It’s COLORWARS2008 on twitter, so please come and join (the) Afriteam!

“Ati?! Corraarrwaaas?” – “Atiriiri…..” – “..but why should I join this team?” – Well, because a) why not? and b) let’s show them some *pamoja spirit* and what we‘re capable of. 2008 will be just another great opportunity for the Afrisphere.

p.s.: you won’t need an iPhone for twitter, not even a phone, just 2 minutes to register @twitter and join the @afriteam. Very simpooool.


How many African twitterdudes & -dudettes are there on Twitter?

Am asking because of my friends on facebook who feel like being spammed with “JKE is twittering:…” messages on their feed pages. I’ve received at least two “what is this twittering business”-questions so far and then try to explain it.

Funny thing is I only started updating my (bilingual) twitter status on a regular basis when I managed to set it up on my Nokia N95 (via fring, twibble and via ordinary sms). Needless to say that it only really makes sense if you have a smartphone with multitasking functionality to have it running in the background, connected to a network (if you’re using your phone to twitter) or don’t mind receiving status updates via sms all the time (which obviously quickly drains the battery and is just stupid).

As for desktop applications, I’ve started using twhirl and quite like it. Twhirl requires an installation of Adobe Air, but once it’s set up, this litte app is just sweet.

So who’s on twitter of you gals & guys (except for the usual suspects :-)?

EDIT: just when I posted this, the following video went public:

[youtube ddO9idmax0o]

searching for a new wp template

I am currently in the process of changing my WordPress template, so if things do not look the way they are supposed to be – please stay tuned for an update.

Although I am sure I will just spend 2-3 hours searching for a modifyabool template, only to realize later on that it isn’t compatible to (the biggest nightmare) MSIE 6.x and/or give up after some time as none of them will be convincing enough.

I’d like to have a simple template with lots of whitespace, some neat gimmicks and a clear structure that will enable a comprehensive navigation and provide some space for individual banners and my ever exploding linklist / blogroll /eChakula thingy…another font would also be nice and some more pixel design. Also, it needs to load a bit faster. Actually, loading time is the biggest issue. Hence the need for whitespace & a clean structure.

EDIT: ….the iPhone! Mzeecedric just informed me about the maximum width for an iPhone screen. Hellooohoo?!

An WordPress Vorlagen herumfrickeln bis sie wenigstens halbwegs gut aussehen dauert wirklich unheimlich lange – vor allem wenn man es nur alle drei Jahre macht und sich dann durch das Stylesheet kämpfen muss – welches selbstverständlich überall unterschiedlich aufgebaut ist.

EDIT2: OK! CASE DISMISSED! Due to this which convinced me. And given that the current Sirius theme does provide all these requirements, why change? But I will sure continue searching for another, better theme :-)

@doofus who uses my name to comment on thinkersroom

“I’d believe a tarot card reader than any Kenya government official.Kenya is going down the toilet while its citizens have their heads stuck in the cistern.

The US embassy bombers also tried to flee the scene so anyone trying to spin this is either a terrorist sympathiser or has his head up Ali’s arse.”

Whoever put this as a comment on thinkersroom – I never wrote that!

Now what? First they copy my words and publish them 1:1 in a Kenya Times article, and then some fake KOL, rbowen – forumers who don’t have the guts to publish something under their own name?

Or is it because this blog is called “Kikuyumoja‘s Realm”?

(“arse” isn’t even on my vocabulary…)

anglo- & francosphere?

We’ve been talking about this some time ago over at Hash’ website: the unknown? potential that gets lost while ppl are busy developing (double) content for something I would like to describe as the anglosphere and the francosphere.? Two worlds that co-exist and? ? generate their own dynamics.

Is it so?

And if so, will there be any attempts within the blogosphere (at least) to unite these two worlds separated by language barriers?

I don’t know how they solve it in West Africa (comments plz), but when I look at Europe alone at this given moment – Germany, France, England – although neighbouring countries and empires for ages, the language barrier still exists. Especially when it comes to the folks on the ground – bloggers, for instance. How many bloggers in Germany or the UK actually read french blogs? Yes?

And given my assumptions are true, what do you – dear readers – think? Should there be any umoja-styled website for “all Africans”? Not because of any false & ancient? “Africa is a nice country”-perspective, but because of the missing potential that gets lost whenever smart brains contribute similar content in their own languages.

attention, Eurosphere!

Is there anything such as a European blogosphere? A Eurosphere? Maybe a EUROspehre.

“I don’t read your blog”, some of my German friends told me, “coz you’re blogging in English”. English isn’t my mothertongue, but hey, we have to start somewhere, and there are a lot of people around the world who write in English although it isn’t their mothertongue.

With the recent elections in France that saw a very conservative candidate becoming the next President, one thing remains certain: national interest are still more important than European ones.

There may be different historical and political reasons for this behaviour, however, the outside sees us – the Europeans – as a unit. More than we actually are.

Something similar may apply to the African continent: whereas someone from Egypt or Morocco wouldn’t like to be called “an African”, the rest of the continent is still regarded as one big dark continent – by those who are not well informed.

It’s those messages such as the recent crashing of a Kenyan airplane where newspapers list all nationalities of the passengers and mention that “the remainder are Africans“. As if there is anything such as “the African”. Because those ppl hail from the same continent? Yeah, right…

The European blogosphere, if there is anything like that, the European media, all those fancy Web 2.0 websites are orientated towards the USA. This isn’t bad. In fact, most Inet startups in Europe are 1:1 copies of succesful sites from the US. However, there’s the Atlantic Ocean between the USA and Europe. And between Europe and the African continent? A rather small Mediterranean Sea.

