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University education isn’t everything: 12 lessons from Bob Collymore, Safaricom CEO

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Robert 'Bob' Collymore

Robert ‘Bob’ Collymore may not have a college education but he is at the helm of Safaricom, a company that is arguably one of Africa’s finest and a trend setter in the world of communications.

1. University education isn’t everything

There tends to be a lot of reliance on paper qualification. We stuff ourselves into universities, then we come out and there is very little difference between us and all the other people who also did the same.

In this industry and many others, if you are not a learning treadmill, you will be left behind very rapidly. The advances that we are seeing in technology such as in artificial intelligence, robotics – I do not have to go to school to learn about it.

I can learn about it because the resources are there. I can buy a book on Amazon in two clicks.

So get into continuous learning instead of relying on the old things you learnt in university – things have moved on.

2. Be adaptable

I have done many different types of jobs but I never anticipated that I would become the CEO of a mobile phone company in Africa.

Just because you went to university and studied law doesn’t mean you become a lawyer.

You need to go into the world knowing that what you learnt in the university was how to learn. You must be adaptive.

3. There is no shortcut

Millennials believe that once you get employed, it will take you a matter of weeks before you get the corner office and get the land cruiser.

We forget that in all ages, especially in this one, everything takes time. Whether you want to become a basketball player or a CEO, you have to put the hours in.

You do not become a good photographer if you do not do 20,000 hours behind that camera. Shortcuts tend to lead people to a lot of problems, often legal problems.

My earnings are not a secret to Kenyans, but you can see that I am not hugely wealthy, compared to other people.

But do I consider myself a failure? Of course not. I do not want to find a shortcut to riches because they are not the goal. Unfortunately, a lot of people think there is a shortcut to it. You have to work hard.

4. Be hungry

Grab opportunities. Opportunities sometimes present themselves only once and you have to grab them.

Because at later stages, what you regret is not the things you did, but the things you did not do. All my regrets are of things I did not do.

Luck also has a big role to play, so again, don’t sniff at luck. When luck presents itself, just take it. When you get a good fortune, just take it.

5. Learn the art of gratitude

We tend not to be grateful these days. Be grateful for what you have. If you wrote down the things that you are grateful for, you would be amazed.

Grateful people are much more agreeable than people who grow up thinking about how they did not get a break.

If I look at my own background, coming from a broken family, a single mother, being the only black kid in the school that I went to in the UK, not going to university – there is a whole lot of things that I can stack up and say are all the reasons I should not be doing the job I am today.

If I had let them hold me back, I would still be working in a shop like I used to.

6. Lose the sense of entitlement

I never had the sense that I could not work in the shops because I had completed my A-levels. I was a delivery chap delivering furniture, I used to stack shelves – I never imagined I was too good for any job.

I did a lot of things and I said, “It’s a job. I will do it and I will take my lessons from each and every one of those jobs.”

If you look at how I engage with people working in shops when I go shopping, my interaction with them is shaped by that experience because I walked in those shoes. I worked behind that checkout. I know how dehumanising people can treat you sometimes.

I hold those people with huge admiration and respect. Don’t have a sense of entitlement. You are never too good for anything.

You are never too good to sweep floors and all. That is the thing about opportunities. They may not present themselves as you expect them to.

7. Move with the times

We are in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution, where we are looking at the internet for everything. The fourth industrial revolution plays to older people because it makes things easier for us.

However, it does not play to young people because it will definitely take away jobs. In Africa, we need to create about a million jobs every month, which is about 10 to 15 million jobs every year.

That is a huge number. Even here in Kenya, I estimate that we need to create about 3,000 jobs a day.

That’s a scary thought and it is because that’s how fast the population is growing.

Foxconn, the people who make the iPhone, reduced their workforce by half because of robotics.

In Africa, we have a narrow opportunity to take some of the manufacturing from China, but that opportunity is not going to be there for long. We should be grabbing those opportunities now.

What we are seeing is that the people grabbing those opportunities are from places like Vietnam, so if we do not grab them now, by the time we come around we will be out of the game.

8. Are your skills important in today’s world?

Get to the front of the curve. Read. I always tell my team, “I mustn’t know more about stuff than you. You have to be smarter than me.

