JoomlaDay Kenya Brings Exciting Times.

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JoomlaDay Kenya was held yesterday. The location of this event was ihub one of the best African support system for ICT focused tech entrepreneurs and individuals who aspire to create great companies that tackle some of our biggest challenges. iHub were amongst the sponsors for this event and they have been JoomlaDay partners for four years now.

The other sponsors were Open Source Matters, a non profit organization that provides financial, legal and organizational support for the Joomla! project. Open Source Matters (OSM) is a not-for-profit organisation, incorporated in the United States, created to serve the financial and legal interests of the Joomla project. OSM has been designed to be flexible and change as the needs of Joomla! expand.

At all times, OSM is fashioned to suit the needs of the Joomla project. OSM will also engage in regular self-assessment to ensure it is accountable to Joomla!, acting in Joomla!’s interest and ensuring that it is the right shape and size to support Joomla!.

CMS Africa an organization that supports and evangelizes the use of open source softwares also a JoomlaDay partner for a long time. CMS Africa also organizes the CMS Africa summit now on its 5th year. This years summit was held in Abuja Nigeria and we are looking forward to our next summit which will be held in Kigali Rwanda in March 2018.

Joomla Monster came too with amazing templet sponsorship. This is the second year they are supporting our JoomlaDay event. Joomla Monsters have good templates, Extensions and Themes that you can use with Joomla.

SasaHost a leading web host was coming in for the second year. SasaHost provide reliable and secure web hosting and dedicated servers. They are also 2015 award winning in customer support.

This was a full day of learning, interaction and networking and for those attentive enough they managed to go home with some of the goodies from our sponsors. I started the day with an introduction to Joomla, who is Joomla. Shedy Serem coming in with Joomla 4, what to expect before breaking of for a healthy break by TranquilFoods. Joan of Sasahost talked about using Joomla as an eCommerce platform followed by Oduor Jagero’s creating for the user.

TranquilFoods also came in with a delicious lunch, Hungarian chicken, Rice, assorted stir fried vegetable and some gravy. The food was amazing. our afternoon session saw us learn about HikaShop and later accepting Mobile payments online by Patrick Mutwiri. We ended with a question and answers session and giveaways.

We want to thank our sponsors, Open Source Matters, iHub for the amazing space, CMS Africa for the support in expertise in organizing this event, SasaHost and Joomla Monsters our giveaway sponsors and for SasaHost who sent a speaker for this event.

One of our challenges this year was that this being an election year, JoomlaDay Ke was not organized as always scheduled. It has been really difficult, but we are happy that we were able to accomplish the mission.

Our next JoomlaDay event will be in September of 2018, the date will be communicated. We invite you to visit our facebook page and we will soon be posting the pictures and we hope to interact with you. See you then.

 

#jdayke17

 


Visa Duties…The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

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Visa application is always a challenging process. I have never meet anyone, either a frequent or a first time traveller, who has gotten used to this tedious process. But there are countries that one doesn’t have to go through all this, but unfortunately they are few, so we can’t avoid it, and if you are doing business globally, touring or visiting family this, is a cake you must bake.

The most important thing to prepare for this day is to have a lot of luck. I have seen people who had their Paperwork right and still missed the visa. If you come from countries such as Kenya, having a stable job helps a lot. The trouble is that most people who would go through the visa process and still defile the same laws are people in stable employment.

When you are in business, depending on what kind you are doing. Sometimes you are ahead and sometimes you are behind. But my argument has always been that their is no way you will know the person who will want to defile the immigration law and the one who will not buy only looking at their faces. I agree that the information has to be accurate, but yes, if the person you are looking at has been travelling and never broken any immigration laws, then his passport should help you make a decision amongst other requirements.

We all agree that there are countries taking their fair share of their shit, be it economically, politically and socially. The life span difference between the African countries and western countries is like how far east from west. Kenya for example has a very challenging political environment and especially at this time.  And the same time I was planning my travel and if you looked at the situation at present, it will be very easy for you to overlook the big picture if you are the one with the authority to issue a visa.

