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We won’t build the five stadiums we promised, Jubilee now admits

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The government says it will not be able to construct the five state-of-the-art stadiums which President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto promised in 2013.

In its stead, Sports Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia says the government is working round the clock to construct one state-of-the-art stadium by the time President Kenyatta’s term of office ends in 2022.

Kaberia added that plans are underway to upgrade four regional stadiums across the country. Upon completion, these yet to be named stadiums will be fit to host international football and athletics events, according to reports by Nairobi News.

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“I can assure you we will build one stadium by 2022. We will not be able to construct more than one stadium because of several factors, you know sports is a devolved entity. But then, Nyayo and Kipchoge Keino stadiums are undergoing rehabilitation and will be ready by the end of this year (2019),” Kaberia said.

As one of their campaign pledges, President Kenyatta and his deputy promised to construct five state-of-the-art stadiums in Kisumu, Mombasa, Garissa, Nakuru and Eldoret.

Seven years later and almost one and half years into their second term, not even a groundbreaking ceremony has been done for any of these stadiums.

This unavailability of quality stadiums also led to Kenya being stripped the hosting rights for the 2018 Africa Nations Championship (Chan).

Source: NairobiNews

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Entertainment

Call me ‘ugly’ but my looks earn me good money – Simple Boy tells it all

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Fame first came to Steven Otieno, alias Stevo Simple Boy in form of a meme. Someone took his mugshot, inserted a cheeky message and shared it on Facebook, teasing him for his looks.

The year was 2016. Within a short time, there were variations of the meme, but the theme remained the same: they thought his face was interesting. The comments on his photo bordered on cyber bullying, but Otieno says he stood unnerved despite the many times people said he resembles a baboon.

“It was not the first time I was being called names for how I looked. It was worse when I was growing up. Children would make up songs about how ugly I was. They would block my path and call me a squirrel. I am used to my face getting all the attention,” he says.

Submissive woman

He has been called many things on social media and off the net. There are people who face him and tell him he is ugly and scary. On social media, the abuses he gets cannot be put in print.

His experience is perhaps what led him to release the song: Inauma Lakini Itabidi Uzoee, that was released last month. He sings about how life situations can be unfair, and that what cannot be changed must be endured.

On whether he is dating, Otieno says he is yet to meet a woman who meets his standards. He is looking for a submissive woman, born again and not afraid of being with a man who is in public space.

“For now, I am not thinking so much about women. When the right one comes, I will get into a relationship, he says.

He says his face, as unattractive as people have often pointed out, is his selling point.

The more people call him ugly and follow his social media platforms to mock him, the more famous he gets.

“God created me like this. What do people expect me to do?” he asks during an interview at the Made in Kibera production centre in Kibera, where he produces his music.

It is a temporary structure made of iron sheets, but he says it is where his dreams took off.

When he released the song: Vijana tuwache mihadarati in 2017 to warn youth about the effects of drug abuse, he never imagined it would fling him into the world of social media fame reserved for socialites and celebrities.

He is currently at more than 700,000 views on YouTube with his mihadarati song. His latest release is edging towards 500,000 views, a feat even established musicians who have been in the industry longer, are struggling to achieve. Many believe the fascination with his music is not so much on the lyrics, but on the face behind the music.

“You look at his face and how he talks and you just want to watch what he is doing. I have watched his videos many times,” says Saumu Ahmad on her Twitter account.

His producer Geoffery Ochieng says Otieno has been getting invites to perform in shows and the reception is unexpectedly good.

“If he is making some money from his art, it does not matter if people are calling him ugly,” says Mr Ochieng.

At 29, Otieno says he has never allowed the negative energy thrown at him slow him down.

He is aware of the burden of having many followers and the scrutiny it brings.

He remembers an incident when he wore a robe in a photo and he got a lot of flak, with people questioning if he is on the drugs he cautioned his fans from using in his mihadarati hit.

“I sometimes look at the comment and I have to remind myself that people will say whatever they want about you. You cannot control that,” he says.

The young artist is changing a few things about himself, not for the vanity of looks but because he believes a man should be allowed to do things that bring him pleasure.

“People have been asking about my new hairstyle. It is called buruwein,” he says with a chuckle.

He also got braces to align his teeth and improve his pronunciation. He also changed his wardrobe, and has added more jeans and casual wear to the mix.

Progressing in life

“You can see how he is progressing in his personal life and as an artist,” says his social media manager Erick Matunga.

Mr Matunga admits that being his manager, he has had to shield Otieno from the extremely hateful comments that he gets, especially on his Instagram page.

“There are people who are just mean. Fortunately, he also has a lot of supporters and they are the ones who fight the online bullies,” says Matunga.

Otieno started his music career in 2008 when he was working as a watchman in Kibera. Anytime he had a break, he would call children around him and sing for them. They provided a good audience – they were non-judgemental and they would dance to my songs without talking about his looks.

His break came almost a decade later when Ochieng, a producer from the Made in Kibera initiative discovered him singing at a bridge they were constructing.

