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Ambia Issue 03, 2012



INSIDE: AccessKenya’s


a bubbly personality at AccessKenya

success story

Staying healthy at the office

Loliondo’s culinary delight


Edit or’s not e.. . Welcome once again to this exciting issue of Ambia. Time is flying and yet another quarter closes on a new high. I am glad to note the period in focus has seen many good things happen as well as team building activities. From the exciting sports day, departmental team building activities through to the PITCH campaign; we have effectively shared a lot as a team and grown to a new level. I wish to laud the efforts put forth by everyone to make this happen. We all truly deserve a pat on the back. This issue of Ambia presents us with the opportunity to reflect on the various successes, reminisce the various lows and draw key lessons so that we close the year on yet another high – possibly a new one. At this point, I would wish to particularly take special cognition of the aggressive national expansion strategy that has seen the group extend tentacles to strategic key towns in Kenya. I am sure that each one of us feels great to be part of a company that is growing by day and portends a bright future. It’s only human. The successful launch of The Kisumu and Nakuru regional offices not only exhibit the zeal we have as a company, but also the strength of team effort towards realizing a dream –that of building a successful enterprise together. This is the epitome of professionalism and generates a special feeling of edification in the very nature of humanness. Congratulations to the teams that were tasked with this noble function and kudos for the successful implementation so far.

Enjoy this read and all the best as we work towards closing 2012 in the peculiar Gangnam style! --->>

THE EDITORIAL TEAM: Editor: Kevin KEYA | Writer: Daniel SIMIYU | Photography: Daniel SIMIYU Contributors: Isabel OBURE, Charles NGUNA |Design & Layout: Dennis NYAGAH

The world in 2012

What will the world be like in 2012? Now we have an idea, but in the past people could only wonder. In 1912, a group of leading scientists wrote a book about their predictions for the world 100 years into the future. Their conjectures cover everyday life, global politics, society and new inventions that may exist. The book, entitled “The World in 2012”, was lost long ago but has recently been rediscovered. In the book, Professor Jared Dingle burger predicted that the wireless radio will be ubiquitous. In a surprisingly accurate insight, he said that portable wireless sets would be carried around to receive radio transmissions while out and about. However, he failed to predict the decrease in size and expected that wheelbarrows would be needed to carry the radios around. He also suggested that, in the absence of mains electricity, they would be powered by hamsters running round on wheels inside. Dr Jock Jobbie predicted that the British Empire would have expanded to include the Moon, but that everyone on Earth would speak German by 2012. He also wrongly guessed that war would have been eradicated thanks to the invention of “peace gas”. In one revealing paragraph, Dr Jobbie writes, “As we look around the world in 1912 we see great technological wonders like the Titanic. Thanks to this amazing progress, there is unlikely to be war in my lifetime or indeed ever again between the major powers.” Dr Jobbie died before the beginning of the First World War - ironically he was on the Titanic when it sank. Elsewhere, Mrs. Esmeralda Gusset correctly predicted the feminist movement. “In the future,” she wrote, “ladies will be permitted by their husbands to wear skirts above the ankle. Also, thanks to the recent liberating invention of the brassiere, I expect ladies to compete in the Olympics in their own sporting events such as the 12 yard saunter, and the thimble toss.”

Further predictions in the book include: • Cheese will have become extinct • The economic value of slavery will have been realized, and it will be re-introduced • Popular jazz will have evolved into a new style of song which involves a man speaking over classical music • Newspapers will be up to a thousand pages long to accommodate all the events that have happened in the world on a particular day • The cure for homosexuality will have been discovered, boosting fertility rates. Issue 03 | Ambia e-mag - 3

Spreading the

AccessKenya Soars Altitudes a Decade On


ccessKenya is a story of success, determination and patience. In 2002 when the name AccessKenya started operations, an ordinary thought would have seen a small enterprise 10 years later;

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probably feeding a handful mouths and jostling for small time tenders. But on the contrary, AccessKenya now brushes with global brands in ICT, and still - five years down the line - boasts of being the only listed ISP in the region.

For Jonathan and David Somen, the sound of AccessKenya may reincarnate experiences of the early years of setting up this company, but for Kenya the name not only headlines the success story journals, but also exemplifies the Kenyan promise

for future generations. 2012 goes down in history as the year during which AccessKenya sets itself on the springboard of corporate success with the impending national growth. The company has successfully opened offices in Kisumu and Nakuru to firm its regional presence ahead of the county governance system. It has taken great effort amongst

in Kenya’s ICT sector. The growth of AccessKenya cannot be detached from the continuous innovativeness and the apparent love for perfection by the whole team.

AccessKenya Staff and management to actualize this noble goal and today we can toast to entrepreneurial success

There’s pure resonance across all departments in the company from sales, through to client service, CRM and network infrastructure and projects teams. It is with no doubt that the future remains bright and the story of success continues. Issue 03 | Ambia e-mag - 5

Telepresence Launch

Tribe Hotel

AccessKenya MD Kris Senanu with CCK Director General Eng. Francis Wangusi

Guests enjoying a Telepresence conversation with Mr. Andrea Recupero from Milan

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CCK Director General Eng by Kris Senanu (right), Trib & Sound MD Rajesh Lakha resence Solution at the Trib

From Left Ndinda Muthwal Wanjiku and Ivy of Yellow M

g. Francis Wangusi (second right) is joined be Hotel GM Michael Flint (left) and Sight ani at the launch of AccessKenya’s Telepbe Hotel.

le of AccessKenya with Michelle Moon Marketing

Tribe Hotel General Manager Mr. Michael Flint and his colleague Ms. Monica Sapersteinberg at the event.

From left Bernadette, Sunny Dolat and Alina Haq from the Tribe Hotel

AccessKenya beauties from left Faiza Mastu, Loice Kirigo and Yvonne Kariuki Issue 03 | Ambia e-mag - 7

Kisumu Office Launch The Group entry into the Western Kenya entry was marked with pomp and colour at the opoening of the Kisumu regional office. The ceremony was graced by his worhsip the mayor of Kisumu and a pop of champaigne was in order in marking a major milestone for the company.

