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Pomp and colour as Kikuyu Diaspora Media 1st Anniversary event in Atlanta exceeds people’s expectations

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BY MAGGIE MARIKAH KWABENA in Atlanta, Georgia

Kikuyu Diaspora Media’s 1st Anniversary in Atlanta set and raised the bar high in all things events, style and elegance as Kenyans from many US states and other fans from around the globe  packed the auditorium.

As a major Kenyan Diaspora hub, Atlanta is not new to events hosting. But many events have over promised and under delivered. However, that was not the case for Kikuyu Diaspora Media (KDM). They lived up to – and even exceeded – the high expectations of  Kenyans in the Diaspora.

The team was led by their vibrant, energetic CEO and founder Jeremy Damaris who steered the ship from the front lines as MC. The audience was treated to sheer elegance from the moment one stepped into the event hall.

Lights, camera, action and more elegance was evident when it came to that coveted moment on the red carpet. Most of those in attendance donned the official vibrant Orange color of KDM.

What made the KDM Event Different? 

The elegance and grace with which KDM conducted the entire event was a breath of fresh air. The welcoming atmosphere, a courteous team with a great sense of order and flow of events. There were a lot of activities but they all seamlessly worked well together.

People felt welcome, appreciated and right at home as they experienced the legendary ATL Southern Hospitality. There was a very positive celebratory energy in the room where people seemed genuinely excited to be at the event. Fans not only came from the different US States but also global fans from Germany, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Kenya made the maiden trip to support KDM.

This is a true testament of the love and support KDM enjoys globally. Fans were upbeat, excited and proud of what KDM has accomplished globally. They believe in the product, they are not just selling it. They own and embrace the KDM Vision and passionately support it. This was supported not just in words but also in their generous contribution to the fund raising towards setting up a permanent KDM Studio in the USA.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: All roads lead to Atlanta this weekend for Kikuyu Diaspora Media (USA) Mugithi extravaganza

The Guest Singers were a sight to behold too. They did not disappoint when it came to their presentations. They engaged the audience and made it worth their while. I have not danced this much in a long time. It is not always that you get such great talent assemble on one stage. The who-is-who of Kenya Gospel music circles accompanied by US Artistes lit the stage with a powerful praise extravaganza that set the event apart from many others.

It  featured the one and only Atlanta queen of praise Naomi Karanja with her legendary hit Muhotoro, alongside Kenyan artistes Mercy Ken, Shiru wa GP, Mary Githinji, Paul Mwai, Phylis Mbuthia among others.

 

I would not do the event justice if I forgot to mention my personal favorite Man Kush. As always he did not disappoint. His great sense of humor and candid talk left us all in stitches. The man, the myth the legend is funnier in person and a breath of fresh air uniting the old, the young and everyone else in between. He sure does have a way with words.

The Mugithi night was equally refreshing taking us all the way back to Zilizopendwa and new generation beats. There was something for everyone.

What has KDM accomplished in their 1st Anniversary and what’s next?

One of the Goals for KDM 1st Anniversary was to kick start the process of seeking to realise their dream of buying property where they can build their own permanent Media House complete with state of the art studios. To that end they had a very successful fund raising.

 

 

In the true legendary giving spirit of Kenyans, they did not disappoint. They gave passionately to support the vision, dream, future and legacy of KDM. I was particularly impressed by many of the Sponsors that made this event possible.

Hosting events in the Diaspora is often a Herculean task. It is extremely expensive, takes lots of manpower and planning. When Kenyan based investors and businesses partner to invest in the Diaspora, it paves way for mutually beneficial reciprocal relationships.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Jeremy Damaris rewarded by YouTube on reaching 100,000 subscribers milestone

We would like to see more Kenyan-based investors becoming active participants in the dreams, future and vision of the Diaspora. We have many companies doing great things in Kenya and are proud to see them expand their partnerships to support entrepreneurs in the Diaspora.

Business is about building bridges of trust and a great way to do that is to invest in things that the Diaspora is passionate about. Kama Waswahili walivyosema, “mkono mtupu haulambwi.”

