Whizzing around Nairobi with Roselyne

Roselyne Omondi

Nairobi day 1: Bad choice to exchange to USD, should have been Euros. The immigration officers accepts the USD for the visa (of course) but he would definitely have preferred the more stable Euros. Silly of me to even consider these American Dollars.

Each time I have been in Nairobi during the past five years new phenomenons have appeared. In 2007 it was M-Pesa, which everyone quickly embraced; people simply love it, 13 million (of 40 million) are on it.  Last time in 2010 it was the – it seems – zillions of new coffee and juice shops where young professionals meet up, hang out and get on the internet after the sea cable – TEAMS – made it affordable from Aug. – Sept. 2009.  I wonder what will be the lasting impression this time around where I the next three weeks are doing research for articles for ComputerWorld, Ulandsnyt.dk and Politiken about creativity, innovation and economic growth in East Africa.

But first to Roselyne  – a great friend. Roselyne and I met  when we both lived in a Kampala suburb, two roads apart. Our respective houses were – literally speaking – only separated by the mansion of one of the Vice President’s residences.

Roselyne is Kenyan and together with her husband and their two daughters she moved back to Nairobi in 2010 after a decade abroad. She holds an MA in International Humanitarian Action, and is keen on issues affecting pastoralists.

While in Uganda Roselyne was features writer and deputy editor at African Woman. She continued and enjoyed doing the touching-ones-heart-features she has always loved to write for other media outlets including IRIN and Destination. Roselyne, totally creative and an innovator by heart has moved on again; her new venture is called Saluki. It is a print magazine for young professionals.

When I told Roselyne I would be in Nairobi this week to do research and write about the innovation, creativity and economic growth of EA she was all open arms. Immediately she began brainstorming ideas. It was like our long conversations had never stopped; constant brainstorming was what we would do in UG  – for her work and for mine.

Will be great to be with Roselyne again. Last time was in Nairobi Nov. 2010 where we whizzed around exploring the city.

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