Malawi is a beautiful country known for its friendly citizens and its extraordinary fresh water lake known as Lake Malawi. There are a good number of touristic attractions in Malawi including a branch of Sunbird Hotels and Resorts known as Sunbird Nkopola. Sunbird comprises 9 hotels, and it is here, at Sunbird, that the highlight of our show is today.
Yusuf Olela was born in Karachuonyo Kanyaluo location in Homa Bay County and studied at Kisumu Day High School. He is a graduate of Kenya's Utalii College and explains that he had never envisioned heading such a big entity, away from his home country. He is also a graduate of Kenyatta University in hospitality management. After his diploma, his first job was in Mombasa as a trainee manager at Shelly beach before venturing into fast food as a shop manager. Later on, he rose through the ranks until area manager. Few years later, he went to Midland in Nakuru as a hotel manager after which he moved to Uganda. Eventually, when he returned back to Kenya, he worked as a group and sales manager for Kengeles then went to Tanzania as a general manager.
In later years, he again returned to his home country and worked as a banquet director to F&B, then came 2015 when he became the general manager when he moved to Addis Ababa.
Sunbird brand and popularity goes hand in hand with what Malawi is known for. "Malawi is very rich in culture. So we have invested in water sport activities because the lake offers opportunity." He explains that the people are also the biggest strength of the country. This is because they are very friendly and open minded. He says that it is the major reason why his family even agreed to move which him abroad since they enjoy the climate, the food, and most importantly the people.
Yusuf believes that tourism on the continent will flourish if African countries remove trade barriers. He is also lear when he explains that dreams can be achieved from anywhere in the world. "People must know that you are a brand on your own. Thus, you must take yourself out there and tell your story. And through that story you will inspire other people!"
In July 2018, we brought you the nitty gritty of the first ever Global Disability Summit in London, that had been co-hosted by Kenya and the U.K governments, on The Chamwada Report. We focused on the plight of persons with disabilities under the hashtag #LeaveNoOneBehind. The key pointers discussed in the 2018 summit included; finding ways to increase disability inclusion ad tackle stigma in low-income countries.
This time round, CHAMS media team takes you through what has happened since then. One year on, key stakeholders gathered at National Council for Persons with Disabilities in Westlands, Nairobi; on Friday 26th July 2019, to celebrate the achievements the country has made towards disability inclusion and to reflect on what more needs to be done. During the function attended by the outgoing British High Commissioner to Kenya Nick Hailey a new initiative to boost inclusivity in education was launched.
The British High Commissioner launched two key initiatives; Innovation to Inclusion and Inclusion works. The two new launched UK funded programs shall bring together a consortium of influential partners who will work collaboratively to ensure persons with disabilities, a critically under-utilized talent pool, are actively recruited and retained in meaningful employment in the private sector.
Other key take-home messages from the summit were inclusive education and the use of technology and innovation to empower persons with disabilities.
Like in many other areas, Kenya has put in place progressive policy and legal frameworks with the intention of improving lives of Persons with Disability. However, implementation of these and many other policies and legal frameworks, have been weak. This is what stakeholders hope will change even as Kenya stays true to the commitments made during the Global Disability Summit.
Many Kenyans have over the years desired to get opportunities worth daring abroad. Well, it is one thing to dream, and it is another to make that dream come to life! Chams media team this time, on its weekly program, Daring Abroad, takes you all the way to Dallas, Texas; where Pastor Samson Muniu explains that his calling was to minister abroad.
His ministry work all began way back, in Egerton University, where he served as a student pastor for four years. In an effort to expand the university to Nakuru, a town campus was started, and he was instructed to serve in Nakuru town. It so happened that the then Chancellor of Egerton university, the late Bethwel Kiplagat, wanted to bring new developments to the institution so he instructed everyone to step up academically.
He says,"The Dean of students one day called me and said I needed to upgrade. Thus I decided to enroll in Egerton for a masters in counselling."
