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In Defense of Success: Don’t punish Safaricom

A lot has been said about Safaricom. A lot of it negative. From the onslaught it is facing from its vocal competitors, to the not so nice perception that many Kenyans seem to have of it, it seems only fair that someone should step up and say something on its behalf. Safaricom has been accused of many things, namely: unfair market practices, unfairly using its position as a dominant player in the industry, charging prohibitive rates for cross network calls, charging excessively for data and internet access, a congested and unclear network, ridiculously poor customer service, unreasonable delays in paying suppliers and partners, stealing ideas etc etc.

However, on the other hand, let’s look at what Safaricom has done for itself and for this country, and what it continues to do. Have we forgotten that Safaricom entered this industry as an underdog? Those were the days when the King of the Mobile phone sector was Kencell, and what shortsightedness, arrogance and haughtiness this king displayed. Kencell made it clear from the beginning that they were not here for the ‘small man’. I still remember a press conference where they stated that their main focus was high end and corporate customers. Correct me if I’m wrong, but at that time their lowest denomination of scratch card was 300 bob or something like that. They had a dominant presence, their brand was well recognized, they were evidently and apparently the leaders. Then came in Safaricom, who no one thought much of. They made it clear that their focus was the common man, you and me. They made it easier and cheaper for Kenyans to acquire a sim card. They gave deals on cheaper handsets. They were the first to produce a scratch card for one hundred bob. I once remember some people remarking that Safaricom was the poor man’s network, and if you had dough, you would be on Kencell. Safaricom lowered their scratch card denominations even further, to 50 bob, 20 bob, and finally to 5 shillings. They invested heavily in this country, spending billions on infrastructure and technology. I was in rural Tharaka-Nithi sometime this year, standing on a hill overlooking a vast and hilly expanse, and the only thing higher than me was a massive Safaricom booster, out there seemingly in the middle of nowhere. They created thousands of jobs, directly through their own staff, and through retailers, suppliers, agents, distributors and partners. They kept a policy of re-investing their profits right here at home. At this time their main competitor Kencell, was busy having itself sold off to Celtel.

Safaricom was not finished. They went ahead to roll out M-Pesa, which put Kenya on global map as a leader in mobile phone innovation, earning us recognition and admiration. The overwhelmingly positive effect that M-Pesa had on Kenyans cannot be exaggerated, and the enormous amounts of money conveniently sent and received through M-Pesa everyday to every corner of this country has had an effect that would require a whole other article to be written. Safaricom was the first to roll out 3G, and they paid a hefty license fee, millions of dollars, to the GoK for that. They are currently planning to roll out 4G, which will make us among the priviledged few countries in the WHOLE world to experience this service. What was Kencell, sorry, Celtel up to at this time? They were hiring, and then firing their staff en masse, and then they got themselves sold to Zain. Safaricom also came up with the Okoa Jahazi service, where people could actually borrow airtime. Before this they had been the first to come up with Sambaza, to share airtime from one phone to another. Recently they launched M-Kesho in partnership with Equity, which looks set to bank millions of unbanked Kenyans, and give them access to micro-finance, through their cell phones.

I could go on and on with the good good about Safaricom. But let me state that Safaricom still has a lot to improve on, and they should not become arrogant or complacent. And I salute the efforts of the current competitors, Zain, Yu and Orange, for helping to bring down calling and sms rates so drastically, and for making the market exciting.

But we should give Safaricom their due credit and gratitude. And when they make record profits, it is ridiculous for us to criticize them. What is the aim of a business, I ask? They should make even larger profits; it’s about time we had a company in Africa with billion dollar profits.
So let’s see how the mobile wars play out. My money is on Safaricom.

~Phillip Walubengo


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The all-wise Providence made us incomplete. You and your team work like a flashlight; it takes two well charged batteries to effectively function.

Teams help you manifest your greater earning power, talents, resources, connections, goals, money, and abilities. Teams make your life brighter. Teamwork leverages you financially, corporately, entrepreneurially, psychologically, spiritually, emotionally, and familially.

When you have the right team you are energized, encouraged, empowered, ready and able to accomplish ever more in ever less time. Togetherness creates strength, power and possibility for each individual. Together everyone achieves miracles. If you have one arrow it is breakable, but bind together seven arrows and you have an unbreakable force. Greatness depends on two or more people working in harmony, though one or more of the players may be invisible.

Search out people to team with you. Dreamteaming starts in one person’s mind. The originator involves and enrolls another to join into the on-purpose effort. It’s similar to marriage, where two join together to give 100% to the relationship; they become bonded and unstoppable. Choose to form your own group or groups. Attract to your group the best, keenest, brightest, wisest, most cooperative minds available.

