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Where Art Thou Bus? Point Blank with Asian Weekly 30th June 2017

BRT Courtesy Newsbytes

BRT Courtesy Newsbytes

The world has several transport systems. The earliest known mode of transport to man were the use of horses, carriages and then the motorcar, until the railway line changed the dynamics. When the Wright Brothers were making the airplane, it was thought that is the craziest thing possible. Now we are hopping from continent to continent.

Every country is unique and while a metro is successful for London it may not be for Namibia. The best public transport systems in the world have been known to be in yes London, New York, Paris, Beijing, Tokyo, Berlin, Moscow, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Dubai and Zurich. But while their success mostly comes from the subways and railway lines, there is the successful Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) that has made life easier for many cities too. The Bus Rapid Transit System was first used in Curitiba, Brazil in 1974 where it requires the following corridor in order to operate successfully:

  • Be at least 3km length with dedicated lanes
  • Score 4 or more points in dedicated right-of-way element
  • Score 4 or more points in bus way alignment element
  • Score 20 or more points across all five BRT Basics element: these are Dedicated right-of-way, Bus way alignment, Off-board fare collection, Intersection treatments, Platform-level boarding

According to recent research BRT can reduce travel time by millions of hours so instead of us wasting our time at the mercy of the Kenyan Traffic Police, they too will get a relief. In Johannesburg users are saving 13 minutes each way during their daily commutes, so imagine what we could do with that kind of time. It is also an excellent way to keep commuters active, for example according to the World Health Organization adults aged 18-64 should walk at least 150 minutes per week, with this BRT they will have to because of parking the private vehicles at terminals and then heading to the bus station.

Recently the current Nairobi Governor, Evans Kidero announced that the BRT System would be built along Mombasa Road, Thika Super Highway, Ngong Road, Jogoo Road and Waiyaki Way. According to the research by the City Council of Nairobi, “about 8000 vehicles are registered by Kenya Revenue Authority each month and 7000 end up in Nairobi. At independence, Kenya had 3000 cars and about 800km of paved roads. In 1974, the country had about 3000 vehicles and 2000km of tarmacked roads compared to today’s 8000km.”

Kenya is on the path for further development, especially so with the phase 1 of the Standard Gauge Railway, which has been completed and successfully launched on 31st May. This mega project is a bigger picture of connecting East African passengers and cargo. The single-track line between Mombasa and Nairobi has been dubbed Madaraka Express and will pass through 40 stations. Kenya is definitely a growing economy and transportation of goods via the road network cannot be the only option to be relied upon. Thus, the SGR will make the bigger difference. The matatus and coach buses probably fear losing business in the entirety with all this development. But then again they have been a menace to the roads, with their reckless driving and rash behavior, maybe their time is over. There is no need for useless road rage that is converting regular drivers of saloon cars to join this rough gang of unruly drivers. We can be civil drivers, passengers and commuters. Also anyway most countries have multiple modes of transportation for various requirements, ultimately price and service will have to be king. The only discouraging thing is that usually Kenyans are so complacent with poor service that they really will not create that tipping point needed for a transformation in public transport. Yes it will have different options, but they will either deteriorate because of poor maintenance and corruption every step of the way, or really Kenyans will stand up and demand what is their right, their right to a better life, after all their taxes are running the nation.

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Posted by on August 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Men and House Husbands? You Must Be Joking! Point Blank with Asian Weekly 18th December 2015

Men and House Husbands? You Must Be Joking!

Men Cooking

Here’s a typical house, woman wakes up, gets ready and starts to make breakfast tea and prepares the lunch for school or husband and possibly herself. Everyone sits together, has the breakfast and all are off to wherever they need to be. Here’s a not so typical house, man wakes up, gets ready and starts to make breakfast tea and prepares the lunch for school or wife and possibly himself. Wait a minute, when did the roles switch?

Welcome to the new generation and their duty sharing. Just imagine your grandfather or maybe even your dad making bhajias in the kitchen for you? While the world’s most successful chefs are men, this role of housekeeping is different. There are many dads who love to cook and are quite good at it but perhaps cooking is the exception to the norm or maybe not.

