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SPONSORED: Victory Gardens – The making of a Masterpiece Gated Community Estate



We take this opportunity to congratulate all our Diaspora friends and customers who have set up their beautifully done dream homes at Victory Gardens Phase 1, 2 and 3. Check more info here: Already, Phase 4 & 5 are slowly getting transformed with value additions that are now nearly complete.

How are they doing is so easily:

1. Optiven allows installment payments for your value added plot for two years.

2. Our clients are allowed to appoint their preferred contractor to undertake construction of their dream home.

3. Those who are not within the country can trust Optiven’s sister company PMC Estates ( to manage their property, including handling all rental services on your behalf.

Do we still have more plots? Yes indeed. Kindly check our website for more details:

This is one real estate project that will really inspire you. We have few plots remaining. Call us now: 0790 300 300


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Couples share what it’s like being quarantined with their soon-to-be exes



A recent thread brought to light some of the unspoken issues that have cropped up due to the coronavirus lockdown. We have all had to contend with spending copious amounts of time indoors and trying to keep our sanity, as we self-isolate. Many plans have had to change and these include plans to let go of significant others whose time was up.

One user took to Reddit to ask how people were coping now that they were forced to continue living with partners they had hoped to let go.

“Anybody out there quarantined with a romantic partner that you planned on divorcing/breaking up with before the world was put on hold? What’s that like?” the post read.

Many responded pointing out the challenges they are facing.

Lockdown prevented us from getting seperate homes

“My wife and I separated three weeks ago. We were both in the process of finding different places to live but our town is shut down now. Needless to say it’s been awkward and tense for us.”

We’re lucky she works in essential services

“My ex & I broke up a couple of months ago. Still living together because our lease isn’t up until September & neither of us has the money to break it. It’s going okay, it’s reasonably amicable, but I’m so thankful she is considered an “essential employee” & still working full-time. I’d be going insane if we were stuck in the house together, day in, day out. I’m just praying we don’t actually end up in quarantine.”

It’s been awkward and tense (Photo: Shutterstock)

My divorcing parents use me as a go-between

“I am currently quarantined with my parents who parents are in the middle of a divorce (dad decided to get a girlfriend after 27 years of marriage) and they aren’t speaking to each other but using me as a go between. It’s been the longest week of my life.”

No relationship pressure 

I have a friend/co-worker whose ex-wife of a month ago just moved back in with him for financial reasons so they could both survive through these difficult times. He said now that the baggage of being in a relationship is gone, they get along and are happier than they’d been for a while. They also have children together, and he feels like now that they don’t need to focus on each other, they can devote more time to the kids and themselves.

We’ve changed our minds (Photo: Shutterstock)

He is making an effort

A little before all this started I made it clear that I was considering divorce and he started making an effort. Now, with the exception of the ever-present fear of getting too sick to care for our children or society crumbling and being unable to meet our basic needs, there aren’t any distractions. And now I’m finally getting the things I’ve been asking for for years.

We changed our minds

Pretty cool. I’ve changed my mind: I think she’s changed hers.

It’s not fun

My ex and I decided to get divorced a few weeks ago, and she is still planning on moving out at the end of the month. We thought we would both be busy enough for it not to be that hard, but then pandemic happened. It’s… not fun.

I haven’t told her I want a divorce (Photo: Shutterstock)

Unhappy but can’t bring myself to end it

We had a couples counseling appointment scheduled that I told myself I would wait until before I verbally said “divorce” to her. But that’s not going to happen with the current state of things. I flip back and forth on if I should say anything but I’m scared to be myself around her. We have an adopted 3 year old daughter whose birth mother died last April so I want to try keeping intact any semblance of a family life for her sake. But I don’t know what the better choice is, continue enduring and losing myself so my daughter can have things I didn’t get as a child, or just start the process of ending it. I certainly can’t do it until the world gets back to some type of normality.