So when I went for the visa, i realized that the Italian embassy has different requirements than other Schengen countries. They require you to have a eight days international insurance after you land back home. They need six months of bank statement and copy of identification of the person inviting you. After a lot of shuttling to meet the requirements, and fifteenth day of waiting, my visa was granted. Breathing a sigh of relief I walked to the bureau that processed my visa and pick my passport with my visa.

My itinerary had a ten hours layover in Abu Dhabi, something that needed a visa for me to be able to transit through Abu Dhabi International. So I went to the website where Etihad recommends for their passengers seeking visas. With all the documentations scanned, I filled in the online forms attaching my documents amongst them my bio page, Ticket that is confirmed, my hotel booking in Abu Dhabi and my earlier visa when I travelled to the United Arabs Emirates for business, my current schengen visa that I was travelling on.

I later received a message from the organisation that is tasked to processing the visas. The gentleman said that he is sure my visa request will be negative, and the reason is that because I am Kenyan and most Kenyan passport holders have been denied the visas to transit through Abu Dhabi. The weird thing you are thinking is that why would someone want you to pay him for flying in his place and deny you a place to rest your head. I took the chances and allowed the gentleman to go ahead with my application knowing very well that if it comes out negative, I would lose my visa fees.

It was a few hours, maybe two or three, after I had given a confirmation that I received an email from the same gentleman that my request had been denied. Yes, I also wondered how. For the rest of the day I nursed my devastated heart, went to bed feeling sad and lived to make new plans. As I said, I have never meet anyone who has this process covered for themselves. Maybe my circle is not of influence, but still my statements stands.

If you are a traveller, and you go through this every time, this is something that many travellers have to go through. The bureaucracy that many countries have put between countries and citizens to restrict movement. And this kind of stuff, affect many people who would wish to travel either for business or pleasure. The people enforcing them sometimes don’t do them well.

For me, I pray not to break any countries immigration laws, to respect my host, to be at my best behaviour while am being hosted in a foreign land. This is the right thing to do, and the wise thing if you intend to continue travelling……just like me.

Wherever your travel my take you, I hope it’s fun and profitable.

 


Things you should know before buying the BMW3 E90.

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BMW’s 3 Series range has long been one of the most popular model lines for the German car maker and has, through the years, been offered in a variety of body styles from coupe to estate……the reason why I wanted to experience one.

E90 arrived from Japan mid November 2016 but it wasn’t until January 2017 that it was in my driveway. When I took possession, it was sitting at 95,000 kilometers. My first encounter with E90 goes a little back……The year is 2011 on South Africa’s most dangerous road…the N2. The drive took us from eastern cape’s capital of East London to the city of Durban before we ended up below the Drakensberg mountains. The car was just two years old, performing at its best and still on a motor plan.

This car, has since come to Kenya and since it belongs to my friend, it has given me an great opportunity to compare two cars and learn some of their common problems. Starting with Japan, a common market for many of African countries for used cars……if you are importing a European car, I would advise you to stay away from Japan. Most of european cars running in Japan are not well maintained after the motor plan expires. Things as simple as engine service are not done and by the time you get the car, there are a thousand and one things for you to take care of.

Servicing the car should be the first thing you do especially if you are importing the car from Japan, as I said, they just have a problem of doing it after the motorplan expires and while they are thinking of selling the car, they are still driving it. Then you will have to check the leaks in the engine. I wasn’t lucky with this because by the time I was ready to do it, I had to replace the top cover gasket, Solenoid seals, Vacuum Seal Kit, Sump Gasket and the Oil Filter Housing seals.

Then I started loosing my coolant, when I arrived home one afternoon I wondered why there was smoke arising from the hood. I couldn’t figure it out until I drove to the dealer and I was told I needed to replace my connector. Comparing two of the same cars I have found of the common problems on E90. On some cars, it will be the airbag signal. The car is designed not to activate the carbag at the passenger side during an accident IF there is no passenger occupying the seat. Something happens under the seat or on the switch and you are stuck with the warning light.

