Ladies and gentlemen, I am happy today as we start a new journey with the Nation Media Group.
Let begin by saying our goal at CHAMS Media to produce informative and inspiring content that transforms lives. We think we live we dream happy stories or call them feel-good stories. We produce unmatched documentaries and features. Daring Abroad is one such product. It focuses on people who have ventured beyond the borders of their home countries in various fields including entrepreneurship, leadership, education, sports, and culture. Simply, people, it is about those who have dared live, work, or do business abroad and how that has impacted on their lives. We live in a global village.
Daring Abroad has captured the imagination of audiences not only in Kenya but across the world. It has become a club where people source inspiration, business ideas, networks, exposure, and knowledge. The experience of a Nigerian teacher in Seychelles may not be the same as that of a Kenyan teacher’s experience in London but when those experiences are shared whether positive or negative, they not only enrich the profession but also showcase our unlimited boundaries and potentials.
Daring Abroad has been along for five years. It is now re-loaded with two fresh segments. There is Kenya to The World that traces the value chain in Kenya’s products making it to the global market and My Magical Kenya in which the presenter, yours truly will be sharing his experiential journeys in Kenya.
Our goal blends well with Nation Media Group’s aspiration which is to empower by informing, educating, and engaging our diverse audience
On behalf of the CHAMS Media, I humbly and sincerely thank the Nation TV for giving us the opportunity to partner with them as the broadcaster of Daring Abroad. NTV like other Nation Media Group platforms is a strong brand in current affairs in Kenya and the region.
We look forward to a fruitful relationship. The journey towards this relationship ironically began at the most unexpected time. While everything looked gloomy and vague, due to the Corona Virus crisis in March 2020, talks for this partnership began with both parties seeing the potential of this program with COVID or not. Those talks have yielded what we are doing today. Putting pen to paper. And the icing on the cake is the MOU we are signing alongside the Daring Abroad agreement, to share news content.
The plane has taken off
Thank you very much!
ALEX CHAMWADA – FOUNDER AND CEO
The Kenya Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has responded to reported mistreatment of Kenyans living in China. This is after a video emerged on social and mainstream media on Thursday showing foreigners of African descent, including Kenyans, being evicted from hotels and Chinese apartments over claims of importing the deadly coronavirus.
The Ministry says in a statement that it has noted the concerns that arose from the situation and treatment of the Kenyan nationals in China and that the Kenyan Embassy in Beijing is closely monitoring the situation and will respond to all the challenges.
"The Ministry's attention has been drawn to information concerning the situation of some Kenyan nationals in China specifically with regard to a recent decision by the Government of China to undertake stringent testing of foreigners and Chinese nationals alike, to forestall imported and asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in Guangzhou and other areas of China," reads the statement, in part.
Adding that "Unfortunately, these measures have in some instances precipitated unfair responses against foreigners particularly of African origin, from some members of the local community in Guangzhou, especially landlords. The Ministry through its Embassy in Beijing is seized of this matter and has officially expressed concern about these developments and is working with the Chinese authorities to tackle the matter expeditiously."
The video caused an uproar on social media, with Kenyans expressing their anger at the mistreatment of their fellow Kenyans in China, and called for swift government action.
Here is the statement in full.
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
PRESS RELEASE ON THE SITUATION AND TREATMENT OF KENYANS IN CHINA
The Ministry's attention has been drawn to information concerning the situation of some Kenyan nationals in China specifically with regard to a recent decision by the Government of China to undertake stringent testing of foreigners and Chinese nationals alike, to forestall imported and asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in Guangzhou and other areas of China.
Unfortunately, these measures have in some instances precipitated unfair responses against foreigners particularly of African origin, from some members of the local community in Guangzhou, especially landlords.
The Ministry through its Embassy in Beijing is seized of this matter and has officially expressed concern about these developments and is working with the Chinese authorities to tackle the matter expeditiously.
The Ministry has received assurances from the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi that the Government of China takes a serious view of the situation and that the local authorities in wGuangzhou have been tasked to take immediate action to safeguard the legitimate rights of the Africans concerned.
In view of this commitment and cooperation, we expect an early and comprehensive resolution of this matter to the benefit of Kenyan nationals in China. Our Embassy in Beijing remains available to attend to any challenges that may arise and to do so in liaison with the Chinese authorities. All Kenyans in China are therefore encouraged to remain in touch with the Embassy either directly or through their Kenyan community leaders.
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
10TH APRIL, 2020
Bramwell Bushuru says he is the only Kenyan living and working in Saint Helena Island. St. Helena is an island in the South Atlantic Ocean, bordering two countries, Brazil to the far left and Angola to the far east. The Island belongs to the territory of the United Kingdom. Bushuru who works there as an air traffic controller says they have also been hit hard by the Corona virus pandemic. “Most events here have been cancelled,” he says.
Watch his story here;
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!
ESSEX, LONDON- Anne Wafula Strike is like the proverbial cat with 9 lives. In her whole life, she has defied odds, fought superstition and challenged status quo because she was meant to live like a normal human and not be locked up in some hut in Webuye, Kakamega County.