We’re still best friends

I finally admitted to myself that I’m a lesbian, so we’ve been working on divorce proceedings for the last month or so. We still live together because of the lease, but luckily we are best friends still, I’m just not interested in men. It’s sometimes awkward but it’s been mostly okay – luckily he has an essential job so we still get some time apart.

It’s annoying but we’re doing our best

Ya it’s not great, not awful, just annoying. I Told him to move out, we were working toward that process and then…pandemic. If he had left and wasn’t Involved in the care of our son, it would have been a nightmare because I work in the hospital. We’re just trying to do the best we can. This situation hasn’t made anything magically better. I want out, but now is not the right time.

I haven’t told her yet

She doesn’t know yet and I’ve had to push things back. It sucks because I am so unhappy and want it to be done with.

By Standard 

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How a slight headache sparked Covid-19 fears and rush to hospital during curfew



A sudden illness on Tuesday night transformed me from a storyteller to being the story.

It started with my friend developing joint aches, which escalated to a serious headache. My suggestion that we seek medical attention was dismissed outright.

As the situation deteriorated, the nightmare began. Could it be Covid- 19? I didn’t want to contemplate.

Since I was the ‘healthy’ one, I had to calm the fraying nerves. “No, you don’t have corona. I think it’s just a normal fever,” I declared, although from the laughter that greeted my declaration, it was clear my attempt at raising optimism had failed.

Then came another problem: It was past 7pm and the dusk-to-dawn curfew was in effect. I started mental mapping of the nearest hospital accessible from Imara Daima. My best bet was South B or Nairobi West. In the worst case scenario, I could try Nairobi Hospital, Coptic or Aga Khan. My patient was showing alarming signs of weakness.

I took the matter into my hands. I called my place of work, asked for the staff clinic and found a cheery gentleman on the line. I explained the nature of emergency facing me and the man was very sympathetic.

Unfortunately, he could not send an ambulance. He advised me to carry my staff identity card on my way to the hospital and call him if I ran into the police. He would talk to them.

He assured me that the police were under orders to treat such cases sympathetically.

Now, if there’s one lesson my 30 years of practising journalism has taught me, it’s this; orders tend to disappear somewhere along the chain of command and the officer on the beat is usually free to use their discretion, nearly always with disastrous outcomes for those they come into contact with.

I had the option of using my press card but this would have involved a bit of inveigling in explaining the case of my patient, who was stretched out on the back seat. We said a short prayer and hit the road.

Crash statistics

The Nairobi I saw on Tuesday night was totally different from the city I have known since my early teenage years.

Easing into Mombasa Road felt like driving in another planet.

The road is normally busy at this time of the night with workers heading back home, taxis racing their fares to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to catch flights while, in the air, the huge planes approaching for landing normally fly so low you almost see those on board.

Not on this night. The road was deserted and, for a moment or two, I was transported to the pages of the popular Christian fiction books Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins, which describe life on earth after the rapture promised by the Bible has taken place.

As I approached the Kenya Railways bridge, just before General Motors, I saw a traffic policeman stopping a G4S van. My patient murmured a quiet and fast prayer that we wouldn’t be stopped.

The prayers worked and I once again had the entire road all to myself. I fought the temptation to gun down the car because, although my patient would not admit it, I knew the situation was getting worse. I remembered road crash statistics and was grimly reminded that accidents had caused more deaths on our roads than headaches.

I took the turn into South B and was greeted by more shock. You see, the area stretching from South B through South C and to Nairobi West has been my stomping ground and is one corner of our globe that rarely goes to sleep, not this early. Driving into Mariakani Cottage Hospital, I found a group of friendly watchmen who were more than willing to direct me to the parking.

We ambled into the casualty and found the place empty. A friendly nurse took us through the paces of registration and directing my patient to the doctor.

Favourable result

The dreaded moment was finally here. What the doctor would find out had the potential of changing both our lives in ways we couldn’t even imagine: If he had recommended the patient for a Covid-19 test based on the lab analysis, mandatory quarantine would follow.

