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Lolani Kalu: I Just need a video camera and computer

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When a picture of Lolani Kalu was shared on Twitter by a fan, Kenyans on Twitter expressed their sympathy on a man who will always be remembered as one of the leading Swahili journalists in the country, musician, actor, comedian and Swahili poet.

Dressed in ageing cargo pants, a checked shirt, a marvin and sandals, Lolani Kalu, now 56,  is the picture of a man who has tasted the varying flavours of life without a wince on his face.

After losing his job at a local TV station in December 2017, the veteran journalist who entertained Kenyans with shows such as Malimwengu na Lolani and Gumzo Mtaani found himself back to his home town in Kilifi. 

As if the devil had come to pay him a visit, Lolani found that his father was sick and for a year they would spend a lot of money trying to restore his health. In October 2019, his 89-year-old father died leaving behind an 89-year-old widow currently staying with Lolani.

“I decided I should stay close to her and at least help her around with things.”

But it’s through her that Lolani is who he is today. “I got all the talent from her. She was an actor back in ’47 and all the stories I have come from her. She is a storyteller and I’ve even tried printing one of her books,” says Lolani.

He now runs a community-based initiative in the village where he nurtures young talent in acting, scriptwriting and music.

READ ALSO:   ‘Borrowing Ksh200 for my mums medication made people assume am suffering’ Lolani Kalu opens up

However, the veteran journalist has his hands tied due to a lack of equipment to actualize his dream of bringing his flooding ideas back to his audience.

“I only need two things. A good video camera and a computer. The creativity is still there and all I need is equipment to work and to help the young people here in my village,” says Lolani.

He explains that his zeal for telling stories is still alive and on fire ready to be shared with the world. “I have written 46 art and culture scripts waiting to be shot together with over 120 poems many that were even narrated on the radio.”

Speaking to Standard Digital, his voice is solid, firm and bold just as it was when airing his features on African culture. He does not curse fate for crashing him from the peak of celebrity status but accepts his situation as if he had a sitting with Buddha. 

“I have normal challenges that everyone goes through and I’m satisfied with life here but I have a lot I can do.”
His career started in 1985 when the then 20-year-old Lolani finished school. He joined Sauti ya Kenya immediately and started translating and writing news at the same time sharing the stage with the likes of popular Tv actor the Late Mzee Ojwang’.

He later became a full-time actor in the national theatre performing different set books such as Animal Farm by George Orwell.

In 1999, Lolani Kalu got a job at Nation, now known as NTV and was laid off after 17 years.  
Having been a musician for many years and playing both the piano and drums, Lolani Kalu is now working on the first-ever Swahili Music theory book. 

He sees a bright future where he can be able to tell stories again.
“I am content with the life God has given me. I want to help people through the stories I will tell.”

READ ALSO:   ‘Borrowing Ksh200 for my mums medication made people assume am suffering’ Lolani Kalu opens up

By Standard.co.ke

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Lifestyle

US boy fatally shoots self at his third birthday party

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Houston,

A three-year-old Texas boy has died after shooting himself with a gun he found during his own birthday party, police said Monday.

The youngster was celebrating with family and friends on Saturday in Porter, 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Houston, when adults heard a gunshot while playing cards.

The boy was found with a gunshot wound to his chest and rushed to a fire station where he died, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department said.

Authorities said the boy had found a pistol that had fallen out of a relative’s pocket.

The group Everytown for Gun Safety said that, since the beginning of the year, the country has seen at least 229 unintentional shootings by children, resulting in 97 deaths.

A third of US adults own a gun, with the right to own firearms guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.

Texas is among states with the most permissive gun laws.

By AFP

READ ALSO:   ‘Borrowing Ksh200 for my mums medication made people assume am suffering’ Lolani Kalu opens up
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Lifestyle

Apply for KeNHA’s TVET scholarships, Waiguru tells Kirinyaga youth

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Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has challenged youth in her county to apply for scholarships being offered by the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) in selected technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions.