Kris Senanu lends a hand in cutting of the tape to mark the office officially open

The Yellow team toasted to a bright future

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The boys were not left out

A word of appreciation was from the mayor presided the official opening

Time to pop open the champaigne

This is how we do it, Lakeside style.

As time went by, the more colourful the evening got

A toast to a superconnected Western Kenya Issue 03 | Ambia e-mag - 9



“I am the woman I am today because of my parents and my paternal shosho Belinda�


any of the new gems at AK will are probably familiar with you over the email, tell us, who is Jacque Mbandi? Jacque is a young woman full of life, energy, ambition, drive and short concentration span- as there is too much in life she goes after. In her quiet moments she dedicates her time to being

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Silvester with Mukina & Arthur

with others. She is also a born sales person and at any given time – always selling something, from why her salon is the best to why you need to get banking services from her bank. Jacque is also a very active Rotarian with the oldest rotary club in Kenya - The Rotary club of Mombasa. When did you join AK? I joined AK in Feb 2005 as a sales executive after a stint in the hotel industry as a sales executive. Basically, I was looking for greener pastures. To my dismay – Kris would only offer me Sh. 40,000 gross. Over the years I took up corporate sales, then BDM Mombasa,

then Operations Manager Msa and now regional manager – coast region. How is it working in Mombasa? GREAT! Nothing beats being associated with the brand in the region. For example, last week I went for a meeting with Simon Lau to meet an assistant minister who wanted to change from his provider. His IT consultant recommend’s him to AK way earlier before we even got there “… aghhh kama waenda AccessKenya …bas – mwisho wa mawazo hapo- you’re sorted for life “ The consultant had just earned himself some Biriani from me. Tells you how today’ market

place is more and more relationship based. But above all – one has to be steadfast in honesty, keep your word and integrity. These principals have been my guiding light when doing business in this town. Word is ripe at Purshottam that Mombasa office is the place to be; reason, if you not at the office then you had better be at the beach!! True? That’s soooo true …. Of all the major business deal we’ve ever struck, show me one that came from a board room? Jacque the person, what’s your home town and how was your childhood? Home Town – Nyeri County Issue 03 | Ambia e-mag - 11

(check us out on FB Nyeri yetu) lovely place to grow up. Childhood – the firstborn girl in a family of five girls. Mother – Mrs. Grace Mate – retired teacher and disciplinarian. She ruled that house with an iron fist. I mean with 5 daughters which mother wouldn’t! Father – Dr. Mate – privately practicing doctor and businessman, he is a proud father of 5 girls and four grandchildren. I am the woman I am today because of them and my paternal shosho Belinda – God rest her soul in peace

So how did you meet Mr. charming? HA HA HA – we never agree on this one. I moved to coast in July 2003 from Nbi while still in the hotel industry, Silvester (my hubby) had moved to coast in 2002 from Zanzibar where he was working. We met at the hotel where we both worked; he was in F&B while I was in sales. My Story ... he saw this dashing young girl in sales and said to himself my my my ….. this one I have to get for myself … and he pursued her. His story... I saw this drop dead

gorgeous guy in F&B and said to myself hmmmmm…. this one I have to get for myself … and I pursued him. We are yet to agree on one story Is he your perfect emblem of a gentleman? Indeed he is. So much so that when my son grows up I want him to be the man his father is. How is your free time? Thursday nights bi-weekly – date night with my son. Friday nights – I’m out with Silvester or enjoying quiet time

Ever been a bully? Let’s just say - My son is a bully. My husband is not a bully – I don’t know where my son gets it from What’s your fondest memory of your high school days? Visiting Sundays – this meant chapos, fried chicken, chips, bananas …. For a whole week. I was at Ngandu girls and the place was sooo cold – there was literally no need for refrigeration. How’s your family/marital life? I’m married to my best friend and soul mate – Mr. Silvester Mbandi who is the Cruise Captain at Voyager Beach Resort. We are blessed with two adorable children Arthur Mbandi – who turns 5 on October 29th and Mukina Mbandi - Born on 3rd April 2012 The best part of my day – 1800 hours daily – when I can proceed home to be with the “First Family”. 12 - Ambia e-mag | Issue 03

Arthur, Jacque & Mukina

at home over a nice movie and wine. That’s if we don’t have a Rotary, Skal or Chaine De Rotisseur function to attend. Saturday’s – swimming/ taekwondo/ soccer with my son, salon, movie with girlfriends evening, Rotary project visits or fellowships with the families. Sunday’s – purely set for family. No friends allowed. Presently, I’m heavily involved with Rotary work where we’re pursing putting up a maternity clinic in one of the villages we support. We’re also procuring and distributing wheelchairs in

our district and a partnership with a Rotary club in USA to put up a school in Ndohivyo in samburu.

matters at the end of the day is the bottom line … to quote one great MD …what is the net net

How has it been working for AccessKenya? Great and satisfying challenge, a grand learning opportunity I must say.

What was the best gift you remember receiving as a child? A gold necklace for my thirteenth birthday from our next door neighbor.

Working at AKG has accorded me an opportunity to interact with many great minds in the region. This has driven me to thinking differently and professionally.

What’s different about growing up today from when you were growing up? Growing up in our era was limited to thinking locally. We however had more manners then than today. Today the world has become a global village and the next generation of kids we are raising needs to embrace that, through both formal and informal education.