Despite impressive build quality, glitches do crop up including the tyre pressure monitoring packing in and the run-flat tyres wearing unevenly. On that note, all these cars have run-flat tyres as standard, which means a firm ride (and no spare wheel). But if you are used to carrying a spare tyre and wheel spanner with you, am sorry to break your heart.

Other problems to look for include a leaky power steering system, flat spots on Efficient Dynamics models and the possible failure of the 320d’s turbocharger, evident by a smoky exhaust under acceleration.  Finally, if a towbar is fitted, check that the electricals all work properly; the BMW’s multiplex wiring is easily upset by bodged auto electricians.

Five recalls isn’t a disaster. Issued between 2006 and 2012, they covered potential problems ranging from failure of the power steering and airbag glitches to the brake servo failing and the rear or side windows falling out and thanks to BMW’s talented men in white coats, even the smaller units are smooth, punchy and economical.


Our Politics need hygiene, so is our lives.

download The politics of the land have started, just like a bad disease. Democracy has been a good thing, not to Kenya but but to he who invented it. When the Gold Coast (now known as Ghana) gained independence from Britain 6 March 1957,  Kwame Nkrumah who transformed the country into a republic, with himself as president for life said that there is no independence when other African countries were not Independent. Then, Africa was speaking in one voice. Her desire to get herself out of the hands of the oppressor was great not to imagine. Continue reading "Our Politics need hygiene, so is our lives."

Great things never come from comfort zones.

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There are many sad things in the world and you don’t have to be part of them. I cannot play the violin, and to me that’s very sad, but to stop there is even more sad. I can learn to play the violin. Yes I can…….only if am willing to pay the price. The world is filled with people who are willing to learn new skills, are you one of them? Do you have the spirit and energy, commitment to take on one? Learning a new skill has been a well cultivated habit of mine, living with the mind of a child, who looks at new things with a different eye.

You would ask yourself, who taught your child how to operate your mobile phone? We are born with the desire to learn, to conquer great obstacles and to venture new grounds, but some of us if not most, lose that desire along the way. Sometimes back I took on the task of learning how to play the guitar, I did well, but not before I was distracted again. Today, am sure the cords I played with a lot of ease have vanished from my brain.

Mastering new skills is not optional in today’s world be it in business or whatever. In a fast-moving, competitive world, being able to learn new skills is one of the keys to success. It’s not enough to be smart — you need to always be getting smarter. We need to constantly look for opportunities to stretch ourselves in ways that may not always feel comfortable at first. Continual improvement is necessary to get ahead.

When working on a new skill or competency, you need to ask yourself two things. First, is your goal attainable? There are certain limits to what you can learn….for example, you may want to be a brain surgeon, but not have the eye-hand coordination required. Second, how much time and energy can you give to the project? It’s not like going to the pharmacy and getting a painkiller, Self-improvement is hard work. Many people implicitly believe that if you have to work hard at something, it means you lack ability. This is not true. Instead, recognize that learning a new skill takes extreme commitment. Unless your goal is attainable and you’re prepared to work hard, you won’t get very far, just like me.

Some learn best by looking at graphics or reading. Others would rather watch demonstrations or listen to things being explained. Still others need a “hands-on” experience.  You can figure out your ideal learning style by looking back. Reflect on some of your past learning experiences, and make a list of good ones and another list of bad ones.  What did the good, effective experiences have in common? How about the bad ones? Identifying common strands can help you determine the learning environment that works best for you.

Start small. Self-improvement can feel overwhelming. You can’t take on everything. If you do, you’ll never do it. Choose one or two skills to focus on at a time, and break that skill down into manageable goals. For example, if you’re trying to become more assertive, you might focus on speaking up more often in meetings by pushing yourself to talk within the first five minutes.

Be patient. Too often, we approach a new skill with the attitude that we should nail it right out of the gate. The reality is that it takes much longer. It’s not going to happen overnight. It usually takes six months or more to develop a new skill. And it may take longer for others to see and appreciate it. People around you will only notice 10% of every 100% change you make.

I have used the web for much of my learning, I use youtube and google a lot. And most of the time, it’s continuous study and practice. You don’t get perfect at the first try, so keep trying. The most important is that you should seek the advice of others, who have acquired the same skill you are trying to acquire. Don’t learn in a vacuum.