Since I had been the one handling the patient, the same fate awaited me.

Subconsciously, I replayed the figures Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe had been doling out in his briefings. My mind wandered to Italy, Spain, the US and the other places the virus had ravaged.

With massive

effort, I blocked out such thoughts and focused on getting favourable results.

As I sat there, a man walked in with his daughter who looked seriously ill.

From their dusty feet, it was evident that they had done some serious hoofing before getting to the hospital.

My patient came out with a smile that could light up a Christmas tree. It was an all-clear from the doctor. Turns out it was a case of bacterial infection.

There was no need for further tests. We hugged and back-slapped one another.

I don’t think a bacterial infection had ever been celebrated that much since God created the earth.

The trip back home was easier and faster. Just as we had made a pact with God as we left home, we said a prayer of thanksgiving; thanking God for having the means of getting to hospital, for medical facilities that are near, doctors and nurses to man them and even the ability to pay for the services offered.

We also remembered to pray for the nameless man we had left at the reception waiting to hear from the doctor on the fate of his daughter.

Joseph Mboya is a Nairobi-based journalist


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Technology is the Silver Lining on the Pandemic’s Dark Cloud




There is always a silver lining behind any dark cloud. The current Corona crisis is not an exception. Given, this pandemic will permanently change the way businesses are done across the board. The beauty about this is that it is already changing some of our behaviors and culture for the better.

The Pandemic will certainly change what we value as well as our relationships with others. This pandemic will surely bring new innovations, new thinking and new ways of doing things.

How will the real estate be altered? I think technology uptake will permanently change how we do real estate.

Traditional Real Estate vs. New change (adapting the technology)

1. Self-drives to view Property: Taking people to site was a daily engagement. Now, it is all about self-drives to site. Customers moving forward, will most often be seeking Google coordinates of the property and then proceed to taking themselves to site.

2. Physical brochures and Business Cards will be edged out: It is now evident that e-brochures and e-business cards are effective, save and fast. This may become a new norm with the physical brochures and business cards going extinct. Effectively, there will be less printing, and by extension we will end up saving lots of trees since there will be no much printing on thousands of physical marketing brochures.

3. Physical Visits to Site will reduce for those not too serious about buying: Today, online 3D view of property is allowing customers to have an almost real time view of property. It now also allows customers to make decisions to move to the next level of commitment. For instance, Optiven’s Shamba Mkononi App ( ) allows customers to view their preferred project via Google Earth tools; thus allowing them to see available plots, book site visits online, pick an available plot of their choice and pay for it online.

4. Working from offices will become archaic: We have seen that indeed it is possible for people to work and deliver from home. This has worked during the Covid-19 period. It actually works and indeed, it will surely extend moving forward, for services and work that does not require physical touch. By extension, there may be no need for way bigger office spaces since working from home has proven to be as effective.

5. Cash Payment will be an outdated mode: Online payment is the new way of paying for goods and services. The cashless economy will become an accepted standard. In turn, Governments will save massively for not printing physical money. As a real estate customer, you will not need to travel to a real estate office to deliver money or cheque eating up some more precious time, waiting for a physical receipt. An online transaction and receipting will do just fine.

6. Physical signing will not be fashionable in the near future: Electronic signatures will replace physical signing. The government just allowed electronic signatures and this will surely improve the process of property ownership. Land searches are already online, transfers are going online; things are literally going all digital.

7. Physical meetings for staff will reduce: The use of technology such as Zoom will enable virtual meetings to take place just as effectively. During this Corona crisis, this is what we are currently using. You can expect that the trend will continue, with many meetings being conducted via video conferencing as opposed to one-on-one meetings that sometime end up being time consuming.

The author, is a leading Entrepreneur, a Published Author, Philanthropist, Youth Empowerment Enthusiast, a Family man and CEO of Optiven Group.

Contact Optiven Group: 0790 300 300 Email: Website: George Wachiuri Blog:

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