picking a theme, find one that’s easy to read. One that matches your theme. If you’re doing gothic poems, perhaps a dark theme would be suitable. If you’re writing about sunshine and sugar and spice, choose something nice and bright.
The layout should encourage readers to explore your blog more. Have a calendar with recent posts, and an archive/tags/categories so readers can find something else to read apart from the main page. Experiment with the widgets and pick those that work best for you.
10. Be interesting
I saved the best for last. Ultimately, the only reason people will keep reading your work is because you are interesting. There are so many boring bloggers out there… I feel like shooting myself every time I have to force myself to even go past the first paragraph. Keep your posts short if you can’t be interesting. Longer posts can only be read if there is enough suspense/good flow. Your friends will lie to you, saying you’re a wonderful writer but you can tell the truth with time. Someone out of nowhere, someone you don’t know, will email you/leave a comment telling you they enjoy reading your working. If it happens more than 5 times, you can be convinced you’re interesting. Use pictures to add flavor to your posts.
That being said, I’d appreciate your feedback on this. If you have any more blogging rules/tips, you can leave a comment. Here’s to happy blogging.