However, he never got chance to attend the classes after enrolling at the institution since his leadership team advised him to go study abroad instead. This is what drove him to apply and quickly get a full scholarship. He then flew to the US in 2004.
Pastor Muniu went to the Southern Methodist University and graduated with a masters in Divinity Studies. He had earlier on thought of returning back to Kenya, however, he got a job opening as a youth pastor at Upendo Baptist where he served for 4 years. From Dallas, he and his family moved to Wichita Falls Texas where his wife was also going to work as a nurse. It was while he was there that he decided to return to Dallas and start a church.
"I do mission work there. I also have children who I support back at home... We cannot forget home, Kenya is home."
Indeed, just as he believes, it was God's doing that saw him aim higher and continue to grow even while in Dallas. He advises everyone aspiring to travel abroad, to take the opportunities that come their way, whether while abroad or at home, and do better!
Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) is an everyday occurrence; it exists within family units, communities, and sadly, not so much is done to curb this heinous act. Many vulnerable victims, including women and girls from violence prone communities and people with disabilities have gone through this ordeal, and most of these cases end up non-resolved. This week on The Chamwada Report, Chams media focuses on the need for SGBV survivors to access justice and support from all across; in consideration to an organisation that has taken initiative to walk with these survivors of SGBV through their pain and trauma, recovery journey and in their quest to access justice.
Enhancing access to justice for the victims requires a concerted effort and the Coalition on Violence Against Women is one of the organisations championing accountability and justice for victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence. So far, COVAW has litigated on 11 matters in Nairobi, Kitui, Nyeri, Laikipia and Kiambu counties, with 3 cases still pending before court. The organization is documenting and providing response to survivors of sexual violence (SV) under a project known as Access to Justice and Women's Rights (AJWR).
See also: https://youtu.be/bIiXP-iH2xo
From psychologists and counselors, to pro bono lawyers and community legal awareness forums, COVAW is on the front line in ensuring these survivors eventually have Access to Justice. It is quite unfortunate that within our societies, vulnerable women and girls including people with intellectual challenges are being sexually violated. Thanks to institutional challenges such as lack of support from police, or gaps within the legal systems or even poor health facilities and/or services, these victims find it hard to access justice and are forced to move on with their pain and trauma. Yet this should not be the case.
Find out about this and more tonight on The Chamwada Report on KTN News at 8:3opm.
Losing a loved one is quite a painful and costly experience. This is even more costly for Kenyans living in the diaspora and fundraising is no longer tenable.
Kenyans living in the US can now breathe a sigh of relief as one creative mind has come up with a scheme that makes funeral arrangements for families residing in the US easier and cheaper. He is based in Los Angeles, California and his name is Dr. Aquillahs Muteti.
His journey began in Makueni County, where he was born. In time, he joined the University of Nairobi, Chiromo Campus, and in 1990, he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics.
He was employed into various small businesses afterward where later he ventured into private businesses dealing in computers and automobiles. Later on, while at a conference in Atlanta, he got inspired on thinking big. He made an application and got admitted as a student. Eventually, after his newly found passion for teaching, he found himself in Los Angeles, California where he taught Math at a local high school.
Currently, he is an Assistant Principal in a middle school in California and also an adjunct professor. He lectures in two universities one of them being the National University, where he teaches the masters program for teachers.
However, while working, he could not help but notice the great difficulties that Kenyans in the American Diaspora faced when it came to the loss of loved ones who were domiciled both inside and outside the United States.
"A family could receive 3000$ from the welfare associations and then the question remains, 'Do they buy a ticket or send that money home despite them wanting to go back home and bury their loved one?'" With this in mind, Dr. Muteti founded Ukarimu in 2016, a corporation registered in the State of California that offers families bereavement support after they enroll as members.
