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From troubled childhood, Kenyan-American eyes top seat in Minnesota

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Mr Boni Njenga, a Kenyan-American born in Nakuru Town, has risen from a boy with a troubled childhood to a man with an interest in an elective post in the US, come the elections on November 3.

Mr Njenga’s mother sent him to the US in 2003 to keep him away from bad peer influence after his high school education.

The single mother of six was concerned about the future of her troublesome son who attended four secondary schools.

He attended D.N Handa Secondary School in Naivasha for his Form One, moved to Coulson Secondary School in Gilgil the following year and then transferred to Kalou Secondary School in Ol Kalou for Form Two and Form Three.

He returned to D. N Handa where he sat his O’level exams.

He passed his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams but his mother worried about the effects peer pressure would have on him.

“My mother was concerned about my discipline. I was giving her a difficult time due to bad influence from my peers,” he says.

“To save me from engaging in drug abuse and crime, she decided to send me to the United States of America to live with my brothers. I arrived in the US with a near-empty suitcase and $50 as pocket money.”

Today, Mr Njenga, an American citizen with a Master’s degree in Public Administration, is seeking to become the first Kenyan-American to sit as a commissioner in one of the county boards in the US.

He will vie for a position in the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners, District 5 (Bloomington, Richfield and Eden Prairie).

“We are facing challenges like the Opioid crisis, homelessness, lack of public safety, racial disparities and tax levy increases with no accountability and transparency on spending,” he says.

Campaign focus

Mr Njenga has lived and worked in Hennepin County for the last nine years.

Being a policy analyst, he says his campaigns are focused on five key areas – creating community wealth, closing achievement gaps, children protective services, safe and affordable housing and improving the quality of life for all residents.

“We can only solve these issues with fresh and bold 21st century governance and by applying evidence-based policy making, which will enable us to curb wasteful spending in Hennepin County, keeping more money in your pocket,” he says.

“I want to advocate for the rights of all residents. Today’s challenges require more than a single approach. They require fresh ideas, action and strong advocacy.”

Mr Njenga is challenging first term incumbent Debbie Goettel, whom he acknowledges as a formidable opponent but adds that he is up to the task.

Hennepin is Minnesota’s largest county with an annual budget of $2.5 billion that is overseen by a seven-member board of commissioners.

Mr Njenga criticises the county’s dismal record when it comes to contracting minority entrepreneurs and says one of his desires is to create community wealth, informed by the challenges marginalised communities face.

“Hennepin County, with its millions of dollars, spends less than one per cent in contracting the minority groups,” he says.

“I want to bring a 21st century approach to policy making,” adds Mr Njenga who has previously pushed for opportunities for marginalised groups.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Njenga has been forced to run his campaigns on social media platforms.

“I reach out to voters through my Facebook page (Boni Njenga), my website (www.boninjenga.com) and Twitter account(@Boninjenga). It is not easy but the circumstances have forced us to keep social distancing.”

Experience

After moving to the US in 2003, Mr Njenga joined Minnesota State University-Mankato from where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and later a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

He has held supervisory and project management roles with the State before joining the private sector.

He says this background will enable him to offer ideas and innovative approaches for creating sustainable jobs and economic security.

“It will be quite an honour if residents of District 5 give me a chance to serve them and give back to the community that gave me a home and accepted me years ago.

“I have always had the passion for public service and politics. I value the quote by former US President J.F. Kennedy – ‘ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your county’.”

He adds, “I came here as a young confused man, unsure of what the future held for me, but through focus, hard work and mentorship by my lecturers, I can look back and thank my mother for sending me here. I know she is proud of me.

“My mother instilled in me discipline and the value of service to the people. Minnesota gave me an elite education and job experience and I have come to call it home. It will be an honour to serve Minnesota.”

Mr Njenga joins the long list of Africans seeking elective posts in Minnesota since the election of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar to the Minnesota Legislature in 2016, and to the US House of Representatives  two years later.

She is the first black person born in Africa to be elected to the US Congress and is the highest ranking elected African immigrant politician in the State.

by nation.co.ke

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Entertainment

Amina Abdi quietly quits troubled Capital FM

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Capital FM presenter Amina Abdi Rabar has called it quits at the station which had recently been hit by a massive exodus of presenters.

Amina’s exit was not announced neither did she tell her listeners that she was leaving the station she had worked for for almost a decade.

In the last few weeks, Fareed Khimani who returned to Capital FM last year, has been hosting the morning show alone and disclosed tha there will be a new co-host who will be joining him soon.

“Amina Abdi will not be returning and I will be joined soon by a new co-host. She has gone to do big and better things,” he said.

Amina, who is a vivid social media user, did not tell her followers that she was leaving her morning show leaving many to speculate on what exactly transpired between her and station owned by city billionaire Chris Kirubi.

Her social media pages showed that she had deleted almost everything to do with the media house only leaving the material she promotes and the show she hosts on NTV, The Trend.

Her departure from Capital fm comes just a month after another long time presenter Miano Muchiri left, and unlike the quiet departure by Amina, he said he was leaving his mid-morning show which he had hosted for more than a decade.

“The time has come to say goodbye to radio I would love it if you tuned in tomorrow one last time from 10:00-14:00,” he told his listeners then.