As we invest and do business in Kenya, it makes a difference when these Kenyan companies equally partner with the diaspora in things that are important to us as a community.

 

What do you say to those who think we have way too many Kenyan networks as it is?

Well, how many is too many? I think someone’s dream or vision should not be deemed or extinguished because someone else has already started a similar journey or has a similar dream or vision. We all have our separate paths in life. If you have a clear vision and execute it diligently, it will come to fruition in due time.

Run your own race, give the consumer choice, and provide a quality service or product as you anticipate their needs. The modern consumer likes choice and quality. Whoever meets their needs best will be the media outlet that survives in the long term.

Some Media Houses have come and gone but those that understand their niche and market share needs continue to thrive. There is plenty of room in the Diaspora and the World for everyone to accomplish their vision if you work smart, perfect your skills and execute a clear vision. We wish KDM well as they continue to grow and thrive.

 

Comments from Sponsors: 

“At Maridady Motors we are changing this world view and positioning “Kenya” to those in the Diaspora as a place they can do business and grow their capital. Instead of viewing diaspora solely as a market, we view it as a partner. Our audacious proposition is that Diasporians can invest in Kenyan businesses and make money in their home country Kenya.

To make this work, we have created structures to help persons in the Diaspora to invest in the Auto Industry as well as in the Transport business in Kenya. Kikuyu Diaspora Media is a courageous entrepreneurial media that demonstrates the ability of our people to mobilize themselves into functional communities even in the diaspora. The media goes a long way in uniting Kenyans and in helping respond to their needs both locally and internationally. KDM does amazing work of pointing out those who need help either in their countries of residence or even back home. Our CSR department thus could not hesitate to sponsor them in growing this noble course.”  By: Eric Ngigi

 

READ ALSO:   IN PICTURES: This is how it went down in Atlanta last weekend at Kikuyu Diaspora Media event

“My name is Peter Gioko EA, PE, MBA MSME. I am a financial advisor with over 15 years in: tax preparation and IRS & all 50 states and tax Audit consultant. I am available 365 days in a year, I prepare taxes for everyone, both individual and corporate taxes. 

I have sponsored the Kikuyu Diaspora Event because it is a media movement for the people by the people with the prime goal to: inform & support the needy, the unknown, and promote the general welfare of mankind. Such a moment is charitable and Good Samaritan investment and I will always support it.” By: Peter Kioko

“I support Kenyan Events because I believe in giving back to the community.” By Esther: Wilpek Fashions

“We support Diaspora events because we are in the Diaspora and understand the needs of the Diaspora. JRN Investments LTD is 100% Diaspora owned. We have a membership of over 300 members across the USA and Kenya. We are in control of our projects and manage them right from here in the Diaspora.” By:  JRN Investment INC Representatives.

 

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Diaspora

US embassies start denying visas to people they believe will be a “burden” to taxpayers if allowed into the country

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security today implemented the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule. Under the final rule, DHS will look at the factors required under the law by Congress, like an alien’s age, health, family status, assets, resources, and financial status, education and skills, among others, in order to determine whether the alien is likely at any time to become a public charge. The rule now applies nationwide, including in Illinois.

Self-sufficiency is a long-standing principle of immigration law. Since the 1800s, inadmissibility based on public charge has been a part of immigration law. Since 1996, federal laws have stated that aliens seeking to come to or remain in the United States, temporarily or permanently, must be self-sufficient and rely on their own capabilities and the resources of family, friends, and private organizations instead of public benefits.

“President Trump continues to deliver on his promise to the American people to enforce our nation’s immigration laws. After several judicial victories, DHS will finally begin implementing the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule,” said Ken Cuccinelli, the acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. “This rule enforces longstanding law requiring aliens to be self-sufficient, reaffirming the American ideals of hard work, perseverance and determination. It also offers clarity and expectations to aliens considering a life in the United States and will help protect our public benefit programs.”