Pick enthusiastic people with big potential futures who want to grow, glow, discover and be all they can become. Make sure each team member is aligned with your vision and values. Only admit new members with unanimous consent, after a 90 day probationary period. It’s critical to have positive thinking people in your group. Positive people create a ‘soul force’ that allows each one to plug into the ‘Invisible Force’, sometimes called God. Negative people are like holes in a balloon. How high does a balloon go with a hole in it? Make regular team meeting a life enhancing priority. Meetings need to be upbeat, enriching, encouraging, and helpfully beneficial to each member and the collective group as well.

When done properly, each individual’s abilities, talents, and resources exponentially expand; each life instantly improves. Dream Teams are worthwhile, important and omniprofitable. Enlightenment is awakened awareness.

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Success is not a solo project-it needs to be shared. And success is not a competition. There’s plenty of it to go around. You have to work with a team that shared the same dream or objective. A team is part of your lever. It makes success quicker and easier. It’s all about synergy-the concept of adding 1 plus 1 and getting 11 – not 2. People working together can accomplish far more than they can separately.

Incredible power can be released when people work together. Associating with like-minded, success oriented, joyful individuals- a Dream Team- is one of the most amazing success tools that exists. Anyone who has achieved great success-anyone-must have a Dream Team.

Instant solutions exist in Dream teaming. This process helps you to take your ideas and expand them into greatness.

What characteristics should your Dream Team possess? Successful Dream Teams consist of at least two or more people with a common purpose where both hearts and heads are in harmony with one another. Always be on the lookout for the best people and then ask them to join your team. Attitude is critical; it can make or break your team’s success.

Avoid selfish, negative, or egotistical people. This is your team that you’re building-don’t make exceptions to this. There should be a spirit of joy and contribution within the group. Only dedicated, committed, joyful dream teams achieve great success. Remember, the relationships between you and each member of your dream team must be confidential.

When you have the right Dream Team, its members will help to identify bad habits that re hindering your success, and help you to change them. Your team members will see you more in you than you see in yourself. They will be there to cheer you when you become weary.

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5242 – Service refined

Our exciting new service has just been refined, Send a text with the following to 5242 to subscribe.

Send the following keywords to 5242:

INSPIRATION – Subscribe for tips, quotes and ideas to improve your
personal life, work or business.

SMILE – Subscribe for jokes and lines that make you smile, many of
which have been sent to us by Kenyans themselves

TEASE – Subscribe to out Tease you Friends services, where you get
teases (or disses) which you can use on your friends.

PROPERTY  – Subscribe to our property service where you get to send
and receive information on real estate to buy, sell or lease.

Also send us any messages and ideas that you might have and want to
share, to the same number 5242.

Charges are 10 shillings, and you can unsubscribe whenever you want.

Powered by Youth for Kenya at www.youthforkenya.org and Viva at www.viva.co.ke

Kindly do spread the word, forward this message and share with others.



~Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the
world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that has.

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CIGARETTE BREAK by Adelaide Adelle

Time for a cigarette break
Light up these words and let me blow their truth to your lungs
Laying a freeing cancer
Coz I’m Sick of the healthy illness
so I blow refreshing clouds.

Hold it in, then exhale
Not my fumes
But those that had you consumed
With the pursuit
Of a plastic reality

Time for a cigarette break
Listen to the words, music, distorted melody
Sad words pasted on a happy tune
I spit out the prophecy not knowing the next line
It’s a light bulb in the shade of my saliva

My feet stomp in rhythm to the beat
My tears, to what I speak
The speech tells the truth
But the melody doesn’t listen
It plays on a faster tempo, higher volume
But the voice remains thunderous and unwavering

Bleeding emotion that corrodes the tune
And then it stops.

Time for a cigarette break

Cancerous we are, now we break off
The words fall off the music sheet
Hit the ground, a truthful squeak
A liberated diction
Dancing to a jingle you can’t hear but feel
An orchestra of alphabets in a misplaced order
A carefree culture
Where what you feel is what you sing

Cigarette drops
Foot stomps
Return to the plastic.

“A high off life is only achieved when you take a break off being what everyone else wants! Dare to be different. Dare to be YOU! –

Loads of Love, Adelle”


Liaison Prison

Darkening Sorrow Veils A Star

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Exciting New Text Service

Dear all,

In line with our commitment to come up with innovative solutions to improve the lot of us all, PAREDI and Youth for Kenya bring you an exciting new text service where you receive a mix of messages that are inspirational, uplifting and sometimes funny. Messages with real life ideas that you can immediately put to use in your work, business and personal life.

Send a blank text to 5242 to subscribe. Also send us any messages and ideas that you might have and want to share, to the same number 5242.

Charges are 10 shillings, and you can unsubscribe whenever you want. Powered by Viva at www.viva.co.ke


Phillip Walubengo.


Knock and it shall be opened

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans : that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe couplets: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

~ W.H. Murray, The Scottish Himalayan expedition.