If you aren’t smarter than me, then why would I need to hire you?” You need to stay ahead of the curve and there is no excuse for not doing it because everything is online these days. You need to ensure that you are skilled to do the jobs that exist today.

source:SDE

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Do you know this patient who is admitted at Kenyatta National Hospital?

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The Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) is asking the public for help in finding the next of kin of a woman who is currently admitted at the hospital.

According to the hospital, the woman was involved in an accident along Mombasa road and was brought to the hospital for treamenttreated.

After receiving treatment, the hospital says the unidentified woman has since lost her memory and is now looking for her relatives.

The hospital is asking anyone knows the woman to contact them through the phone numbers, 0709854000 or 0730643000 extension 43121 and 43969.

Source:nairobinews

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MY STORY: Meet US-Based Kenyan man who has spent a Decade fighting Deportation [VIDEO]

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A Kenyan-born man who has been fighting deportation from the United States for the last 10 years has shared his story with the Voice of America (VOA).

Sylvester Owino is a small business owner  and a rights activist based in San Diego, California. His family owns Rafikiz Foodz — an authentic African food vendor offering “Kenyan food for your soul,” using fresh ingredients from the local farmers market.

Those who encounter Owino’s welcoming personality are not aware what happens once he is done working for the day. A convicted felon who robbed a shop, Owino is fighting to stay in the United States through an asylum case that has lasted nearly a decade.

Owino arrived in the U.S. from Kenya in 1998 on a student visa, leaving a country where he said he was beaten, jailed and threatened by the government.

Five years later, an addiction to alcohol and gambling derailed him.

“I was going to college, but I used to drink too much,” he said. “And I just quit college because of what had happened in my path and everything. I found this job after leaving college. I was working with disadvantaged people. And then I met some friends through work, and we started drinking after work, go to the casinos, and they introduced me to gambling,” he said.

During one of his last visits to the casino, he found himself out of money and decided to rob a nail salon. He was convicted of second-degree robbery.

“I thought I was going to get probation. And nobody ever explained to me the immigration consequences. So I took a plea, which gave me three years,” Owino said.

He completed a two-year prison sentence and was transferred to the Otay Mesa Detention Center, as Immigration and Customs Enforcement began removal proceedings.

While in detention, Owino began waging what became a more than nine year fight against deportation.

Resisting deportation in the Trump era

Owino is among the more than 1 million people who President Donald Trump has targeted for deportation, including many who were convicted of serious crimes.  Owino is an example of immigrants who broke the law and suffered consequences, but who turned their lives around and now are asking for a second chance to remain in the U.S.

However, the nation is sharply divided over immigration policy, and many Americans believe that people like Owino who were convicted of violent crimes should be deported back to their country of origin. Indeed, a Gallup poll earlier this year found that 37% of adults strongly favor or favor deporting all immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

“It’s not right to have these cases dragged on forever, it’s not fair to anybody,” said Jessica M. Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, which backs Trump’s immigration policies. “On the other hand, we have no obligation to allow people to stay here if their behavior is causing problems in our communities. And if they disqualified themselves from the ability to stay here as a permanent resident,” then they have to accept the consequences of their behavior.”

 

 




 

Inside detention

Subject to mandatory immigration detention, Owino was not entitled to a bond hearing.

 

“When I got there, I was in a complete shock. I thought, ‘This was supposed to be better (than state prison,)’ but actually it was worse. … The officers treated us like we have no rights, like we are not human beings,” Owino said.

In a recent interview with reporters, David Fathi, director at ACLU’s National Prison Project, said most people do not think about mass incarceration and unhealthy conditions when they think of immigration detention.

“These are very vulnerable people. Many of them have suffered major physical and emotional trauma, beatings, starvation or rape, either in their home country or on their journey to the United States,” Fathi said.

Those who are “less” traumatized often suffer from cultural dislocation, family separation and the stresses of incarceration, including overcrowding and solitary confinement.

FILE - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents surround and detain a person during a raid in Richmond, Va.
FILE-U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents surround and detain a person during a raid in Richmond, Va.