Today, I not only think as an employee but as an entrepreneur as well. To remember that what

Values like Honesty, respect, loyalty and hard work do not change whether then or now, wherever in the world one is. We need to teach our kids this. For instance as a Rotarian – I am guided by the four way test. This simply states: Of all the things I think, say or do. 1. Is it the truth 2. Is it fair to all concerned 3. Will it build goodwill and better friendship 4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned? Jacque’s current ride is? Mitsubishi pajero IO. Always there for me for my daily sales calls on weekdays , to driving up to Kilifi/Taita for Rotary projects , carrying the bicycle and pram to Haller Park for a walk on Sunday to driving up to Kitui plains and Nyeri highlands sort of a double cabin pick up is my next best option . But you won’t catch me dead in a pickup – a lady has to look like a lady no matter what the event. Issue 03 | Ambia e-mag - 13

What do you know about


Firefox OS?

ome wind has passed that we are soon going to be seeing the Firefox OS for smartphones and the tablet computers. For those of us wondering what on earth that is, let me bring you up to the tempo.

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What is Firefox OS? “Firefox OS is a new mobile operating system developed by Mozilla’s Boot to Gecko (B2G) project. It uses a Linux kernel and boots into a Gecko-based runtime engine, which lets users run applications, developed entirely using HTML, JavaScript, and other open Web application APIs.” – Mozilla Developer Network.

The engine behind Firefox OS is a slightly customized version of Gecko which runs the current desktop browser. This customized version introduces new JavaScript APIs required to create a phone-like experience which comprises of WebTelephony to make phone calls, WebSMS to post text messages, and the Vibration API to vibrate stuff. In deed the Firefox OS is a web device and that means it requires

lesser hardware. This does not imply lesser performance since all the phones needs to do is to run the web. It is clear that people are price sensitive in emerging markets and that is what Firefox OS promises to achieve. The phone has been demonstrated on several android compatible smart phones. This new mobile OS promises; Freedom from proprietary mobile platforms Developers write apps for one platform which they have to rewrite using new standards in other platforms. They will no longer need to learn and develop against platform-specific native APIs. Users who want to buy smartphones and tablets from different manufacturers have to purchase apps for each device. To address this, users who use devices that shall be running on open web based platforms like Firefox OS will be able to access easily and download their own content regardless of the operating system they use. SOURCE:Mozilla Developer Network

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Humor e k o J n o si u f n o C t n e li C

It’s that

ing discussion took place. low fol e th d an e, orc div a attorney about getting A FARMER went to see an u have grounds?” Attorney: “Well, do yo .” “Yes, i have about 140 acres Farmer: a case?” nt understand. Do you have Attorney: “No, you do .” “No, but i have a john deere Farmer: a grudge?” and. I mean, do you have rst de un nt do ll sti ou “Y Attorney: my john deere.” “Yes, sir–thats where i keep Farmer: an do you have a suit?” Attorney: “No, No! I me h every sunday.” “Yes, sir – i wear it to churc Farmer: your wife beat you up?” Attorney: “Well, does 4:30.” “No, Sir. We both get up at e?” Farmer: y. Why do you want a divorc wa is th it t pu me t Le . ht rig that woman.” Attorney: “All right, all aningful conversation with me a ve ha to le ab en be ve “Well, i never ha Farmer: 16 - Ambia e-mag | Issue 03

never serious !!

The chil d and hi s mother A curiou

s child ask ed his mo why are s ther: “Mo ome of yo mmy, u r h a irs turning The moth er tried to grey?” use this o teach her ccasion to child: “It is b e c a Every bad use of you action of y , dear. ours will t hairs grey u rn one of !” my The child replied inn ocently: “ why grand Now I kno mother ha w s only gre head y hairs on her

The Bomb

Wrong email address A couple going on vacation but his wife was on a business trip so he went to the destination first and his wife would meet him the next day. When he reached his hotel, he decided to send his wife a quick email. Unfortunately, when typing her address, he mistyped a letter and his note was directed instead to an elderly preacher’s wife whose husband had passed away only the day before. When the grieving widow checked her email, she took one look at the monitor, let out a piercing scream, and fell to the floor in a dead faint. At the sound, her family rushed into the room and saw this note on the screen: Dearest Wife, Just got checked in. Everything prepared for your arrival tomorrow. P.S. Sure is hot down here.”

getting on a plane, There was three guys wich, the second the first one had a sand uts and the third one one had a bag of pean had a bomb. the air the pilot said While they were up in heavy and if it didn’t that the plane was too it was going to get any weight off of it crash. his sandwich off, but So the first guy drops he jumped off and still wasn’t enough, so he saw this little lived, when he got down d he asked what girl crying and crying an e said that a sandwich was the matter and sh he said he was sorry. hit her on the head, so ane it was still too Meanwhile up in the pl y dropped his bag heavy so the second gu ill wasn’t enough so of peanuts off, but it st , when he got down he jumped off and lived girl crying and crying, there he saw this little the matter and she so he asked what was uts hit her on the said that a bag of pean s sorry. head, so he said he wa ane it was still too Meanwhile up in the pl dropped his bomb off heavy so the third guy y so he jumped off but it still was too heav down there he saw and lived when he got and laughing and he this little boy laughing at was so funny and asked the little boy wh ilding blew up!! he said I farted and a bu

Issue 03 | Ambia e-mag - 17


Easy Ways

to Stay Healthy at the Office There are a number of steps you can implement with very little effort that can help you stay healthy at the office. A little bit of planning and a few small additions to your daily office routine can help you live a healthier lifestyle. Clean Your Work Area Is your desk making you sick? Your keyboard, mouse, telephone and even your desk itself harbor germs, microorganisms, viruses and bacteria. Use disinfecting wipes, a UV light or a cloth with a solution to help keep your workspace clean and free of contaminants. Stay Hydrated This helps your body with physical and mental performance, detoxification and digestion. Keep a bottle at your desk and you’ll find it much easier to drink the recommend 8 glasses of water each day. Adding some ionic trace minerals can help ease stress due to dehydration and result in sustained energy throughout the day.

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TIP: Don’t forget about your cell phone, it’s a breeding ground for bacteria and one of the filthiest items you come in contact with each day. Wash Your Hands In addition to your immediate workspace, anything you touch at work could potentially be harboring contaminants, so it’s a good idea to wash your hands regularly. Ordinary soap and hot water is sufficient for washing your hands and face. If you’re in contact with a lot of people during the day, keep a small bottle of a sanitizer nearby in your desk or car. Remember, even if you maintain good hygiene and a clean workspace, others you work with may not.