Imperialists from European countries had conquered the African continent in the past and subdivided it into different countries, regardless of ethnical boundaries. Some of the main languages there are English and French, however, this European connection doesn’t seem to matter when it comes to intellectual stuff from the continent.

So much about background information for those who still need to check the world map to see where Ghana or Tanzania are located on the continent.

Having said this, let me pls introduce you to some fine African websites that have come up in the past. African, yes, as in Pan-Africanism.
I don’t know if there’s anything like Pan-Africanism apart from political institutions, but if it takes the digital age to connect different ethnical groups into one big unit – hey, why not? Now let’s see what this is all about:

1. Muti

muti screen

“Muti is a social bookmarking site inspired by reddit and Digg but dedicated to content of interest to Africans or those interested in Africa”.

Muti is a perfect resource for the African content – and the obvious advantage of social bookmarking and why you would want to use it (and there are still a lot of friends who haven’t understood this): don’t waste your time combing the internet for interesting content but instead rely on that what others have already filtered for you. It’s like using Google with a human filter. That’s quality!

2. Afrigator

afrigator screen

“Afrigator is a social media aggregator and directory built especially for African digital citizens who publish and consume content on the Web. (…) You can use Afrigator to index your blog, podcast, videocast or news site (i.e. any site that publishes an RSS feed) and market it to the rest of Africa and the world. You can also use it to discover new sites in the Afrosphere.”

The Afrosphere!

3. BlogAfrica

blogafrica screen

“BlogAfrica is intended as a collection of weblogs by Africans, both living on the continent and in the diaspora, and of non-Africans writing about Africa.”

BlogAfrica also is part of Globalvoices, “a non-profit global citizens’ media project”.

4. African Signals

africansignals screen

AfricanSignals is a new, blog-styled website that aims to “broadcast technology news from Africa”. AfricanSignals was created by fellow blogger Hash, who also blessed us with:

5. AfriGadget

afrigadget screen

“Gadgets for Africa: Solving everyday problems with African ingenuity”

AfriGadget is another blog-styled website that tries to portray some neat technical solutions. Or as I would call it: the MacGyver solutions that come up in situations when your tools and materials are limited. If you think of solutions, and not problems – this is your site.
(disclaimer: I am part of the team that contributes articles – want to join us?).

6. African Path

africanpath screen

African Path is the premier online destination for Africans online providing daily breaking news and discussions on issues affecting Africans and Africa.”

7. AllAfrica

allafrica screen

“AllAfrica Global Media is a multi-media content service provider, systems technology developer and the largest electronic distributor of African news and information worldwide.” (…) it…”is among the Internet’s largest content sites, posting over 1000 stories daily in English and French and offering a diversity of multi-lingual streaming programming as well as over 900,000 articles..”.

8. TimbuktuChronicles

timbuktu screen

TimbuktuChronicles, a blog by Emeka Okafor on “sustainable technologies in the developing world and paradigm breaking technologies in general”.

This blog is particularly interesting as it tries to highlight some sustainable technologies and business ideas which, I believe, have in the past and will also remain the driving forces for development in Africa.
This isnt’t about some well-meant development aid by industrial countries, but about working solutions that put food on the table at the end of the day.

There are of course many other interesting websites (this listing will never be complete), and while most of them are focused on a national level, we must not forget that I only mentioned those in English. How about the Francoblogosphere?

As for Kenya – my 50% home – there are interesting sites like Mzalendo (a pretty interesting database on the Parliament of Kenya and its members and their outputs), Mashada (a community platform with a blog aggregator, forum, market place, etc.), KenyaUnlimited (KBW, the Kenyan Blogs Webring with an interesting 400+ blog feed) as well as new start-ups such as Jahazi (an online application based on XML that enables its users to configure their applications, something like for the many users who are bound to internet cafés) and I just received an email from the brand-new Kenyan startup Nivipi, which claims to be a “Full Community Website” like MySpace for Kenyans.

ALL of these aforementioned websites are a perfect example that WE EUROPEANS shouldn’t forget about that huge continent in the south of the globe, so close to Europe, which already provides many interesting and smart projects as well as intellecual property that shouldn’t be left out.

Protestzug in Berlin

Lea von der Darfurgruppe Berlin bat mich heute, folgenden Aufruf zum Protestzug am 29. April 2007 in Berlin bekannt zu machen:

Stoppt das Morden in Darfur!

Vier Jahre nach Beginn des Völkermordes im Westen des Sudan ist die Lage der Zivilbevölkerung in Darfur schlimmer denn je zuvor: 400.000 Menschen sind dem Genozid schon zum Opfer gefallen, 2,6 Millionen Menschen mussten flüchten und die Gewalt hält weiter an. Dörfer werden bombardiert, Menschen werden vergewaltigt und vertrieben.

Die Zeit läuft ab für die Menschen in Darfur. Vor drei Jahren hat die Afrikanische Union einen Waffenstillstand vereinbart und Friedenstruppen entsandt. Doch bis heute wird die Zivilbevölkerung nicht wirksam vor Gewalt und Menschenrechtsverletzungen geschützt.

Deswegen wird das weltweite Bündnis “Globe for Darfur” am 29. April 2007 den dritten Global Day for Darfur veranstalten. Zum ersten Mal wird auch die deutsche Beteiligung über eine Pressekonferenz (wie beim letzten Mal) hinausgehen. Bitte setzen Sie sich mit uns dafür ein, dass die Europäische Union aktive Schritte unternimmt, um den Völkermord in Darfur zu beenden.

Bitte schließen Sie sich unserem Protestzug durch Berlin an, der am 29. April 2007 um 10 Uhr vom Pariser Platz vor dem Brandenburger Tor zum Potsdamer Platz läuft, auf dem um 11 Uhr 30 eine Abschlusskundgebung stattfindet.