Here’s a situation in London where most of you have families and can easily relate to. They have almost no house helps because labour is expensive so it is no surprise when the husband is stepping in to vacuum, do laundry or wash dishes. Because each spouse works, handles the kids or in-laws/parents and if everyone did their part it makes life a lot easier and less expensive. Very few old-fashioned husbands let their wives slave off and don’t even pick their dishes. But let’s come down to Nairobi and what’s happening here. The lady is the manager of the house and she has a team of house helps. While most men don’t do the housework or cook as much, they remain the old-fashioned men. It is the younger families who are opting to call in the house help once/twice a week and assisting in grocery shopping, chopping vegetables, cleaning the sitting room or gardening. Yes things are changing and there is nothing much wrong with that.

What is wrong is when these tasks are being used to seem that they really can’t live without each other. There is nothing creepier that going to meet a young couple and they are chirping away in the kitchen as if they just met for the first time and can’t even sit opposite each other. They want to sit side by side, share their own conversations and not have their own mind. Then you are wondering what happened to “mankind”. Men are not the greatest homemakers; they neither have the tact nor the compassion. If they do then I am sorry they are gay.

To be fair, as much as women may not be the best office managers, men are not the best househusbands. The man is designed differently from woman, and that’s why they behave the way they do. Yes over the years they have become sensitive to a few lady issues and lend a hand, but I think it boils down to upbringing and manners.

When a boy is thought good manners, appreciation of the opposite sex and life skills then he won’t need to become a househusband. He will choose his path in life, both career and love well. You might argue am I saying that if a man were to stay at home and look after the kids and wife goes to work he is a weak man. Yes that is what I am saying. Call me old fashioned but a man should be involved in changing diapers and even cook once in a while, but he needs to maintain his power, discipline and commitment to keeping the family secure, earn sufficiently consistently and be the provider. When the roles are reversed you are setting up a marriage for a divorce. Women are not great at being strong and independent and accepting a lesser man, it just can’t work.

Let the man be the man and let the woman be the woman. We are out of the dark ages of woman in the kitchen only but remember men can’t give birth to children so they still have their reasons for being how they are and what role they should be playing. Share the work as much as possible but remember too much imbalance doesn’t make sense.

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Travel to Ireland- Wineport Lodge, Athlone

Ireland Flag 1

This blog is the first of a special series of my trip to Ireland between August & September 2015.

Getting to Dublin from Nairobi takes a Visa for Kenyan Citizens and you can visit this website for more information https://www.dfa.ie/embassies/irish-embassies-abroad/sub-saharan-africa/kenya/

I also travelled from London and used the Gatwick Airport with Aer Lingus and was delighted because the airport is amazingly hospitable and fun duty free shopping and the flight was easy.

 

 

DRINKING MY FIRST GUINNESS AT WINEPORT LODGE

Welcome to Wineport Lodge in Athlone, which is a town on River Shannon. The Lodge has been beautifully designed to give company to the cozy. It has an amazing view of the River Shannon and great simple decor. The use of wood and cabin style makes you feel at home yet sophisticated.

I had my first glass of Guinness here, the whole idea was to test whether I can handle it and I am happy to say that I was great at it. When I got there it was about 3pm and it was raining (lol when doesn’t it rain in Ireland I quickly found out). But this did not deter the diners who were deep in conversation and enjoying the majestic view of the River.

Travelling to Ireland is a must, and especially if you can go by road to as many places as possible, it will be a road trip to remember.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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My Meeting with Malala Yousafzai- The Asian Weekly Interview 2nd October 2015

She is my hero and the hero of the 66 million girls around the world that don’t have access to education. Transform your girl child’s life by giving them education and don’t miss the chance to watch this amazing true story- “HE NAMED ME MALALA”.

I had the fortune of meeting and sitting down to talk with Malala Yousafzai in London, courtesy of The Asian Weekly, Crimson Multimedia and Fox Searchlight Pictures UK.

