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Welcome to the Nyeri matatu stage, a ‘highway to heaven’ for drivers, touts

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For a long time, the matatu sector has been viewed as a hotbed of deceitful, dishonest, cunning and undisciplined people. Already overburdened commuters often struggle with the whimsical arbitrariness of the charges demanded by the public transport operators.

But matatu operators in Nyeri town are trying to portray themselves in a new light. Every morning at 8am at the main matatu stage, a group of men in blue and maroon uniforms plug in a sound system and begin their morning fellowship.

They start with prayers and a number of worship songs. Their aim, they say, is to reach out to as many drivers, touts, businesspeople and passengers at the terminal as possible.

James Waruingi Ndirangu, a driver who has been operating in Nyeri town for more than 10 years, started the fellowship two years ago. He had seen the lawlessness, fights, vulgarity and drug abuse and sought divine intervention for these social ills.

“I was seated at the stage waiting for my turn to ferry passengers when, being a staunch Christian, I felt the need to start the morning prayers,” he said. He printed out notices of the prayers and passed them around, asking people to join him during the prayers.

“I was afraid that people would not embrace it but I decided to try it anyway and on July 16, 2017, we held our first prayer meeting. There were only a few people but that was more than I expected,” he said.

With time, more people embraced the idea and with their help they received enough donations to purchase a public address system.

“I started these morning prayer meetings to reach out to the operators, who are usually too busy and they do not go to church on Saturday or Sunday. There are also passengers who have been travelling and they need it too,” he said.

Mr Ndirangu and his team start the prayers at 8am with singing, prayers and a devotion.

He says that the prayers have brought sanity to the stage, with the young men turning over a new leaf by quitting drugs and some being bold enough to participate by playing the instruments and being on the alternating preaching schedule.

“We have managed to reach out to the youth and pull them from drugs and substance abuse and now they work just like the rest of us to make an honest living,” he said.

A few metres away at an open field, where lorries are parked just behind the governor’s office, Pastor Joseph Kinuthia preaches to a group of men who are quietly seated and patiently listening to him. They are lorry drivers.

He started the fellowship in 2018 after many members of the Nyeri Lorries Self Help Group, which he chairs, were afflicted by diseases and death.

“Every week we would have at least two cases we were contributing to. Other members were being arrested for fights, and being a pastor, I knew that these issues could be solved if we indulged in our faith,” he said.

He says the group, which has at least 300 active members, embraced the idea and now they hold their fellowships three times a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

At a glance
HOW IT STARTED

James Waruingi Ndirangu, a driver who has been operating in Nyeri town for more than 10 years, started the fellowship two years ago. He had seen the lawlessness, fights, vulgarity and drug abuse and sought divine intervention for these social ills.

“I was seated at the stage waiting for my turn to ferry passengers when, being a staunch Christian, I felt the need to start the morning prayers,” he said. He printed out notices of the prayers and passed them around, asking people to join him during the prayers.

by nation.co.ke

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Entertainment

Corazon, Frankie reveal their unborn baby’s gender and name

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Socialite Corazon Kwamboka and her boyfriend Frank Kiarie aka Frankie Just Gym It have revealed the name and gender of their unborn child.

The couple is expecting a baby boy whom they have named Tayari, which means our love in Spanish and ready in Swahili.

The celebrity couple made the revelation in a three-minute video, in which Frankie also surprised Kwamboka with a cake.

GENDER REVEAL

“Gender reveal. All I need in this life of sin. PS; We were just having fun and doing this for ourselves, this video was never intended to see the light of day. At this point, we never thought we’d ever had the courage to be open about us. I just felt like sharing 🤷‍♀️” Kwamboka posted on Instagram.

The cake was divided in two, one half in blue and the other half in pink. The cake also had the names Tayari and Kesia written on each half.

Before cutting the cake, Kwamboka said that if it turns out that she is carrying a baby girl she will name her Kesia and if it’s a boy, his name will be Tayari.

Upon cutting the cake, the colour inside was blue, meaning it’s a boy.

SECRET PREGNANCY

“It’s a boy, aawww… this is what I wanted, I just didn’t want to say it,” said a teary Kwamboka.

Last month, after Nairobi News exclusively revealed that the two were expecting a baby, Kwamboka confirmed that indeed she was pregnant with Frankie’s child.

Until that point, Kwamboka and Frankie, who is the ex-husband of YouTuber Maureen Waititu, had been keeping the pregnancy a secret.

During a live Instagram session, she said she found out she was pregnant while in Diani on holiday with her mother.

“I found out that I was three weeks pregnant. When I came back to Nairobi, I bought pregnancy kits, tested myself and the results were positive,” Kwamboka said then.

By Nairobi News

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US-based Kenyan recounts her experience traveling to motherland after airspace was opened

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More often than not, Kenyans in the diaspora express their displeasure over how things are done back home.

You will come across negative comments on social media about how awful Kenya is compared to other countries.

President Kenyatta’s administration has come under heavy criticism from Kenyans who accuse it of mishandling the Covid-19 pandemic.

But it appears Kenya is doing as well far as stemming the Covid-19 disease is concerned if the account of a Kenyan diaspora is anything to go by.