The Loneliness of An Entrepreneur.

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It’s lonely at the top.
It is lonely where I am, I am all alone. I cry. I’m not ashamed of it.  I go through a range of emotions, but they really only get me in trouble if I let them manage me, rather than the other way around. Loneliness is a feeling, nothing more. After all, you can be lonely in a crowd of friends. Like all feelings, they need to be felt and then addressed. Cry it out. Have that pity party for yourself. Then wipe your nose and move forward. I today share with you something on entrepreneurship and why in my opinion it “feels” like such a lonely journey.
Along the entrepreneurial road, there are a good number of successes to share with your team, with your stakeholders and your customers. But there are a ton more failures and setbacks. Few people around you share in those. That means you are essentially alone. You can only rely on yourself.  That’s, tough, when solitude can turn to the more corrosive loneliness.  How lonely an entrepreneur, how lonely.
People make lots of assumptions of what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, and many of those are false. Likewise, as entrepreneurs, we often struggle to see why people would choose to live a different way. It’s important to keep a check on this, or you’ll end up very lonely indeed.
The best thing entrepreneur do is accept that the journey will often be lonely. We find ways to stay connected with people: have other hobbies/interests, make time for people, and develop a system of values which we don’t compromise, which is true to us. It sounds much easier than it is. When you are going against the grain, there are big forces you have to fight with.
But you are walking to beat of your own drummer, which will pay off once your business is up and running. So while everyone else clocks out of work and has a little free time to spend with friends, party, work on their hobbies, etc., you’re constantly just working around the clock to make sure everything turns out perfect. How lonely an entrepreneur, how lonely.
I have a reason to be an entrepreneur and I can name a reason everyday on why I require myself to be an a entrepreneur. People focus on how hard it is, but I’ve learned that anyone can be and it is definitely possible. The key thing to being a entrepreneur is admitting you don’t know or have all the answers to your question, but you are willing and doing whatever it takes to find those answers. Keep an open mind and have a solid reason on why you want to be an entrepreneur and honestly It will be a lonely road.
It’s even more  lonely road if you can’t find people who aren’t taking the same journey as you are. Forgive me if you don’t feel encouraged, truth is very white.  when you’re self-employed or an entrepreneur, opportunities are really limited, because you’re most likely working alone or at home… at least at the start. You’re going to need to try much harder to put yourself in social situations if you want to make friends.
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Richard Branson says his biggest motivation is to keep challenging himself. He treats life like one long university education, where he can learn more every day. You can too! We need to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs, showing them the ambitions they can realise in business. I charge full speed ahead pretty much all the time. When I have an idea, I want to implement it now. This is a struggle because I come up with a lot of ideas, but I also know in the back of my mind that there are many things to consider before starting to use your time and bandwidth on a new project.
It’s this exact fear that will continue to try over and over to hold us back, and I know that what sets successful entrepreneurs apart is that they take action and move forward in spite of this fear. I know there are risks and potential failures in my future—I’m just not willing to let them hold me back from trying. It’s thanks to my mentor and the people I choose to surround myself that I have the support and encouragement I need to continue pushing through these fears.

Rising from the dust.

Birthdays. They’re supposed to be a joyous celebration, right? That one special day each year when we throw a party and reflect on the day our amazing journey began. I’ve had quite a colorful journey and certainly enjoyed many wonderful birthdays in my life. I have tried to surround myself with friends and family during this time, and created some of my most memorable days in my life.

You can just picture that open highway stretched out to infinity before you, beckoning to a future somewhere out on that horizon that calls you to adventure. All that you will become lies out there.

In my twenties, I was a freewheeling single young man. I had just conquered Rheumatic Heart Disease, I felt if death was not around the corner, as healthy as I could be. I had just discovered my passion to travel so I was doing it. I managed to start a business, and enjoyed being the boss…..as they call it, “my own boss” I was also paying salaries, and that wasn’t easy. From monday to Friday I went to work, Friday afternoon I would drive to the UN Commissary and buy a bottle of King Robert’s whisky, sit in my office and waste the afternoon away. Friday Afternoon. Night drives in Nairobi, chasing cars and a 4am dash to my bed. How bad can that be, right? But then one day I crashed my car, it was 4am, and I hated life.

