Tag Archives: Michael Joseph

The Michael Joseph Saga

Safaricom CEO – Michael Joseph (demi-hero)

So just in case you’ve just woken up like Rip Van Winkle or have dropped in from another planet and you don’t know who Michael Joseph is, he is the CEO of Safaricom, which according to me is the biggest mobile phone communication provider in Kenya. Matatus and children are named after him (Michael Njoroge Joseph is one I know) and his demi-hero status was pretty much elevated when he introduced the coolest concept of money transfer in this country – Mpesa.  This isn’t his CV or anything – I’m about to share with you my run in with this demi-hero and how!

It all started when my BlackBerry broke. My world came to a standstill and I wept tears of blood and was totally heartbroken. My family couldn’t understand for one nano-second why I was so hysterical. I’m not apologising for being a BlackBerry addict and if you’re a BlackBerry owner you’re probably nodding in agreement. I replaced my handset in less than six hours and life was ok again. I even regaled this account of mine in the Star and that’s how Michael Joseph probably got to know I existed.

I received an email from him. Let me describe that day actually. I got to the East FM studio and logged onto the computer where we all sit in the open plan work area and started checking my mail. I saw the name Michael Joseph in my inbox and a vague bell rang in my head. I started off by reading my horoscope (I’m a Gemini in case you want to know) and then scrolled down to the rest of the messages. When I got to Mr Joseph’s message I thought it was a fake message. You know how people get onto web-based mails and create email IDs with names of famous people. I looked at the email address it came from and shock-horror-gasp it was a bonafide address! I let out a whoop of excitement. THE Michael Joseph had written to me. My colleagues crowded around my work station to see if I was joking, and for the rest of the day I was very proud of the fact that the CEO of Safaricom had written to me.  I called my Dad straight away who gets pleased with me and for me at the smallest thing ever – bless him.

Basically Mr Joseph said I ought to try an iPhone and see the difference as he had one too and I wrote back politely declining that I was a die-hard BlackBerry addict and it wouldn’t be easy to sway me. HE WROTE BACK!! (Cup runneth over syndrome had now set in) He then said to me in the email that should I ever want to try an iPhone all I needed to do was ask.

When I told my friends and relatives about this everyone told me ‘Ngai! You should have just taken it!!’ Take it and done what? I was in love with my posh new BlackBerry. Until of course early this month when things started going terribly wrong. The device kept rebooting itself and I wasn’t too happy about that. I missed important calls and messages just because the device had restarted and wouldn’t budge further unless I put in my PIN code. This started getting bothersome and one fine day as I was clearing out old messages from the inboxes last week I came across the old messages from Mr Joseph. The imp in me grinned to myself and wanted to see if after all these months Mr Joseph would deliver so I emailed him asking him if the offer was still on.

I received a lovely email from Purity from the CEO’s office politely asking me if I would like a black iPhone or a white one. Once again I did the email address check just to see if it was a hoax and allowed myself to yell out a huge ‘woohoo’ when I saw it was a legitimate address. I was also asked where I would like it delivered and apologies were made for not having it sent last week. Somebody make Michael Joseph the president of this country if this is his height of efficiency.

So anyway, I’m now the very proud owner of a fabulous iPhone just a week before my birthday thanks to Michael Joseph, who I passed by in the stairwell of Lion Place one Thursday afternoon as the lift wasn’t working, but didn’t get a chance to stop him and chat about my Bonga points. Maybe next time…


My Run In With Bob…

He's lovely I tell you...


My Saturday mornings are usually spent doing stuff with my kids. I try and get the housework out of the way as the kids’ social life is far hectic than mine. I run Mummy’s Taxi every weekend like it’s going out of fashion. From swimming classes to piano lessons, from going to the movies to treating my kids to a pizza life does get pretty hectic.


Today was a rare Saturday that I had to myself as I had to meet a friend for brunch at ArtCaffe at Westgate Mall. I totally enjoyed her lovely company and then thought of treating myself to a new pair of heels. Alas nothing tickled my fancy at all so I decided to just come back home and after doing that pay-ticket nonsense where no one ever seems to have the right change I walk towards my car and see a familiar face.

I’m used to seeing this face with a suit adorning the body in the newspapers but just last week I had met Bob Collymore, the CEO of Safaricom, at Mindspeak hosted by Aly-Khan Satchu where Gina Din was the guest speaker. Bob knows of me because somehow (I can’t recall how it all started) I offered to sell my kidney to cook a meal for him if he bought me posh chocolates. You see for Valentine’s Day, Gina had made Jeff Koinange treat me to a lovely box of choccies and I’ve been swooning over Jeff at every social website so I’m thinking Bob might have felt he was more worthy of a swoon since his chocolates were probably more up-market (from Dubai, he claims).


Now the thing is that Jeff delivered within 24 hours, Michael Joseph delivered my new BlackBerry Torch in 48 hours (Bob has a problem with this but more on this in another post) and 2 weeks on I’m still awaiting my chocolates.


So I ran into Bob at the parking at Westgate and he was LOVELY! He stopped to say hello and give me a hug and I cheekily asked him if he was here to buy me chocolates, which he has promised to deliver to me at work on Monday, and he literally dragged me to buy me chocolates. Isn’t he lovely? I graciously declined because:

a.)          I was in a rush to go pick up my kids from my parents’ place

b.)          I have been bragging on all social mediums since last night that THE Bob Collymore (yes he who is the CEO of Safaricom) will be coming to Lion Place to personally deliver the chocolates so there was no way I would accept chocolates and then be asked or teased by my colleagues that I was just making up stories.

c.)           He looked like he was in a rush and even though he gallantly offered to buy the whole chocolate aisle I was just keen on the posh Dubai chocolates.