Her story is that of determination, guts and positivity. It is inspiring and motivating especially when you look back to her days growing up. And in that spirit, Anne Wafula Strike has defied all the disability odds to become a powerful, admired role model in the United Kingdom. She literally dines with royalty.
"I was born as a normal healthy child- that is what my parents tell me. And when I was two and half years, I got very ill; nobody knew what was happening," she says.
"And because of the kind of life then, there were two minds. Christians believed I was cursed by God and the traditionalists believed I had been bewitched."
Also on Daring Abroad
Apart from championing the rights of persons living with disability in the UK, Anne Wafula Strike is also a paralympian. She has participated in five Paralympics since 2004 and has also been to World Championships. But it has been long, a very long story, she says.
Had it not been for the aggression of her father though, a former military warrant officer, Anne Wafula Strike would not be who she is today. Her entire family had to fight superstition, primitive and archaic beliefs of her community back then, to let her live and see her dreams come true. And that her father did, against all the odds.
"The traditionalists expected my father to abandon me because they started seeing me as an outcast, a burden just like other disabled children who are locked up in houses," Anne tells Daring Abroad.
"It was then that my father took me to Kenyatta hospital where I was diagnosed with polio."
On Daring Abroad tonight, Anne Wafula-Strike also tells Alex Chamwada how and why villagers back in Mihuu, Webuye wanted to burn their home, how they managed to escape and the role her father played during the tumultuous times.
"We had to flee our home and ended up in Kahawa Barracks because my dad was in the army," she narrates.
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.
GABORONE, (BOTSWANA)- It is three years since we first published Willy Kathurima's story. A daring Tswana of Kenyan origin with a passion for farming. His story, which traces back to the late 1980's when he left Kenya for Botswana, is that of in inspiration, determination and ability to make things happen. And that story, has now become the most liked, most watched and most talked about. The most addictive and very inspiring!
He has become a celebrity, he says, all thanks to the Daring Abroad series. But there is a lot that has changed in Kathurima's farm. He now hosts Kenyan governors, MCAs and even members of the national assembly (all known to be good at bench-marking). He no longer just ranches cattle but has diversified into horticulture. He explains why.
"Every product is seasonal in one way or the other, cattle have to take time (8 to 9 months to calve)." I realized that the opportunities for us to have an income stream from January to December, we had to diversify," he says.
"We had opportunities to buy land and this is what we have done. We have also gone into small stock, sheep and goats... and even serial production of maize and related things."
Despite all the glamour, Kathurima says he faces disease-related challenges which sometimes take toll on his farm produce.
"Disease, mainly on tomatoes which are very sensitive, the cost of input and generally managing the whole spectrum."
He owns 22,000 acres of land on which a ranch of 1000 cattle is kept for commercial purposes. Statistics indicate that livestock farming is the second economic resource in Botswana after diamond and Kathurima tapped into the market.
DIANI, (KWALE COUNTY)- He enjoys writing about the forces of nature. A cool breeze here, storms in the ocean there and a love for science and maritime resources. Being closer to them, conserving them and telling the world about them is his daily job. At 46 years now, Wanjohi Kabukuru has seen a lot and published many stories about science and nature.
In the journey to becoming who he is today, Kabukuru has worked in countries that equally nurtured his talent to conserve and write about the environment. And in this week's Daring Abroad, Kabukuru tells Chams Media how working in Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles changed him as a person...and as journalist.
“When you go out there, you come out a more refined, more sharpened; you see the world differently,” he says.
Working in those countries, most of them Islands, helped him grow from just a Science journalist to a communication specialist, now based in Diani. But his journey to working in Seychelles began in 2008. In the show, Kabukuru also explains his maneuvers and how he got the job as Scientific information translator at a top NGO in Seychelles.
Also on Daring Abroad
A holder of Bachelors of Science in Communication from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse in the US, Kabukuru is now the editor and head of the Indian Ocean observatory media Unit. He is also involved in raising awareness on conservation and proper utilization of marine resources.
Ahead of the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi, find out why Kabukuru believes other countries are doing better than Kenya on matters maritime resources and tourism.
“For all those years I stayed there (in the aforementioned countries), there was never anything like even anybody disturbing a tourist,” he says. Lessons from the diaspora.
On November 26th, there will be a diaspora side event, part of the Sustainable Blue Economy conference, at the University of Nairobi. The diaspora side event targets to address the contribution of the diaspora, which is considered a key pillar in creating sustainable economies across the world.
The output of this side event will be a Diaspora Blue Economy Plan of Action that could be considered and adopted by diaspora stakeholders to enhance the role of the diaspora for national development and global solidarity.
Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Amb. Macharia Kamau told Chams Media that the diaspora side event will activate and raise awareness on how to successfully invest in resource across countries with huge blue economy.
“There is a lot of innovations and a lot of industry but a lot of it is built around their huge enormous water resources and over the years if you look at European countries they’ve built their economies on the blue economy by venturing abroad,”said Amb. Kamau.
Further adding that, “Diasporas also help themselves by investing back home. Most of the resources that come for example in Kenya come from a Kenyan diaspora but they are investing for themselves their relatives and so on.”
Wanjohi Kabukuru will be one of the keynote speakers to address delegates during the diaspora side event at the University of Nairobi.
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.
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!