20 April 2019

Contentious historical events: How and whether to alter history

Last weekend my girlfriend and I stayed in rather quaint Airbnb on the north side of Nairobi. Sat on the veranda reading our books (she/ me) we got discussing the heritage of the place and whether others might find it uncomfortable. The Constant Gardener We were staying in the house where the film The Constant Gardener was shot.  […]

23 March 2019

South Africa + Botswana observations

This week’s email is an assortment of encounters and observations from 1.5 weeks in South Africa and Botswana  Overview I spent 5 days in Cape Town, 3 in Johannesburg and 1 in Gaborone (capital of Botswana). Weekdays/ -nights were consumed with work and then the weekend was in CT. Joggers aplenty in Cape Town Morning […]

6 March 2019

South African homeless hustle

I’m in Cape Town at the moment (for work) after spending a few days with friends and parents on an island in Central Kenya (pics below). The work side of things in South Africa has been going well, essentially speaking with corporate leaders about their plans to get “data-driven” and then helping them with a […]

16 February 2019

“Wild” Kenyan lunches

One of the comforting aspects of being in Kenya is that you’ve never far from a chapati. Wherever there’s population density it’s possible to find a small set-up that can serve you food at an affordable price. What’s amazing is the consistency in what is offered. There are several staple foods including beans, ugali (cooked […]

8 December 2018

Hypothesis on sugary tobacco vs sports betting in Kenya

There’s a concept in economics of substitute goods. Basically if the demand one for one product goes, demand for another goes down. If pasta becomes super popular then you might see sales in couscous go down (substitute good). Other products though, such as tomato sauce, may instead go up in demand (complementary goods). Anyway, two […]

3 November 2018

Flatmates (or not): Living alone in Kenya

My Kenyan friends in Nairobi have a similar outlook on a lot of things that my friends elsewhere do, though occasionally there’ll be an instance where there’s just a fundamental difference. One emerged over lunch on Thursday with my colleague. Francis and I got onto who we’re living with and he said: “I mean… I just […]

18 September 2018

Lunch with my cleaning lady

On Saturday I went for lunch with the lady who cleans my apartment and her sister at their home in Kibera: one of the big informal settlements in Nairobi. The conversations and anecdotes that came from our afternoon were rich with the colour of the lives they’ve both lived, and the families they’re raising. On […]

23 June 2018

Telling the time + ginger hair

A couple of days ago was the summer solstice, which means for everyone in the northern hemisphere the nights are now drawing in until Christmas. It does, however, still mean that it gets dark very late – I walked the dog yesterday and it was still bright gone at 9:30 pm. This concept feels alien […]

14 April 2018

Somalia: Camels + a book about a refugee camp

No, I’m not in Somalia. I did, however, read a book about the largest refugee camp in the world, which is in Northern Kenya and houses a mostly Somalian population. The depiction was vivid, and the characters intimate. It really opened up a world that felt both close and far, as well as giving context […]

6 April 2018

The Edges of Society in Kenya (in a weekend)

Over the Easter weekend a good friend (Ben) and I spent a couple of nights an hour out of Nairobi. Despite the primary goal of “getting a way from it all”, the short excursion ended up showing several aspects of Kenyan culture not always visible from the day to day: The Chinese influence, a hangover […]