This is my story with her.

Malala Yousafzai Interview The Asian Weekly 2nd October 2015 Page 1

Malala Yousafzai Interview The Asian Weekly 2nd October 2015 Page 1

Malala Yousafzai Interview The Asian Weekly 2nd October 2015 Page 2

Malala Yousafzai Interview The Asian Weekly 2nd October 2015 Page 2

 

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Asian Scene, The Star- Peter Kenneth talks to Asians, 19th February

Young, energetic and punctual, Mr Peter Kenneth, the Presidential Candidate of the Kenya National Congress arrived at the Oshwal Centre, Nairobi on Sunday 17th February with his running mate Ronnie Osumba and Nairobi Governor candidate Esther Passaris to address the Hindu Council of Kenya.

He received an overwhelming amount of questions, the audience wanted to know more about him and how will he make the refreshing changes that he promises. “Farmers need to go back to farming, Kenya’s tourism is not even close to the 1.5million shoppers of Oxford Street which is a 3km stretch in London city, our education must become quality and not quantity” were some of his major comments.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Film Review- Jab Tak Hai Jaan

saans_song_jab_tak_hai_jaan_hi_16549

saans_song_jab_tak_hai_jaan_hi_16549 (Photo credit: Dvidsrkmicheal)

 

 

Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma

Director: Yash Chopra

There will be no more films by Yash Chopra. This is a glaring fact as you finish watching “Jab Tak Hai Jaan”, his last film before he passed away on 21st October, 12.

Let’s begin the film review now. I will quickly pass through the bad and end up with the good because there was lots of it.

The film starts with a bomb diffusion in progress and the scene is straight of Hollywood blockbuster “Hurt Locker” and unfortunately every time there is another such situation like this it looks exactly taken from the same film.

The other annoyingly ridiculous fact is the ages of the star pair or shall we say trio. Shahrukh Khan looks easily 40 and let’s be real he can’t be playing 25 year olds, so the age should have been 30? Katrina Kaif doesn’t look 21 any more and Anuskha Sharma was the only safe person playing 21.

There is no more bad for me and now turn for the good.

Yes, it is a simple love story but a grand because it was written by Aditya Chopra and directed by Yash Chopra so there are bound to be some out of this world situations. Major Samar Anand is Shahrukh Khan and is carrying a broken heart where the love of his life, Meera Thapar who is Katrina Kaif leaves him to keep a promise she makes to God. Yash Chopra brings out a beautiful moment of a conversation that Meera has with God, or as she calls him ‘Sir Jesus’ and the tradition of church scenes seems to be inspired from Aditya Chopra’s “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge”.

This promise costs Samar and Meera their love and in the way comes a test of time during which a bubbly and daring Akira Rai who is Anuskha Sharma appears. Akira is unstoppable and falls in love with Samar and just for a moment you feel that there is a possibility that they will fall in love. This is the brilliance of Yash Chopra that you can never tell the end of the story and step by step he tackles relationships and their conversations as if that is how they should be or maybe could be?

Anupam Kher’s appearance is short just like that of Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh but they touch a chord. There are high chances of this being the best ever performance by Katrina Kaif so far and swooping the Best Actress awards. Anuskha is strong too and could easily take the Best Supporting Actress. But the real hero is Shahrukh Khan and it is no doubt that he has been nicknamed “the King of Romance”. He is charming, sincere and a winner! Director of Choreography Vaibhavi Merchant scores a 100% in the song “Ishq Shava” and generally the music of the film is better after watching the film. The lyrics by Gulzar and the tunes by A R Rahman were a suitable match, could it have been better, peppier or happening? Perhaps not. Get ready to fall in love with London, fall in love with Samar and fall in love with life, as he titled this Yash Chopra Romance- “Jab Tak Hai Jaan” (till you have life).

English: Yash Chopra at Suzanne Roshan's The C...

English: Yash Chopra at Suzanne Roshan’s The Charcoal Project Launch. Photo: FilmiTadka. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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