Use Full Spectrum Lighting Poor lighting in your office? No windows in your workplace? Regular office lighting can leave you feeling drained. Get a small full for your work area, you may notice a big difference. Simulating daylight inside, full spectrum lighting is not only brighter; it saves energy and is easier on your eyes.

Take it Easy on Your Eyes Poor lighting may not be the only problem for your eyes at the office. If you’re working at a computer all day, be sure to look away from your monitor periodically and focus on other targets at varying distances to give your eyes a rest every 15-30 minutes.

Get a Good Chair If you’re spending 8+ hours in a chair almost every day, investing in a high quality chair can have great health benefits. No seat can enforce all the proper, but switching to a chair may provide you with an immediate benefit and make a difference in the way you feel at the end of the work day.

Get Up. Walk Around. Stretch. Take a break, stand up, and move around every 30 minutes or so. Simply getting up and moving around for a few moments combined with some light stretching can help keep you focused, less fatigued, and feeling better.

Eat Healthy Good nutrition is the foundation for any healthy lifestyle and it’s not difficult to incorporate some of that into the work day. Try to make better decisions about your eating at work and be sure to take a quality multi-vitamin with each meal. Proper dietary supplementation with super green foods, probiotics and acids can often have a huge impact on your overall health. Snacking on nuts at work can provide sustained energy with many health benefits. Supply your body with essential fats, protein, minerals, and immune system boosting plant sterols just by eating a small handful of nuts and seeds including pistachios, cashews, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and sunflower seeds. Use an Air Purifier Place a small, portable air filter near your desk to keep the air in your environment clean. This can be especially valuable if you suffer from any allergies, are sensitive to air pollutants, or if you work in an office environment with poor air ventilation.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep Sleep is vital for your body’s healing and regeneration. Getting enough quality sleep boosts your immune system and energy levels while improving memory, concentration and reaction time. Getting a good night’s sleep is a surefire way to look better, feel better and work better each day.

Read more:


Fragrances or Odour Scenting Your Aura: A Bit about the Bit By Isabel Obure


e all love to dress sharp, nice make up, perfect grooming and all.but how many of us consider smelling good? It is vital. We interact with each other a lot during the day, walk around and leave waves of our scents to the people we’ve left behind or on the aisle; I mean let’s leave pleasant scents. Don’t suffocate your colleague till they can’t wait for you to finish speaking and leave because of a not so fresh body odor. I came across this article that went about Smell Good. It’s good for you… and I just imagined what other thing could be good to me other than just feeling fresh and confident in my scent all day or I’m I exaggerating my love for fragrances or just being, I don’t know, too enthusiastic about scents? The title of the article really caught my eye and I wanted to read on just to know what exactly is good for me. Smelling good is about you me and us. It affects all of us (that was the moral of the story :). We normally cringe on bad breath but how about body odor that one can’t withstand when being

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addressed. There was a scenario depicted in the article of how bad odor could be a rude turn off. There was this lady sitting at a bar, sipping on some cocktail, waiting on the one to sweep her off her feet when this good looking man, well-groomed, shoes matching his belt, walks right up to her in full macho to talk to her, leans close to her to request the barman to give a round for both and uttered a few words to her when she was slapped by a whiff of mixed odor - think it was sweat, mixed dinner smokes from the restaurant he’d been to earlier and you know fumes from vehicles and she could almost wonder this did not complete his look. Lady smart could not imagine being wrapped tight in those arms. He didn’t smell good at all…the night ended quickly for her. Bottom line; smell good. It’s good for you!! That story however, reminded me of daily scenarios. Has anyone ever walked into your house, office, car, the elevator and their odor just displaces the fresh air within or how do you feel when the guy with the sweaty smell walks out of the elevator and

fresh smelling guys walk into the elevator? Are you glad they did or do you just want to get off as well and breath some fresh air; yes that’s how bad it is when you don’t smell good. I mean every day, we encounter whiffs, waves, and wafts of smell as we travel from place to place, as we sit in our rooms/offices, as we get into the elevators, it speaks a lot - we need to smell good ALWAYS!! No matter the the supermarkets, malls etc there’s a whole aisle of products ranging from different prices and scents…this means we must be aware of our odors . If you have a condition, invest in the- off the shelves deodorant sprays or sticks or roll-ons - these don’t cost much and they keep you fresh all day. For those that love perfumes, colognes and could spend a little more on that, let us choose them wisely as well. Get one that reacts to your body odor well; get one that lasts all day; get one that matches your look, when to wear them …I can’t explain that now maybe next article I will go into a guidelines or something etc.

Let us all have a ‘smell nice’ last quarter of the year. If I splurge on anything, it’s cologne. I love smelling good. Zac Efron Issue 03 | Ambia e-mag - 21

Loliondo’s Authentic Stewed Fish a Culinary Delight for Many

There’s a story that not everyone has heard - the story of a secretive place just a brief distance from the AccessKenya offices. This place is special in every sense because it’s the only place that has defied the odds and wowed many AccessKenyans, neither by its branding nor its location but by the culinary expertise evident on a Sh150 plate of nicely done “kati kati fry”, Matumbo, Kunde na supu ya samaki” and many other lethargic combinations that have a somewhat strange allure of authentic African taste and a variety of other delicacies you can most probably find in lakeside city of Kisumu. 22the - Ambia e-mag | Issue 03

At first glance, Loliondo (as it’s now fondly referred to by the ardent subscribers) comes across as a shack probably good enough to host an affluent street urchin family. Under ordinary circumstances when one’s ego is awake, you cannot enter the door to this special place, lest you be reprimanded for lack of class. It is allowed. But once you’ve stepped in and had a chance to sample the delicacies, you will care less about what image is…

To this day, hundreds of AccessKenyans have paid pilgrimage to this place not only brought back wonderful stories of “wow,” but also spread the word. The sales have increased with clients ‘sitting in turn or booking space beforehand. The Story of Loliondo beats most stories of quality service and as if it had a few things in common with AccessKenya, the ‘corporate colour’ is actually blue and their plastic water cups resemble the danglers adorning the ceilings of AccessKenya. I guess it’s the case of learning from the best!