In mid-2019, the media house lost a host of its top talents, including radio host Anita Nderu who resigned saying she felt she had given her best and wanted new challenges.

Others who left the station are Web Editor and lifestyle writer/photographer Susan Wong, who resigned in January 2019 to return to her Canadian home and popular presenter Laura Walubengo, who quit in July 2018.

Others who also left were veteran presenters like Maqbul Mohammed, Cess Mutungi and My Two Cents co-hosts Sharon Mundia.

by NN

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Lifestyle

The ocean is my moneymaker

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For Mohammed Abbas, a fire was sparked as a child when he would accompany his father, a sailor, on his trips on the Indian Ocean. This boating hobby he started at 10 years old has now turned into a full-blown investment.

“I would go fishing with my father when I was a small boy at the creeks in Mtwapa and many other spots. I also learnt fishing from practising and hanging out wiht different fishermen. I started sport fishing as a hobby and soon after, I started getting inquiries from friends interested to try it out, because they were interested in water sports activities. At first we would pool resources and go out into the sea just for fun, until last year when I decided to venture into it as a business,” he shares.

Recreational fishing, also called sport fishing, is fishing for pleasure or competition rather than for survival.

While Mohammed’s first boat was a small fibreglass canoe 15 ft, five years ago, he bought the Tiara SST 31 Fishing Boat for offshore sport fishing, powered by two Turbo engines, with a maximum cruising speed of 20 Knots. Among the reasons he selected this boat is that it comes with many strong features that make it the best for sport fishing, including a GPS Tracker, VHF Radio, Toilet, Ice boxes [so clients could be served soft drinks), rods, reels and tackles amongst others. .

Besides monetary reasons, Mohammed ventured into boating and sport fishing out of an urge to show more people the sea life.

“There is so much to explore and we are happy to take people to it. It is also a prideful activity because we don’t have it anywhere else in Kenya, and we are lucky that as beneficiaries of the Indian Ocean, there are very many species of fish and other life to see. We have the big five catches [which include; the blue Marlin, Stripe Marlin, Black Marlin, Sail Fish and Broadbill), the Wahoo, Dorado, YellowFin Tuna and Kingfish. We tag and release the big five. We allow customers to take the pelagic fish home or it is served to them as the catch of the day if they are residents at the hotel,” he adds.

He also got into this business to create employment opportunities in the tourism industry, with the aim of making Diani the watersport hub. He has created employment for over nine people, who are all well trained in deep sea fishing, jet ski, wind surfing, kite surfing, kayaking and other motorised sports.

Being in this line of work is fun and pays off as it has been embraced both by international and local tourists. But also is not left without its own challenges, the biggest being non-licensed operators.

“While safety is the most critical part of the sporting activities, unlicensed corporates do not adhere to many safety regulations. They are not a competition as such, but a threat to the business because once something goes wrong, then all the practising companies are categorised under one and we have to carry the blame and sometimes even at threat of being shut down. For instance, sometime back, there used to be skydiving in Diani, until there was an accident and someone died and the activity was completely banned here. Not only for the “unlicensed business owner” but for all of us,” he explains.

Despite presence of many boards in boating activities, the director shares that the government has not been doing much to get rid of unlicensed operators from the sea.

Just like many other businesses, Mohammed’s company has also been faced with Covid-19 challenges. However, unlike many businesses that were letting go of some staff, Mohammed could not lay off his staff because all of them depend on the activities for their income. Forced to take a loan to make ends meet and ensure that his staff are catered for, Mohammed is requesting for the government’s intervention to help businesses get back on their feet.

While business has been highly dependent on international tourists, he is pleased that more local tourists are starting to embrace big game fishing and encouraging more people to experience and make memories. The boat can carry a maximum of six people, excluding the boat crew, and can go up to 48km on the sea. While the rates are not constant, the average rate is Sh16,000 for the day, which is negotiable. Also since the boat is located at Baobab Hotel, you could get your catch prepared for lunch at the hotel.

By PD.co.ke

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Entertainment

PHOTOS: Actress Shiro from Aunty boss steps out in bikini

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Shiro aka Nyce Wanjeri has lately been reaching out to her fans through her YouTube show; especially now that the Local TV series came to an end.

Just like the rest of the cast, Shiro has been trying to remain relevant in the entertainment industry; and this means keeping up with what fans want or rather would like to see.

When everyone else was sharing their bikini photos online the actress chose to hold back as she awaited to drop bomb bikini photos that have left tongues wagging on social media.


Aunty boss aka Nyce Wanjeri

Judging from the photos shared on her page just recently; we can all agree that the lady has the perfect body for tiny bikinis; and for this reason we cannot blame her thirsty fans for wanting to see more of these pictures.

Nyce Wanjeri

Silprosa’s bikini photos

Nyce Wanjeri however joins the likes of former Aunty boss actress Silprosa who brought the internet to a stand still with her swimsuit photos.

Having the young lady parade her thick curves on social media was the beginning of her new journey on social media! Many of her fans went on to praise Silprosa for embracing her imperfect imperfections that brought nothing but the best out of her.

And with these swimsuit photos, the actress ended landing a job with Akothee Safaris; something she never dreamt of even in her wildest dreams! Anyway, let’s just say that 2020 was Silprosa’s year!

by Ghafla.com

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