A Homeland Security inspector general report released at the beginning of the month showed that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had failed to meet government standards for housing migrant detainees at multiple facilities in 2018.

Investigators conducted unannounced inspections at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center in California, the LaSalle ICE Processing Center in Louisiana, the Essex County Correctional Facility in New Jersey), and the Aurora ICE Processing Center in Colorado.

Poor conditions in facilities

At one of the facilities, inspectors saw mold throughout all the walls in the bathroom area, including shower stalls, ceilings, mirrors, and vents, and warned that prolonged exposure to mold and mildew can cause long-term health issues or allergic reactions.

 

ICE sent a statement to VOA saying the agency “appreciates” the efforts of the Office of Inspector General and that it concurs” with the report’s recommendation and the corrective actions detailed in the report.

“The safety, rights and health of detainees in ICE’s custody are paramount,” ICE said.

On the solitary confinement issue, ICE said the use of restrictive housing in ICE detention facilities is “exceedingly rare, but at times necessary,” to ensure the safety of staff and individuals in a facility.

ICE’s policy to use “special management units” — or solitary confinement cells — is to protect detainees, staff and contractors from harm by segregating certain detainees from the general population for both administrative and disciplinary reasons.

The agency’s spokesperson added that in 2013, ICE issued a directive titled “Review of the Use of Segregation for ICE Detainees,” which requires agency reporting, review, and oversight of every decision to place detainees in segregated housing for over 14 days, and requires immediate reporting and review of segregation placements when heightened concerns exist based on the detainee’s health or other factors.

To Liz Martinez, director of advocacy and strategic communications at Freedom for Immigrants, a nonprofit that has been monitoring the conditions at ICE facilities for years, nothing in the OIG report is “new.”

“The people who are in immigration detention and call us on our free hotline have been reporting these kinds of abuses all the time.” she said.

Martinez said the “egregious” violations the OIG found are human rights violations.

“They keep happening over and over again, and no one is held accountable,” she added.

Freedom for Immigrants maintains an up-to-date map of the U.S. immigration detention system with more than 200 immigrant prisons and jails across the country.

According to government data, in fiscal year 2018, about 396,448 people were initially booked into an ICE detention facility, an increase of 22.5% from 2017. ICE’s interior enforcement efforts resulted in a 10% increase in book-ins resulting from ICE arrests.

Freedom for Immigrants’ website shows that 60% of people are held in privately run immigrant prisons.

According to ACLU experts, detained immigrants are the fastest-growing sector of the incarcerated population, from about 35,000 during the Obama years to 52,000 now.

“That’s well above the 45,274 that Congress funded for fiscal year 2019,” Shah said.

 Fighting deportation

After having his case go to the Board of Immigration Appeals twice, and then to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Owino was granted bond with the help of Freedom for Immigrants.

He said it was difficult fighting a deportation case from detention, since unlike in criminal proceedings, immigrants are not entitled to court-appointed attorneys.

Though there were days he thought about accepting deportation, Owino said he decided to make a plan for himself, instead.

“I was scared to go back (to Kenya) based on what happened to me. … I set a program for myself. I thought, ‘If I get out, no more drinking.’ So, I stayed away from that, and that was my No. 1 priority,” he told VOA.

Owino’s next court date is in September. In the meantime, he enjoys the company of his wife and 11-month-old daughter.

He acknowledges he made serious mistakes in his life, but sees himself as an example of what could happen if detained immigrants are given an opportunity to rebuild their lives.

“I’m just blessed, you know?”

SOURCE: VOA

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Wife finds police hubby dangling in bathroom in Dandora suicide

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A police officer on Thursday committed suicide inside his house in Dandora.

Police Constable Moses Maina, who is stationed in Turkana county, ended his life by hanging himself using a cloth.

According to police, he was found by his wife dangling inside the bathroom.

Mr Philip Ndolo told Nairobi News that the motive of the suicide is yet to be established but investigations have started.

“We are yet to find out why he ended his life but our officers have started investigations,” he said.

The case adds to the rising number of suicides in the police force in the recent past. Last week, two officers in Mandera and Tala committed suicide.

Inspector General of police Hilary Mutyambai recently launched a counselling program within the service.

Source:Nairobi News

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