READ ALSO:   IN PICTURES: This is how it went down in Atlanta last weekend at Kikuyu Diaspora Media event

The final rule defines “public charge” as an alien who has received one or more public benefits (as defined in the rule) for more than 12 months, in total, within any 36-month period.

The final rule defines “public benefits” to include any cash benefits for income maintenance, Supplemental Security Income, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, most forms of Medicaid and certain housing programs.

Applicants for adjustment of status who are subject to the final rule must show that they are not likely at any time to become a public charge by submitting a Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, when they file their Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

To determine whether an alien is inadmissible on the public charge grounds, USCIS will not consider, and applicants and petitioners do not need to report, the application for, certification or approval to receive, or receipt of certain previously excluded non-cash public benefits (such as SNAP, most forms of Medicaid, and public housing) before Feb. 24, 2020. Similarly, USCIS will not consider as a heavily weighted negative factor receipt of previously included public benefits (such as SSI and TANF) before Feb. 24, 2020, in a public charge inadmissibility determination.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Jeremy Damaris rewarded by YouTube on reaching 100,000 subscribers milestone

The final rule requires most aliens seeking to extend their nonimmigrant stay or change their nonimmigrant status to show that, since obtaining the nonimmigrant status they seek to extend or change, they have not received public benefits (as defined in the final rule) for more than 12 months, in total, within any 36-month period beginning Oct. 15, 2019. Due to litigation-related delays in the final rule’s implementation, DHS is applying this requirement as though it refers to Feb. 24, 2020 rather than Oct. 15, 2019. Therefore, with respect to applying the public benefits condition to applications and petitions for extension of nonimmigrant stay and change of nonimmigrant status, DHS will not consider, and applicants and petitioners need not report an alien’s receipt of any public benefits before Feb. 24, 2020.

Certain classes of aliens are exempt from the public charge ground of inadmissibility (such as refugees, asylees, certain VAWA self-petitioners, U petitioners, and T applicants) and therefore, are not subject to the Final Rule.

After today, USCIS will reject prior editions of affected forms, including in Illinois where the rule remained enjoined until Feb. 21, 2020, when the U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay of the statewide injunction. If USCIS receives an application or petition for immigration benefits using prior editions of the forms postmarked on or after Feb. 24, 2020, then USCIS will inform the applicant or petitioner of the need to submit a new application or petition using the correct forms. For applications and petitions that are sent by commercial courier (such as UPS, FedEx and DHL), the postmark date is the date reflected on the courier receipt.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: All roads lead to Atlanta this weekend for Kikuyu Diaspora Media (USA) Mugithi extravaganza

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), Instagram (/uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook (/uscis) and LinkedIn (/uscis).

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Diaspora

Joy in the Diaspora as Matiang’i extends e-passport deadline

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Kenyans in the Diaspora have taken to social media to thank the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government for extending the deadline for the migration to the new generation chip-enabled passports.

In a statement released on Monday, February 24, the ministry headed by Dr Fred Matiang’i announced that it had extended the deadline by 12 months and set March 1, 2021 as the new compliance date.

“The government is progressively phasing out the old, ordinary passports as part of Kenya’s commitment to migrate to the new passports with ICAO specifications,” said Matiang’i.

“However, we note with concern that 1.8 million Kenyans, mostly in the diaspora, are yet to replace their old passports with the East African Community biometrics e-passports,” he added

“Due to this, the government hereby extends the deadline for voiding the current dark blue machine-readable passport by 12 months. As such, its holders may continue using it until March 1, 2021, when it will no longer be valid for traveling,” the Ministry statement read in part.

The statement further noted that the Ministry  had set up six other centers in the diaspora, with three in Europe (Berlin, Paris, and London) and one in the US (Washington DC).

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: All roads lead to Atlanta this weekend for Kikuyu Diaspora Media (USA) Mugithi extravaganza

The government has also set up a center in Johannesburg, South Africa and Dubai to facilitate the new passport measures.

“Thank you Matiang’i, Wrote John Njoroge.

“Ungekuwa karibu ningekubuiya kiruru,” tweeted Joe Karis.