Turning 30 was awesome too! I was living in Nairobi making my dreams come true.  Life was good. Driving my 1988 BMW 5 series. If you told me things will change at some point I would have said they will get better.

When you are 50. You’re supposed to have accomplished your greatest life’s work by now, right? Or maybe on your way there. Achieved all your major goals. Changed the world. But what if you’re still working on that? What if you’re just now starting to figure out what you’re really supposed to be doing with your life? You can say many things about turning 50, but one thing you can’t say with a straight face is that you still have your whole life in front of you, especially when you have missed to achieve many things people achieve when they are in their twenties.

At this point in the journey, life has shown you many of its cards. Not all, mind you, but you’ve got a pretty good grasp on how the world turns. If there are still any surprises, they have mostly to do with learning to change the way you see things.

Ultimately for me at 30, I found the answer in meditation. Through meditation I learnt how to become present.

Most of us never learn to appreciate where we are at this very moment because we’re so focused on what happened (or didn’t happen) in a past that no longer exists and worried about a future that hasn’t happened yet.

Meditation taught me that to compare myself to others is the root of human suffering. Because it creates a separation between myself and someone else. A duality. A them and an us. Armed with this new perspective, the next thing I did was to review my life and my experiences to figure out what was working and what was not. This brought me face to face with a rather harsh reality. As much as I liken myself to be a caring person, I realized that I’d spent most of my time focused on my own self-interests.

But you’re walking the path. Celebrate that.

The law says that if you take steps in the direction of your destination every day and keep walking, no matter how slow or how far you must travel, you must one day arrive there. In Tibet they have a tradition. After a long and arduous journey, no matter how difficult, they seek a high vantage point and look back to see just how far they have come. Age is irrelevant. Wherever you are in your journey is a starting point. Whoever or whatever it is you’re chasing, slow down.

Realize there is no race.

Whether you’re 20 or 30 or 50, or 80…something I know very little about, if you never stop seeking then you’ll never cease to be amazed by what you might find.

And if every point is a starting point then every day can be your birthday!

How will you celebrate today?


Ideas to sleep on.

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The world right now is a common heaven for “Do It Yourself” projects. From repairing your car, kitchen projects, landscaping etc. Do it yourself (DIY) is the method of building, modifying, or repairing things without the direct aid of experts or professionals. Academic research describes DIY as behaviors where “individuals engage raw and semi-raw materials and component parts to produce, transform, or reconstruct material possessions, including those drawn from the natural environment (e.g. landscaping)”.

DIY behavior can be triggered by various motivations previously categorized as marketplace motivations (economic benefits, lack of product availability, lack of product quality, need for customization), and identity enhancement (craftsmanship, empowerment, community seeking, uniqueness). Depending on where you live for example, if you live in Europe, tools bought on a long term projects are cheaper than labour. While visiting my friend in South of France, I was paid €50 for helping in preparing a summer home, it took me less that thirty minutes to earn it.

I was however very enlightened by the project my friend does together with his wife. Living in a small village called Fitou, they buy old houses and renovate them…..making them new and putting them on market as AirBNB. The interesting thing about all this is that they have mastered this art on DIY, and when they are hard at work, they seem to be having a lot fun. This encouraged me to if not to live like them, to atleast try. The difference between Europe and Africa is that when you talk labour, in many parts of Africa, is very cheap if not affordable. The tools on the other hand, are very expensive and out of reach for most people unless you are profiting on their use.

Dress the bed all you want. For me my first complex project was doing my headboard for my new bed. Don’t get me wrong, being an artist, I have involved myself with projects that are art related which included creating murals on big walls, but those kind of projects are normally easy for me to execute. However working with large wood, …..and i mean not making a picture frame, was very new to me. Everybody can have the same cell phone or furniture anywhere in the world. That’s what the Industrial Age does. But with such mass production, what is lost is the personal aspect of the handmade connection of one human being to another.