''Death is inevitable and you may have insurance but US companies will not touch someone who is not in the US. However, Ukarimu does,'' he says.one joins Ukarimu by paying 414 dollars, a one-time enrollment fee, then pays 45 dollars a month if covering for a family of up to 10 members.
Any extra beyond 10, one pays an extra 2 dollars. For one to be a member, he has to be in the USA but his dependence can be from wherever as long as he/ she is a relative.
He explains that the major challenge is that people are yet to understand who they are. They still have to keep on explaining to many that they are not an insurance company and that Ukarimu has a lot of benefits to offer. Once a member, one has to wait for four months before accruing any benefits. Their enrollment period is twice a year i.e. from June 1st till July 31st and from December 1st till January 31st.
"In order to protect ourselves, we must have those limited set periods of time when only few members can join our organization," he goes further to explain. For you to register these members you have to give them their dates of birth, their ID number and their legal names as they appear in government documents then it allows Ukarimu 48 hours to actually verify that death and the relationships back in Nairobi.
Since its incorporation, Ukarimu has close to 500 members and has assisted about 25 families who have lost their loved ones. In just two years they have given out about Ksh. 20,000,000 to bereaved families, a statistic that Dr. Muteti is proud of.
"We are here to really make sure the Kenyan community is really in a good place as they continue growing here and as they continue supporting their families back home," he concludes.
World leaders gathered in Katowice, Poland for the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24). The key agenda was to negotiate how to tackle climate change.
In Kenya, climate change is the main environmental threat that affects every aspect of our lives. Dr. Richard Munang, from UN environment, explains that Africa is losing 68 billion US dollars as a result of environmental degradation.
With global warming being the major subject discussed at the COP24, Kenyans have a reason to be worried. This is because, just like in other developing countries, Kenya is at the tipping point of global warming. Experts claim that not much is being done to handle climate change in Kenya.
As a result of global warming, an increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as droughts and floods has hit various parts of our country. for this reason, experts are now advocating for the use of renewable energy as a mitigation measure to combat adverse impacts of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
From what is gathered at the COP24, many countries with emerging economies appear committed to fighting climate change, but very few are actually on track to achieving these goals. David Fredrick, a naturalist, explains, "If we do not take action on climate change, the extinction of most of our natural world will be on the rise."
All this results in one major question, 'What role can a corporate play in mitigating climate change? On this show, we focus on the African Guarantee Fund, an organization that saw the need to save Kereita forest in Kiambu County, by planting trees.
They are aware of the benefits of trees in mitigating climate change and for that reason, turned up in large numbers of more than 300 people, including AGF's partner financial institutions, and planted more than 10,000 trees.
Felix Bikpo, AGF's CEO noted, "SME's need to acquire the right green technology for them to be competitive tomorrow." Various corporates agreed on the fact that climate change is real and is man-made.
According to experts, Kenya is yet to achieve the United Nation's recommended 10% forest cover. Many organizations, however, have proven to be doing all they can to ensure they come up with new strategies to tackle climate change. One of such strategies is the Green Facility by the African Guarantee Fund.
The Green Facility is a financial instrument as well as a risk management tool that AGF uses to support the various green initiatives available in the market to address climate change.
Knowing that SME's have a key role in mitigating climate change, this should be the language of every corporate. In so doing, the already known and dreaded major environmental challenge will soon be done away with.
He is an energetic, passionate and focused businessman in Gaborone, Botswana where he has resided in for the past 16 years.
Surprisingly, apart from being a revered hotelier, he also was a farmer. In this week's Daring Abroad, we pitch camp in Gaborone to understand how he began and the journey so far. What can you learn from him?
Supported by his wife, Onyancha owns an entertainment resort in which he has managed to be his own supplier, i.e. he rears chicken whose products he uses for his hotel.
While not busy at the farm, the Onyancha’s are hands on at their entertainment resort.
He was born in Matutu settlement scheme in Nyaronde village in Nyamira County. And after his form four, he worked in their farm for a while before joining Kabete Technical College where he studied Civil Engineering.