A Journey to Borne of an email idea, the journey began by single of step of a proposition. Shortly, it was a healthy discussion and eventually an activity to write home about. In what we have constantly termed as team synergy, fourth floor members led by their able admin team comprising Patience and Isabel mooted a bonding session out of town in some wonderland – apparently not in Kenya. Despite the horrifying traffic and the tedious curly roads, we did not

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the Smiths leave the Smiths without some semblance of nostalgia. The lash lawns and the sumptuous food could only leave nothing but a sense of intestinal satisfaction as well as recreational memories of wow. Playing little games and dancing to uncoordinated playlists was nothing the best experience an adult could have in the 21st century. Saying more than this would not only distort the feeling but also wander the thoughts off lest you be caught dancing at the Smiths, in the office. It’s all in pictures here!

Issue 03 | Ambia e-mag - 25


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Angie Says ‘I DO’

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CS Luncheon

Celebrating team success

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Eyes fixed up Possessing the attitude to take you places,

Ruth Kirika Meet

Yours is a story of exponential career growth at AK, bet you’re enjoying what you do? I joined AK in September 2009 basically looking for a placement in the customer relations department. That was not to be, I ended up as the acting PA to the MD which at first gave me goose bumps, but it turned out to be fun working with Kris. I came to learn that he is a very easy gentleman who will help you grow careerwise if you are willing to. There was a lot to learn especially on how to manage myself in a work place, meeting timelines, developing an eye for details and asking what I didn’t know. I later on moved to retail as the Revenue Admin. I always wanted to associate myself with a department that deals directly with clients and so I developed an interest to know what the “Indirect Channel department” entailed. I enjoyed working as an admin as there was a lot to gain knowledge of, I became more aware of the company and its products. I later on got elevated to a zone manager’s position expressly handling 30 - Ambia e-mag | Issue 03

dealers. I took up the task at an exciting time when the national rollout strategy was underway. Undoubtedly, my boss has been a source of inspiration to me…look at where we are now. I love the growth so far and I’m very optimistic the national strategy is going places. Watch this space……. Your current role entails a lot of traveling and meeting new people, has this always fascinated you? As a kid I used to tell my mum I will be married to a man who comes from very far so I can get to travel for long… yes it’s been fun travelling to all these towns meeting new people and experiencing different cultures, getting to learn how people view life, business and hold their culture close. It can be tiring especially if you are alone in some far off town but being a talkative person, it always turns out to be fun filled……so don’t be shocked if I bring a “jeng” home……

How do you like your new office setup at MHC? I like the ambiance, it’s well aired and there’s more space now and it’s exciting having a new team join us…… I can’t wait to see how the bar will look like, I’m pretty definite guys at HQ will want to relocate here, get away from the pressures of life especially on 4th floor… What keeps you sane when work life gets overwhelming? Music does it for me. When it’s too much in the office you will find me reading some interesting articles mostly funny and when I get home I get to dance for long hours not to mention it serves as my workout time…..sigh….. What do you do for fun over your free time? Take a road trip with a fun crowd and get loose, when alone I can stay indoors the whole weekend just watching thriller/action movies or series. I also like taking nature walks, driving long distance works for me….funny huh!! What is the most common misconception about you? That I’m a snob…… not. What is the mantra you live by? To be evolved you have to be involved………….. What is the worst advice you’ve ever received? I was once asked to resign from a job. …and you listened? Yeah I did and I paid for that dearly, I hit my rock bottom, before getting back on two feet. Tell us something you’ve never told anyone? Next question please… You are also blessed with strong vocals, a pretty good singer you are. When did you know you can sing? I started singing in primary school; I was in the music club which I carried on to high school and now in church where I fellowship. Beyond church, where else do you soothe souls? LOL...I only do this in church. Maybe I should get out of that box and explore further…. Bet you’ve had a performance to call your biggest this far? I once sang at my pals wedding and oh my…that was a superstar moment I’ll never forget….the excitement of singing before a big crowd was just thrilling Any plans to go big with your singing? No… not really maybe in the long future…right now am happy to keep it to a hobby status.

A techie with a flare for all fine things, from fashion, exceptional work service and a Midas touch in Table Tennis

Meet Kisumu’s latest gem,

Fredericks Yambo


et’s start with your liking for social media; Twitter in particular, you’re one pretty active user ah? ……. Hehehe, I didn’t know am such an active user of twitter. I love twitter, twitter fits my microwave mentality mindset. All my tweets are written in less than 15 seconds, Tweets can trend f-a-s-t. A great way to build momentum! No long-winded messages. From anyone. #hashtags, Can anyone say TweetDeck? Twitter forces me to say more with less. You find out about news (or drive it) as soon as it happens, and oooh yesss the birdie logo. He’s damned cute.