Ms Waiguru Monday revealed that KeNHA has chosen Sagana Technical Institute and Kaitheri Youth Polytechnic as training centres for the skills sponsored programme targeting young people living along the upcoming Kenol-Sagana-Marwa dual carriage way.

The governor noted that the training will improve chances of the youth getting road construction jobs. She added that she has lobbied the national government for 30 per cent of the slots to be reserved for Kirinyaga residents.

“For the youth who have been seeking jobs, this is an opportunity knocking at your doorsteps and you should seize it by enrolling yourselves in either of these two institutions,” she said.

In an advertisement, KeNHA indicated that those who qualify for the skills training must be aged between 18 and 35 years and should register with their KCSE or KCPE certificates. The successful candidates will each receive a scholarship for three terms which will cater for tuition fees and accommodation.

Sagana Technical Institute is offering carpentry, electrical wiring, masonry, welding and fabrication while Kaitheri Youth Polytechnic is offering motor vehicle mechanics, electrical installation grade three and hairdressing and beauty courses.

READ ALSO:   ‘Borrowing Ksh200 for my mums medication made people assume am suffering’ Lolani Kalu opens up

According to the advert, applications are to be submitted to the Kirinyaga County commissioner’s office by November 3.

The upcoming 84-kilometre dual carriage highway is part of the Great North Road that connects Mombasa port to Addis Ababa through Nairobi, Isiolo and Moyale.

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Entertainment

Death of festivals dims Lamu hope to revive ailing tourism

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Maulid. Food and Expo. Art, yoga and kite festivals. These are just a few of a slew of art and culture experiences that Lamu County used to dish out to the world and which boosted its tourism profile.

Lamu Old Town, also known as “the island of festivals”, had a splendid array of events and festivals ranging from Eid-Ul-Adhar to the Lamu Fishing Competition, Lamu Art Festival, The Lamu Cultural Festival, Lamu Yoga Festival, the Kite Festival, Shella Hat Contest and the Lamu Painters Festival.

But these events were put on the back burner as the tourism sector took a nosedive.

Coming on the backdrop of the Mpeketoni terror attacks in 2014 that also hit tourism hard, hospitality industry players say the vital sector is in the doldrums and want the festivals reinstated. Speaking during a forum in Lamu at the weekend, hoteliers and other players questioned why the county government has not been keen in reviving the events.

Hotelier Salim Abubakar said the county’s tourism sector was on the decline after the festivals were lifted. He urged Governor Fahim Twaha to restore the events and revive the sector.

“All the festivals that were introduced in the calendar of events are crucial. They served to attract visitors, both domestic and international, to Lamu. We need them back so that the tourism sector can be improved,” he said.

READ ALSO:   ‘Borrowing Ksh200 for my mums medication made people assume am suffering’ Lolani Kalu opens up

Marketing strategy

Former Lamu Tourism Association (LTA) deputy chairman Ghalib Alwy said the body, in partnership with the county tourism office started the festivals to attract more tourists. Mr Alwy said it is important that the events are retained.

“We launched those events as a marketing strategy for Lamu tourism. Through them, we were able to attract tourists from Kenya, East Africa and the world. This is after the terrorism attacks led to an almost 90 percent decline of the sector. It’s only through the festivals that tourists got the confidence to visit Lamu again. The events must be reinstated,” said Mr Alwy. Mr Mohamed Hassan noted that local tourism was still doing badly, attributing the situation to a section of foreign countries that are still having active travel advisories against their citizens visiting Lamu.

“The travel advisories still play a big role in scaring away tourists. We want as many festivals as possible as they have the ability to ensure the tourism climbs back on its feet,” said Mr Hassan.

Some of the festivals known and which are still being celebrated by many in Lamu includes the annual Lamu Cultural Festival that is marked between November and December, the Maulid Festival marked every January, New Year’s Dhow Race marked on January 1 and Eid Ul-Fitr marked every July.

READ ALSO:   ‘Borrowing Ksh200 for my mums medication made people assume am suffering’ Lolani Kalu opens up

The festivals are said to attract more than 30,000 visitors from around the world.

by Nation.africa

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