However, due to lack of funds, he dropped out of school and continued with his farming then later dealt in various businesses. Thanks to a relative of his, he managed to get a job in Botswana where he dealt in other small businesses before joining real estate.
According to him, owning animals is a culture developing in Botswana and that is what inspired him to also invest in livestock.
Apart form being an entertainment resort, George and Sons Safaris also engages in tours and travels both within and outside Botswana. Onyancha believes that he has marketed himself well enough for Kenyans visiting to be able to find them and be served by them.
Many might not be aware of how this medical condition comes into being. Others may not even know of its existence. All in all, it is necessary to be aware of the causes and preventive measures of Spinabifida and Hydrocephalus. This week, Elijah Mwangi of CHAMS media educates us on these medical conditions with discussions with experts as well as victims of the same.
Dr. Emmanuel Wegoye, a neurosurgeon of Bethany Kids Children’s Center at Kijabe Hospital explains that spinabifida is a back defect whose exact cause is unknown. He explains however that there is a strong association with a deficiency of folic acid in our diets. A pregnant mother requires a lot of folic acid so that the chances of the child being born with the condition become slim. Apart from that, spinabifida has also been connected with genetic correlation.
Spinabifida can be repaired only through a surgery where a child is inside the mother’s womb and this is only possible in developed countries which have the resources required. Since Kenya is still developing and thus lacks the expertise, surgeons can only perform the surgery within 48hours after birth.
Hydrocephalus on the other hand is the accumulation of water in the head. For children below three years, as the water accumulates so does the head grow since the pressure in the brain is high. When you look at a child with spinabifida, because the back is somewhat connected to the brain, most children with this condition end up struggling with hydrocephalus as well.
About 2km from the Children’s center in Kijabe Hospital, the CHAMS media team meets up with Edna Chepkemoi who is preparing to take her child who has the hydrocephalus condition to hospital. She is from Baringo but in order to be in Kijabe on time, she has to camp here at the House of Hope.
The House of Hope is a place where mothers come with their children for accommodation as their children are treated at the Kijabe hospital before it is too late. Juliana, the manager of House of Hope explains that one time a mother lost her child while on the way coming to Kijabe hospital for treatment and this was her inspiration.
Edna has been making these trips to the hospital for years and finally they are paying off. She explains that since their first trip in 2014, her child is making progress. She insists on proper diet in order to manage hydrocephalus i.e. foods rich in iron.
Experts on the other hand argue that the best way to deal with hydrocephalus is looking for preventing rather than curative measures; and when preventive measures fail, then treatment at birth should be immediate.
"If the doctor had discovered earlier, my child would not have become this way," says Edna.
According to the World Health Organization, if the maternal intake of folic acid can be increased around the time of conception, the risk of the occurrence of the neurotube defects may be decreased by 60-70%. For this reason, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), an international organization driven by the vision of a world without malnutrition, has been keen on calls for fortification i.e. adding micro nutrients such as folic acid in foodstuffs.
“Women of reproductive age should eat a balanced diet including food rich in folic acid,” says Felistus Mutambi, fortification coordinator (GAIN).
Billy, a data manager at Kijabe hospital is a success story of this medical condition. He finally outgrew the condition after several surgeries and all he can do now is be grateful to God. He advises that for any parent who gives birth to a disabled child whatsoever, the first step is acceptance. Afterwards, all a parent can do is her part and leave the rest to God.
Julius Mwiti, Director of Bethany Kids, Africa agrees that there is hope and that awareness needs to be created in all children facilities so people can know that care is available and these children need to be taken to the hospital at the earliest time possible.
The Blue Economy covers the productive pillar of the oceans, seas, lakes and rivers including fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, transport, shipbuilding, energy, bio-prospecting, and underwater mining and related activities on the one hand. The sustainability pillar on the other hand includes sustainable exploitation and management, addressing ocean pollution, adverse impacts of climate change, acidification, coastal erosion and loss of biodiversity.