Bob… you really are lovely. Thank you for making my day by stopping for a chat (you CEOs are not as snobbish as us mere Kenyans think you are eh…) and above all for being so kindly generous. I look forward to meeting you on Monday.


Oh and Bob was GLARING at my BlackBerry Torch and I’ll tell you more about that AFTER I get my chocolates. Something to do with the lovely Purity and Tabie… Watch this space!



Lightning DOES strike twice in the same place!


This is, I promise you, not an attempt to show off. If it were I’d throw in a lot more than what I am just about to but I really do want to share my good fortune and also want to correct the illusion that lightning does not strike twice. It does and I’ll tell you how.

As always, I was just minding my own business. Sometimes I like to mind someone else’s but this time it was totally my own that I was looking out for when suddenly I started having problems with one of my major organs. I can forgive you for thinking if your mind has wandered towards a bodily organ but I’ll correct you and have you know that I consider my two handsets, the iPhone and the BlackBerry my major organs. I cannot do without either.


So the BlackBerry starts acting strange and keeps rebooting in the middle of phone calls and I’m getting really frustrated. The last time I had BlackBerry problems, the then CEO of Safaricom Michael Joseph gifted me a beautiful iPhone 3GS, which instantly became the love of my life. So while this posh new handset became my primary organ and means to reach the world I retained the BlackBerry too. I’m a Kenyan – I’m SUPPOSED to have two phones at least!

My Two Vital Organs

Being the social network addict I am, I started appealing on Facebook and Twitter for a kind donor to sell their kidney for me so that I could buy a new BlackBerry. This world is cruel – no one spoke up and poked fun at my plea then eventually I put up my kidney for sale on the said social forums relating that I would buy a new BlackBerry once I sold my kidney and what do you know… My plea gets heard! Michael Joseph drops by on Facebook and Twitter to tell me he’d send me a new BlackBerry and I wouldn’t need to sell any bodily parts!

My Super Hero - No kidneys had to be sold

While I tried to act nonchalant that Michael Joseph had commented on my Facebook status and directed a message to me on Twitter, my friends were seriously impressed and a couple of them tried their best to blatantly beg to be included in this impromptu gift-giving fest. For some rather strange reason, many of my friends think that I am best of mates with Michael and that I probably have posh business lunches with him, which is not true because I have a radio show to do over lunch hours and sometimes I actually allow them to think that but that usually backfires when they come to me telling me to throw in a good word for them with Michael, begging for things ranging from employment to sponsorship, new handsets and perhaps to add them on Facebook too, to everything in between.


Anyway, within 48 hours of my heartfelt plea I was the proud owner of a brand new BlackBerry Torch gifted to me, once again, by THE Michael Joseph, who was incidentally abroad when all this drama happened and had the lovely Purity at his office back in Nairobi sort out the delivery of the handset to me. I keep saying this over and over again – if this is the height of efficiency coming from Michael Joseph can someone please just make him the President or something?


Write-up sent from Kamal Kaur’s brand new BlackBerry Torch







My New Name is iKamal…

Not really but at the rate I’m being gifted iProducts I feel I’ll soon be called iKamal. Let me start from the top. 2010 has been a great year for me in terms of these said products. It started at the end of May when after my BlackBerry broke for the second time I tearfully asked Michael Joseph who was the CEO at Safaricom then for an iPhone he had offered me in November the previous year and I had somewhat graciously declined. It arrived days before my birthday and I was overwhelmed and over the moon at receiving such an expensive gift from The Man Himself.

Then on my birthday my friend gifted me an iPad. I promise you I’m not making up this stuff. I know I was amongst the first few to be the proud owner of this device that everyone wanted. I know I was looked at enviously. I know I was told that the iPad is just a glorified iPhone but I paid no attention to the haters. I was totally in love with this new device of mine.

apple-ipad.jpg (500×378)

My Dad is a Mac person and he has nothing but Macs at work. Being a photographer I suppose it makes sense to have these machines and I would use them at his work place and feel they are so user friendly. Even my kids are dab hands with a Mac. Dad also told me that he would soon organise a MacBook for me so that I wouldn’t have to worry about viruses and crashes on the PC.

Whenever my Dad has promised me something he has always delivered. I have never known my Dad to ever break his promise to me. So last week on Friday I had Phil Matthews (the guy who got me into radio biz) come home for dinner as he was in town and he downloaded on my good old Toshiba some manuals he felt I could use for work purposes and the dialogue box showed it would take at least 5 hours to download and being so late at night, I just left the laptop switched on while I went to bed to let it download the manuals.

I woke up in the morning to find the screen of the laptop BLANK! I tried rebooting, checking it properly and I tried to revive it but in vain. With a heavy heart I knew my laptop had crashed. I then did something I do really well – sob my heart out. I had the kids’ photographs, my write-ups and a whole load of other stuff that I stupidly hadn’t backed up fully. At that moment Dad happened to call. He calls me every single day to chat with me and I was really upset and he consoled me that he’d try and get my laptop fixed. I left it at that. On Sunday I took the kids to see the rally cars and while I smiled for the kids sake, deep down I was really upset that my laptop had crashed.

On Monday morning Dad calls me and asks me drop by his work place and I did. When I got there he presented me with a fabulous MacBook Pro!! Oh MY Goodness!! I was so overwhelmed I didn’t know what to do. He urged me to take the machine to the dealer within the centre and get it up and running and Faheem, the chap who helped me out, was pretty amused with my enthusiasm and child-like glee.

So now, thanks once again to my Dad, I’m the proud owner of a MacBook Pro and I don’t think I’ll need another laptop ever again. Thanks Dad. You’re my hero. ♥