Social media savvy clients have come to like your quick ticket resolution over twitter, how’s that for you? My joy is when a client is satisfied; I love the power of information/feedback. No one likes hearing complaints, and many of us have developed a reflex shrug, saying, “You can’t please all the people all the time”. Maybe not, but if you give the complaint your attention, you may be able to please this one person this one time and position the company to reap the benefits of good customer service. In my tweets I always try to be helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable even if there’s no immediate solution in it, Customer service and client satisfaction run deep in your veins, yeah? I believe all of us are clients at some point, when a 32 - Ambia e-mag | Issue 03

client is satisfied I feel happy personally. When I saw my tweet responses to clients were working, Kevin Gitau & I introduced twitter in our group #teamJK and the support desk at large. This made it easier for team intercommunication other than the bulky mails, I am glad my TL John Kihanya {@kihanyajohn} fully gave in and he is doing good. I quote; “Excellent customer service is a key differentiator in this business and the swifter we solve our customers’ problems, the dearer we become and this has played a big role in growing our business” Diana Ndambuki How’s it been since moving to the lakeside? Hehehehe, I can’t complain about moving over to the lakeside. I support AK Clients in the western region; this includes Kisumu, Kisii, Busia, Kakamega & Eldoret. When the HR circulated an internal memo on Technical Support Eng. positions in Nakuru and Kisumu, I confidently decided to give it a shot and

apply for the position. I love challenges, and my time was here. Other than the many mosquitoes, all is well over here at the regional office I take it that this was your choice to relocate here, any special preference for the city? With the county government, more companies & NGOs will soon be going regional. AK’s entry into the region {Western Region} has been necessitated by growing demand for broadband services in the region according to AK’s feasibility assessment done over the past couple of years, with the diversity of our products and the reliability of our network we have a competitive advantage that we require to grow the business in this region. Watch this pace!! What current project are you undertaking at the lakeside? Recently we erected one new BTS in Kisumu which is running concurrently with the old one. The new BTS at PCs building which is the highest point within Kisumu CBD covers additional areas which we had no presence initially. This has also been key to our future network expansion to regions such as Kisii, Maseno and Kakamega. Soon we will be working on migrating all the existing clients to the new BTS Fred the person, give us an insight into your childhood, what’s your hometown? aaaaha, my hometown is yala. Yala is 42 kilometres northwest of Kisumu in Western Kenya in Gem Constituency, Siaya County, talk of Moi University – Yala Campus, St. Marys Yala, Nyawara girls – national hockey champions, talk of Sawagongo High School. My MP is bwana. Jakoyo Midiwo. River. Yala is one of the key tributaries of Lk. Victoria What do you savor most from your childhood? My childhood made me who I am I spent better part of childhood with dad as mum used to work in a different town. I had to learn lots of chores at a tender age as he used to work the whole day, we could only meet early in the morning on his way out and later in the day when he comes back home from job. At class four I was already in boarding school, and computer classes were my best. You are a man with a fine taste for fashion. What enthuses your dressing? mmmmmmh, fashion is part of me. My dad played a major role in this back then, I used to accompany him wherever he went and I needed to be as

presentable as him. Where do you shop? • Men’s Secrets Ltd • Tina Boutique • Jackie’s Boutique • Manix Clothing Is it something you think men should work towards to? oooh yes, sure!! All men should dress their age, science and style. One does not necessarily need to dress expensively or crazily, just dress well and neatly. A man has to care about the way he looks “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”—Mark Twain What occupies your free time? I do lots of body physique trainings, I love sports; rugby being my best then table tennis. In rugby I play *pack this the strongest squad which does the scrums and line outs, As well I am a professional table tennis player, my dad is my coach. In 2005, I was the rift valley Province defending champion, in 2007 I represented Kenya in EAC games, Arusha Tanzania. Since July 2010, I’ve been an official in the organizing committee of Kenya Table Tennis Association. Currently I train with Parklands Sports club and Mean Machine of Nairobi Uni. I do photography too, I love keeping wonderful images. I enjoy swimming, reading novels & poetry, photography, languages, travelling. I want to start biking but I need a new bike, but I don’t want thunder thighs again. Which sport do you consider boring? Why? Cricket, warrrrrrrrrrrrr I love sports but this one has never been interesting to me, how does a team win?? Yeah Cricket is a sport I struggle to watch. Although I can quite happily watch Baseball and they’re not very different in terms of the spectacle. Fishing is on TV, I can’t possibly imagine how you could enjoy watching that!!!! Is Fredericks seeing someone? Well, I know for sure I am being watched hehehehehehe …. got you !! Yes I am dating someone special, she is elegant, affectionate and sweet.

For all gentlemen out there; “… the word of a gentleman is as good as his bond; and sometimes better. Education begins a gentleman, conversation completes him… ” Issue 03 | Ambia e-mag - 33

Gallery Move the pieces...HUH? an easy way to be famous Come Baby Come

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Drive show with Mc JS... with traffic updates?

Like Psy’s gangnam style, so is Muga’s Mugamnam style

Martha’s thumbs down is like yaay!

Secure Fibre

hanging in the balance

The Rise of the



n recent years the world has been hit by a new phenomenon: The electronic Book. This has replaced the age old ways of reading and everyone has embraced this idea with open arms. A lot of people complain about the fact that by reading everything electronically, you lose the sense of “reading” a book; that by taking away the idea of holding a book in your hands and turning the pages means that you have lost something important. However, in today’s world, one simply doesn’t have time to carry around huge books, and having them all in the same place at the touch of a button is in a word: convenient.

What is it?

The e-book is a small portable device which allows you to carry your pretty much your whole library around with you. By simply loading your books onto this device (by means of a computer of Wi-Fi), you can access whatever

book whenever and wherever you like. Almost every book in the world is now available for download, and not only that the rise in the e-books has brought with it a vast number of digital books which cannot be found anywhere in hard copy.

What are the Benefits?

Imagine being able to carry around over 1000 books in your pocket? It would make traveling so much easier. Not only that but it can be used for office work as well. With the amazon Kindle for example, you can convert files to a PDF format which you can then convert into a form usable on your kindle. So if you have long office documents that you need reading but don’t want to have to take them from the office back home – you no longer have to. Most e-books also have a built in dictionary so if you come across an unknown word you simply have to click on it and continue reading, saving you a lot of time and effort. Not only can you get an e-book but you can also get the kindle app which works for all smartphone, ipads etc. The cheaper version and with not as much memory one is still enables you to carry around lots of books to read at your convenience.

to allow users to highlight posts for fee NEW YORK – Facebook earlier this month began testing a new feature that

would allow users to increase the visibility of their posts for a fee, in what appears to be a new bid to add more profitability to the social network.