Kenya in collaboration with Canada will be hosting the first ever Global Sustainable Blue Economy Conference (SBEC) from 26th to 28th November. The main theme is the Blue Economy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
According to Amb. B.H.O Ogutu, Ministry Foreign Affairs, the Sustainable Blue Economy will benefit Kenya in a number of ways. Firstly, in terms of achievement of agenda 14 in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) come 2030. This SDG aims at sustainably managing and protecting marine life from pollution among other threats.
The SBEC will also be an opportunity for developing countries to understand how they can exploit these resources but in a more sustainable way. He says the Blue Economy involves all economic activities related such as marine transport, ship building and prepares, urban development among many others.
Kenya will also benefit from the developments that the Blue Economy has to offer. According to Am. B.H.O Ogutu, this event will be as inclusive as possible in order to attain prosperity in all we desire. The diaspora will also contribute to global development on matters Blue Economy.
There will also be a side event organized by the African Union Commission in conjunction with the United Nation Economic Commissions for Africa (UNECA) that will focus on the Blue Economy will be honoring two key people that have shown interest in matters Blue Economy will be the president of Seychelles and our own president, Uhuru Kenyatta.
He concludes by saying that the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference will be an opportunity to come up with a summary of the discussions which have taken place, the reports and recommendations which will be emanating from there and lastly, the joint communication which will express the views and the consensus that is coming out.
As a businessman aware of how far away your market is, would you be willing to cover the lengthy distance in order to satisfy your clients’ needs? The CHAMS media CEO, Alex Chamwada and his cameraman, Humphrey Odhiambo, joined Joel Wachira, a passionate businessman, in a five day trip to Gaborone Botswana where he was to deliver his goods.
The journey commences at 7a.m on a Saturday, where Joel fuels his vehicle before kickoff. His vehicle is well loaded with goods; curios, sandals, shoes and beauty products for his clients in Gaborone. 2 hours into their departure from Nairobi, they arrive at the Kenya-Namanga border.
A citizen from the East African community member countries except from South Sudan, passing through Tanzania to another country is required to have a valid passport and is issued with a one week free transit visa. A foreigner however is charged between 20$ to 30$ depending on the country they come from. While in Arusha, Tanzania, Joel has to maintain a speed limit of 50km/hr. as per the traffic rules there. At Babati, on their way to Dodoma, the team has their lunch cum supper before calling it a day.
Day 2 begins in Dodoma and Joel explains to the crew that such trips have challenges. He explains that there are some spots where he would not dare drive during the night.
“This year in January, some thieves climbed onto my trailer at a section of a damaged road in Zambia,” he explains, “They stole a lot of my clients’ merchandise.”
After a night’s rest at Tunduma, the Tanzania- Zambia border, they continued with their long journey. The team has to be cleared before entering Zambia. At some point they are lucky to meet their countrymen, Kenyan truck drivers. By Day 4, they are in Mkushi, 860km to the border between Zambia and Botswana. They get to the landmark junction in Zambia, at a town called Kapiri Mposhi where they are impressed at how one road leads to DRC while the other leads to Botswana.
From Livingstone on Day 5, they begin the last leg of their road trip. They are at the Zambia Botswana border known as Kazungula. According to a local they meet known as Leo Mabuku, the river they are crossing is the Zambezi River which is shared by Zambia, Zimbabwe on their left, Botswana on the opposite side and Namibia on their right. They finally arrive in Botswana on day 5 late in the night.
The next day, Joel delivers the merchandise to his clients. He says that to drive from Kenya to Botswana requires fuel of around Ksh.70, 000 and for an organized group he can charge up to Ksh.250, 000 one way.
By the end of the day, the effort and time Joel is seen to include in his goal to deliver the best for his clients just shows how much of a hard worker he is!