It’s not about sets, but about mixing different styles, such as a classic bed frame with a modern table or light and dark woods. My DIY projects have basically focused on reclaimed wood. At any given time, when you look at the back seat of my car, you see this old wood that to you would be destined to the dumpster but luckily  for me, its the beginning of a new life, a life that involves creativity. Using reclaimed wood in a renovation requires more legwork than just stopping at a home center for lumber, but home improvement project highlights the unique beauty that used timber can bring to a renovation,….and I love that.

Old timber has it’s strength. Recycling timber has become popular due to its image as an environmentally friendly product. Common belief among consumers is that by purchasing recycled wood, the demand for “green timber” will fall and ultimately benefit the environment. For me, I view, recycled timber as an environmentally friendly product.  I have used this kind of timber for a few projects now, and I will not stop today. If this will encourage you to start projects of your own, it will be great for you. You will have fun in the projects you take-up and convert normal space into ideal spaces.

 

 


Success Through Difficulty.

We desire success almost as much as we need to breathe, from the moment we are born we want to do more, get more, be more. Well we may have a mental picture of success as striving hard towards perfection, in truth, it’s more natural. Success can be describes as the courage to let out the potent dreams and potentialities already in us, simply to give them air.

 

Most people don’t do this because it seems dangerous, it’s not routine. Yet those who have gone this way do see it simply as the normal path of life, it feels more like home, a place that should be everyone’s experience. Sometimes the urge for more is drummed out of us by upbringing and culture, so you may have been compelled to lower your expectation and settle for a less extraordinary life. If, however you have recently resurrected your desire to succeed, this article is for you.

 

Authentic Achievement

Authentic Happiness and sense of purpose, authentic and meaningful achievement. Only you will know whether you have achieved meaningful in life. Some people spent all their life climbing up a ladder, to paraphrase Joseph Campbell, only to realize it was up against the wrong wall. This is why the term authentic is used. Doing something or becoming something that expresses your full personality and ability in the most noble way.

 

Success isn’t an event, or a result in isolation but an expression of the best that is within you. The world provides endless possibilities for making more efficient, more humane more beautiful, it’s upto you to find your niche. Real achievement isn’t concerned with winning for the sake of it, as Timothy Gallwey puts it, Winning is overcoming obstacle to reach a goal, but the value in winning is only as great as the value of the goal reached. You need to make a decision between a compassion to succeed and the desire for enduring achievement that will inspire, enrich your life and the lives of others. Authentic and lasting success utilises the resources of the world to the greatest effect and with the minimum of waste.

 

Characteristics of successful People

What makes a person successful? What makes them motivated perhaps prosperous, a great leader?

 

OPTIMISM, Optimism is Power. This is a secret discovered by those who succeed against great odds. Nelson Mandela, Ernest Shackleton, Eleanor Roosevelt, all admitted that what got them through tough times was the ability to focus on the positive. They understood what Claude Bristol called, The Magic of Believing. Yet great leaders also have an unusual ability to face up to stuck reality so creating a single powerful attribute.

 

TOUGH MINDED OPTIMISM, Optimistic people tend to succeed not simply because they believe that everything will turn out right, but the expectation of success makes them work harder. If you expect little, you will not be motivated even to try.

 

A DEFINITE AIM PURPOSE AND VISION, Success requires a concentration of effort, most people dispel their energies for too many things and so fail to be outstanding in anything. In the words of Orison Swett Marden, “the world does not demand that you be a lawyer, a doctor, minster, farmer, scientist or merchant. It does not dictate what you shall do, but it does require that you be a master in whatever you undertake”. So to be successful, you must higher goals and aims and doggedly pursue their realisation.

 

WILLINGNESS TO WORK, Successful people are willing to engage in drudgery in the course of achieving something marvellous. The genius is the years of effort invested to solve a problem or find the perfect expression of an idea. With hard work, you acquire knowledge about yourself that idleness never reveals. A love success is that one’s first achieved, it can create a momentum that makes it easier to sustain. As the saying goes, Nothing succeeds like success.