Month: May 2015

Music streaming services

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Music streaming services like Beats, Deezer, Pandora, Rdio and Spotify have become a major form of music listening in recent years. People can use computers, phones and certain other devices to listen music of their selection, while a fast enough internet connection is needed. Streaming services often have a freemium business model, so that there is a limited service free of cost and a premium an account offering unlimited listening and other benefits. Subscription fees for premium services are usually around 10€ a month depending on service and regional location. This article concentrates on Spotify and Deezer as both are well known and have wide catalogues of over 30 million songs. The amount of African music available on both services is surprisingly good. Likes of Fela Kuti, Manu Dibango, Miriam Makeba, Franco, Angelique Kidjo, Salif Keita, Ali Farka Toure and Mahmoud Ahmed all have much of their discography on the catalogue. Similarly most recent hits by African artists are there. You may find them on Youtube too, which has wider and more global audience, but if you are interested in full albums and older music, counting on music streaming services is a better bet.

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Long-distance running in East Africa – potential for sports tourism?

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East Africa is known for its athletes who dominate long-distance running. The best talent come from specific areas such as Nandi Hills in Kenya or Arsi Zone in Ethiopia. Running is increasingly popular activity in western countries too, not so much as a competitive sport but as an exercise. Yet many of them take the hobby rather seriously, training for marathons and other tough races. The question is can these East African countries develop “running tourism”, would amateur runners come to train or even compete in the “home of long-distance running”? Read the rest of this entry »

Experiences on unlimited mobile data plans in East Africa

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Using mobile internet in Africa can be a frustrating experience. 3G networks are very limited, speeds often low, networks may get down, and lastly, data bundles can be expensive and tend to have small data caps. Unlimited plans are handy as one does not have to constantly worry about exceeding data limits, but hardly any operators dare to offer them. However, in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania some operators provide affordably priced prepaid unlimited data plans. These are are my experiences how they work, and whether are worth the money. Read the rest of this entry »

Nairobi streets get flooded

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Major floods in Nairobi have been in news this week (at least locally, global media does not pay much attention – just imagine the amount of coverage if this happened in the western world). Having floods in Nairobi is nothing new, but these are mostly restricted to slum areas on riverbanks receiving no government attention whatsoever. But flooding of this scale in the Kenyan capital is beyond people’s memory. Other than Nairobi, big floods have occurred this year in various parts of Kenya, notably in Narok town.

Flooded road in Kileleshwa, Nairobi 2015.
Flooded road in Kileleshwa, Nairobi 2015.

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Haile Gebrselassie’s retirement

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Ethiopian running legend Haile Gebrselassie announced his retirement from competitive running last weekend. His 2010 retirement proved short-lived, but now that he’s already 42 the decision is set to last. Just to summarise his achievements, he won two Olympic gold medals and four world championships over 10.000 metres track event between 1993 and 2000, won number of high profile marathons and set a World Record on various distances 27 times. Read the rest of this entry »

“Waka Waka” turns five years

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It is five years since Shakira’s hit “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)”, the official FIFA 2010 World Cup song was released in May 2010. Yes, that song was an inspiration for the name of this blog.

“Waka Waka” turned out to be a huge international hit, topping single lists in several countries and selling over ten million digital copies to date. The song regained popularity last year, during the World Cup in Brazil, whistling out the negatively perceived “We Are One (Ole Ola)” by Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez.   Read the rest of this entry »

Crossing Kilindini by a cable car

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News items by Daily Nation, Capital FM, Business Daily and others reported today on plans to construct a cable car over the Likoni Creek in Mombasa, complementing the Ferry currently connecting Mombasa Island to the South Coast. First time hearing about this project, it should be ready by January 2017 (only a fool believes it will). Read the rest of this entry »