“As part of a test starting today, people in the US can promote personal posts to their friends on

Facebook,” the company said in a statement on October 3, 2012.

Sometimes a particular friend might not notice your post, especially if a lot of their friends have been posting recently and your story isn’t near the top of their feed,” it said.

start at $7 per post, making it a potentially major source of profit for the social network, which counts 955 million members. The testing began in New Zealand in May and has gradually spread to other countries.

“When you promote a post – whether it’s wedding photos, a garage sale, or big news – you bump it higher in news feed so your friends and subscribers are more likely to notice it.”

A dismal stock market debut in May raised questions about Facebook’s profitability, and since then the company has said it is considering new revenue-generating schemes, including charging for some services.

The option will be made available to users with fewer than 5,000 friends and subscribers, Facebook said. Facebook did not specify the price of the new service, but said it would

has also added a feature that lets users send real-life cupcakes, coffee, stuffed animals or other gifts to friends in the social network. The “Gifts” program is being rolled out gradually, starting in the United States, and Facebook stands to get a fee for brokering purchases. The world’s largest social network has seen its stock price sag since its market debut at $38 per share. Source: AP

Last month the company revamped its “Offers” service to require payments, starting at $5 per ad, for the deals offered through Facebook – making companies pay for what had been free advertising until now. Facebook

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A S W Patrick


ost of us know of a team based at the Standard Chartered offices, but only a handful of us can put the faces behind the names. In this edition, we chat with a smart man who many of us don’t know he’s the leash guiding the AK StanChart force. Meet Mr. Patrick Aswani.

How is it working in a banking environment?

employees and not Stan Chart. Am I right?

It’s very interesting being a support guy yet you deal directly with issues related to money, when the systems fail, the bank is losing money which is their core business. We have however leant the art of dipping pens into company’s (SCB) ink.

This was an obvious feeling a year ago especially when we would miss out in all AK activities just because we are offsite. Am glad to say that this has really changed especially after getting a CS manager who focused on people. However SCB has also been on the run to win our trust in them and has done this by engaging us in most of their activities, this has been a push and pull but we clearly get to know where we belong when we fail to achieve set objectives. We are yellow society not green.

Briefly, what do you guys do? We are a team of approximately 20 engineers and our core support units are as below: PCLAN engineers (20 engineers) - Deals with tickets/RMSs and antivirus management also Data centre Support. Network Support Engineers (2 dedicated resources plus two additional)-Deal with network support services. Which is also AK’s stronghold?) E-business team (3) - their work is mainly to train customers on how to use online banking services and also offer technical assistance. I bet there’re times when you guys forget you’re AK

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Your team is every now and then hitting new milestones in service delivery locally and globally, something must be driving you guys… Absolutely, SCB Kenya is the African HUB and all activities are coordinated from Kenya. Also we are the country champs who in return focus on achieving set standard and be pace setters for other countries. With this in mind AIT team has been on the frontline in making SCB Kenya a shining star by

WA N I offering best practice in customer support and developing new initiatives to drive performance has been our major focus. Actually we stopped working hard, now we work smart. Training in customer service offered by AK has contributed to improved customer handling skills within the team. Once you are top, you have no option but to maintain that because questions will always be asked whenever there is a drop in performance. Certainly, keeping up the bank’s IT outline is delicate and has its pressures, how do you guys handle that? We are a proactive team and this helps us manage escalations which affect the bank’s core business ‘shamba la pesa’ we ensure timely feedback is communicated to the business with action plans on how best to resolve the issue.

That it’s a role well respected by SCB staff, I have been allocated a car park without any discrimination, high end laptop for BAU use plus all accessories and any decision I make is taken seriously by the client and is taken as Access Kenya’s decision which also calls for proper consultations with my bosses before sharing with the client . Actually am rated as a band 5. Give us an insight into your persona, how would you describe yourself? Am a straight to be point kind of person. I believe in honesty and integrity. I hate questionable decisions and would rather keep off from some not ‘soo honest opinions’. I feel motivated when I achieve set objectives; I also enjoy developing new ways of doing things and promote teamwork as well. What drives you Patrick?

Close monitoring of their systems and providing reports and recommendation has made us own all SCB systems. What do you like most about your job?

Performance is what drives me. I will do all I can to ensure we are where we are supposed to be in terms of performance, when you perform you have less justification to make especially during

appraisals. I try as much as I can to hit set targets and I believe that a good boss is not one who waits for me to ask for a pay rise but clearly defines what achievement is all about connects with what we work for.

In your free time, where are we likely to find you? I was a serious footballer sometimes back but work interrupted that. My new found hobby is spending time with my family. What don’t we know about you? Am very passionate doing charity work. Over the years we have worked soo hard but we rarely avail time for other social activities. Seeing the community grow while am busy working has really challenged me and that is how I developed the new found hobby of charity work within my community. Leading professionals is easy, challenge yourself by leading the ‘not soo learned’ groups out there and this will clearly tell you who you are. Issue 03 | Ambia e-mag - 39

Wrap Sports

With Charles Nguna

Olympics We've seen sporting drama aplenty, but what about the experience of the London’s Olympic 2012! It is an experience I wish all my fellow Kenyans could or will experience one day. Going to the Olympic parks and villages, mingling with millions of people from different cultural background, races, religions and all sort of economic status you cannot imagine anything else better than this!! Can Kenya host the Olympic Games?

