Tag Archives: safaricom

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…


Courtesy Visit to Bob Collymore’s 7th Floor

Bob Collymore with KK the 'VIP'. I have the tag to prove it...

I’ve been telling Bob Collymore, the CEO of Safaricom, that I’d love to drop by to meet him at his office since he was utterly kind to come to my workplace and personally deliver me a box of rather posh chocolates. The invitation has always been open from Bob to drop by so I decided today to take up on it and go and say hello.

Since last week I started asking directions of how to get to Safaricom House on Waiyaki Way, what floor Bob was on, where I was supposed to park and if I should bring my own biscuits. (Surely I was going to be offered a cup of coffee right?) So with my own detective work I managed to find out everything I wanted to know except for the biscuits. Bob kindly replied back on Twitter and said I could bring my own. Fair enough. I didn’t expect the CEO of the biggest mobile subscriber company to be donned in an apron on Monday evening baking me cookies to share on Tuesday morning so I got a box of some fancy treats.

Off I went to Safaricom House and was seriously fascinated with the security measures that I underwent. There were two entrances to Tower A & B and I was to go see Mr CEO in Tower A. I sat patiently in my car as the polite security guard did what he had to and I was riveted with the electronic pillars in front of me that were barring my car to move forward until the whole security check was complete. Even the parking was so organised! Nothing like those crazy shopping malls where we’re clamouring for a parking nearest to the entrance. Anyway, I told the security guard I was here to meet Bob Collymore (check me out name dropping) and he told me to go to the VIP car park. I had to stifle a gasp. Sorry but that’s the truth. I was like a country bumpkin in my posh heels in a VIP car park and it just started to get better.

I parked my car, checked my lipgloss in the rearview mirror, powdered the nose a bit, fluffed my hair, checked teeth for bits and bobs sticking in my crooked teeth and finally got out of the car and made my way to the vast entrance. I teetered to the security desk in the foyer and a very pretty lady asked me my name and discreetly called Bob’s office to check if I was being expected. I was. (Thank goodness eh?!)

Now if there is something I really abhor it’s those disgusting plastic security tags you must wear when you go to some buildings but not today! The pretty lady came around to me and pinned on a VIP badge on me herself and led me to the elevator door, which by the way is the CEO’s personal elevator, and directed me to the 7th floor.

I got off at the top floor and went to another reception desk where yet another lovely lady led me to a waiting area that had a breathtaking view of Brookside Drive, Lower Kabete Road and its environs. Tried to work out where my friend’s house was and was just about to take a picture when lovely lady was back to ask me if I wanted tea or coffee. I politely declined and within seconds Bob came out to receive me and we did those 3 kisses on the cheek thingie (I’m usually just a one hug person but this was good. Also my lipgloss didn’t leave glitter on Bob’s cheek. I’m not into air kisses.) Before we go to his office he ushers me into a side office where I FINALLY get to meet ‘The Lovely Purity’ and of course ‘The Robbed & Wronged Tabitha’. Apparently the BlackBerry Michael Joseph gifted me was supposed to be hers… I was unrepentant and had no remorse. I had also hidden it deep into my bag just in case I was asked to produce it or something – even that on Silent Mode lest it rang.

Bob ushered me into his fantastic office, which I shamelessly admired, and I simply adored the view from the 7th floor. I could see almost the whole of Nairobi!

We sat down to chat and Bob is ever so witty and funny and if he wasn’t CEO I’d put in a good word for him with my boss and get a voice test done to launch Bob’s radio career… 😉

Bob Collymore, CEO Safaricom and KK in posh new heels.

Then came the obligatory photo session and I’m just glad I wore my posh new heels.
Thanks Bob for your wonderful hospitality. You’re such a warm, down to earth person. Please stay like that

Now then… about that iPhone4….


Say what you want but…

Usually when someone starts a sentence with that you know something strongly opinionated is coming your way. I’m no exception to this rule because I have something I must say because it’s something I appreciate.

I’m a total gadget addict. I seem to have most modern means of communication at my disposal and I have also made my choices as to who my service providers will be. My default mobile line is Safaricom – it always has been and will be. The second line that I have is an Airtel line which I have for emergencies or for people who insist on asking me ‘for my other number’. I have an Orange landline too…

Now here’s the thing. My landline has not been working since last year and despite numerous complaints to Orange no one has bothered to do anything. I’m paying maintenance charges but my line is not working. On the other hand my Airtel line is not allowing me to call out even though I made the payment. Customer Care were nice enough to look into what is going on but 24 hours later I’m still not able to call out. What good is my line to me, I ask you?

I’m going to unashamedly praise Safaricom because in the 10 years I’ve had my line I’ve actually never had any problems where I’ve had to bang my head into a wall with frustration. From BlackBerry services to activating data bundles, from a simple silly question as to why EDGE on my BlackBerry was showing ‘edge’ in small letters and everything in between, I have always had the pleasure of prompt Safaricom Customer Care experience.  Dialling the short numbers to get through to Safaricom services have never been an issue for me. And the BEST thing about Safaricom is that they are on social media and forums and get back to you promptly to look into your query. I have seen rude and abusive messages from irate customers who probably don’t realise it’s not a problem with their provider but their defunct handset, yet they get back to you and try and sort your maneno out.

I have been told I ‘kiss Safaricom ass’ because I know the former and current CEO. That’s just utter nonsense and I’m not going to sugar coat my words. If I am calling the Customer Care number am I seriously going to name drop and mention the CEO’s name to get good service? Excuse me while I barf. It’s not about who you know these days that matters. If you are a customer, you are treated with the same respect and importance as the previous caller, and the next one too.

I’m just one happy and satisfied customer with Safaricom and because people normally only ever complain about the bad, I decided I’d give importance to the good that is being done. I’m VERY HAPPY with Safaricom as my mobile service provider and above all, their Customer Service and Care is frikking AWESOME. They definitely are The Better Option.

There. I said it.


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!



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. ♥