“I was amazed at how music seemed to be flowing from him without much effort. I told him to come and we recorded him without pay,” says Ochieng.

Otieno has plans for the future, and he is thinking of doing big collaborations with musicians he admires. His numbers keep growing and he has been getting followers from all over the world.

In a few years, he believes he will be a force who competes with top musicians and artists.

Until then, he continues to focus on inspirational music and block out voices that tell him he is a one time wonder – including the ones who whisper that he is mentally ill.

By SDE

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Business

Kenyan Who Quit Aviation for Mortuary Business Now Minting Money in US

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Featuring on Saturday, December 7 in an episode of The Chamwada Report, Ng’ang’a revealed that he first studied aviation before losing interest in flying.

“I actually came to do flying, I didn’t follow it up. It wasn’t my passion,” Ng’ang’a an intimated.

“I ended up going to school, took some medical classes. Someone came to school on a career day talk to us about various career lines, he talked about forensic science and I ended up venturing into mortuary sciences. That’s how I ended up in the funeral business,” he revealed.

John Richard Ng’ang’a walks Alex Chamwada and crew through the operations of Bedford Memorial Funeral Home. Photo: Alex Chamwada

Ng’ang’a served in the corporate world for 19 years before he branched out to establish his own funeral home in December 2015, as indicated in company website www.bedfordmemorialfuneralhome.com

He has been in the industry for five years and handles about 300 cases annually.

While engaging Chamwada on how he started his business, the entrepreneur revealed that he did it solely using his savings and based his motivation on a quote by American billionaire Mark Cuban.

“Like Mark Cuban says, its only a moron that starts a business with a loan, if it doesn’t work you still have to pay the loan. So I opened my business without a loan, but with only the money I had saved,” Ng’ang’a stated.

Despite the success of his business, Ng’ang’a maintains a relationship with Kenya, intimating to Chamwada that he has even started an enterprise in Kenya despite the challenges facing startups in the country.

“I have different projects at home that I’m involved in. I just started a magazine in Kenya that is going to explore different areas and kinds of tourism and we are getting in touch with counties to support us, even if Kenya is hard to penetrate,” Ng’ang’a stated.

“Living in the US, you will understand. You can walk in and have services handled in 10 minutes and walk away, in Kenya, you can chase somebody for days. It becomes discouraging,” he added.

A Bedford Memorial Funeral Home hearse. Photo: Alex Chamwada

When quizzed on how he has managed to stay successful, Ng’ang’a explained that one had to have compassion and a good understanding of people.

“I’ve had people come here and start going off on me. It is an inborn thing. You have to be compassionate even to deal with people and you have to understand that. Otherwise, you will be upset every day,” Ng’ang’a stated.

According to the company website, Ng’ang’a founded the funeral home in order to facilitate the needs of the middle class, single families, low income and senior citizens on a budget.

By providing flexibility, discount prices and providing unique customised services, Ng’ang’a has found success in the business.

Adding to the many services offered, the funeral home has an inbuilt chapel with a capacity of up to 70 people for bereaved families to conduct services and prayer.

“We have a chapel if the bereaved families don’t have a church they can do their services here. If they have a church we’ll head to the church and they can have their service there,” Ng’ang’a shared.

A casket prepared for transportation to Kakamega by Bedford Memorial Funeral Home. Photo: Alex Chamwada

“I want to tell Kenyans who are getting green-cards not to sell everything back home. Green cards don’t give you the right to move away from home,” Ng’ang’a advised.

“You can have a green card, come work for six months, go home for six months. You can live in both worlds and you will be a happy person. But you have to be reliable, dedicated, committed,” he concluded.

by `Kenyans.co.ke

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Business

Kenya Railways adds more SGR train coaches to meet high demand

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Kenya Railways has announced that it will add five more coaches to the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) passenger train that shuttles between Nairobi and Mombasa to cater for the rise in passenger numbers in the festive season.

The extra coaches that will cater to both economy and first-class passengers will be added starting December 22, 2019 to January 3, 2020.

The train service, dubbed Madaraka Express, is currently fully booked for the Christmas season as Kenyans seek convenience, fast and affordable travel.

“With the exception of Dec. 28, the morning train from Mombasa and the afternoon train from Nairobi will feature an additional first-class and four economy class coaches from Dec. 22, to Jan. 3, 2020,” said Kenya Railways in a notice.

Kenya Railways@KenyaRailways_

Public notice:

With the exception of Dec. 28, 2019, the morning train from MSA & the afternoon train from NRB will feature an additional first class & 4 economy class coaches from Dec. 22, 2019 to Jan. 3, 2020. We appreciate your continued support.

See Kenya Railways’s other Tweets

Kenya Railways has normally increased the train coaches during the holiday season as demand surges and has steadily increased coaches on the Nairobi-Mombasa route since the SGR passenger train was launched in June 2017.

The rising demand for the SGR passenger train service has however dealt a huge blow to commuter bus operators.

By NN

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