The woman says she traveled from Baltimore, Maryland to Kenya last week and was impressed by the Covid-19 containment protocols Kenya put in place as international flights resumed on Saturday.

She says what she saw made her proud to be a Kenyan. Below is her full story.

Today I want to commend Kenya for making me so proud to be Kenyan🇰🇪😍
We get a lot wrong as a nation but we also get a lot right and from firsthand experience of our handling of post covid arrival of international air passengers … Im proud to be Kenyan 🇰🇪😁
On Friday 31st July I arrived at BWI airport in Baltimore, Maryland a place I had been calling home for a wee bit, to start my long awaited and anticipated return home 🇰🇪 as the Kenyan government was finally opening its international airspace on 1st August and I planned to be home on the inaugural flights.
So the 39hour😅 trip home began … truly a journey of love in a covid world!
At BWI my first moment of being proudly Kenyan happened mixed with a tad of anxiety when the Delta checkin crew told me Kenya had suspended flights into its airspace 😱 so told them yes but by the time I arrived in Kenya 39 hours later it would be 1st August and our airspace would be open. At this juncture I was ready to start walking and swimming home😅
The Delta supervisor affirms my stance then asks for my COVID test and entry authorization forms etc as Kenya is very strict … moment of pride No. 1 when the US is concerned at adhering with the strict entry requirements of Kenya 🇰🇪👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
Delta handled our boarding and on flight social distancing exceptionally well and kudos to them.
But both BWI and ATL airports were ghost towns with 90% of the duty free shops closed. This thrilled the Mrs. Monk in me as meant less exposure 😅
Nearly a day later I land in Amsterdam and find Schipol which, in my opinion is the world’s worst airport in terms of harassing passengers especially those from Africa, has set up a special screening area specifically for flights to Kenya to adhere to Kenya’s strict entry requirements. Who would have thunk Schipol well known for best screening et al would need to enhance their measures to be able to enter Kenyan 🇰🇪 airspace. Moment of pride No.2 🇰🇪👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
At the screening station they check your covid test certificate, take your temperature and fill and stamp a form. Was bemused at passengers around me complaining at the strictness to enter Kenya ie how they had to cancel flights as didnt have covid tests etc. Was proud to say we don’t need you all to bring the virus home as we need to protect our own @Moment of pride No.3 🇰🇪👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
Before boarding at Schipol they once again reconfirm covid tests etc as remember Kenya is strict @ Moment of pride No.4 @@🇰🇪👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 However, Schipol needs to learn a lesson on social distancing while boarding as the normal status quo was maintained in practice. But at this juncture I have been “exposed” for over 31 hours so Im ready to start the final leg home 😅
Landing in Kenya is emotional and overwhelming and makes the long journey back home sooooo worth it …. while I was away y’all paved the pothole on the runway 😜🤣
As we taxi in the French gentleman seated next to me is awe of how JKIA is spraying planes to disinfect them @Moment of pride No.5 🇰🇪👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
I say but of course we need to secure our peoples while inwards I’m in shock and pleasantly surprised that we have gotten our act together😅 … at this juncture this proud daughter of Kenya is in full bragging mode about her beloved 🇰🇪. Tomorrow I can go back to calling her out for all her crap but for now savoring the pride of all she 🇰🇪 is doing right😍
From there on things just got better as our team at JKIA have set up effective and efficient screening and counter checking all covid certificates et al. And are strict on social distancing measures too 🇰🇪👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
Even customs and baggage control handled professionally … all cargo hold baggage screened before baggage carasouel so customs no longer physically check it only mechanically screen your carry-on luggage as you take the final steps and take your first breath of the crisp midnight air in Nairobi🇰🇪😍
Well done to MOH and Kenya Airports Authority for doing your best on this stance to secure Kenya and Kenyans in the covid world 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
#ProudlyKenyan 🇰🇪😍

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Business

How Kenyan family stole billions in the US

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When in November last year, the National Police Service said it had received information from Interpol that some Kenyans were wanted in the US for alleged fraud offence, one of the names released was that of Edwin Sila Nyumu, a man who had been on the run.

Nyumu and his family were behind a US based crime syndicate that launched  hundreds of millions of dollars in the country but managed to escape the FB dragnet to hide in Mlolongo Machakos.

In total, the family members are believed to have stolen more than Kshs.2 billion in a tax fraud, the Nation has established. It is one of the biggest cyber-crime heists in the blossoming industry.

The Daily Nation reports that how this Kenyan family laid a scamming web and managed to bilk millions of dollars and send them to Kenya without raising an alarm has always petrified the investigators.

TheDaily Nation reports that for 12 years, since his name first appeared on the Interpol list, Nyumu oiled the palms of all those who his identity and the Nation was informed he was a cash cow of police officers, until the money ran out last year.

By then, and after 12 years, he could no longer be charged with fraud since the federal crimes have a statute limitations which protects the people from being harassed and having to constantly defend themselves from old charges.

Record indicate that on November 6 last year, Corporal general Kamwaro swore an affidavit seeking a fresh order to arrest Nyumu.

Kamwaro said Nairobi Interpol office has contacted the US Nationla Central Bureau Interpol to forward extradition documents against the suspect.

By Daily Nation

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