Wambuijoan wrote: “That is why I love Jubilee Government. Inatupeaga deadline halafu inaongeza, Hata uchaguzi wa 2017 tulifanya twice.”

Before Monday’s announcement, long queues were being witnessed at various embassies, High Commissions and consulates as Kenyans in the Diaspora sought to beat the earlier deadline

The ministry also  announced that in an effort to rationalize the issuance of the e-passports, it has set up and operationalized four passport control centers across the country.

The four centers, they announced, were located in Nakuru, Kisii, Eldoret, and Embu.

Image
People queue for passports outside the Nyayo House headquarters in Nairobi.
People queue for passports outside the Nyayo House headquarters in Nairobi.

Mr Matiang’i called upon all those who were yet to convert their old passports as earlier urged to take advantage of the new extensions to fulfill the requirements.

“Considering this is the second extension, the 1.8 million Kenyans still holding the dark blue passport are urged to take full advantage of the period to acquire the EAC-format electronic passports as early as possible.

“They should do this to avoid a last-minute rush, unnecessary jam-ups at the centers and traveling inconveniences,” the statement reads.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Jeremy Damaris rewarded by YouTube on reaching 100,000 subscribers milestone

Matiang’i also  announced thathe government will ensure that  same-day issuance of passports became a reality by July 1, 2020.

Here is the full statement:

Press Statement Final Extension for Traveling on Machine Readable Passport

Press Statement Final Extension for Traveling on Machine Readable Passport

 

So what is an e-passport?

An e-Passport contains an electronic chip. The chip holds the same information that is printed on the passport’s data page: the holder’s name, date of birth, and other biographic information. An e-Passport also contains a biometric identifier.

For instance, the United States requires that the chip contain a digital photograph of the holder.

U.S. e-Passport Requirements

The United States requires that travelers entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program have an e-Passport if their passport was issued on or after October 26, 2006. Additional information on VWP e-Passport requirements.

All e-Passports issued by Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries and the United States have security features to prevent the unauthorized reading or “skimming” of data stored on the e-Passport chip.

The inspection process for an e-Passport holder is the same as that for a non-e-Passport holder. When arriving at U.S. ports of entry, e-Passport holders will be directed by signage or personnel on the appropriate U.S. Customs and Border Protection booth to use.

READ ALSO:   IN PICTURES: This is how it went down in Atlanta last weekend at Kikuyu Diaspora Media event

Benefits of an e-Passport

E-Passports help to

  • securely identify the traveler,
  • provide protection against identity theft,
  • protect privacy and
  • make it difficult to alter a document for use in gaining admission to the United States.

The biographic and biometric data contained in the electronic chip can be compared to both the traveler and the travel document being presented. There are multiple layers of security in the e-Passport process that prevent duplication.

International Cooperation

The United States and its VWP partners have worked together through extensive testing to identify a technology solution to support the production of e-Passports and e-Passport readers. Successful testing in the United States and overseas has been an important step forward in a larger, comprehensive effort to enhance security and facilitate legitimate travel and trade through international cooperation.

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Diaspora

VIDEO: Did you miss Peter Ng’ethe’s Funeral Service in Atlanta? Here it is

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A funeral Service for the late Peter Ng’ethe was held at Christ Harvesters Global Outreach Church on Saturday. The late Ng’ethe  was set to be buried on Saturday Feb 22, 2020 at Kennesaw Memorial Park in Marietta, Georgia Address1306 Whitlock Ave NW, Marietta, GA 30064 at 1.30PM.

On Friday Feb 21 2020, a wake in his honor at West Cobb Funeral Home between 5pm and 7pm. Address: 2480 Mcland Rd, Marietta, GA, 30064

Mr Ng’ethe passed away on Feb 1st, 2020.

He was a dear Husband to Serah Ng’ethe (Mama Njoki)
Father to Njoki Mwangi, John Njoroge and Makena Njoki.

May He Rest in Peace. Watch:

 

 

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Jeremy Damaris rewarded by YouTube on reaching 100,000 subscribers milestone
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