In the games history, no African nation has hosted the Olympic. Kenya has her eyes set to be the first African country to do so. Prime Minister Raila Odinga recently declared the country will bid to host the 2024 edition. I dare say the attempt is destined to fail. In 2004, Kenya’s Sports Minister Ochilo Ayacko stunned many including International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge, by declaring Kenya would bid for either the 2016 or 2020 Games. Eight years on 40 - Ambia e-mag | Issue 03

and we have Rio de Janeiro doing preparations for the 2016 Games. In 2020 there are three cities to choose from: Madrid, Istanbul and Tokyo. So when Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga, on a visit to Kenya House at London’s 2012 Olympics, told the world that Kenya will bid to host the 2024 Games, it’s understandable it did not attract much attention. The prime minister’s words are little more than hot air and it is like what our local boys call ‘Moto ya Karatasi’. It is not surprising but it reflects the casual treatment sport in general has received from successive governments. Just imagine if we can use the Kshs 2.1 billion (apparently being asked by the least contributors of our economy, MPs) to improve our sporting facilities and motivate our athletes in preparation for next Olympics!

dream for most Kenyan sportsmen. Kenya’s Vision 2030, carries most comprehensive strategy for sports and may be if we can accomplish this, dreams for hosting Olympic Games could come nearly the year 2060, prove me wrong if you disagree and read the following before disagreeing! Who will afford the tickets?

What if reality strikes? Kenya’s one and, so far, only major investment in sports infrastructure is the Moi International Sports Centre, and the 30,000-seater Nyayo Stadium. There is obvious deficiency in track and field disciplines, where more investment in facilities and training infrastructure is needed, especially when it comes to other sports other than running.

Our government is struggling to fund vital sectors such as health care, education and security; it is highly unlikely resources can be spent on an Olympic bid. With the specter of terrorism surrounding international events, there would be security headaches to endure hence a hefty bill to pay.

Access to basic sporting and recreational facilities is a distant

Then there is the issue of ticket sales and attendance. Empty

than last season and obviously it is not a dream but there are compelling reasons why I think this year it is either Arsenal or Chelsea who will win the league. One thing is for sure, Santi Cazorla has the class of Silva, Mata and co. He has been outstanding for Arsenal and his combination with eminent return of Jack Wilshere will rip apart any defense in the league, only Chelsea is rivaling Arsenal in the league in terms of the talents in midfield.

seats are major sporting event organisers’ worst nightmare. Sources from IMF and WorldBank indicates that many Kenyans earn an average of $730 (£455) a year, and cannot afford tickets which I recall in London’s Stratford an average a day in good seat cost 380 pounds Most of the Olympic sports fencing, synchronized swimming, gymnastics, and water polo are also unfamiliar to most Kenyans. It would take an effort to have a rocking full house for the dressage final. So instead of bidding for the Olympics, just give Kenyans a place to run, to kick a ball, shoot hoops, or swim and we carry on with our vision 2030 and bidding for Olympics could become a reality in 2060! Premier League 2012/2013 is a 4 horse race: Arsenal, Chelsea, Man u and Man city Anybody who lives there will obviously reduce it to London vs Manchester: Manchester looks in good shape but London is set to offer a much bigger challenge

Camp Nou.

Judging with what has panned out I can only see 5 teams who have a possibility of winning Champions league 2012/13: the big five are Arsenal, Barcelona, Chelsea, Juventus and Real Madrd. Any team outside these big will cause one of the biggest upset in Champions league football which obviously remains the thing to talk in 2004 when Porto defied all odds. Back to Kenya: Gor and AFC cannot cause any upset to beat Tusker FC.

Manchester United does not have the talent in midfield, which other 3 teams have, to challenge for the premier league in this year, and I see them winning nothing this season. When you hear the fans talking winning of trophies ask them what happened last season and the trend is set to continue furthermore they went 25 years winning nothing. Champions League: El clasico or will it be London Derby, Arsenal Vs Chelsea in Wembley 2013 With Real Madrid and Barcelona now looking as strong as ever, they could eventually be meeting at Wembley in May 2013. The showdown very nearly took place earlier this year but Jose Mourinho’s team was denied on penalties by Bayern Munich after Chelsea had stunned Barca at

Tusker premier league competitiveness has seen dramatic changes in the last 2 years, in this year’s league it is a 3 horse race but obviously Tusker looks set to retain the crown. Tusker FC of late has more experience than any other opponent and that is why, come end of the season they will retain it. Issue 03 | Ambia e-mag - 41

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Ac ce ss g or tin Sp - AKG’s Allure of Fun Sports in Teambuilding AccessKenya is known for bringing together vibrant minds as its workforce. The team here is energetic and smart. What else can spice this apt corporate persona than a fun-filled sports day to celebrate the uniqueness of a group that runs the city? The 2012 AccessKenya Sports Day - put together by yet another team of vibrant young minds labeled the Social Committee - goes down in history as the most exciting event that brewed team synergy to levels never experienced before! The event brought into fruition the reigning desire to consolidate the family ties within the organization as well as grow the synergies required to build a robust company that commands enviable respect among its peers within the ICT industry in Kenya. From the all adrenaline football, the muscle cracking sack race through to the bicep-stretching tug -of -war, minutes of September 1st 2012 fizzled away without any indicative brief. Soon, dusk was claiming its tenure and the only sensible ritual was to usher it in with a little replenishing for the stomach and scattering to respective nests for a rest.

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The He

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Notable Developments

New Staff at AccessKenya (2012)

Joel Gachanja IT IT Manager

Vivian Muringe Presales Presales Engineer

Maureen Mukeni Client Services Support Engineer

Eric Ng’eno Corporate Sales Sales Advisor

Kevin Ogonda Corporate Sales Sales Advisor

Abdi Elmi Client Services Support Engineer

Joakim Sila Client Services Support Engineer

Silverious Munai Client Services Support Engineer

Joseph Marigi NOC NOC Enginner

Eric Mulatia NOC NOC Enginner

Levi Chebong NOC NOC Engineer

Steve Ndirangu MIS/QA Navision Assistant

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Save the Date •

Staff Baraza - November 9th, 2012

Staff Cocktail - November 9th, 2012

• Standard Chartered Marathon 2012 - October 28th Nyayo National Stadium • AITEC East Africa ICT Summit 2012 - 24-25 October 2012 Oshwal Centre, Westlands, Nairobi.

Issue 03 | Ambia e-mag - 47

Ambia Magazine  

This the AccessKenya staff quarterly magazine

Ambia Magazine  

This the AccessKenya staff quarterly magazine